2016 Curryfest at the Aga Khan Museum
On Saturday 9 April from 6 - 10pm, an enthusiastic and diverse group of culture and food-loving Torontonians gathered at the Aga Khan Museum for the next extravaganza from Spotlight City Events, the second annual celebration of spice, Curryfest. The 2015 inaugural event had obviously proved a success, as this year was a sell-out.
Spotlight City Events are a food-event production company run by Suresh Doss and Frank Kocis. Both have deep ties to local culinary culture and their events 'gather the best local chefs, pop-ups and caterers in the city and offer them the opportunity to expand their repertoires and cook dishes not normally offered on their restaurant menus, giving them the freedom to experiment and push their boundaries.' Their mission is to 'create the events that we’d want to attend as guests. Make the lines short and the food exceptional and above all: make things fun.' Past events include SLURP!” (ramen), Yum Cha (dim sum), and Pintxos: A celebration of tapas.
The Aga Khan Museum provided a beautiful venue to host the event, housing Islamic art and heritage. Patrons attending Curryfest were lucky enough to have access to the collection for the first part of the event. This proved to be a highlight of the evening, with the museum providing guides and curators on-hand to answer questions and provide insight to the fascinating collections. The welcome extended by the museum was generous and warm and provided a vibrant atmosphere for the rest of the night.
Then on to the food! Selection was a nice mix of southern and south eastern Asian styles and flavours. Vendors in attendance on the day were Bombay Street Food, Gourmet Malaysia, Indian Street Food, Little Sister, Nana Restaurant, O&B Cafe Grill @ Bayview Village, Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, Rick's Good Eats, Rickshaw Bar, Saffron Spice Kitchen and The Gabardine.
The menus were all diverse, with vendors showcasing some of their specialities that sets them apart. As well as main meals, many provided 'small plate' sized food at very reasonable prices, which allowed a selection of different food to be sampled and enjoyed. This suited the spirit of those gathered on the night which was very much to try something from everyone.
The set-up and running of the event was smooth, with room for everyone to access all the food and also space to sit down and eat. Again the staff were helpful and friendly, greatly adding to the success of the night.
There was a real feeling of excitement as the crowd mingled and tried new and delicious cuisine. It was great to see such a diverse, multi-cultural group of people gathered, reflective of the diversity of Toronto itself. The event was a shining example of how food can bring people together and also facilitate cultural exchange and learning.
It was a pleasure to attend such a well-planned, interesting and of course appetising event. Thank you to all involved. I look forward to the next Spotlight City Events food fiesta.