Last Sunday (April 28th) I went to the Gluten Free Garage event held in Toronto. It was the 2nd time this event was held and my first time going. Safe to say, it will not be the last time. I went with a friend (who recently made the jump to gluten-free) and by the time we left the event, neither one of us could stop saying how happy we were that we went (we were also incredibly full from all the free samples haha).
First off, the location and the weather were lovely. It was held at the Wychwood Barns, which is just a short walk from St. Clair West Subway station. It was very open and allowed much of the sun to shine in. The booths were still a bit crowded by all the people trying to get in and see what was being offered, but at least there was plenty of room to move around, especially if you stayed away from the tables (so if you wanted to get across the hall you weren’t forced to squeeze through people). I point this out because, although it was a good event, last year’s Gluten-Free Expo was held in one of the halls at the Doubletree Hotel and there were so many tables that the actual walking space was fairly small, thus making it hard to move around. So points to GF Garage for not over crowding the space with vendors (they had a few other vendors set up outside to help with the spacing).
Now for what most of you probably want to know about. Who was there and what was being offered. Now obviously I can’t mention all the vendors because I don’t know them all, but I will mention the ones that I have cards for and will include their websites.
Antipastos Kitchen – “Gluten free pastas. No wheat, corn, soy or rice. No additives, preservatives or artificial flavours.” (Rhi: I tried their lasagna, and it was pretty good. They have both frozen and fresh pasta and is worth checking out.) Website here.
Arvinda’s – “Artfully created Indian spice blends.” (Rhi: I’m always hesitant to buy spice blends because you never know for sure what is in them, so when I saw the words gluten free and all natural I thought I’d take a look. I ended up buying their butter chicken spice blend and their curry masala blend. All I can say is “yum!”) Website here.
Baldwin Street Gourmet Outlet Store – “Gluten free, fairy free, kosher.” (Rhi: I had their chicken hot dog and all beef hot dog and they were very good. Definitely plan on making a visit to their store soon.) Website here.
Frida Restaurant & Bar – Mexican Food (Rhi: Good Mexican food without having to go to Mexico. Need I say more?) Website here.
**Correction: Not a vendor at the event but Mad Mexican was. My apologizes for confusing the two. Here‘s the website for the Mad Mexican!**
Front Door Organics Inc – Fresh, local, organic produce delivered right to your door. (Rhi: If I lived in Toronto or Mississauga I would definitely sign up for this. You can sign up to have a box of produce delivered right to your door 1, 2, 3, or 4 times a month for less than $40 per box. Considering that it is for organic produce and includes delivery, I think that’s great. And it’s a good size box. They also include recipes in the box for the ingredients given. The boxes change weekly I believe. Or you can get a custom box for a bit more money. I definitely recommend checking out their website!!) Website here.
Gluten-Free Ontario – Celiac-friendly restaurants & bakeries (Rhi: a website listing all the gluten-free places to go to in Ontario!)
Website here. Blog here.
The Healthy Wine Agent – “Organic wines, spirits, beer, and gluten-free beer.” (Rhi: Look for Schnitzer Brau gluten-free beer made with 100% millet malt, no sorghum, at the Beer Store.) Website here.
Live on Chocolate – “Organic, fair trade handmade chocolate and desserts. Dairy, gluten, soy, corn, lactose, and egg free” (Rhi: I tried both the chocolate and raspberry power puddings. They were so good!!! Not too sweet or rich, just right.) Website here.
Mary Hulbert – “raw & vegan cuisine, culinary classes.” Website here.
I thought I collected more cards than that but I guess they walked away….If you go to the Gluten Free Garage website, they have a full list of all the vendors that attended.
As I said at the start of this post, my friend and I had a great time. Plenty of food to sample and to buy, and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I think they might be having another one later this year, and if that’s the case, I’ll be there!! I hope you find some of those websites of interest and, of course, if you find any other gluten-free events in the area be sure to let me know!!