Abbey's Kitchen Stadium at The Delicious Food Show 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Delicious Food Show which is a 3-day event for foodies to experience entertainment, food and lifestyle all in one venue.  With hundreds of exhibitors, tastings, cooking work-shops, book signings and celebrity chefs, this is a must attend event for those who appreciate delicious food!

Photo by Mauricio J Calero

One main feature at the Delicious Food Show was Abbey's Kitchen Stadium which featured 8 top Toronto chefs showcasing their talents by offering two food items (one sweet and one savoury) for $5 each. Guests had the opportunity to sample these dishes and then vote for their favourite.  At the end of the weekend the top four chefs were brought on stage to compete for the best dish determined by a panel of celebrity judges. The winner of course would go home with bragging rights as the champion of Abbey's Kitchen Stadium.

Photos by Mauricio J Calero

A few of the dishes that I tried at Abbey's Kitchen Stadium incorporated a lovely Chilean sparkling wine called Fresita.  This was my first time trying Fresita on it's own and in a dish, so I was excited to experience the versatility in this unique beverage.  Fresita is made with handpicked strawberries from the Patagonia region of Chile and then mixed with a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and moscatel.  These strawberries are indigenous to Chile, making this sparkling wine beverage extra special. The flavour of Fresita was very light and refreshing and it almost had a sweet yet tart aftertaste. This is the perfect wine to pop open with desserts or hor d'oeuvres.

A few of the chefs participating in Abbey's Kitchen Stadium used Fresita in their dishes and these are the two that I tried:

Basilio Pesce - Porzia – Frestia Budino with Pistachio & Fennel

Victor Barry - Splendido – Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart with Fresita Reduction
Photo by Mauricio J Calero

Other dishes I tried:

Robbie Hojilla - Hudson Kitchen - Thai Curry Marinated Pork Belly & Coconut Milk Crepe 

Jon Hamilton - Home of the Brave - Chocolate Campfire S'mores Ice Cream Bar

The completion took place on the last day of the Delicious Food Show and the four chefs that made it to the finals were:

  • Jon Hamilton and Nathan Middleton - Home of the Brave - Smoked Cajun Wings with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • Robbie Hojilla - Hudson Kitchen - Thai Curry Marinated Pork Belly & Coconut Milk Crepe
  • Vittorio Colacitti - The Good Son - Pasta e Fagioli with Berkshire Pancetta
  • Ariel Coplan - Thoroughbred - Mussel Po Boy with Comeback Sauce

Photos by Mauricio J Calero

The judges sampled all of the dishes and had a hard time deciding on which dish was the best.  After some long deliberations, Robbie Hojilla from Hudson Kitchen was titled champion of Abbey's Kitchen Stadium. Clearly pork belly is a huge fan favourite (I voted for it too).

Photo by Mauricio J Calero

I had an amazing time at the show this year and especially enjoyed discovering some great new products and dishes from food vendors across the city. 

Next year the Delicious Food Show will be partnering with Food & Wine Magazine to bring you the Toronto Food & Wine Show! This exciting news was announced at the Delicious Food Show Press Conference this year and food and drink fans in the city will be in for a real treat in 2015!

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