Feed on

Celebrating my 10th year of involvement with Toronto Taste for Second Harvest, I teamed up with a great entrepreneurial team — Esther Benaim and Maggie McKeown of Great Cooks on Eight. We had a great time putting out stuffed dates with blue cheese and wrap with prosciutto di parma and catching up with fellow chefs and other socially conscious foodies who stopped by.

The Great Cooks team, Executive Chef Maggie McKeown, Vanessa and Jenna


Happy guests enjoying the food

AGO’S Executive Chef Anne Yarymowich and her crew


Jemie Kennedy’s Wine and Bar Executive Chef Tobey Nemeth


Michael Tkaczuk of Serrano Imports serving jamon Iberico and it was muy sabroso


Pastry chefs Bonnie Gordon[center], Charmine Baan[right] and friend[left]

For those of us who produce high-end food for a living, it’s gratifying to contribute to Second Harvest and their work to feed the city’s hungry.

What also gets my heart pumping when I work Toronto Taste is the rank and file of volunteers, literally hundreds of them, who come from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnic backgrounds, cheerfully ready to do whatever needs to get done.

Last year I worked with four Japanese exchange students who knew five words of English between them. With hand gestures, as if we were playing charades, we got a lot of great work done, fetching, collecting, running, gathering, clearing. Amazing. None of it was glamorous, but the spirit was inspiring.

My favourite Toronto Taste scene is the volunteer’s mess hall. While the guests eat their way through the great tables of the city’s best chefs, the volunteers work up an appetite, too.


Some volunteers having a break and refueling them selfs.

A special team of volunteers is designated to feed their own, to nourish them, revive them and prepare them for heading back out to do their work.

Everyone needs to eat, which is the point.

Give Second Harvest a bit of your good fortune.


Enjoying a wrapping up drink with Great Cook’s Vanessa Arbulu

Yours in good food at Toronto Taste

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*Spanish for: "Mmm. Wow. That's good!"