The Summer of Tastes – Toronto Taste and Taste of Toronto

The Summer of Tastes – it’s going to be a tasty tasty summer and all in support of Second Harvest.  I’m excited to announce that Toronto Taste and Taste of Toronto are sharing not just a name space but a charity – Second Harvest.

Okay, I admit, it was a bit of a surprise to see a Taste of Toronto press release cross my desk just weeks after I had been appointed by Second Harvest as Co-Chair of Toronto Taste. There may or may not have been a flurry of emails. There may or may not have been some raised eyebrows. There may or may not have been some intense googling.

What there was, and fairly quickly too, was an email from Taste of Toronto reaching out to us to talk about how we could work together to minimize the confusion between these two established brands; and bring more attention and support to Second Harvest’s food rescue.

Toronto TasteToronto Taste 2014

Toronto Taste, which you may already know, is Toronto’s premier gourmet fundraiser. This is it’s 24th year of bringing the top tastemakers in the city – chefs, restaurants, wineries, distilleries – together with generous guests to raise money for Second Harvest, Canada’s oldest food rescue charity.  Toronto Taste is run by Second Harvest and a dedicated team of volunteers who spend the year planning, negotiating and coordinating all the amazing sponsors, Chefs, restaurants, beverage companies, venues and so much more.

 “Second Harvest’s Toronto Taste has been celebrating our city’s talented chefs for twenty-four years.” Jennifer Verschraegen,  Director of Development Second Harvest, added “And now, Taste of Toronto will bring more attention to the incredible tastes and talent we’ve long appreciated of our Chef community, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to raise more awareness about relieving hunger through food rescue.”

Taste Festivals & Taste of Toronto

The Taste Festivals are international sensations held in 20 cities around the world, starting in London.  Taste of Toronto will launch their presence in North America July 24-27th.  They too bring together the top chefs and beverages in a city and give their guests a stellar gourmet experience.  They do it over multiple days in 4-hour blocks with changing chefs and experiences.

“It is really remarkable how much Toronto’s food scene has evolved in the past few years. This is why the international Taste Festivals chose Toronto to launch in North America: the city has quickly becoming a world class restaurant destination.” said Meghan O’Hanlon, Event Director, Taste Festivals Canada

We were delighted to see the community focus of the Taste of Toronto team and that Toronto is the first city in North America to host a Taste Festival celebrating the culinary community we love. After a number of conversations with the Taste of Toronto team about collaboration, we decided it would be best if we collectively cleared the air about the names.  We know there are going to be jokes and confusion, but if people come out to enjoy and celebrate the best the city has to offer and support Second Harvest at the same time, we can live with that.

These two Tastes are 2 unique experiences, Toronto Taste on June 8th at Corus Quay and Taste of Toronto July 24-27th at Fort York give Torontonians and tourists alike the opportunity to experience the best the city has to offer. It’s well worth getting your tickets to both now!

“Toronto Taste has been here since the beginning – 24 great years.” Meghan O’Hanlon, Event Director, Taste Festivals Canada  adds  “The new Taste of Toronto is set to become one of the city’s top annual festivals, putting the city’s top chefs and restaurants on the world stage. Both will support the important cause of Second Harvest, and together will make 2014 the best ever summer of taste.”

“It’s a real win for Toronto foodies that this summer, they can unite not once, but twice, to celebrate our city’s vibrant culinary scene.” Jennifer Verschraegen, Director of Development Second Harvest wraps this up perfectly:

“Let the Tasting begin!”

The Details:

About Taste Festivals:

Dates: July 24-27th, 2014
General admission tickets are $30. The average dish at Taste of Toronto will be between 6–10 Crowns ($6-10). $100 tickets guarantee you unlimited access to the VIP areas and $30 worth of Crowns.

Taste Festivals, an IMG event, is considered the world’s greatest restaurant festival. The festival concept began 10 years ago in London, England, and has rapidly grown into an international event with festivals in 20 cities around the world including Dubai, Amsterdam, Milan, Moscow, Melbourne, Dublin, Mumbai, Sydney, and Johannesburg, to name a few. Everywhere it goes, Taste represents a gourmand’s dream come true: delicious food created by the city’s greatest restaurants, world famous chefs, superb drink and outstanding entertainment, set in stunning outdoor surroundings.
Hashtag: #tasteoftoronto

About Toronto Taste:

Dates: June 8, 2014
Cost:  Tickets are $250 and include all the tastes and sips at the event. You’ll also get a $125 charitable tax receipt.

Toronto Taste rings in the Summer of Tastes on Sunday, June 8 at 6 p.m., lakeside at Corus Quay.  Indulge in 70 gourmet food and beverage stations from celebrity chefs and top food purveyors. Mix and mingle with celebrity chefs in a breathtaking lakeside locale in downtown Toronto. Relish in the gratification of supporting Second Harvest’s food rescue program.

In addition to funds raised at the event by the fine wine, silent and live auctions at the event, each $250 ticket enables Second Harvest to rescue enough food to provide 500 meals to those in need.
Facebook: TorontoTaste
Hashtag: #TorontoTaste

About Second Harvest:

Second Harvest is a food rescue charity that connects excess food with hungry people. Since 1985, Second Harvest has been rescuing food, which would have otherwise gone to waste, and delivering that food to social service agencies in Toronto. The food is donated by restaurants, grocery stores, food manufacturers, and food distributors, and delivered to social service agencies who feed 100,000 hungry children, adults and seniors each month. Last year Second Harvest rescued and delivered 7.4 million pounds of fresh, healthy food that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Twitter: @2ndHarvestTO
Facebook: secondharvestTO
Instagram: @2ndharvestto

Alexa Clark is Co-Chair of Toronto Taste 2014. Now in it’s twenty-fourth year, Toronto Taste, presented by The Daniels Corporation, is the Toronto’s premier culinary event and single largest fundraiser for Second Harvest. Second Harvest is Canada’s oldest food rescue charity.    I hope we can count on you to help us achieve that goal again this year!

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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