I was lucky enough to attend the Restaurant’s Canada show for the second year in a row this weekend. My fiancé works in the food industry and this show has always been a great way to network, market and see some really great innovative technology, equipment and services for the restaurant and food business.
While my partner hears business, I hear delicious food and craft beer. We arrived at the Encare Centre and into the showroom where I was overwhelmed with booths from all over not only Canada but the world. We walked by pizza ovens, the most beautiful coffee machine’s I’ve ever seen and even a sushi making ‘robot’. You aren’t really able to walk more than a few feet before finding something interesting to learn more about, or my favourite, try for yourself.
We watched cooking demonstrations that pitted chefs against each other as to who could whip up the most delicious dish, or bartenders trying come up with the perfect cocktail in front of waiting judges.
One of the more bizarre things we encountered was what Leo referred to as the ‘ketchup robot’. It was a giant Heinz Ketchup bottle that wheeled itself around, engaging with patrons (even shaking hands!) and talking business about all things Heinz. It was sort of charming in a weird way.
Some of the favourite things I sampled or found interesting were:
Delicious, delicious Propeller coffee. I have yet to visit their downtown location in person, but I’ve got their ground coffee before in the Roasters Pack coffee subscription I subscribe to.
Weston Food’s custom donut. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of donuts that Weston deep fried, froze and sent out to companies to bake in their ovens for 3 minutes before serving them, but wow were they delicious. Moist and sweet! I added some fresh vanilla icing, sprinkles and caramel sauce. YUM.
I sampled some of Station Brew’s coconut iced coffee (would be great over ice on a hot summers day) and was excited to hear that they have an iced mocha coming out in March. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.
An old favourite of mine is Point Blank iced coffee, it tastes great, not too harsh and has zero calories. Its only available in two downtown locations (Fresh and Wild and Sweat and Soda) and I still don’t understand why this isn’t being carried in Whole Foods yet!? You can buy a pack from their website online.
I’m a fan of dark chocolate and was happy to see Chocosol at the event! They have dark chocolate ranging from 65% to 100% cacao. They are vegan and ethically sourced and overall really good if you’re a fan of some nice bitter chocolate. They come in flavours like vanilla sea salt and coffee crunch.
I haven’t made it out to the Cheesecake Factory in Yorkdale yet, but I sure sampled a few of their original and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. It was to die for and I can totally understand the line ups. I will have to investigate more for myself when all the hype dies down.
We walked by some gelato that was disguised as a unicorn, and I have to say, It did taste pretty magical. (or like cotton candy, either or).
A cheese that I’m still daydreaming about was cheddar with caramelized onions in it from Pine River. I wanted to melt a slice of cheese on a burger or hell, even eat the whole brick to myself when the samplers back was turned. It’s available at Sobey’s and I’m totally grabbing some after work today.
Loved sampling some local Ontario brew from Bobcaygeon, Redline (they had a great ‘latte’ stout) Spearhead, Skeleton Park, Railway City and Lake of Bays.
Loved having whiskey lemonade made with Bulleit Bourbon, sampling Black Cow vodka made from milk with cheese that came from the same farm and finally getting around to the Strawberries and Cream Baileys. It tasted so good, I could see how it could get dangerous!
Straying away from the alcoholic bevvies, I fell in love with an organic soda that was sweetened with maple syrup. Bec Cola comes from Quebec and in three delicious flavours. Cola, Lime and Cranberry. We couldn’t get over how wonderful it was and were so glad to hear it was available in our local Sobeys. I could see myself even using it as a mixer.
Live Kombucha was also another non alcoholic favourite of mine, it came in lots of flavours like Citrus Heat, Orange Oolong and Lemon Ginger. They hail from Guelph and offer fermented tea full of probiotics, fresh fruit juice and it’s naturally carbonated, so I felt good about drinking it.
If you’re able to attend the RC show and you’re a food lover, I would recommend it. It’s so much fun trying out brands you’ve never heard of before and getting a glimpse into what’s in store for restaurants and the food industry. Be sure to check out www.rcshow.com for ticket info!
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.