Toronto Taste Raises Enough to Provide 1.7 Million Meals to Hungry Torontonians

Toronto Taste 2016, raised an incredible $850,000 for Second Harvest’s food rescue program, enough to rescue and deliver food for 1.7 million meals to hungry Torontonians.

The city’s premier culinary fundraiser took place lakeside at Corus Quay Sunday, June 12. Going strong for over a quarter century, Toronto Taste links the culinary community to an important cause – food rescue. Over 90 of the most sought-after restaurants and beverage participants gathered to support Second Harvest, helping to ensure good food destined for landfill is rescued and delivered to the people in our community who need it most.

With some of the city’s top chefs, restaurants and beverage purveyors onsite, the evening was one of great culinary fervor. Close to 1,500 guests flooded the indoor/outdoor venue, sampling food and drink while mingling, enjoying live entertainment, and perusing the fine wine and silent auction items. 

Here are our top 5 highlights from this year's Toronto Taste.

1. Most Successful Live Auction in Toronto Taste History

This year’s live auction, hosted by Allen Fleishman of Associated Fundraising Group International, was the most successful auction in Toronto Taste history! With 10 prizes up for bid, the main stage was packed with eager bidders. Second Harvest Ambassador and long-time supporter, Bob Blumer’s ‘A Surreal Experience’ prize, which included a trip to Los Angeles and dinner in Bob's home raised an impressive $49,000. Originally intended as one prize, its popularity encouraged Bob to generously donate an additional three packages.

2. Ivana Raca Wins Chef Challenge Competition

Hosted by John Catucci on the main stage, the Chef Challenge brought together three exciting, young challengers to face off, vying for the title of Chef Challenge Winner. Kaya Ogruce (Death in Venice Gelato Co.), Darby Piquette (One) and Ivana Raca (Raca Café) competed against one another, alongside three sous-chefs from our Harvest Kitchens program. With 30 minutes and three mystery ingredients to work with, competitors prepared dishes that were judged by Cynthia Beretta (Beretta Farms), Chef Matt DeMille (Ambassador Chef, All Clad Cookware), Chef Juriaan Snellen (Executive Corporate Chef, McCormick Canada) and Dennis Tay (Chef de Cuisine, DaiLo). They named Raca the winner after a close competition.

3. A Proposal at Toronto Taste

With the help of Chef Mark McEwan and his team, this year's Toronto Taste included a successful proposal. Arranged in advance, couple Rob and Lali arrived at Chef Mark McEwan's station at 6:45 pm, eager to try the fois gras dish when Chef McEwan announced he had prepared a special dish for the couple. He lifted the plate cover and revealed engagement rings. Shocked, Lali looked from the plate to Rob, who had taken a knee to propose. The small crowd that had formed around the couple erupted into applause as Lali shook his head yes. 

4. An Incredible Chef and Beverage Lineup

Always a highlight at Toronto Taste, is the incredible lineup of chef and beverage participants. Over 90 participants, including The McEwan group, Patois Toronto, Antler Kitchen and Bar, Buca, and Victoria Gin, all doante their resources, staff time and energy to make the event possible. This is the 26th year Toronto Taste has relied on the generosity of the culinary community to make the night such a success.

5. Flying Away with Delta

New to the event this year was the Delta lounge. Situated in the outdoor portion of the venue and bookended by an array of exciting chef and beverage stations, the Delta lounge offered guests the opportunity to guess a pre-selected destination on a map that included 50 destinations, for $100 a guess. With three previously selected destinations, prizes were awarded to contestants who guessed Shanghai, Buenos Aires and New York.


To view photos from the event, click here.