The 5th Annual The Stop’s Night Market is the main fundraiser for The Stop Community Food Centre and it featured over 70 chefs, 20 beverage providers and 35 unique food carts created by local designers. The fundraiser raised $215,000 to help with The Stop‘s drop-in-meals, healthy food bank, community cooking and gardening programs, local food markets, education for children, community advocacy, and the greenhouse and compost demonstration centre. Each ticket sold for the Night Market provides 20 drop-in-meals or healthy food hampers that can feed four families or increased access to their community programs.

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The Stop was one of Canada’s first food banks, and it has transformed into a community focal point in the west end of Toronto. It believes that food is a basic human right and that access to healthy food is crucial.

What better way to get people engaged in the cause than with delicious food and beverages provided by Toronto’s leading talents? The Junction Triangle location at 158 Sterling Road was transformed from an empty lot to a fun and inspiring place with all the food carts, music, and the buzz of Toronto’s foodies appreciating the evening’s fare.

Each night of the two-day market had different restaurants presenting their creations. The Stop Community Centre‘s own chefs also prepared some of the food. We attended the second night and there were so many delicious options to choose from. Boulart had delicious (Non-GMO) bread, Patois offered juicy jerk chicken, crispy bao and Jamaican coleslaw. Blue Goose provided their fried chicken with spiced pomegranate glaze, zaatar and green onion and chicken shwarma. The Gabardine had jerk pork on rice and peas with creamy coleslaw. Tutti Matti had porchetta panini. Carmen pintxos (bar snacks) were dates with manchego cheese and almonds, watermelon skewers and warm trout ceviche. Seawitch offered box cut chips with British style curry sauce. Bar Fancy had fried chicken. Smoke Signals Bar-B-Q had chicken wings. Pizza Libretto/A3 Napoli had gnocchi fritti with nduja (spreadable pork sausage) and stracciatella. Steven Gonzalez on Tour offered choripan (pork chorizo with chipotle mayo on a bun). Hey Meatball had panzanella (a Tuscan salad with bread and tomatoes) Feast Toronto had pho beef dumplings, crispy shrimp wontons, and lemongrass chicken dumplings. Enoteca Ascari had marinated spring vegetable salad with charred spring onion, and fresh herb vinaigrette using their own grown greens. Farmhouse Tavern had beef tartar. Richmond Station had vegetarian shawarma with pickled turnip. Citizen Catering had grilled octopus with patatas bravas and chimichurri. Abokichi had chicken onigiri. Midfield offered zucchini fritters with lime aioli and smoked tomato chutney. Momofuku (which had huge lines) offered grilled Spanish mackerel with green lentil, maitake mushroom and kohlrabi chutney. Universal Grill had southern smoked trout fritters. The Dock Ellis had panko crusted mac and cheese bites. iQ Food Co. had tuna poke with whipped avocado and greenbelt microgreens. Kanpai had Cabbage Patch Kids (brussels sprouts salad with a kewpie drizzle). Oyster Boy was shucking oysters for the crowd.

For those with a sweet tooth, there were a few options. Sullivan and Bleeker had their nut free cookies in red velvet, chocolate chip and smores. Sugar Mama’s Mini Donuts sampled their duck fat mini donuts available in Nutella, cinnamon sugar and salted caramel. Tori’s Bakeshop had their vanilla bean rhubarb “Homer Simpson classic” donut, which was vegan, gluten free and soy free.

For the beer lovers, there was a lot to try including: Sweetgrass Beer, Lake on the Woods Brewing Company beer, Boneshaker’s India Pale Ale and 3 Speed light lager and Woodhouse Brewing’s stout beer. For cocktails, there were The Living Vine’s organic Dolin punch, Boodles Gin and Gomme (Boodle Gin, pineapple juice, mango juice, lemon juice, soda water and cilantro garnish) and The Gaslight’s Original Sailor Jerry cocktails. Guilty Men wine was available. Metropolitan Premium Wines and Sakes had a variety of sakes to sample. And in the non-alcoholic category, there were Just Craft Sodas (made with real fruit juice) and Reunion Island Coffee Roasters’ cold brew tonic and sweet hibiscus soda.

The other restaurants that offered their samples on the first night were: Barque, Branca, Boralia, The Commodore, Dailo, Dundas Park Kitchen, Delica Kitchen, Enoteca Sociale, El Caballito, Gusto 54, Hawthorne, Hopgood’s Foodliner, Lindsey Bakes, Mad Maple Country Inn, Mata, Maizal, Nana, Providore Catering, Rasa, Rose and Sons, Rooftop Taqueria, Scout Canning, The Tempered Room, Torteria San Cosme, Torito and Underground Chef Co.

DJ General Eclectic and Turbo Street Funk provided the tunes. The designers who created the unique food carts fincluded Amanda Ghantous, ARBOSIS, Bare Minimum, and many more.

(The Stop’s Night Market 2016 photos by Sari)

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