Taste of Toronto 2016 Recap


In case you missed it, the third annual Taste Of Toronto showcased the best of the city’s culinary scene at Garrison Common on June 23-26. With more than 70 exhibits in the marketplace, there were still some returning favourites.

Opening night ribbon cutting ceremony with over 20 of Toronto’s best chef. Photo credit: Sam Santos, George Pimentel Photography


The opening night began with the ceremonial ribbon cutting along with the top chefs participating this year’s event. Followed by the best in taste ceremony, announcing the winners of the Best in Taste award and Best Dressed Stand hosted at the VIP lounge while tasting some amazing smoked salmon finger food.

After that, marketing intern Jennifer and I couldn’t wait to try out what the food scene had to offer. We tried as many top dishes as we could over the night. Some of our favorites include Miku Restaurant’s Aburi Oshi Sushi, Kinka Family Inc’s takoyaki, and The Drake Hotel’s True north Salmon Fried Rice.

Miku’s Restaurant’s Aburi Oshi Sushi

With live cooking demonstrations, and Metro master classes, Taste of Toronto is indeed a foodie’s paradise. I definitely feel like I could become a chef myself from what I’ve seen! The event overall was a lot of fun, seeing everyone trying out varieties of food with bellies full leaving. I’m excited for what next year’s Taste of Toronto will bring.


Made With Love Mixing the Best Cocktails in Canada


Remember the movie Cocktail? The 1980’s romantic comedy starring Tom Cruise as a working class bartender in New York City, where he pushes his dream aside from wanting to become a business man, to eventually becoming a professional bartender where he and his friend put on acts at the bar for entertainment and mainly tips? Well the bartending experience not only doesn’t stop at the theatre or at a bar near you, but is in fact an art of sport for many such as Montréal native Oliver-Pierre Trempe who aims to showcase the art of bartending in his annual bartending competition Made With Love.

Always being in awe of the bartending culture and its skill, Oliver-Pierre Trempe decided to leave his job in the makeup industry and invest full-time in showcasing bartenders and their craftsmanship. “I always thought bartending was cool. I always said I would like to be able to do that, but I never could. But I always thought they were cool. Working with their hands and the night life, so I really wanted to work with them in a creative way, and that was my way to express it.” – says Tempre jokingly.


From Made with Love’s inception in 2009 held in Old Montréal, it has garnered its competitors and attendees from its beginnings of eight bartenders and 100 attendees, to the more than 100 competitors and 1,000 attendees that this edition has. The annual competition is one of the most anticipated mixology competitions – for bartenders and guests alike – in all of Canada as well as Mexico City, and brings bartenders from all over the province and international city to take part in the fun and creative competition.

As entertaining as the competition sounds, participants must be prepared for hard work and bring out their most coveted ingredients to take part in the three step annual competition: qualifier, city finals and national’s finals. In the qualifier round, there are 30-50 mixologist competing, then between 20-25 mixologists are selected to participate in the city finals; then later on, 14 finalists compete to win two trips to selected distilleries around the world.


With Toronto being the final city competing for the city finals title, the general audience is invited to take part in the experience that is Made With Love and enjoy the food and drinks that will be served all night, as well as experience the art of mixology put on by each bartender. “There is for sure skills. There is the base, you need to know your spirits and your flavour profile. So everything that is knowledge in culinary and the spirit industry. And once you actually know that, it’s your style and creativity,and once you got style and creativity and you have a good base, you’re getting closer to the great mixologist. Then of course there’s your presentation, how you present the drinks and dress yourself; the way you talk about your cocktails and expose your drink.” – explains Tempre.

Having finalists prepare two months prior for the city finals in order to finalize and spruce their cocktails up skills and overall their presentation, Made With Love knows that audiences won’t be disappointed with what Canada and Mexico’s brightest and creative mixologists have to bring.

More than just mixing drinks, Made With Love proves that art and skill come in all forms; and an alcoholic beverage is definitely one of them.


For more information about Made With Love and their contestants, as well as buy a ticket ad attend their city finals in Toronto on April 4th, visit their website at www.enjoyMadeWithLove.com


Vancouver Fashion Week Shining Light on Emerging Designers

Even though all the international fashion weeks around the globe have closed their curtains and dimmed their catwalks, the fashion, and street styles of Paris, London and Milan, can be seen in smaller cities such as Toronto and Vancouver as they gear up for their own fashion week. Running the same week as Toronto Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week opens its doors from March 14th to March 20th. A whole six days of fashion, art, and overall culture will be showcased with 91 designers showing their collections.


Having no shortage of what to expect next with the coming days, Vancouver Fashion Week aims to bring not only diversity to the runway, but also shine light on emerging designers and propel them into the industry with knowledge, skills, and experience of running and showcasing a major fashion show. Along with highlighting up and comers, Vancouver Fashion Week also wants to shine light on the city and their fashion scene. Although known for their picturesque scenery and avid wildlife, Vancouver aims to catapult their image to be seen as one of the major fashion capitols of the country, and push style and uniqueness upon fashion goers during the fashion week seasons.

Yahel Waisman

It may be looked down upon, at least in the fashion industry, to have so many designers show during the course of one week. But the reality is, it’s best to show as much homegrown talent you possibly can under one roof so many can see the talent that is within their city. And with often times designers showing their collections offsite, and having scheduling conflicts of having shows happen at the same time in different locations, it is best to have all designers under one roof to be seen by all and not have the feeling of missing out on a potential collection and designer that could be the new staple in your wardrobe.

Oscar Mendoza. Photo Credit: Dominic Manea

Whether you’re looking for a statement jacket to go along with that super-chic pencil skirt, or the right collared shirt to be paired with those new pair of slacks, Vancouver Fashion Week has a designer showing during the week that will sure cater to your needs.

Dominique Ansari

For live streams of the shows, and event information, be sure to check out Vancouver Fashion Weeks website for updates and pictures. http://vanfashionweek.com/designers/


With all the buzz these past few weeks over African Fashion Week Toronto, the event turned into a major success. I must say that if you did not attend, you surely missed out on an eventful week. We witnessed the hard work, and dedication through all the volunteers, the co-founders of AFWT, the PR reps, designers and even the beautiful models. AFWT kicked off with its opening soiree at the Drake Hotel. The posh setting, and dim lighting, were accompanied by award winner, DJ Nana, and a live band, Juicy Money Collective. They played funky instrumentals and performed a few cover songs, that got the crowd on their feet.

Photo Credit: Sade Lewis
Photo Credit: Sade Lewis

The second day was the student designer competition. We watched models strut down the runaway in unique pieces that were established by young, student designers themselves. Each collection was completely different, and had their own spark. Even though each piece showed off the amazing talent that the designers have, only one winner was awarded at the end. Kyle Gervacy was crowned as the winner, for his tribal, and sophisticated showcase.

Photo Credit: Sade Lewis
Photo Credit: Sade Lewis

Since the student design competition was a huge success, there was a lot of excitement for the third day of festivities. The high fashion designer showcase was presented, with three different showcases that day at, 1 p.m, 4 p.m, and 7 p.m. We got treated to more beautiful designs and embellishments, that were created by a variety of designers from around the globe. Just like the student designers, each collection had their own spin to it.

Photo Credit: Sade Lewis
Photo Credit: Sade Lewis

The very last day was the African Fashion Industry Awards, where everyone from designers, photographers and even models, were awarded for their talent, commitment, and many successes in the world of fashion. The AFIA had a glamorous start with the red carpet event. Anyone was able to get their photo taken, and high profile designers, such as Toronto’s own, Kaela Kay, were interviewed. Once the red carpet showcase was complete, the award ceremony began, and by the end, we were left with a once in a lifetime treat. We were presented with one more fashion showcase, by the legendary Adebayo Jones. His pieces were absolutely stunning, and truly displayed the time and effort these designers put into their work to become as successful as they are.

Photo Credit: Sade Lewis
Photo Credit: Sade Lewis


Fashion Week is a huge deal in both Toronto and New York. A variety of events and shows take place during that week, with designers showing off their hard work and talent and beautiful models presenting different pieces to us as they strut down the catwalk. Through all the behind-the-scenes chaos, the paparazzi and maybe even a few celebrity mishaps, Fashion Week is always a smashing success.

This week, Toronto is presenting African Fashion Week from August 13th to 16th at Daniels Spectrum. African Fashion Week has been taking place since 2009, and has already reached an audience of over 100,000 worldwide. Because of the great diversity that the event brings, it is recognizable throughout different countries, and continues to grow as a platform each year. The philosophy of AFW is all about, team spirit, honesty, reliability and quality. Their mission is to continue progressing the African Fashion Industry with quality and taste, to create and build strong business relationships that will lead to further business opportunities for models and other fashion professionals, to continue expanding the growth of African Fashion Industries in Toronto as well as the Diaspora, and lastly to banish the misconception surrounding Africa by showcasing it in a different light — through luxury fashion initiatives.


The four-day event will be filled with excitement, as each day has something new to bring to the table. Thursday August 13th from 7 p.m. to midnight is the Opening Soiree and will be hosted by Angelina Williams at the Drake Hotel. There will be music by the award-winning DJ Nana and live band Juice Money Collective.


Friday August 14th at 7 p.m. is when the real fun begins. It is the night of the show where it will be showcasing the student designer competition and the high fashion designer showcase.


On Saturday August 15th 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will be a free registration period for the Fashion Marketing Seminar, which is to help develop “marketing strategies to grow your brand with successful industry professionals.” Then starting at 1 p.m is the High Fashion Designer Showcase. There are three shows in total, with the following two at 4 p.m and 7 p.m.


 Sunday August 16th is the finale of the function, with the red carpet starting at 5 p.m. and the achievement ceremony taking place at 6. It will be hosted by Ivy Prosper and she will be honouring Alex Wek and Alphadi.