I’ve just returned from a wonderful weekend in Toronto with about 150 other food writers from all across Canada! This was the fourth annual conference organized by Food Bloggers of Canada. I met new friends, television and major magazine personalities, and sponsors representing a wide variety of food producers. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, and the food was amazing and plentiful!
I arrived early Friday morning at the train station to get a parking spot. That allowed me time to enjoy a coffee across the street at the very cool Smile Tiger Coffee Roasters in Kitchener.
The Conference Hotel
The conference was in the Delta hotel in Toronto. I stayed with fellow blogger, Marlene of Urban Cottage Life.
The conference started off with a reception and dinner. Some of the sponsors, including Mushrooms Canada, provided food.
My dinner menu was gluten-free. The gluten-free and vegan options were combined for this meal.
The regular meal was served family style. Our gluten-free/vegan meals were plated for us.
There was a lot of food! We had an apple crisp for dessert, but I was so into it that I forgot to take a picture!
Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen and New York Times best-selling cookbook author was our keynote speaker after dinner.
Throughout the weekend, Delta Faucets kept us supplied with fresh, fruit-infused drinking water. The fruits changed throughout the weekend, so we got to sample a nice variety. Ontario Apple Growers made fresh apples available to us at all times.
I didn’t take pictures of all of the meals because of low-light situations. And how many pictures of food do you want to look at today, anyway?! But let me tell you, there was A LOT of food! I don’t remember eating so much since I was about 20! It’s fun to eat with food bloggers! We’re all eager to dig right in and enjoy everything!
Of course there were several classes to attend, and we all learned a lot. Even more important than that, though, I think, at these conferences are the connections that are made between people. There was some free time later on Saturday afternoon when we could go out and explore Toronto. A group of us walked to the elegant Colette Grand Cafe, a French-style bakery and restaurant. At first we were disappointed to find that the venue had been booked for an event, and we couldn’t sit inside. However, we soon learned that we could still get into the bakery through the side door and sit outside. We were able to enjoy coffees outside by the street, just as we would have in Paris.
On Saturday evening, we all took over the Montecito Restaurant on Adelaide Street, where Canadian Lentils served us a fabulous dinner! It began with a cocktail reception where we helped ourselves to oysters, charcuterie, and big hunks of cheese! Then there was the amazing dinner! Plate after plate was set before us. The chefs were very creative with lentils! There were even lentil brownies for dessert, among several other pastries. My friend across the table from me also ate gluten- and dairy-free, so we were given our own versions of anything that had gluten or dairy in it. It really was the royal treatment!
Breville provided breakfast on the last day. Their blender did an impressive job of blending spinach smoothly, leaving no green flecks in my smoothie!
Crosby’s Molasses took care of our coffee break.
Half Your Plate provided lunch.
Before departing from home, I was very happy to be notified that I had won a prize from Canadian Turkey! It was the extra-large Lagostina stainless steel roasting pan!
I also brought home a pretty cool swag bag!
After an afternoon session, we were off to Union Station for the train ride home.
As I go forward into another year of blogging, carrying with me wonderful memories of my weekend in Toronto, it will be great to know the faces behind several of the blogs I read!