Earlier this week, the Stop Community Food Centre hosted a street food event dubbed “The Night Market” which saw local chefs serving a variety of globally inspired street food, paired with local brews.
The alleyway and parking lot behind Honest Eds was transformed with nearly 30 food and drink vendors offering up a variety of snacks like garam masala doughnuts, the ever popular steamed buns, and pig tails.
The fundraiser for The Stop CFC could easily become an annual event, based on the popularity of the night marketconcept (700 tickets were sold in record time at $50 a piece), the food itself, and the execution. Oh, and the carts thsemelves.
Each of the food vendors at the market partnered up with a local designer to create unique cart installations that represented the chef or restaurants brand or culinary focus. Unfortunately, due to the crowds, the cart designs were easy to miss, but it was easily the highlight for me. Typically at food events in Toronto, vendors are caged within the confines of grey tables and white tents (public health), but the night market brought a very Asian feel to the show with the unique cart installations. Some of my favourites: Neptunos elaborate oyster deck, Hawker Bars hawker cart, Stockyards pig mobile, and Gwailos takeout container lanterns.
For the past few years, food events across the GTA have embraced the craft beer movement, and the night market continued that trend. Steamwhistles beer truck was on hand for plenty of pilsner (they ran out, and had to refill), Muskoka Brewery couldnt keep up with the demand for their Mad Tom IPA, and Lake of Bays was serving up their IPA and Amber ale. The inclusion of craft beer at events is important because its an entry point into local brews for the tourist segment. I had the chance to speak to three different couples that were visiting Toronto from the States, and they all revelled in the chance to sample local beer at the event (instead of seeking it out at restaurants).
I hope the night market becomes an annual, beer-fueled event.