iYellow Wine Club: South Africa Earth Day Taste + Tweet‏

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By Megan Stulberg | Photos by Alice Prendergast

You know that dreadful folk song, “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”? If you replace “99” with “14” and “bottles of beer” with “glasses of wine” then you have my Tuesday evening. The iYellow Wine Club is a group based in Toronto that invites its members (and guests) to sample wines from all over the world, and meet and mingle with Toronto’s fellow winos. When I received an invite to attend their “South Africa Taste + Tweet”, I jumped at the chance to spend Earth Day 2014 learning about the growing sustainable wine industry. Hosted at the iYellow wine cave (243 Queen St. W) with an alleyway entrance, the event was hard to find but definitely worth the struggle.

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The moment I walked in the door, the coat in my hand was swapped with a glass of Pinot Grigio. Sweet to the taste, this was a great drink to start the night off with. Guests were given markers to label their glasses with in order to avoid confusion. Next up was a Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc. John McFarland recommended that guests pair this wine with a camembert cheese in order to balance the drink’s slight astringency, as this wine is less fruity than most being sampled. I decided to switch over to red at this point, and continued alternating back and forth throughout the night. Apparently this is a no-no — who knew? Ah well, a rookie mistake. Next I sampled Honey Badger Sweet Red 2011, a 95% Shiraz and 5% Pinotage from Western Cape. This wine was by far the sweetest of the night. Perhaps a little too sweet for regular consumption, but perfect if having a small glass with dessert. iYellow Wine Bar used the terms “approachable” and “picnic” to describe the new Inception Pinot Noir. My photographer/self-proclaimed wine connoisseur called this “the soda of wine” due to its easiness to drink and lack of aftertaste. A full-bodied beginner’s wine that should be monitored, due to its 13% alcohol content.

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About halfway through the evening, a short presentation was given by Oliver Kristen, founder of The Grape Grinder. Oliver described the importance of eco-friendly wine, explaining that Grinder’s goal is to make a better product while encroaching less on the environment — keeping their “ecological footprint” to a minimum. Oliver explained that most South African wines, including Grinder’s, are labelled with a sustainability seal that certifies the wine has been produced sustainably, can be traced back to its exact origin, and confirms that it was bottled in South Africa. Individual bottle seal numbers can be checked online at swsa.co.za. After trying the Grinder Pinotage, I tried another Pinotage made by Cafe Culture. Hints of a smokey mocha were tasted in this; definitely one of my favourites. I was told that it would be paired well with a smoked meat or a pasta dish. Of the Pinotage wines, Grinder tasted smoother and Cafe Culture felt a bit heavier. 1625591_10154040716125133_7813166010512065751_n 10268399_10153962197650538_2126312175_n Next I tried a glass of Roodeberg red, the label describing it as a “classic blend of red varieties”. I found this wine to have a slightly lighter body than the other reds without losing that concentrated rich flavour. Seven glasses done, seven to go! If you’re wondering how I was even still vertical at this point, you’re not alone. Wine #8: The Pavillion Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. iYellow Wine Club used the terms “mellow,” “easy,” and “mineral” to describe it. Fruity and flavourful, my photographer and I both agreed that its aftertaste was strong but sweet, similar in taste and consistency to Bellingham Big Oak Red 2012, which we tried next. At this point I switched back to white, opting for a glass of Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2013. This was not only my personal favourite, but the most popular wine of the night for everybody! The aggressive taste was an overall crowd-pleaser, and I overheard guests describing the wine as “punchy”.

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Number 11: a glass of Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012. This wine had a rather bitter taste. I enjoyed it, but its bold aftertaste was a bit too strong for my palette. Number 12: A second variety from The Pavillion: a Chenin Blanc Viognier from 2013. An incredibly dry and crisp wine that I liked very much. At this point in the night, my handwriting had become increasingly problematic. In my scribbles about this wine, I can make out “smells floral and tastes carbonated, so it’s pretty great”. Trust my drunken hand. Number 13: A 2011 Shiraz also from Durbanville Hills. This wine had a definite earthy taste to it, brought out by a variety of spices. Number 14: Place in the Sun Shiraz 2012. The sweet spiciness of this wine made me want to turn it into sangria and serve it alongside heaps of guacamole to all my friends.

Overall, this was a great night! I loved having the opportunity to learn more about the sustainable wine movement. To keep up to date with iYellow Wine Club’s future events, go “like” them on Facebook. Interested in seeing more from the night? Check out anything my fellow guests might have posted while live tweeting with the hashtag #ILoveSAWine.

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Tickets on sale for The Stop’s Night Market this week

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Written by Siobhan Ozege, photos by Yuli Scheidt

The Stop’s annual Night Market is nearly upon us. For those in the know, it’s one of Toronto’s most coveted and cherished food events with tickets selling out within hours every year. This year, you’re lucky to have Fat Girl Food Squad watching out for you and giving you the heads-up: tickets go on sale THIS WEEK. On Thursday May 1st for just $65 you get the double-whammy: support the amazing and important food security work that The Stop does, AND eat some of Toronto’s best foods.

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The event itself takes place over two nights, with different vendors each night. Happening on June 17th & 18th from 7-11pm in the Honest Ed’s alleyway, you can eat and drink to your heart’s content. Your ticket includes all-you-can-eat and drink from such FGFS faves as Fonda LolaDundas ParkSmall Town Food Co., and the Dock Ellis among many, many more. There will be savoury apps, sweet desserts, craft brews, local wines, and even some delicious coffee roasters on site. For a complete list of food vendors, you can visit the Night Market website.

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If you’re still on the fence about buying a ticket, we’d suggest reading a bit on what The Stop does. In their own words, “The Stop works to increase access to healthy food in a manner than maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality.” This organization runs a number of food programs across the city, including after school programs, community markets and bake ovens, and a drop-in food bank space that serves Toronto’s West End. They’re a great cause, and we’re proud to support them.

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Mark your calendars, you won’t want to miss out on these amazing eats. This will be our second year attending this event, and our mouths are already watering.

Sew Hungry – Hamilton’s Restaurant Food Truck Rally

Attention Ontario Foodies: one of the most anticipated culinary events of the year is only one week away!

Sew Hungry Restaurant and Food Truck Rally will shut down Ottawa Street in Hamilton on Friday May 2, 2014. With over 55 food vendors, the award-winning event brings a large foodie crowd to the Garment District of the city for its 4th year running. This event garners more attention and interest each year, cultivating and preserving the culinary community within Hamilton. Alongside the many vendors that will surely satisfy even the ravenous appetites, chefs will be doing cooking demonstrations throughout the day!

I had the chance to talk with event organizer, Elisha Proietti, who graciously spoke to me about the ways in which Sew Hungry has grown.

FGFS: How did Sew Hungry come about? What drew you to Ottawa Street?

Elisha Proietti: I was hired by the BIA about 4 years ago as the Manager for the Ottawa Street Farmers’ Market as well as the Events Coordinator for the Ottawa Street BIA.  Ottawa Street has been booming for awhile now and the BIA wanted to add more events to the street to bring more attention to its growth.  4 years ago when Sew Hungry started, the food truck scene was just starting to rear its head.  Gorilla Cheese had just hit the streets and El Gastro had really just paved the way for this movement to begin.  We wanted to remind people that Ottawa Street, although famous for it’s textiles, had a lot more to offer!  Including some great restaurants!  Bringing in food trucks was a perfect way to expose foodies to the great eats we have to offer on the street.  Typically people will go out for lunch on a Friday and we wanted to get them thinking about Ottawa Street when they do that!  So, I called in Graeme from Gorilla Cheese and proposed the idea of a Food Truck Rally along Ottawa St to him and he loved it!  We rallied together about 9 trucks (we were begging trucks to come at the first Sew Hungry) and here we are today!

FGFS: Congrats on having such a successful event last year! What makes this year even better?

EP: Thank you! We were blown away by how well received the event was last year!  As an event planner, you are always looking at the event from a different angle than the attendees.  I think sometimes we are our own worst critic, which can be a good thing!  This year there are a lot of new additions to the event that we are excited about.  We have firstly added more trucks to the roster so that we can accommodate the crazy numbers we saw from last year!  We will have 35 trucks this year serving curbside, which is pretty awesome.  We also have Roux Commercial Kitchen and Commissary who is sponsoring and providing what they are calling the Sew Hungry Kitchen Stadium!  The stadium will feature Local Guest Chefs which are being sponsored and provided by Go Cooking of the Hamilton Spectator, who will be doing cooking demonstrations throughout the day!  We will also be shutting down 5 side streets this year to provide additional tables and seating for people.  It is shaping itself up to be the best Sew Hungry yet, and we are constantly making sure that each year outdoes the last.

FGFS: You have so many amazing vendors, how do you pick the participants?

EP: The growth of this event has been pretty surreal to watch.  In the first year we had 9 trucks and it was difficult to get those 9.  This year we have 35 trucks participating and we had 53 trucks apply.  This was just by the deadline, I still have trucks calling me on a daily basis asking if they can be a part of the event.  It is a great thing but it is also makes it that much harder.  The Events Committee agreed one of the best ways to decide, was to taste test all of the new trucks that applied to the event.  OnFebruary 26th, we had 6 judges come in to the BIA office.  They got to meet the new trucks and try all of their food first hand.  It was a really incredible day.  The trucks all brought their A game and it was inspiring to see how passionate they are about food.  They have really taken street food to a whole new level and you could see it in the way they presented the food and in how simply delicious the dishes tasted.  Needless to say, we were all absolutely stuffed at the end of the day.  Maybe next year we will be sure to spread it out over a week.  26 taste tests in 4 hours proved to be very difficult!  I think some of us didn’t eat for days after that!  As the event grows, this aspect is going to get harder and harder, but at 35 trucks we are already maxed out on space and we also want to ensure that our own restaurants have a great business day as well!  We have an incredible lineup of trucks this year and we are so excited for Hamilton to have the chance to try them!

FGFS: Organizing a Food Truck Rally isn’t a small feat! How do you it all?

EP: There is a lot more work that goes into it than what people realize!  We take that as a compliment though.  I have had people in the past ask me if we could do it once a month, or every weekend, which would be impossible!  Part of the fun of the event is that it’s something to look forward to every year.  Planning for Sew Hungry starts in the fall, and each year I seem to try and get things started earlier and earlier.  The BIA has an amazing Executive board and Events committee that always step up and help wherever they can.  Other than that it takes a lot of organization and planning to make sure that every detail is looked after!  Event planning always comes off to people as this whimsical, fun, party job but thats not the case.  It’s a lot of hard work and you have to really love and care about what you are doing in order to do it well.  Just like any other job!

FGFS: Any advice for a Sew Hungry first timer, like myself?

EP: I think my best Sew Hungry advice is to come in a group and divide and conquer.  We have an amazing website that was done by Orbital Studios and there is a great interactive map on the homepage that can help you plan ahead! I also recommend a pair of stretchy pants (jogging pants, Lululemons, Modrobes for the old schoolers). The least busy times are usually 11am – noon and 4pm – 5pm so if you can get here then that will help too!

FGFS: Lastly, favourite place to eat in Hamilton?

EP: Hamilton has become such an incredible place for food so it’s really hard to pick just one. I think my Italian roots always draw me to Café Limoncello. Those pizzas are just so good. Bruno is a fantastic chef and Nancy Leo, who owns the restaurant, is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met and it shows!

Come out and enjoy this delicious community on Friday May 2, 2014 from
11am – 3pm and 4pm – 8pm. We’ll see you there!

Sew Hungry on the Web:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Speakeasy 21 makes its mark in the Financial District

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photos by Yuli Scheidt

Originally posted to Ama’s weekly column on Toronto Is Awesome.

Listen up Financial District: an elegant and chic prohibition-style resto-bar has moved into the area. That place is Speakeasy 21. Located on the main-floor of the Scotiabank Plaza, this modern yet sleek venue is offering up 4,000 square feet of contemporary dining experience.

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With its 1920 inspired theme, the decor fuses together timeless features like leathers and brass with wonderful marble. An open kitchen gives what to the swell of activity within the kitchen. Outside there is promise of a large patio for District dwellers to get their liberations on in the summer heat. The restaurant is almost floor-to-ceiling glass windows bringing in beautiful natural sunlight.

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Taking the reins at Speakeasy 21 is Chef Andrew Wilson (ex-Canoe and Origin North) who has kept the menu approachable yet sophisticated. Many of the items are seasonable, like the Shrimp Burger with Chorizo. It almost seemed like an odd pairing but yet it had such an incredibly wonderful taste. Paired with one of the Liberations like the Canadian Cooler ($14.50, Eristoff Vodka, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Mint leaves, Cucumber slices) — it was love at first sip and nibble.

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Some other delicious bites were the Butter Chicken Balls ($14) and the Ground Chuck Burger ($18, lettuce, tomato, and house sauce) paired alongside a beautifully poured Rob Roy ($14.50, Dewar’s Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters, Orange Twist) — you have yourself a fine evening filled with great eats and energizing cocktails.

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The drinks menu consists of nearly 45 potions both unique and classic by bartender Dave Moore (Brant House, Easy, and The Fifth). Everything here is taken with much style and grace and if you’re not a cocktail drinker, not to worry: there is also an extensive wine list consisting of 38 varieties.

This brand new resto-bar is going to inject some serious life into the Core (espically with live music every Thursday). You don’t have to just take our word for it either.

[GIVEAWAY] Interview with Chef-Turned-Artist Kristina Groeger

I’m really drawn to people who hold many talents. It might be that I see myself in them, but I think it’s mostly because it excites me to think of all the collaborations and conversations we could have, and the things that we can put out into the world. Chef-Turned-Artist, Kristina Groeger, has been a FGFS Fan Club member since Day One and was the first submission to roll in when we announced our gallery show, Fat In Public. If you live in or around Roncesvalles, or are an adventurer, you can see Kristina’s design work in the logo for Extra Butter, a nifty addition to the bourgeoning strip. I recently roped Kristina into answering a few burning questions about her work and life. kristinaG FGFS: Who are you?

Kristina: Oh, hi hello. I’m Kristina Groeger.

FGFS: What do you do?

Kristina: I am a visual artist that lives in Toronto. I was a chef for a good number of years and decided to do a bit of a career change to focus more on making art and comics.

FGFS: What gets you excited about what you do?

Kristina: Half of my life ago (in high school), I can remember feeling really excited by creating a whole world with paint or pictures. I loved the idea of telling a story through something so simple. It’s exciting to watch a blob of paint or plate of food turn into a person with personality or a symphony of colour and taste.

FGFS: You’re like me in that your talents are varied. We do it all. Web, photography, art, cooking. I can’t imagine life being any other way. How about you? Is that just who you are, and how you function?

Kristina: I think this is definitely something I still explore and struggle with a bit. Without seeming like a “Jill of all trades, master of none” I like to think of myself more as an absent minded professor who is super close to a breakthrough. I’ve tried very hard to string together why I am such a “renaissance woman” (read: distracted aquarius). But, as far as web, photography, art, cooking? I see them all as forms of creation, story telling, or challenge and those are my favourite things to explore.

FGFS: What dish are you really, really good at making? Either you’re known for it, or just can just bang it out no problem and impress everyone.

Kristina: I would say that I am fairly known for my savoury or sweet pies. I really love working with pastry, also encompassing pasta and bread. I love kneading and sculpting the mixture of water, flour, and fat. It’s crazy how powder and liquid takes form into a delicious vehicle for flavour.

FGFS: Why is it that you create imagery and art that deals with food so prominently?

Kristina: Food for me has been an enormous part of my life for a really long time. I’ve been on a strict regime for the past six months to have more energy and start getting back into some sporty stuff I used to enjoy (skiing, swimming, baseball). When I was painting the donuts [paintings featured in Fat in Public], it was having an intense internal struggle about eating for pleasure vs. eating for body fuel. I also notice that everyone takes photos of their food the same way people would take photos of their family. The way we view food has shifted. When you see the way chefs like Michel Bras, Jason Bangerter, Daniel Humm, or Graham Elliott plate food you realize that this is art. They are using textures and viscosity to paint a beautiful landscape and story. I love exploring this in all types of mediums.

Ref: Chef Michel Bras Gargilou Source

FGFS: Anything else to add?

Kristine: This is one of my favourite videos of all time that shows the melding of food/art : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ_zMnxR9z8

Kristina has generously given us some prints and stickers(!) of the donut paintings from her series, Round Food Makes You Round, that hung in out gallery show in February.

To be one of the lucky winners follow these steps: 1. Go follow Kristina on Twitter 2. Tweet using the hashtag #FGFSxRoundFood and let us know why you want to win!

For further exploration find Kristina at these hot online places:   Tumblrhttp://tumblr.kristinagroeger.com/ and Etsyhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/KristinaGroegerArt
Portfoliohttp://kristinagroeger.com/

Fresh To Death Photos: Bloggers Who Brunch II & Next Brunch Announcement

FGFS friends Ron & Amarina of Ursa Major + getting into it.

#WeBrunch is a hashtag I use often on the FGFS Instagram account, because it’s true. The majority of our contributors live in the brunch capital of the world: Toronto. We love it. Not quite breakfast (so you can still sleep in), not quite lunch (so you can still eat one later); brunch really is the perfect meal. That’s partly why we love throwing our brunch series Bloggers Who Brunch. It’s a chance for us to sit down and relax over our favourite meal with some of our favourite people. It’s also chance for us to not only make connections with bloggers outside our food writers’ circle but also with the chefs, owners, and staff at some truly great restaurants in town.

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March’s brunch took place at the Libertine where Chef Jordy made us up a spread of chicken and waffles (chicken lovingly supplied by Blue Goose Pure Foods), lobster quiche, mixed greens, bacon (like boxes of bacon), fresh fruit, and tofu scramble for those who veg. Plus, an amazing deconstructed lemon poppyseed cake to finish it off.

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Some really rad people came out and even wrote up some pieces about the brunch. These things are supposed to be fun getaways from #bloglife, but I guess you can take the girl away from the blog but you can’t take the blogger out of the girl?

We’re happy to announce that the next Bloggers Who Brunch will be happening Saturday, May 17th, once again at the Libertine. Watch this space for more details to come!

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50th Annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

By Megan Stulberg

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I was recently invited to spend a weekend at the farm where my best friend grew up in Elmira, Ontario. Visiting a town with a whopping population of 9,931, you’d expect a relaxing and quiet weekend in the country, no? Well, it certainly started off that way: I spent Friday evening playing with the family’s seven household pets and watching Come Dine With Me reruns. The next morning, I dragged myself out of bed at 7am and then walked around outside in the cold for the next 10 hours. And I had the best time.

The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival has been an annual event for the past 50 years. The main attraction is, of course, the maple syrup and related food vendors. The event attracts 60,000 people every year, and most can be seen walking around, munching a lamb’s leg, a stack of pancakes or something deep-fried.

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Oh, the maple syrup! It was heavenly. There was maple syrup on everything: maple lattes, maple taffy, maple kettle corn, maple syrup baked beans, maple syrup candies, and Beaver Tails with maple butter. I didn’t want to slip into a sugar coma, so I decided to limit my syrup intake. Well, I tried.

First, I decided to sink my teeth into some maple taffy. Maple taffy is made by boiling maple sap over a fire until it turns into maple syrup and then continuing to boil it until it becomes thicker. It is then poured onto snow and picked up with a stick, once partially cooled, and then served. I had to wait a solid 45 minutes for one small piece, but it was worth it to get such a decadent start to the morning.

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Next, I tried maple sugar. By “tried” I mean I sampled a small piece for free and then proceeded to buy 12 more. Maple sugar is prepared much like maple taffy, but is boiled for much longer until it solidifies. These soft and sweet candies were sold by countless vendors all over the festival, but I bought mine from a small table run by local Mennonites on the outskirts of town in front of a McDonald’s for 25 cents a piece. I also bought a few small tubs of pure maple syrup to take home for loved ones.

By midday, my friends were getting hungry so we decided to venture away from the festival for a bit in an attempt to get a healthier lunch. Luckily for us, there were tractor-pulled wagon rides available: the town’s adorable version of a free shuttle bus. This was the first — and probably last — time I rode to a fast-food restaurant sitting on a bail of hay, sandwiched in between two teenage girls in bonnets.

The festival really is an event for both the locals and the tourists.

Overall, it was an incredibly fun, family-friendly day. Sometimes I forget how Canadian I am — and then I go to something like this and have a blast. To keep updated on next year’s festival, “Like” their official page on Facebook here.

I’ll just go ahead and tempt your tastebuds with a few more photos that show off some of the many treats that were enjoyed at the Maple Syrup Festival:

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Salted soft pretzel with Dijon mustard

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Deep-fried Mars bar on a stick

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“Tornado Potato” paired with ghost pepper ketchup. Other ketchup flavours included maple and banana

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Deep-fried apple fritters

Select photos by Aine Davis

Paypal brings wallet free dining to town

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of getting an insider look at the innovative things PayPal is doing with mobile wallets. A “happy hour,” of sorts, was held at Boehmer in Toronto and this intimate event really opened my eyes to the future of mobile payments.

 

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Paypal has partnered with TouchBistro (which is the neat system that many of my favourite local spots have started using in lieu of traditional Point of Sale systems) to enable diners to check in and PayPal-it.

What does that mean?
It means you can simply walk into your local bar/coffee shop, order, and not have to fumble for cash or a card. It’s an almost seamless way to pay, and be on your way.  This also means that if you are like me and have a limited amount of time for lunch, you don’t have to wait for your bill when dining in. It even allows you to split checks and be on your merry way in no time. It was an absolute treat to be able to combine two of my interests: really good food and really cool technology. The Paypal app is accepted at more than 50 locations in Toronto  and will be rolling out everywhere soon. Thanks to the team at Paypal and Edelman for having me.

 

Check out more shots from the night. All courtesy of Teddy Chau

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Extra attentive servers and opportunities to talk to the team at Paypal

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Gorgeous Charcuterie board.

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Skilled bartenders

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Heaven on a spoon.

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Probably the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten.

Feminist P*rn Conference 2014

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Words by Carly

I had the chance to check out the 2nd Annual Feminist Porn Conference presented by The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies held at the University of Toronto. The conference was the triumphant ending to week long festivities which included workshops, film viewings, networking parties, and of course, the Feminist Porn Awards. I had the privilege and the honour of being in the presence of such a glorious group of people — from performers to academics, who came together to celebrate the Feminist Porn Industry’s achievements and to tease out the tensions in this diverse movement. 

What is Feminist Porn, one might ask? Put quite simply, “it’s a genre, an industry, and a movement”. It is a certain kind of porn, one that is shot ethically (fair wages and performer treatment) and with a particular framing in mind. The conference explored the relationship that porn has had with certain sides of feminism, as well as the way in which feminist porn has sought to change the way that “mainstream porn” frames sex, race, gender, and even abilities. Feminist porn is multifaceted and diverse, and it utilized the conference as a physical meeting space for pornographers, sex workers and performers, academics and community members to listen to and to discuss with one another what it means to be part of the Feminist Porn Movement.


 

 “Feminist porn has done incredible work in expanding sexual representation across race, gender, ability and more.”  –  Lisa Duggan


 

I attended sessions that literally changed my worldview. It allowed me to see the stakes that I have in body positivity, sex positivity, academia, and community and how to bridge the gap between all of them. I began to see where I fit in the larger conversations about sex workers privacy, the duty to archive Feminist Porn as part of “cultural stewardship”, and the importance of inclusion of POC voices in sex work. I gained a voice at this conference that has been tucked inside me. I felt liberated and inspired, motivated to use my knowledge to effect change.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have been in the presence of sex workers and performers who are on the front lines of producing beautiful work, right next to academics that I followed throughout university. Lisa Duggan, the opening keynote speaker who is the Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, put it quite nicely when she said: “The Feminist Porn Movement is open to criticism and self-criticism,” as she traced through Feminist Porn Advocacy and commending the movement for “democratically expanding the possibilities” and exploring its limitations.

 


 

 “We are free to let porn affect feminist and free to let our feminist inform our porn.”  –  Courtney Trouble


 


The highlight of the entire conference was the closing keynote by Courtney Trouble, who is a filmmaker, performer, and artist. Courtney Trouble’s angsty/angry, hopeful, but humble speech brought the entire audience to their feet, and quite literally moved me to tears.

 


“I want you to remember that Fat is a Feminist issue.”  –  Courtney Trouble


Courtney touched every raw nerve in me and challenged the audience to make fierce, radical change in everything they do – from hiring more fat, queer, trans, and racialized bodies to filming a porn with asexuals. It was a fantastic way to close out the evening leaving everyone feeling charged and inspired to make meaningful choices while pushing the boundaries. You can watch Courtney Troubles’ keynote here, filmed by Tobi Hill-Meyer. Thank you Tobi!

Want more information? (FYI — Could lead to come NSFW content!)
Feminist Porn Awards
Good for Her
Feminist Porn Conference
@FemPornCon
#FPCon2

 

Poppin’ Bottles of Fresita in the Petite and Sweet lab

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Just the other week, I was invited out alongside my Fat Girl Food Squad co-horts to a fun and fabulous evening hosted by Fresita and Petite & Sweet Bakery.

This event was unlike any other event I had ever been to with promises of sweets, treats, some crafting and a lot of Fresita. I had never had the chance to try Fresita before and it was a pink Chilean sparkling wine that was made with hand-picked strawberries. Sound delicious? Well, it was.

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I got to share in the evening with some other radical blogger babes like Lisa Jackson (from Eat Drink Travel), Kaitlin Wright (from She Does the City) and Taylor Stinson & Nathalie Sehgal (from the Girls on Bloor) while we walked through the doors of the Petite & Sweet headquarters (who were featured on Food Network’s own SugarStars) and took in the elegant beauty of the sweets table. It had everything from macaroon chairs to Fresita-flavoured marshmallows. It was heaven.

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Bottles of Fresita were popped and we sipped and nibbled our way through the evening. The lovely ladies at Petite & Sweet gave hands-on instructions on how to frost our own cupcakes. For me, I had never used a piping bag so this was a whole new experience. For my friend Ashley who tagged alongside me, she was an old pro at this and helped me out. The results weren’t too shabby.

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For me, I am not the biggest sweets person in the world so when we were shown to make Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Icing and Toffee Bits – it was game over. It was obviously my favorite snack of the evening and so simple to make. Melt some chocolate in the microwave, double-dip (no one is judging) and then carefully drizzle icing and toffee bits on top. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and you’ve got yourself one delicious snack.

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As the night winded down, we were asked to take part in a little DIY crafting and prepare our own gift boxes. I’m not going to lie: I am not a crafty person what so ever. Thankfully my friend Rachelle who I brought alongside me was because the box she put together was off the chain! I attempted to make something myself but after getting two strands of ribbon and feeling disappointed in myself, I just gave up. Thankfully I had a glass of zee ol’ glass of Fresita to ease the pain.

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This evening was everything a girl would want: sweet and crafty and delicious. Plus: I got to make some amazing new friends in the process. Thanks to Fresita Canada and Petite and Sweets Bakery for having me out.

All photos taken by Kailee Mandel