Good food brings good people together – especially when it involves a gourmet six-course menu paired with top quality wines and benefits a good cause.
On Wednesday, October 17, a well-dressed assortment of food-lovers, regular event-goers, friends, and dedicated philanthropists filled the Eatertainment headquarters – an award-winning Toronto-based catering and events company – in the city’s east end for an exquisite dinner event to benefit The Stop Community Food Centre.
Think: flowing wine, bold flavours, colourful dishes, and important conversations.
Eatertainment owners Sheila and Sebastien Centner are passionate about The Stop, after becoming familiar with the work of the organization at two of The Stop’s previous food-focused events. This inspired a tour of the 1884 Davenport location. Since the early 80s, when it began as one of Canada’s first food banks, The Stop has used food as a tool to build healthier, more connected, and more self-determined communities and relies on the support of hundreds of volunteers.
“We often take for granted that good, healthy, beautiful food is not accessible to everyone,” said Sebastien Centner. “When we host events we try to remember that we are very, very fortunate to be able to afford and have access to quality foods, and of course, others things that many people do not. Our philosophy is to share the joy of entertaining with our clients and guests, effectively putting a smile on their face. To be able to support the Stop in their quest to offer everyone access to quality foods, experiences, and services in a respectful manner, allows us to help them achieve that same goal.”
After a cocktail mix and mingle, the dinner kicked off with a few words from The Stop representatives, who revealed that the initiative began with humble roots in Kensington Market 35 years ago, and involved ham sandwiches and cups of coffee. The organization has evolved to unite marginalized groups through healthy and wholesome food and has in recent years began filing income tax for people who otherwise may not do so.
As for the Eatertainment meal, it was definitely one for the taste buds – and for the Instagram accounts, as each dish was quite literally a work of art. For the first course, guests were plated with individual board that featured Beet and Chevre Sacchetti, Ontario Gouda and Fig Jam, Smoked Duck and Apple, and a Sesame Crusted Tuna. This was paired with Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling.
Next, “From the Forrest,” came the Morels, King + Black Oyster Mushrooms with crispy rice noodles. This was accompanied by the Adamo 2017 Sogno Unoaked Chardonnay. This was followed by an eye-catching fresh Ontario Pickerel Escabeche dish, served with rainbow carrot ribbons, pickled peppers, organic radish, grilled scallion shisito relish and EVOO. The colourful plate was paired with the Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
The fourth course was just as aesthetically pleasing and featured Pickled Heirloom Beets with pink grapefruit, whipped chevre, foccacia crumble, olive oil and spiced honey, and guests snipped their own living lettuce grown from Eatertainment’s own microgreens. This fresher-than-fresh dish was paired with the Mission Hill Pinot Gris Reserve.
Next, came the meat, and it was completely worth breaking the “mostly plant-based” diet for. Guests enjoyed a tender Grain Fed Beef Striploin, served with Jerusalem Artichoke mousse, vegetable mirepoix, black truffle, and Vidalia onion jus. Accompanying this crowd-pleasing dish was the Adamo 2015 Petit Verdot.
The evening ended on a sweet note, with an assortment of decadent pastry bites and truffles, flourless chocolate spiced cake, and spiced merignues.
With ticket prices set at $275, the single event raised over $17,000 for The Stop’s vital community-building programs.
“From helping us purchase healthy ingredients for our drop-in meals, to allowing us to expand our support services for people of all ages, this figure represents a major contribution towards our mission to improve our community’s access to good food while we challenge inequality across the city,” said Kate Fane, Communications Officer, The Stop. “Events like these expose The Stop to new supporters, which is a great way of raising awareness of our work. They’re also a major win for attendees: guests get to enjoy delicious and unique cuisine, while knowing they’ve contributed to something bigger than themselves.”
The event was able to generate such an impressive figure thanks to sponsors like 100km Foods, Adamo Estate Winery, The Butler Did It, Hockley Valley Resort, Jacob’s Creek, Hooked, Sanagan’s Meat Locker, and Stoneleigh.
If you and/or your company want to support The Stop with a special event, can contact Cara Goodman: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Nick Lee