Commercial Kitchen Equipment Auction at The Careport Expo Centre

Calling all Restaurants, Caterers and Serious Foodies!

The Careport Expo Centre is hosting a Commercial Kitchen Equipment Auction on Wednesday November 14, 2012. Quality equipment for amazing prices!

 

Commercial Kitchen Equipment Auction at The Careport Expo Centre

Commercial Kitchen Equipment Auction at The Careport Expo Centre

For a complete auction listing including photos, please visit Commercial Kitchen Equipment Auction at The Careport Expo Centre

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New Location, But Same Great Taste!

7th Annual Food & Drink Fest...the Festival with Taste moves to The Careport Centre

 7th Annual Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste has a New Location.

March 23, 24, & 25, 2012~The Careport Centre, Hamilton

2012’s Festival with Taste is excited to announce their move to The Careport Centre, located at 170 Longwood Road South in McMaster Innovation Park Hamilton, Ontario. While the team at Food & Drink Fest is sad to say goodbye to their home at Copps Colsieum, we felt it was time to take the plunge and move the event to the bigger and more functional Careport Centre. There will be many advantages that come with moving the event to The Careport Centre, which is the region’s largest up and coming trade show and convention facility. Some of those advantages include:

  • FREE Parking for both exhibitors and customers
  • Over 30,000 square feet of extra space. (allowing exhibitors to expand their presence at the show)
  • Everything will be on one floor and in one space
  • More loading docks and easier access for exhibitors to load-in and load-out
  • Ability to handle an increase in attendance while at the same time making larger and more comfortable aisles
  • Larger indoor crunch area for Food & Drink goers if lines get large. (Very important in inclement weather!)
  • Ability to move people faster into the show. (Helping to minimize wait times at rush hours and gives our Food & Drink guests the best experience possible)
  • Easy access off of Hwy 403 for exhibitors and consumers coming in locally and  from out of town,
  • Much more flexibility to evolve the event while still maintaining an intimate, interesting and fun atmosphere
  • Very accessible public transportation to the facility
  • In walking distance for visitors and university faculty and students that reside in the west end and downtown core of Hamilton.

The team has already begun the exhibitor rebooking process and several of Food & Drink culinary attractions have returned! Such fan favs as La PiazzaRidge Road WineryHot MamasBig Rock BreweryTwisted LemonMy ThaiCreemore SpringsWellington Brewery,Caroline CellarsDymentsVineland Estates, Cupcake Diner  and many more have already reserved their booth locations for Food & Drink Fest 2012.

All and all Food & Drink Fest 2012 is already promising to be another fun, delicious night on the town! Be sure to come and visit us at our new digs: The Careport Centre, March 23, 24, & 25, 2012

For Consumer or Exhibit Information, please feel free to contact Shannon or Jennifer at any time

7th Annual Food & Drink Fest…the Festival

March 23, 24 & 25, 2012

The Careport Centre, Hamilton, Ontario

P: 905-524-3689

info@FoodandDrinkFest.com

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

www.TheCareportCentre.com 

Dessert Hors d’oeuvres

People normally don’t think about dessert as a go-to appetizer choice, but I definitely live by the mantra “eat dessert first”!

With the holiday season upon us and our calendars filling up with office pot lucks and house parties; everyone is scrambling to find something easy and delicious to proudly present as your contribution to the party. While pig in a blanket or frogs in a blunder are very popular and delicious choices to bring, why not try bringing a sweet dessert hors d’oeuvre? It stands out in the crowded world of finger foods and supplies the much needed sugar rush before the main course is served.

Here are two of my recent dessert hors d’oeuvre favs:

Salty Sweets

Salty-Sweet Treats

Salty-Sweet Treats

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350 and grease a 13 X 9 pan (approx. size)
  • Layer your pan with either gram cracker squares or saltine crackers (I would recommend using a double layer of the saltines)
  • Sprinkle your base evenly with whatever toppings you want! I find nuts work best (pecans, almonds or pralines). I usually do a cup of whatever toping a choose, then set aside
  • Over medium heat, melt together 3/4-1cup of butter with 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • Once the butter/sugar mixture has been combined, evenly drizzle the entire mixture over your pan
  • Pop your pan in the oven for 8-10 min and you are done!
  • I would recommend you don’t let the dessert sit for too long in the pan, and it does get fairly sticky. Chop them up on squares, trianglesor other interesting bite-sized shapes.  The combo of the crispy caramelization of the butter and sugar with the saltiness of the cracker and nuts is heaven!

The Hello Dolly Bar Rip Offs

  • Pre-heat your oven to 375 and grease a 9 X 9 pan
  • Your Base: mix together 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4-1/2 cup of melted butter. Evenly pat down into the bottom of the pan
  • Now just add layers…..
  • Cover the graham cracker bottom with 1 cup of walnuts (toast them for extra flavour)
  • Then add a 1 cup layer of coconut
  • Add a layer of 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Lastly, smother the layers with a can of condensed milk
  • Thrown it in the oven and bake for approximately 45min, or till the edges are golden brown and the centre looks set. You are done!
  • Chop them in bite sizes pieces and serve them up to your friends and family. They are a delight!

This holiday season indulge in the lifestyle of “Eat Dessert First!” The great thing about these recipes is you are serving them in appetizer portion sizes, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your waistline!

Happy baking!

Shannon

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

6th Annual Food & Drink Fest…the Fesitval with Taste!

April 8, 9 & 10, 2011 ~ Copps Colisuem

Hamilton’s Best Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza, I mean seriously? As a pizza lover, I’ve discovered there are different types of pizza cravings…and I’m not talking about craving different toppings people. I’m talking about the need for a delicious gooey take out pizza you pair with a beer while watching bad TV, or the hankering for a “hungry man” deep-dish pie. Maybe you get the creative itch to experiment with a DIY homemade pizza crust and unique toppings, or to indulge your taste buds in an authentic gourmet Italian thin crust pizza…And if you are craving any one one of these type of pizza, another type isn’t going to cut it, ya know?  Thankfully, there are a  ton of amazing pizzerias in Hamilton that cater to all my pizza needs.  Here are a few of my favs from each category.  Do you agree with my choices?

The Ultimate Take-Out/Comfort Food Pizza: Bronzies Place on James St S.

  • Bronzies is just a little hole in the wall that was been there forever! Staff is no nonsense and efficient, the portions are huge, homemade, traditional  and the ultimate comfort food that just warms your soul. The sauce has a great oregano kick to it that makes it quite unique.
  • Tip: If you are ordering take out, ask for the pizza to be “Crispy Bottom”. Sometimes I find the takeout isn’t was well cooked as when you eat in. Crispy Bottom takes care of that issue.  If you like olives on your pizza, the ones they use are good, but overly salty.

The Hungry Man Pizza: Chicago Style Pizza, Upper Sherman.  If you are hungry and only if you are hungry, order the Stuffed Pizza (I mean, come on! It’s what they are known for;)) I personally like The Shack Special, but they have an endless amount of toppings to choose from

Tips: Be prepared to wait both for takeout or dining in, as they are a bit on the slow side (The Pizza Pie takes about 1/2 hour to cook, but is worth the wait) and there usually is a lineup.  Avoid Friday and Saturday nights.  If you are dining in, there is no privacy as the place is very tiny! Don’t allow your eyes to be bigger than your stomach! Even when we order a medium, we still leave with a doggy bag.

DIY Pizza Crust: There are a ton of pizza crust recipes out there but one of my favourites is  from “The Best of Bridge” Series Cookbooks. Its quick, easy and the dough is really easy to work with.  I’ve used this recipe to make thin crust, regular and even substituted in whole wheat flour and each time the pizza has come out divine!

Tips: I forgo the pizza pan and instead sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal on my pizza stone and cook from there.  I also add a little cheddar to the mozzarella for a sharp taste

Gourmet Italiano: La Cantina Ristorante Italiano, Hamilton.  All of their pizza dough is homemade with distilled water, sea salt and is made in their wood-oven pizzette. I have tried about 95% of the pizzas on their menu and I really don’t have anything to say but yummmmmmm.  While all pizzas are mouth wateringly fantastic,  I do have a couple preferences:

  • Pomodoro Pizza: The San Marco or the Diavola (my boyfriend loves the Candese Pizza but subs the mushrooms for hot peppers)
  • Bianco Neve Piazza: The Adriatico (sub the cucumbers for hot peppers)
  • Tips: Order a Long Island Iced Tea (Refreshing and tart…not overly sweet) and start it off with a great De Giardino or a Caprese Salad!

Bagels, Bagels & More Bagels

Ran out and grabbed a quick lunch with Stacey today from the family owned Locke St Bakery. Locke St New York style bagels are baked daily and on-site.  Locke Street Bakery is one of our favourite grab-and-go lunch choices and the ladies behind the counter can attest to this since they know our orders off by heart due to very frequent visits.  Not only are the bagels always fresh, they are also preservative-free and contain 0 trans fat.  There is always an abundance & diverse array of luscious topping, which the Bakery staff are always very generous with then making your sandwich (Stacey always says I end up having a full salad on my veggie bagel…which is another reason we usually take it to go….it can be pretty messy to eat in public).  The veggie with cheddar cheese on a cheddar & herb bagel is my regular order and Stacey loves the BCT (bacon, cheddar and tomato) on the cheddar & herb bagel.  If we are having a bad day, we opt for the Cinnamon Sugar bagel with peanut butter…it makes all the world’s worries disappear for a while.

Stacey's Bacon, Cheddar & Tomato on Cheddar & Herb Begal

Stacey's Bacon, Cheddar & Tomato on Cheddar & Herb Begal

 

 

Tips for getting the full Locke St experience

1) Walk: The street is centrally located and beautiful to window shoppe on, since there are so many unique stores.  Plus finding parking is often frustrating unless you park on a side street

2) On Mondays, Wednesday & Fridays the serve Java Vanilla Coffee.  Remember that Cinnamon Sugar begal I told you about?  Perfect pairing!

The Gals from Locke Street Bakery & Bagel...always smiling!

The Gals from Locke Street Bakery & Bagel...always smiling!

 

 

3) There is often a line up out the door, so if you are going for lunch, I would recommend going around 1pm to avoid the long line ups. However, if you are there for the lunchtime or breakfast rush, you certainly won’t have a shortage of entertainment.  The bakery is always hoping with people and their little dogs, babies, as well as school aged kids, singing staff members, young professionals and I have even run into some of the cities best musicians grabbing a cup of joe. So get ready to take in the people watching sights, offer a friendly smile and start a conversation with a complete stranger.  Locke Street Bakery is like our little utopia that we can briefly escape to before heading back to the world of event planning.  It feels like that place where everybody knows your name….

Locke Street Bakery & Bagel

Locke Street Bakery & Bagel

 

 

 

 

Hamilton Needs a Signature Sandwich

The Philly Cheese Steak. Montreal Smoked Meat. The Pittsburgh Sandwich. The Hamilton ___________(Fill in the blank)?  I don’t know what kind of sandwich it should be or what it should be called, but the city of Hamilton, Ontario needs a signature sandwich for residence and tourists to enjoy!

My memories of every place I have ever visited and my desire to recommend that place or to possibly plan a return visit is largely based on the food I experienced while there. When I have visited places like Montreal, the 4 inch pile of old fashioned smoked meat on a rye, otherwise known as the Montreal Smoked, from Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Deli is a “Must-Have” on the Montreal to do list.  Like any visitor to the city known as Canada’s Cultural Capital; I wanted to immerse myself in all that is Montreal. Believe it or not; standing in the never ending line at Schwartz’s to wait for that smoked meat, getting yelled at by the cantankerous owner taking orders and then eating the sandwich over a crowded cafeteria style table, elbow to elbow with numerous strangers, is one of my favourite memories of Montreal. Unlike the more cliché “been there and bought the t-shirt” tourist experiences, a visitor biting into a Montreal Smoked Meat or any other city’s sandwich, is like getting off the tourist’s beaten path to begin to experience the yummy, messy, sticky, glorious mess of a culture that can be found between the two pieces of artisan bread (or Wonderbread…depending on which city you are visiting;)).  While it doesn’t seem like much; a city’s sandwich is a small, teasing taste of what that entire city has to has to offer.

We all know that the memories associated with the “bought the t-shirt” experience only re-emerge when said t-shirt is dug out of the back of the closet to wear to the gym; but chowing down on a scrumptious sandwich in a foreign city is an experience that can never be buried in the back of your mind like the t-shirt was buried in the back of the closet. Indulging in a city’s sandwich never occurs without an unforgettable story or without good company. In addition, The Sandwich Experience also triggers the two senses that are most closely linked to memory: taste and smell.  Thinking about Montreal Smoked Meat creates a mouth watering, stomach growling reaction that makes me want to pack my bags and jump in the car just so I can experience The Sandwich all over again. Sure, I could get a smoked meat in my own backyard, but Montreal created an experience for me that can never be duplicated.  I personally want visitors to Hamilton to have the same experience and memories of our city as I have of Montreal. Why not attempt to place Hamilton in the hearts of tourists through their stomachs?  I hear it works on men, so why not try it on the tourist industry as a whole!

A city’s sandwich also offers a sense of civic pride and unity. Whether residents of a city like/eat the sandwich or not; that sandwich represents them and tells a tasty story of who that community was and where they came from.  For instance, The Pittsburgh Style Sandwich was created out of necessity so the thousands of steel workers and truck drivers could eat their entire lunch in one hand so their other hand was free to work.  Even though Pittsburh has evolved from being known as just a Steel Town, the sandwich remains a feature on many restaurant menus. With the Signature Sandwich idea, the legacy and history of a community is not shown through buildings, war or industry (old or new) but through something that nourishes, that was artfully and organically created by the people, delights the senses and can be enjoyed socially by members of that community and its visitors.

That being said, I don’t know what I would want to represent “Hamilton on a Bun”.  I do know that Hamilton and the surrounding region have an abundance of fresh, eclectic, delicious and locally grown ingredients to build a great sandwich.  From the farmers market downtown and throughout the city, delicious local delis like Greensville Gourmet, Reardon’s or Beach Road, fresh, worldly cheese like Salerno

Hamilton Needs a Sandwich

Hamilton Needs a Sandwich!

& Sam’s, and being the largest producer of mustard in the entire world; I think Hamilton could make a pretty kick-ass sandwich! Come to think of it, Hamilton is the 3rd most ethnically diverse city in Canada, so we may need to have a couple of different sammy’s to really represent. Hamilton was once known as the ambitious city, but we lost that for a while.  However, with that buzz, spirit and excitement is back in the air; whatever Hamilton’s signature sandwich ends up being, I’m sure it will be a delectable and hearty handful….and mouthful!