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The Hot & Spicy Food Festival explores the diversity of food and flavors from around the globe, with complementary samplings of hot sounds from Canadian and international artists. The 11th edition of this popular Harbourfront Centre festival features local, international and celebrity chefs dishing up hot and spicy cuisine in demos, workshops, and panel discussions.

New this year are Toronto's sexiest firefighters (from the annual firefighter calendar) preparing sizzling food demos alongside hot calendar signings. Firefighter Chef Ted Kular prepares banana flambé while Firefighter Chef Emile Marino prepares spicy chicken.

The Hot & Spicy Food Festival weekend also includes more than 30 cooking demonstrations from some of Canada's top chefs. This year the "10 tastes to try before you die" series is introduced and features unique, exotic and expensive creations. Everyone is encouraged to try some of the gourmet fare offered including, spicy chicken popsicles, Sasi’s Thai Chili chicken, Colombian style corn empanadas, Moroccan cigars, mango jerk shrimp, BBQ jerk ribs and more! All of the “10 tastes to try before you die” are paired with wines from Diageo and check out flashy bartending tricks courtesy of Smirnoff. Individual sampling tickets are available for $2 each or guests can purchase a $10 tasting booklet of 6 tickets.

Who's the hottest chef in the GTA? Harbourfront Centre is taking a survey on-line at www.harbourfrontcentre.com. The winner may represent Canada in the 5th annual Hot & Spicy Iron Chef competition. Watch and learn as three international chefs and one Canadian chef push their culinary skills to the limit and vie for the coveted Hot & Spicy Iron Chef title. On Saturday, Executive Chef Sarah Chavez for Heritage Hotels and Resorts represents New Mexico and competes against home-grown talent in the NewMexico vs. Canada battle. Then Executive Chef Eduardo Osuna from the W Hotel in Mexico City competes against Executive Chef Anthony Miller of Grand Lido Braco in the Mexico vs. Jamaica battle. The winner of each demo then goes on to compete in Sunday’s finale, where the International Hot & Spicy Iron Chef will be crowned.

Hot & Spicy Food Festival also features family cooking classes from the Rising Chefs Culinary Centre and three celebrity chef demos. The public is also invited to the ever popular Red Hot Market to sample and purchase a variety of spices, sauces, marinades and dips; all with a hot and spicy flair.

To compliment this unique culinary experience, the Hot & Spicy Food Festival line-up features a chef who simultaneously cooks gourmet food and deejays. DJ Chef Marc Weiss is known around the world for spinning beats while cooking treats and is sure to be a crowd favorite.

Other free concerts include a Friday night performance from Montreal-based Seneglese singer, composer and kora player, Zal Idrissa Sissokho and his group Buntalo. Their repertoire includes several traditional Mandingo classics sung in Malinké and Wolof alongside contemporary contributions that preserve and grow their centuries-old identity. Opening for them is Ultramagnus, a 10-member Afrobeat band with their own blend of infectious grooves. Following their set, Amara Kante, a master drummer from the Ivory Coast presents the djembe in a late-night performance.

For those who have never heard the exhilarating sounds of afro-beat, a Saturday afternoon performance from Femi Abosede is a treat. His album No Compromise is laced with hypnotic Nigerian rhythms courtesy of his 15-piece band and contains a profound social message.

Saturday evening, acclaimed Toronto soul vocalist Zaki Ibrahim opens for New York-based Latin sensation Raul Midon. Celebrated for his fusion of old-school soul, timeless pop, Latin, and jazz, Midon is a performer you must see live. He is often compared to Stevie Wonder, not only because he is also visually impaired, but also for his vocal soulfulness and depth. Following his performance, The Goods, are featured in a late-night performance that showcases Montreal DJs Andy Williams and Scott C with special guest Karsten John, founder of Vinly Vibes Records, radio show and nightclub residency.

On Sunday afternoon Toronto jazz singer Elizabeth Shepherd takes to the stage. Known for pushing the boundaries of conventional jazz, she creates a danceable sound completely her own. Following is a high energy salsa performance courtesy of Salsa on 6. This newly formed group delivers the best of Cuba’s dance music with their take on traditional son cubano and timba (a form of Cuban salsa) that’s sure to get the audience on their feet.

The dancing continues with the Hot & Spicy Food Festival’s dance program. On Saturday and Sunday the VIVA Dance Company perform ballroom dances such as Mambo, Salsa, and Tango. Meanwhile, Shawn Byfield and the Funk Factory entertains on the Toronto Star Stage. An energetic and passionate group of Canadian tap dance professionals, they’ll enthrall the audience with their dynamic style.

The Hot & Spicy film program features various feature length films including the inspirational story of a revolutionary American farmer in The Real Dirt on Farmer John; Machito: A Latin Jazz Legacy that follows the life of Frank “Machito” Grillo who is an influential pioneer of Latin jazz; This is Nollywood, a documentary about the booming Nigerian film industry that produces feature films made on shoe-string budgets; and Brasilintime: Batucada com Discos that tracks the evolution of music from Rio. Various short films in partnership with CFC Worldwide Film Festival will also be presented on the Harbourfront boardwalk including midnight madness shorts Friday and Saturday night in the Studio Theatre.

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Harbourfront Centre presents top Canadian and International music artists at each World Routes weekend and select weekdays starting June 17 through September 1. All festivals are FREE and suitable for all ages. Some ticketed events occur. World Routes is presented by RBC. For World Routes 2008, Harbourfront Centre engages an exploration into the idea of borders. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Canada. For more information and to buy tickets for all events the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com

Media Contacts:
Shane Gerard (416-973-4518 - sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com)
Althea Linton (416-973-4644 - alinton@harbourfrontcentre..com)
Cary Mignault (416-973-4655 - cmignault@harbourfrontcentre.com)



Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by NOW Magazine
FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – FREE unless otherwise indicated

Venue Terms for Listings Below:
SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage (SSRS), Toronto Star Stage (TSS), Brigantine Room (BR), Lakeside Terrace (LT), Miss Lou’s Room (MLR), Brigantine Tent (BT),HarbourKIDS Zone, Marilyn Brewer Space(MBS)

Food:
Friday, August 15
6:30 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Christopher Pinheiro prepares exploding mangoes.
7:00 p.m. & 9:00p.m. (TSS) DJ Chef Marc Weiss spins the beats while cooking treats.
8:00 p.m. (LT) Smirnoff ‘flare” bartending and cocktail demo – Exciting tricks and sizzling tastes from Smirnoff.

Saturday, August 16
1:00 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Anthony Gomes prepares spicy chicken popsicles.
1:30 p.m. (BR) Hot & Spicy Iron Chef International Competition
New Mexico vs. Canada.
1:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (MLR) Rising Chefs Culinary Demo
Children and parents prepare apple-cinnamon wontons.
2:30 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Sasi prepares Thai chili chicken.
2:30 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. (BT)Toronto Firefighter Calendar Model Cooking Demo
Firefighter Teddy Kular prepares banana flambé.
4:30 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Felix Sano prepares mango jerk shrimp.
4:30 p.m. (BR) Hot & Spicy Iron Chef International Competition
Jamaica vs. Mexico
5:30 p.m. (BT) Toronto Firefighter Calendar Model Cooking Demo
Firefighter Emile Marino prepares spicy chicken.
6:00 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Adrian Whitfield prepares spicy Thai coconut chicken curry with roast peanuts and kafir lime.
7:00 p.m. (BT) Smirnoff ‘flare” bartending and cocktail demo – Exciting tricks and sizzling tastes from Smirnoff.
8:00 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Earl Watson prepares BBQ jerk ribs.

Sunday, August 17
1:00 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Milver Bravo prepares Columbian-style corm empanadas stuffed with chicken habanero.
1:00 p.m. (BR) Celebrity cooking demos
1:30 p.m. (MLR) Rising Chefs Culinary Demo –Children and parents prepare apple-cinnamon wontons.
2:00 p.m. (BR) Hot & Spicy Iron Chef International Competition
Finale winner of 1st battle vs. winner of 2nd battle.
2:30 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Jordan Slade prepares Moroccan cigars.
3:30 p.m. (BR) Celebrity cooking demos
4:30 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Felix Sano prepares mango jerk shrimp.
5:00 p.m. (BRT) Hottest Chef in the GTA runner-up cooking demo
6:00 p.m. (LT) 10 Tastes to try before you die!
Chef Martin Alexander prepares shrimp linguine in pesto suce with almond asparagus.
6:00 p.m. (BT) Smirnoff ‘flare” bartending and cocktail demo – Exciting tricks and sizzling tastes from Smirnoff.

Music:
Friday, August 15
8:00 p.m. (SSRS) Ultramagnus – A 10-member Afrobeat band with their own blend of infectious grooves.
9:30 p.m. (SSRS) Zal Idrissa Sissokho et Buntalo – Senegalese singer, composer and kora player and his Afro-Mandingo group
11:00 p.m. (BR) Amara Kante – A Malinke master of the djembe (drums)from the Ivory Coast.

Saturday, August 16
2:00 p.m. (SSRS) Maria Farinha – Internationally recognized as one of the top singers of Brazillian jazz and bossa nova.
3:30 p.m. (SSRS) Femi Abosede – Along with a 15-piece band, Abosede creates his own unique brand of Afrobeat and jazz.
5:00 p.m. (TSS) Alex Bello – Presents his first solo album that is considered one of the top bachata albums of the year.
8:00 p.m. (SSRS) Zaki Ibrahim – Performs renditions of her critically acclaimed new EP Eclectica (Episodes In Purple)
9:30 p.m. (SSRS) Raul Midon – A fusion of old-school soul, timeless pop, Latin, and jazz.
11:00 p.m. (BR) The Goods – DJ Andy Williams, Scott C with special guest Karsten John from Germany, play jazz, funk, fusion, soul, reggae, African, broken-beat, and future-jazz.

Sunday, August 17
3:00 p.m. (SSRS) Elizabeth Shepherd Quintet –Toronto jazz group.
4:30 p.m. (SSRS) – Salsa on 6– An all-star salsa group comprised of six of the hottest Cuban musicians north of Havana.

Dance:
Saturday, August 16
1:00 p.m.; 1:30p.m; 3:00p.m; 5:45p.m. & 7:00p.m. (TSS) – VIVA Dance Company– Performing various ballroom dances including mambo, salsa and tango.

Sunday, August 17
1:00 p.m. (Ann Tindal Lawn) – Reggae-aerobics– Workout with Hollywood and Tazz as they instruct reggae-styled aerobics.
2:00 p.m. & 2:45 p.m. (TSS) – VIVA Dance Company– Performing various ballroom dances including mambo, salsa and tango.
4:00 p.m. (TSS) – Shawn Byfield and the Funk Factory– A group of energetic and passionate Canadian tap dance professionals.

Film:
Friday, August 15
8:00 p.m. (Studio Theatre) The Real Dirt on Farmer John followed by a Q&A– Directed by Taggart Siegel, this is the inspirational story of an American farmer who transforms his land into a revolutionary farming community.
9:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Natrel Pond) Sizzling Shorts on the Boardwalk – Five different short films in partnership with CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival.
12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (Studio Theatre) Slap n’ Tickle Films – A presentation of 15 bawdy and hilarious short fims in partnership with CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival

Saturday, August 16
2:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre) Wind of Glory– The story of a blind orphan’s quest for hope and happiness.
5:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre) This is Nollywood– Tells the story of the Nigerian film industry.
9:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Natrel Pond)Sizzling Shorts on the Boardwalk– Five different short films in partnership with CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival.
12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (Studio Theatre) Slap n’ Tickle Films– A presentation of 15 bawdy and hilarious short films in partnership with CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival

Sunday, August 17
2:30 p.m. (ST) Machito: A Latin Jazz Legacy– Directed by Carlo Ortiz, this documentary chronicles Latin jazz sensation Fran “Machito” Grillo’s rise to fame.
5:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre) Brasilintime: Batucada com Discos – Directed by Brian “B ” Cross, this film tracks the evolution of music from Rio in the early20th century to New York in the 70s.

Children’s/Family Activities:
Saturday, August 16
12:00 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone) – Cookery Doo – Children’s activities including the making of Candy Sushi.
9:10 p.m. (TSS) – Hot Dog Inc. – Featuring awe-inspiring fire manipulation.

Sunday, August 17
12:00 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone) – Cookery Doo – Children’s activities with Sonya Seiler including the making of Candy Sushi.

Markets:
Friday, August 15, Saturday, August 16 & Sunday, August 17
The Red Hot Market is especially created to be a place for the public to sample and purchase an eclectic variety of spices, sauces, marinades and dips; all with a hot and spicy flair.
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