Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hot and Spicy Food Festival in Toronto

The Hot and Spicy Food Festival was held at the TorontoHarbourfront Centre between Aug. 15-17. I attended the first evening, mostly because I wanted to participate in the spicy dish competition.
Six chefs created their dishes, and we could taste all of them and rank them.
My comments are below. 
Please note that I am used to pretty spicy food, so my verdict is also subjective.

All dishes at Hot & Spicy Food Festival.

The dishes:
Carmine Accogli (Italy)
Dish: Diavoletti (Italian ground meat and spicy marinara sauce-filled phyllo pastry cigars). 


The marinara sauce was delicious and strong. The meat retained its strength. The phyllo casing was a little oily but fresh.

Not spicy.

Rudy Boquila (Philippines)
Dish: Spicy Caldereta Burger (spicy beef burger with olives, tomato and pineapple) with Bicol Express Fries (coconut milk, chillies, pork and fermented shrimp paste over house-made fries) 

Spicy Caldereta Burger with Bicol Express Fries
Unfortunately, I came to this dish as the last, and by that time the burger had lost some of its softness, but the burger was good. The sauce was unique, and I never figured out the source of that hitherto unknown taste. It could have been the fermented shrimp paste but it is a taste that is not meant for the faint hearted.
Mildly spicy.

Devan Rajkumar (India)

Dish: Shrimp Vindaloo, with rice.

Shrimp Vindaloo

It was a melange of spices – sweetness, sourness and a tinge of spicy-ness. A strong dish.
Not spicy.

Steve Gonzalez (Colombia)

Dish: Fire and Ice Ceviche with snapper aji combo and a citrus and lulo sorbet

Fire and Ice Ceviche

It came in a cup; it was big and though had the company logo printed on the outside, I would have liked a more elegant way to present the dish. However, the dish itself was fantastic. The sorbet was great and so was the ceviche. Very fresh, and the tartness was strong.
Not spicy.

Yumiko Kobayashi (Hapan)

Dish: Tofu skewer with spicy sesame sauce

Tofu Skewer

The dish came on a bun which was fresh. The skewer ingredients were fresh.
Mildly spicy.

Howard Dubrovsky (Mexico)
Dish: Queso Panella Poppers with salsa roja and jalapeno candied bacon.

Queso Panella Poppers

Two small deep friend buns, topped with the bacon, jalapeno and sauce mixture. Bacon and jalapeno gave the creation a unique flavour.
The most spiciest of all.

The winner, obviously, is the last.

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