What’s On: Hot & Spicy in the City

Think you can handle the heat?  A great food & cultural event is about to descend on Toronto this coming weekend and the line up is sizzling!

The 16th annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival returns to Harbourfront Centre, the heart of Toronto’s waterfront, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, 2013. One of the most popular festivals of the summer season, the Hot & Spicy Food Festival showcases fiery food demonstrations from some of the city’s most well-known chefs and restaurants, music, dance, family activities and film from cultures across the globe.

In keeping with Harbourfront Centre’s summer curatorial theme of ‘terrain,’ the festival explores all things hot, spicy, rustic and urbane. It also aims to enhance audience’s appreciation of foods from a wide range of cultures and provide an accessible entry point for participating in and understanding Toronto’s diverse culinary landscape.

Hot & Spicy Food Festival highlights include:

The 10th annual International Iron Chef Competition featuring chef Betty Vazquez (Mexico), Luis Berrazueta (Ecuador), Philip ‘Ippy’ Aiona (USA, former Next Food Network Star Competitor), and Aaron Joseph Bear Robe (Canada, Keriwa Café).

Taco TakedownThe return of popular Taco Takedown and the addition of Donut -Holed Up where top chef’s from across the city present their take on these tasty snacks. Donut Holed-Up includes FoodNetwork’s Donut Showdown winner Grayson Sherman (owner, Jelly Modern Doughnuts).

Signature food demonstration series including Ten Tastes to Try Before You Die, a new series Foraging by Nature and Can You Handle the Heat? featuring dishes like the “Crookie” and participating restaurants include Ursa, FRANK, Barque and Pizzeria Libretto.

The wildly popular spicy hot sauce market, Red Hot Market, featuring some of the hottest sauces, marinades and spices around and a Farmer’s Market with fresh items from various farmers;

A Sauce Rock food demonstration with Dine Alone Foods founders Jordan Hastings (Alexisonfire) and Joel Carriere followed by a performance by Grey Kingdom.

Musical performances by “the North-American Afrobeat King” Femi Abosede and the Culture Force Band; Okavango, a Canadian-made and Batuki Music Society curated orchestra that brings together musicians from across the African diaspora; authentic Cajun music performances from Canailles and Swamperella; a feature performance from Harbourfront Centre’s 2013 SoundClash Music Award winner Brendan Phillip and BADBADNOTGOOD’s only summer concert in Toronto.

5422Snack Tents

Friday, Aug. 30 from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1 from 2 to 7 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. – On-site

Enjoy various Hot & Spicy-themed snack vendors around the site including Jamie Kennedy, White Gold Sweets, Pimenton and My Little Chickpea!

Red Hot Market

Friday, Aug. 30 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. – Zone 6

Saturday, Aug 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1 from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. – Zone 6 and Zone 8

Monday, Sept. 2 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Zone 6 and Zone 8
Saturday, Aug 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1 from 12- 8p.m.
Monday, Sept. 2 from 12 to 6 p.m.  

Farmer’s Market

Friday, Aug. 30 to Monday, Sept. 2 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Brigantine Tent
Enjoy fresh items from various farmers including f.N. Happy Farm, Forbes Wild Foods and Greenfield’s Etienne Avouampo. Be sure to watch Forbes Wild Food’s, Dyson Forbes, in a foraging demo on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to all the delicious food tastings and demonstrations, there will be stage performances in dance and song, movie screenings and family activities.

For more information and event listings, visit harbourfrontcentre.com or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000.Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.


Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of AZNmodern.com. She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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