For the past six years, Torontonians have had the chance to enjoy food samples from the best purveyors in the city, and at the same time, give back to help those in need. The Stop’s Night Market is the much anticipated annual fundraiser for The Stop Community Food Centre. It took place over two evenings in a vacant lot on Sterling Road in the Junction Triangle area of Toronto. The Stop is one of Canada’s first food banks, and it has become an important part of the west end Toronto community. Each ticket sold for the Night Market provides 20 drop-in-meals or fresh food hampers that can feed four families. This year’s fundraiser raised over $300,000 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.
The core view is that food is a fundamental human right and that access to healthy food is crucial for everyone.
Each night of the two-day market had different restaurants presenting their creations, with a total of 70 chefs, 20 beverage providers and 35 unique food carts created by local designers.
We attended the second night, and we sampled as much as we could.

The Stop Community Food Centre‘s chefs prepared panko-crusted Mitchell Farms pork belly pastrami with mustard and pickled vegetable salad. Tsukune prepared Japanese chicken lollipop with amazake sauce (minced chicken skewers). AGO served an open-faced rhubarb-honey glazed chicken sandwich. Annette Food Market had wild mushroom arancini balls and slow-braised porchetta sliders. Ascari ENoteca had broccolini fritti (fried broccolini with pecorino and lemon zest). Blue Goose provided their French onion ground chicken slider. The Broadview Hotel (newly opened) had Bay scallop ceviche. Branca served al asador smoked meat empanadas, Carmen had ropa vieja (traditional cuban dish with braised beef chilis, olives and plantain). Dundas Park Kitchen served crisp squash salad, oat and pumpkin seed granola and avocado and kimchi salsas. Greenbelt Microgreens had spicy micro-green salad. Hawthorne had schmaltz carbonara (hand-rolled pasta, chicken fat, cream, cured egg yolk , crispy chicken skins and bitter greens). Heirloom had mini homemade pogos with Vietnamese pho flavours. Hooked had Thai lettuce wraps with fried fish. Pizza Libretto had roasted cauliflower arancini with bomba buffulo sauce. The Emerson did chicken parm. 416 Snack Bar/ Peoples’ Eatery served General Tsofu. Nana had Thai Khao Kriab Pak Moh (steamed rice skin dumplings). The Oakwood Hardware had Kartoffelpuffer ( crispy German potato pancakes with Calabrese pepper & smoked duck, kale shoots and pickled vegetables.) ProvisionsTO served smoked bbq pork char siu with fuji apple and kohlrabi cole slaw.
Farmhouse Tavern had grilled Ontario venison with truffle aioli and red cabbage slaw on a baguette. Momofuku Noodle Bar had pork bun (hoisin, cucumber and scallions). Lasa had pork adobo on shrimp chip. Kanpai had a sticky tofu noodle bowl. Oyster Boy was shucking oysters for the crowd. The Tempered Room had spicy soy-glazed Miami ribs with asian slaw, kewpie mayo and crispy onions.

We then had to make room for dessert. There were Mad Maple‘s red fife churros with maple cinnamon sugar and strawberry rhubarb sauce, Lindsay Bakes‘ cookies and The Drake Commissary‘s Sicilian ice cream sandwich on a brioche.

To wash it all done, there were lots of beverages to choose from. There were a variety of beers such as Sweetgrass Brewing Co.‘s Golden Ale, Beau’s Delicious craft beer, Amsterdam Brewery‘s Boneshaker’s India Pale Ale and 3- Speed light lager and Pale Rider Hoppy Lager and Halo Brewery‘s Shapeshifter. For cider lovers, there was Ernest Cider‘s dry and specialty. For cocktails, there were Boodles Gin‘s The Proper G& T and The Incrdbl Project’s sweet and sour cocktail over crushed ice . For wine lovers there were Malivoire’s Ladybug Rose & Gamay, Creekside Estate Winery‘s 2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Cabernet Rose and 2013 Estate Syrah. Grange of Prince Edward‘s 2016 Almanac White and 2014 Almanac Red. Metropolitan Premium Wines and Sakes had 3 sakes and a fruit liquor. In the non-alcoholic category, there were Just Craft Sodas (made with real fruit juice) and Propeller Coffee‘s cold brew , iced tea and drip coffee.

The food carts were created by designers Wood +Wool Design, My_Design Studio, Spoke Creative, Any Office, Chris D & Julie N., Team Conics, ARBOSIS 2.0, Good News Studio, Beacon Cluster, One x One Co, Studio Relics and RAW Design.

All the guests left The Stop’sNight Market 2017 feeling satisfied and knowing they’ve helped out a truly worthy organization.

(Photos by Allan Tong)

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