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Pan American Food Festival brings tastes and cultures to Toronto

Pan American Food Festival brings tastes and cultures to Toronto

Posted by PanamericanWorld on July 29, 2015

While the Pan Am Games are officially in the rear-view mirror, the city’s celebration of North and South American culture is rolling on.

Many of the athletes may be gone, but the diverse tastes and culture of the countries represented at the games will be on full display with the return of the Pan American Food Festival to Daniels Spectrum.

The event, now in its third year, features food, entertainment and interactive activities for people of all ages.

“It’s a celebration of the cultural cuisine and also of the culture in general,” said Pan American Food Festival board member Francisco Alvarez. “There will be a street market with vendors representing different countries and free food demonstrations with chefs every day.”

One such demonstration will see food competitions, with local chefs of various nationalities offering their own take on dishes from countries from across the Americas. Their interpretations of the dishes can range from the traditional to the audacious.

“Last year, for example, we had a competition where the competitors made tamales,” Alvarez said. “They’re normally a savoury dish, but one chef made sweet, dessert-style tamales.”

While the food will be front and centre, the Pan American Food Festival promises to be a feast for the other senses as well. There will be plenty of live music and dance taking place both within host venue Daniels Spectrum and on the surrounding streets, as well as a photography exhibit featuring works from Pan American artists.

“We’ll have 30 performances with everything from salsa to mariachi to tango to merengue... a bit of everything,” Alvarez said. “Plus, we’ll have a series of indoor concerts in the evening.”

Highlights include performances by Latin Grammy nominee Caloncho, Dominican Bachata singer Chantel Collado and a Mexican folklore dance by the Mexicans Folk Ballet.

Guests can take part in dance workshops, a zumba class, a gardening workshop, kids’ art classes and more. The event’s diversity will be showcased with a Pan American Parade on Saturday, Aug. 1.

Pan American Food Festival organizers hope the recent Pan Am Games served to whet Torontonians’ appetites for the cultural flair found throughout the Americas.

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