Spotlight City Events

As Spotlight City Events, weve hosted some pretty fantastic food events in Toronto over the last few years (Slurp!, Pintxos, Yum Cha, AwesTRUCK). 

Our mission in simple:  Create the events that we’d want to attend as guests.  Make the lines short, the food exceptional, and above all: create a fun atmosphere. 

Our events gather the best restaurants, pop-ups, and chefs in the city. We build our events around food themes, giving chefs and cooks the chance to flex their culinary repertoires and cook dishes not normally offered on their restaurant menus.  Previous events like“SLURP!” (ramen), Yum Cha (dim sum), and Pintxos (a celebration of tapas) garnered praise from chefs and attendees alike for offering innovative dishes, short lines, and an exciting atmosphere.  Weve also championed for gourmet food truck culture in Southern Ontario by organizing the original food truck festival and awards:  AwesTRUCK.

Weve got some big plans for 2015, including the return of some classics and introducing some new events that will raise the bar for food events in Toronto.  And as always we’ll throw in a few surprises just to keep things interesting. Weve got a steady lineup of surprise chefs and restaurants that will be appearing at these shows. Hope to see you at these events!

2015 Events Calendar

Event:  Yum Cha Dim Sum Fest
Date:  February 21st
Yum Cha (饮茶) literally translated as “drink tea” is another name for the mid-morning Cantonese tradition better known as dim sum! Our version will ring in the Chinese lunar new year by focusing on taking traditional elements of dim sum (fried and steamed dumplings, buns, and other assorted sweet and savory small plates) and interpreting them with a distinctly Toronto twist. After two successful events this year, well be bringing it back for round 3.

Tickets:  $10

Event:  Curryfest Date:  March 22nd At once an ingredient and a style of cooking with roots in the cultures of southern and south eastern Asia, curry is as complex and varied as the cultures that embrace it.  Having become a global phenomenon, curry is now one of the official dishes of Great Britain attesting to its mass appeal.  CurryFest will explore the wide variations of this popular dish and spice up the early spring event calendar with a distinctly Toronto twist. Tickets:  $10

Event:  Kimchi Kitchen Date:  April 18th Toronto’s best and brightest chefs will bring the heat and cook up some Seoul Food featuring this most versatile and popular of Korean condiments. The focus will be on kimchi as a topping and complementing element to dishes. Think kalbi beef ribs with kimchi, or japadog-style kimchi hotdogs, or even spiced biryani with kimchi.  Tickets:  $10

Event:  AmeriCANTINA Date:  June 2015 Toronto takes center stage in 2015 to host the greatest athletes from across the hemisphere as they represent their homelands and challenge all comers for a spot on the podium.  With that in mind, Spotlight City Events wants to welcome everyone from Alaska to Patagonia to celebrate the spirit of competition and enjoy home cooking from every corner of the Americas filtered through the talents of the most innovative and creative culinary minds the province has to offer. Tickets: $10

Event:  Pintxos,  A Celebration of Tapas Date:  August 2015 The return of a classic: Pintxos was a runaway hit and represented Toronto’s cultural diversity with restaurants, popups and independent cooks showcasing their tapas creations at the event. The 2015 installment will feature 10 vendors who will bring traditional elements of tapas to new heights with inspired and inventive global influences. Tickets:  $10

Event:  AwesTRUCK 2015 Date:  August 29, 2015 AwesTRUCK, Canada’s original food truck festival and only Street Food Awards.  AwesTRUCK is a celebration of gourmet street food culture in Toronto, showcasing Food Trucks across Ontario, and local restaurants that have a passion for street food. AwesTRUCK takes it’s inspiration from the successful street food culture and food truck rallies taking place worldwide.  Once again the event will be hosted at Mississauga Celebration Square and will be free to attend! More details will be announced in the near future. Event:  Ontario BBQ Date:  September 2015 It’s light-years ahead of your typical rotary ribfest.  This event will explore barbecue and al fresco food from the USA and beyond filtered through the talents of the most innovative and creative culinary minds the province has to offer and feature special out-of-town guest chefs.  If it can be grilled, fried, smoked, sandwiched or stuck on a stick, we’ll have it.  Saying goodbye to summer with a bang. Tickets:  $10

Event:  Day of The Dead Festival Date:  October 31, 2015 Borrowing from one of the most festive and colourful celebrations in Mexico’s holiday calendar, Spotlight City’s version of the Dio DeLos Muertes festival will feature stunning, creative dishes from Toronto’s top chefs that’ll pay homage to regional cooking styles from across Mexico. Tickets: $10


Tickets will go on sale for all events at 9 am on Friday December 12th and make a great stocking stuffer for that special food fan in your life.  2015 ticket prices will remain at a wallet-friendly $10 per event because less cash  for entry means more dosh for noshing.  

2015 Passport

As a thank you to our growing Spotlight City community, we’ll be offering 200 early bird membership packages good for single entry to all 2015 Spotlight City events (and maybe a surprise or two as well) for $50 per member.  These tickets are now available to the public in limited quantities. You can purchase them below. 


We’re always on the lookout for like-minded brands and companies interested in elevating the food festival scene in Toronto and Across Southern Ontario so  If your brand is interested in participating in one or more of our events we’d love to talk with you about the partnership packages we have available.  E-mail frank[dot]kocis[at]spotlighttoronto[dot]com or suresh[dot]doss[at]spotlighttoronto[dot]com for details.

Spotlight City Events is helmed by Suresh Doss and Frank Kocis, two producers with deep ties to the local culinary culture and a track record of running wildly successful events that attract hungry crowds and Toronto’s top chefs.