5 reasons to visit Luminato’s Taste of the Beach This Weekend

Luminato is Toronto’s festival of arts and creativity, launched in 2007. For 10 days each June, Luminato Festival transforms Toronto’s theatres, parks and public spaces with hundreds of events celebrating theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, magic, film, and more. Jason and I were chosen to participate in the Taste of the Beach event this Saturday June 5 from noon – 5pm as one of 10 chef teams to collaborate with an artist on a menu. Here are 5 reasons you should visit Taste of the Beach on Saturday.

1. 10 artist-local chef pairings

Ten local chefs will be paired with ten Festival artists to create a unique and summertime dish that explores the flavours of eating at the beach – all hot off the barbecue! Artists were asked what they like to eat at the beach, chef’s created based on that. Some of the chefs that will be participating along with us include:

  • Yumiko Kobayaski from Windup Bird Cafe
  • Felipe Faccioli, Patrick Fraser and Tulio Lessa from MATA (soon to be opened)
  • Jose Hadad from Mad Mexican/Frida Restaurant
  • Ryan Wilson-Lall from Frank
  • Jason Rees of The Pork Ninjas – and his awesome partner (that is, me), with help from our friends at Two Bite Saloon.

2. Bacon

(If you’re into that.)

On Saturday I helped weave over 100 bacon mats, stuff them with ground sausage and fruit.* We made these:

Bacon weave

A photo from Saturday

and turned them into something that looks like this:

bacon explosion

A photo from a BBQ contest we did 2 years ago.

…And each of these will be sliced into 10 pieces to make over 1000 servings over bacon explosion, renamed “Grill-smoked tropical fruit and bacon sausage sliders” for the festival.

3. Cardboard Beach

David Pecaut Square at Metro Hall is turned into Cardboard Beach, an installation by Los Carpinteros. It will be one of the largest temporary fully licensed outdoor spaces in downtown Toronto. Even if you can’t come on Saturday, you should make it a point to check out Cardboard Beach at some point during the 10 days. It’s fully licensed with food and drink, deck chairs, umbrellas and greenery. This is where our bacon explosions will be served.

4. Cheap, or free

Taste of the Beach is free to attend. $5 per dish.

5. Beachy weather

The Weather Network is calling for a high of 23, and sunny. A cardboard beach will do. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

Read all about it in a post I wrote in our BBQ/catering blog.

*Truthfully, despite “arts and crafts” being my favourite activity at school and camp when I was a kid, and the fact that I was somewhat artistic then, my weaves sucked. A couple of the people helping made amazing weaves, so I chose to step back from what I was bad at and mostly mixed up the meat with the spices, and drained, chopped and mixed fruit, and got the iced coffees, and tidied. What can I say? I’m the sous chef, promoter and documentarian of the operation. I have a few things I make well. And I clean.

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