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Hot Spot Summer at Harbourfront Centre is DELICIOUS!

Taste the world at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront

TORONTO, ON (Wednesday, May 18, 2011) Harbourfront Centre has long been a favourite summer destination for foodies. This year, there is more to enjoy than ever! With festivals from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving, taste buds can tour the world at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront.

Harbourfront Centre and its lead summer partner, the Toronto Port Authority, are delighted to announce rich and tasty food programming throughout 2011’s Hot Spot Summer. From Canada Day’s strawberry shortcake-themed celebrations to new editions of the popular Longo’s Iron Chef competitions, the season is FULL of unforgettable tastes to tempt Toronto palates. Highlights include TWO returning food festivals (Fortune Cooking and Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by NOW Magazine), appearances by celebrity foodies such as Jamie Kennedy, Kevin Brauch and John Ellison, the official Best Beef Noodles in the World, picnics every Friday accompanied by live music, and a special focus on grilling all summer.

Join us this summer as we explore “Hot Spots” of intensity, artistic brilliance, connectivity, and regions of conflict that shape the impressions we have of ourselves and our world. This theme is programmed into each weekend festival to bring together rich artistic traditions from our own backyard and around the globe! It also presents a unique opportunity to experience top Canadian and international artists in a fun, family-friendly environment without ever leaving the city!

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?


FRANCO-FÊTE: June 24-26
Co-produced with La Franco-Fête de Toronto
Franco-Fête is one of the most important French-language events in Ontario, being Toronto's premier francophone music, arts and culture festival.

• Cooking demonstrations
Saturday, June 25, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. & 5 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
In partnership with Collège Boréal, come and experience some top chefs and their French-inspired culinary creations. Hosted by Sylvain Côté and François Longpré from ARTV’s “Les Touilleurs.”

CANADA DAY: Friday, July 1
Focusing on provinces such as British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario, Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre will celebrate all the things that make Canada unique! By reaching deep into Canada’s diverse cultural landscape, we will explore and connect the country through music, arts, food, film and more!

• Guinness World Record Strawberry Shortcake Challenge
Friday, July 1, 10 a.m. (Boulevard Tent)
In celebration of Canada’s 144th birthday, Harbourfront Centre aims to set a Guinness World Record with one of our nation’s favourite desserts. With help from community partners and the public, we attempt to set the record for “Most Layers in a Layer Cake” with a giant, towering, 300-layer strawberry shortcake!

• Fantasy Strawberry Shortcake Competition
Friday, July 1, 2 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Southern Ontario’s finest culinary schools battle to create an original, totally decadent strawberry shortcake, Canada's favourite summertime treat. Chef instructors and students only have three hours to create a cake impressive enough to wow our celebrity judges.

• Strawberry Food Demonstration Marathon
Friday, July 1, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. & 7 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Join us as we present an all-day marathon of strawberry shortcake themed food demonstrations. Some of our city’s favourite restaurants and bakeries share their take on this seasonal treat.

• Longo’s Friday Picnic – Strawberry Shortcake
Friday, July 1, 6 p.m. (Boulevard Tent/Ann Tindal Park)
A lazy Friday picnic in our Ann Tindal Park with cake being served from the Boulevard Tent following our Guinness World Record Challenge.

ON THE PULSE: July 2-3
Come embrace the element of surprise! On The Pulse is a two-day weekend festival of discovery in music, theatre and dance for the whole family! This festival provides the opportunity to witness artists who are pushing the boundaries of creativity, and artists that embrace participation, technology and interconnectivity!

• Global Grilling
Saturday, July 2, 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & Sunday, July 3, 2 p.m. (South Orchard Tent)
The Global Grilling food series highlights “hot spots” of grilling around the world. Hosted by “Iron Chef America” floor reporter and Food Network personality Kevin Brauch. Brauch was born and raised in Toronto. A graduate of Ryerson University's Radio & Television Arts program, Brauch has been on Canadian Television since 1994 and has developed a green thumb as co-host of Life Network and HGTV's “Canadian Gardening Television.”

• Global Grilling: Argentinean Parrillada by Sky Ranch Restuarant
Date/time/location TBA
In this edition of Global Grilling, Chef Favio Barenbaum of Sky Ranch, known for maintianing the restaurant’s strong roots in the Argentinian community, explores the various types of meats in a typical Argentinean Parrillada, such as beef, pork, pork ribs, chitterlings, sweetbread, sausage, blood sausage and chicken.

Presented by WestJet Vacations
Bringing together the traditional and the modern, the Corazón de México (Heart of Mexico) festival will showcase the sights and sounds of a culture always moving and spreading outward. It is a culture that reflects hard realities and the vibrancy and warmth of its people.
Generously supported by the Mexican Consulate.

• The Mexican Gastronomy School of Eduardo Escamilla and Yuri de Gortari
Saturday, July 9, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. & Sunday, July 10, 2 p.m., 4 p.m.
Outstanding chefs from Mexico introduce and teach the public about the tastes of diverse regions as well as the techniques and ingredients required to make authentic Mexican dishes.

COLOMBIAN COLOURS – Il Diaspora Festival : July 15-17
COLORES DE COLOMBIA – Il Festival de la Diáspora
This festival will showcase the diversity, infinite cultural expressions and ethnic diversity of Colombian culture by highlighting the work of Colombian diaspora artists.

• Food Demo with Martha Martinez
Saturday, July 16 – time and location TBA
Participants learn how to prepare and have a taste of the delicious plantain-made treat “aborrajado” from the Pacific Colombian coast and the incredibly soft “mantecada” dessert, with Colombian chef Martha Martinez.

Presented by Liberty Development
Is eternity timelessness? Boundlessness? Or an ideal? At the Tirgan Festival, come explore the multi-disciplinary artistic and cultural ideals of the theme, Visions of Eternity. Tirgan will be the Hot Spot this weekend, sizzling with Iranian art, culture, cuisine, activities, entertainment and shopping!

• The Tirgan Iranian Festival features a selection of Iranian dishes from sizzling kabas to basmati rice, appetizing Iranians stews, the famous ash and Iranian sweets and confectionaries.

What’s on the menu as we explore the Hot Spots of Pan-Asian cuisine? Through food, dance and music, this festival will focus on the culinary energy of Asian hot spots and how this energy has rippled out to influence food across the globe.

• The Artful Knife of Teppanyaki
Friday, Aug. 12, 7-8 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Chef Michael Tan of Benihana at The Fairmont Royal York creates a fast-paced performance of chopping and juggling, creating an exciting teppanyaki-style dining experience for guests of all ages. This event is part of the “Hot Off The Grill Series”.

• Fortune Cooking Iron Chef Competition
Semi-finals: Saturday, Aug. 13 1:30-2:30 p.m. & 4:30-5:30 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Finals: Sunday, Aug. 14, 2-3:30 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Skill and creativity combine to make culinary magic as chefs from Toronto’s hot spots of contemporary Asian cuisine compete! Hosted by TV personality and chef Christian Pritchard.

• Cooking Dinner with a Chef
Friday, Aug. 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (location TBA)
Three lucky families get to cook dinner with one of our Fortune Cooking chefs!

• Tasty Little Journeys
Saturday, Aug. 13, 1-8 p.m. & Sunday, Aug. 14, 1-6 p.m. (location TBA)
Kids get to create their very own “Passport to Fortune Cooking” and get it stamped as they visit a variety of programming stations throughout the site. Each station offers a taste of Asian cultures, from food to craft to sport.

• Hainanese Chicken Rice
Saturday, Aug. 13, 3-4 p.m. (Location TBA)
A dish that is humble yet exquisite, chicken rice is a legacy of Hainanese immigrants from China who arrived in Singapore in the late 19th century. This uniquely Singaporean dish is featured in the film “Rice Rhapsody”, being shown during the festival and featured in this cooking demo. This event is in partnership with Toronto Singapore Film Festival.

• Korean BBQ Tacos
Sunday, Aug. 14, 5-6 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Culinary innovation radiates from the east by way of the southwest as Korean food guru Sang Kim and Jose Hadad of Frida Restaurant and Wine Bar join together to showcase the ultimate in fusion cuisine – Korean BBQ tacos, invented in Los Angeles and now in Toronto! Hosted by food writer and producer Mary Luz Meija and part of the “Hot off the Grill” series.

TELUS TAIWANfest: Taiwan Rising: Aug. 26-28
Co-produced by ACSEA
Celebrating the cultural treasures of Taiwan with performances by artists from the island of Taiwan and from around Canada. A Hot Spot of energy and connectivity, influxes of various cultures have not only impacted the formation of new Taiwanese culture, but have also become the foundation of new expressions in art.

• Where's the Beef? - World's Best Beef Noodle
Saturday, Aug. 27 (time and location TBA)
Chef Hung Huynh demonstrates his award-winning beef noodle recipes. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he became known as the executive sous-chef at Guy Savoy in Las Vegas. He was born in Vietnam and is trained in classic French and Asian cuisine. Hung soon became one of 15 contestants vying for top prize on the third season of the reality cook-off show, “Top Chef”. Since then, he has participated in the 2008 Bocuse d'Or USA culinary contest where he won the Best Fish Award. He was also named the guest executive chef of NYC's Solo restaurant and the executive chef of Ajna Bar. He then appeared on the 2010 finale of “Top Chef” in season seven, assisting Angelo Sosa.

Presented by NOW Magazine
Hot & Spicy returns for its 14th edition as one of the premier food events in the city! Packed with a full menu of culinary arts, music, film panels and dance! Hightlighting culinary Hot Spots around the world, the rise of hot culinary neighbourhoods in the GTA and a favorite summer pastime, BBQ. Expect a festival full of fiery performances for all the senses!

• John Ellison
Friday, Sept. 2, 7 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
A tasty BBQ demonstration and musical performance by legendary Soul Brothers Six singer and songwriter, John Ellison. Ellison wrote the classical song “(She’s) some Kind of Wonderful.” To date, more than 42 million copies of the song have been sold, and it has been recorded by 58 different artists. In addition to his career in music, Ellison also owns the Some Kind of Wonderful Food Company, which has a specialty lineup of spices that celebrate his southern heritage. This event is part of the “Hot off the Grill” series.

• Spotlight on Barbadian Cuisine with Chef Paul Yellin
Saturday, Sept. 3, 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Chef Paul Yellin artistically incorporates fine Caribbean rums into his cuisine. At Hot & Spicy, he demonstrates how to make Barbadian cuisine filled with bright, focused and vibrant flavors with multiple textures, visual appeal and enticing aromas. Special thanks to our partners the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Consulate General of Barbados.

• Longo’s Iron Chef Competition
Sunday, Sept. 4, 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. & Monday, Sept. 5, 2 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Participants experience the high-stakes reality of gourmet cooking as internationally renowned chefs compete against each other for the 8th Anniversary Hot & Spicy Longo’s Iron Chef title! The event is hosted by the dynamic TV personality and chef Christian Pitchard. The chefs will be judged by a high-profile panel of judges including American Iron Chef floor reporter and Food Network personality Kevin Brauch.

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.


Longo’s Hot Friday Picnics
Fridays, July through August, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (Ann Tindal Park)
Buy a sandwich, a snack, or an internationally inspired meal at the World Café and then enjoy it sitting on the Ann Tindal Park lawn, or pack your cooler with your favorite feast! Live entertainment will vary each week.

World Café
Open weekends, July 1 to Oct. 10
World Café offers a variety of international cuisine prepared by a rotating selection of popular Toronto restaurants and caterers. Come check out our new location and patio seating area!

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront. For more information visit

The Toronto Port Authority, Harbourfront Centre’s lead summer partner, owns and operates the Port of Toronto, the Billy Bishop Airport, and the Outer Harbour Marina. It is committed to building a waterfront community that is vibrant and enjoyable for Torontonians and visitors, by working with partners to create a clean, green, prosperous water’s edge. For more information visit


For more media information contact:

Althea Linton

Rosie Shaw

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