Texas tourism in Toronto, and a brief trip around the floor at the food/wine expo
Thanks to the folks at Texas Tourism for a fine event at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto last night. I had a chance to meet folks from Dallas, Houston, Austin and Ft. Worth. (Somehow I missed the exclusive suburb of Plano, Texas, but maybe next time).
The event was good, but the post-party was even better; an hour or so at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo at the convention centre. Dallas chef Tiffany Derry (on the left in the photo) was putting on a show, mixing some spicy Texas beef inside roasted skate (the fish, not the hockey variety), with an avocado puree. It sounded pretty strange but it tasted quite good; the beef being a nice foil for the mild fish, and the spices just right.
I don't see the show, but Derry apparently has done great work on the Top Chef TV show on Bravo.
A fellow from Dallas tourism told me they have three chefs in the final cook-off, or whatever it is they call the finals on the show. No other American city has more than one chef in the finals, I was told, so that speaks well to the food scene in Dallas.
They're getting ready to host the Super Bowl, too, early next year. And they're expanding their arts and cultural scene and also renovating both the downtown airport with a rapid transit link, and will soon get started on fixing up Dallas-Fort Worth airport, one of the busiest in the world.
On top of that, there's a multibillion dollar effort to make the riverfront into a destination like Chicago's waterfront, and that sounds pretty good, indeed.
Dallas is quite easy to get to from Toronto, so one of these days.....
Hey, if nothing else, you gotta love a woman in a cowboy hat. The girls in the photo above are with the Toronto public relations office, I think, but they still look pretty good in those hats, doncha think?
As for the food and wine expo, I quite enjoyed it. The prices are reasonable; $16 to get in. Then you buy 20 tickets for $20 and start sampling.
Most drinks are only two tickets, maybe three, and you get a reasonably-sized sample. I quite liked the Clos du Bois Zinfandel from California, which comes out at the LCBO Dec. 11. I think it's about 8 bucks at the Safeway in San Francisco but it'll be, I think, $18 here. Sigh. Anyway, it's quite drinkable with a decent Zin-style berry burst and a bit of spice.
I also really liked the Buffalo Trace bourbon, which also comes out Dec. 11. It seemed a touch smoother than Knob Creek, my previous fave.
Anyway, the show goes on today until 10 p.m., then Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.