Top Toronto chefs recognized in 2011’s Nine of Dine at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

Top Toronto chefs recognized in 2011’s Nine of Dine at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

This weekend, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will host the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, four days celebrating everything imbibable. Over 38,000 guests are expected to sample more than 1,500 fine wines, spirits and beers and participate in tutored tastings. The show also recognizes some of Toronto’s hottest chefs as part of the sixth annual Nine of Dine award, sponsored in part by Now and the expo itself.

Nominated for the award this year were Rocco Agostino (Enoteca Sociale), Francisco Alejandri (Agave y Aguacate), Matt Blondin (Acadia), Damon Clements and Daniel Usher (Ortolan), Craig Harding (Campagnolo), Carl Heinrich (Marben), John Horne (Canoe), Colen Quinn (Pangaea’s pastry chef) and Anthony Rose (The Drake Hotel). Jennifer Campbell, the show’s manager, describes the awards as being an “opportunity to recognize the creative masterminds behind these cutting-edge restaurants and their trend-setting cuisine.”

This year’s winner, Canoe’s chef de cuisine John Horne, was selected via a poll on Now’s website. Horne, along with a number of the nominees, will be taking over the Food Network Stage throughout the event to demo dishes and entertain questions from the audience. Highlights from the schedule include:

• Friday, November 18: at 3:30 p.m., Rose will host “The Art of the Sandwich” on how to make a gourmet submarine sandwich; at 7:30p.m., Quinn will demo a home cook–friendly brown butter pistachio cake with rosemary poached pears in her “Living The Sweet Life” session.

• Saturday, November 19: at 1:30p.m., Horne will create “Inspired Canadian Cuisine,” which, rumour has it, will be Quebec foie gras with Ontario peanuts and Concord grape jelly.

• Sunday, November 20: at 12:30p.m., Agostino will uncover the “Hidden Gems of Italy”; at 1:30p.m., Alejandri will be preparing some “Authentic Mexican Soul Food” including mini ceviche tostadas, Guanajuato style; at 2:30p.m., Clements and Usher will “Chalk Up The Inspiration” in a yet-to-be-revealed dish; at 3:30p.m., Heinrich will be exercising the “Farm-Fresh Spirit” by preparing the restaurant’s popular John’s Burger.

The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, Nov 17-20, $18-40. Age 19+. Metro Toronto Convention Center, South Building,