TORONTO, Ont. – The year 1994 was a big one for cultural moments. Forrest Gump won the hearts of movie-goers and critics across North America, Central Perk became an iconic coffee shop when Friends hit the small screen, Mariah Carey sang about all she wanted for Christmas and the Toronto foodie scene celebrated the first Gourmet Food and Wine Expo.
Twenty five years later and Toronto’s favourite culinary event is still going strong. With so many gourmet foods, the country’s best chefs, local culinary stars, celebrated winemakers, brewmasters and mixologists Toronto’s Gourmet Food &Wine Expo is Canada’s biggest and best food and beverage event.
The four-day Gourmet Food & Wine Expo makes its way back to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Nov. 21-24, 2019.
In honour of its 25th anniversary, check out these 25 facts and (things to look forward to) about the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo:
- Approximately 60,000 glasses are used over the course of the weekend.
- More than 1,500 types of wine, beer, spirits and cider are sampled by guests at the expo.
- The expo takes 22 hours to set up and six hours to tear down.
- 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Canada’s signature cocktail, the Caesar. To celebrate, Mott’s Clamato has teamed up with Dan Aykroyd, owner of Crystal Head Vodka, who will be visiting the expo on Sunday, November 24th.
- All the money raised from bottle returns is donated to M.A.D.D.
- Past celebs to visit the expo include: Chuck Hughes, Ted Reader, David Rocco and John Catucci.
- The Toronto Gourmet Food & Wine Expo is Canada’s longest continually running food and beverage show.
- Pride Social Night 2019 – the fourth annual Pride Night VIP Social – takes place during the opening night of the Expo and features entertainment celebrating inclusivity and diversity in Toronto.
- More than 100,000 food and drink samples are consumed over the weekend.
- The Fine Wine Tasting Lounge has been a favourite feature for several years. It’s the go-to spot for wine enthusiast who want to learn about the craft of wine from top industry professionals.
- Approximately 50,000 square feet of carpet is used throughout the exhibits and aisles.
- The expo has seen exhibitors from India, the Republic of Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Mexico and Georgia.
- Throughout the history of the expo, several trips have been given away to guests. This year, guests can enter to win a trip to Jamaica, courtesy of Jamaica Tourist Board and Sunwing Vacations.
- Mott’s Clamato Best Caesar in Town competition will be hosted by one half of the Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd.
- The 2019 expo will give guests that opportunity to learn how to pair whisky with food, courtesy of Barchef and their Tutored Tastings class.
- 2019 Chef Stage - This feature is your ticket to live demonstrations, focusing on new and upcoming trends in the culinary industry. From Thursday to Sunday, the Chef Stage schedule connects the audience to both local and international industry professionals who will bring extraordinary dishes and culinary history to life.
- In 2019, the Toronto Gourmet Food & Wine Expo made BizBash’s list of top events to attend in Toronto.
- Each year the expo has more than 45,000 guests.
- The Spiritology Pavilion is where guests can gain industry insight from the city’s best bartenders. Here, guests will experience the latest trends and creations in the beverage industry, with a special focus on the Toronto bar scene.
- The North Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre opened a decade before the first annual expo. It hosted a formal dedication conducted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll.
- The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo and the Intercontinental Toronto Centre have teamed up for the Gourmet Getaway, a hotel and expo package complete with Elite passes, sample tickets and a luxurious hotel stay.
- The Gourmet Insider is a bi-weekly newsletter that runs for six weeks leading up to expo weekend. It shares exclusive offers, expo feature and exciting giveaways.
- Wines of California is returning to the expo this year. They are one of the expo’s longest standing exhibitors.
- The expo isn’t just about delicious food and wine. Over the years the expo has expanded to offer guests educational experiences and seminars. Unique classes taking place in 2019 include: The Bushmills Irish Whiskey Multi -Sensory Experience, Mediocrity to Mastery - How To Taste Like A Pro and Living In A Bubble - A World Tour of Sparkling Wines.
- Toronto’s Gourmet Food & Wine Expo is one event that you don’t want to miss!