The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo is one of Toronto’s grandest opportunities to sample wine, spirits, and beer from around the world, in one place, all over a four-day weekend. It’s held in a hall big enough that you almost see horizons instead of walls, buried deep below Toronto’s convention center. That matters a bit less because this event is conveniently scheduled for the start of the season when we’d much rather be as far away from the elements as possible. The GFWE, especially on Thursday’s VIP night and weekend evenings, is obviously a hot ticket and undeniably popular with those who appreciate alcohol’s ability to intoxicate. This year’s show runs from November 20 to 23 at the MTCC North Building.
I’m always glad to be surrounded by people having a good time, but a thousand tipsy strangers don’t add particularly to my ability to put a new wine through its paces. If you feel the same, you might agree that the workshops are the event’s best feature. Therefore, I’m happy to share the news that I will have a role this year in the educational part of the programme. If you’re at the Food Network stage around 4 PM on Sunday you’ll get to see me demonstrate a few recipes from my book, The Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook.
We’ll cover a bit about beer appreciation in general and try to get a sense of what beer cooking is and is not. Naturally, I’ll go well beyond the narrow idea of tipping beer into BBQ sauces and offer some of my usual geeky explanations for techniques that will apply to a wide range of kitchen techniques. Oh, and ingredients, we’ll definitely chat about special (non-beer) ingredients and which ones you really don’t need to stress over. I love trivia and those who pay careful attention during the demonstration will have the chance to win one of these very special beer glasses.
The demonstration is near the end of the weekend’s schedule, but I also have good news for those attending Thursday night’s VIP kickoff. My publisher, Fitzhenry-Whiteside/Whitecap, will have a booth set up near the food stage and you’ll find me there Thursday night. Even better, we’ll have snacks from my book for sale. Stop by to refuel for sampling more of the wonderful variety of drinks that exhibitors will have to offer.
And finally if you don’t have a ticket for Thursday’s kickoff, I have just the contest for you. Follow the directions in the widget below – please don’t remove the @GFWE handle, my twitter handle, or the #GFWE from your entry tweet.
The event organizers have generously supplied two pairs of tickets for me to give away, so there will be two winners. You must be 19 years-old to get into the event and the same applies to this contest.
Lead photo for this post by Suresh Doss.