A celebration of growing and sharing food” took place last week, brought to you by The Stop Community Food Centre. The 6th of the annual Big Night at the Green Barn event was located at The Stop’s Green Barn (601 Christie Street), a space that is home to gardens and a sustainable greenhouse, known to many as a community kitchen, a classroom, or a farmers’ market – depending on when you visit. The event included a beautiful reception and multi-course dinner cooked by some of Toronto’s best chefs, where proceeds from tickets sales support The Stop’s critical food access and community-building programs.
 
Food and drink was abundant: finger foods at the reception were enough to fill you up and a dinner menu inspired by Italian cuisine was dreamy for any food lover. Beer was provided by Steam Whistle, and bottles of wine filled the table from Stratus Vineyards, Chateau des Charmes, and Cave Spring.

 

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The Menu

Reception

Fresh shucked oysters (Oyster Boy, Adam Colquhoun)

Hand-shaved prosciutto and crostini (Paganelli’s, Gabriele Paganelli)

Seared organic Blue Goose trout, wine vinegar, olive oil, pine nuts and raisins on toast (The Stop Community Food Centre, Scott MacNeil)

Brioche with porchetta, torta salata, focaccia baraese alle verdure (Terroni, Giovanna Alonzi)

Fried batter sustainable shrimp with a tarragon aioli topped with herbs (Vertical, Giacomo Pasquini)

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Cena

Mozzarella arancini with cherry tomato and asparagus salad (George, Lorenzo Loseto)

Rabbit Creste de Gallo: pasta of slow-cooked rabbit, peas, arugula breadcrumbs, parmigiano (The Drake, Ted Corrado)

Braised short rib, mascarpone polenta, smoked tomato passata, roasted thumbelina carrots and natural sauce (The McEwan Group: Mark McEwan and Andrew Ellerby)

Sicilian cannoli with ricotta cheese, chocolate and amarena cherries (Noce, George Taluri)

Limoncello soaked sponge cake, filled with custard cream and topped with lemon zest (Sorrento Ristorante)

Espresso Bar (Reunion Island Coffee)

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The Cause

The Stop’s programs promote “growing, cooking, sharing, and advocating for healthy food. They build connections across neighborhoods, cultures, and generations”, indicates Executive Director Rachel Gray. The Stop has a variety of programs, including after-school programs to teach children on how to grow food and eat healthier, a food bank which provides a 3-day supply of food once a month to community members, and urban agriculture initiatives like an 8,000 square-foot garden at Earlscourt Park that yields fresh, organic produce.

It was an absolute pleasure to be in a room filled with people who not only love food, but are also like-minded in wanting to make a positive change in our city’s food production. It’s imperative we educate people about where their food comes from, how to cook it, and help make sure no one in our community goes hungry. Food is by far the most important aspect of our lives, and I strongly believe that by supporting initiatives like The Stop and continuing to have meaningful conversations about food and improving our food system, we can create a better world for future generations.

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Author Erika Simon

Freelancer from Toronto, creator of carryonkitchen.com. Working as a writer, graphic designer, and communications specialist with several Canadian companies and publications. Much love for travel, living naturally, and outside-the-box thinkers.

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