What an honor to be the first American to take the stage at the Labatt sponsored Grilling Tent in Toronto last weekend. The tent is a lively and fun (and tasty) place to sit and enjoy a whole different facet of this long-established and flavorful event.
The organizers are thoughtful, super helpful and accommodating and made the experience ultra enjoyable for me all around. A few reasons why:
1. Communication by all those who were helping me was very good. They were all very available and forthcoming in their contacts and accessibility. From the very first emails with Courtney to Grilling Tent instructions from Jeremy to talking with Roger Mittag – Emcee for the tent to BeerRadio with Les Murray.
2. The assistance in the tent for my actual session (cooking with beer, I made 2 versatile sauces on the grill) of the Briquettes, Francesco, and sous chef Nicole. Literally, these fine people made it effortless and were extremely welcoming and helpful.
3. The Brewmasters Series tent and other educational opportunities were smart and well received features of the fest. I finally got to meet Roger of Thirst For Knowledge at this tent before his highly informative and fun Beer 101 class.
4. Meeting the other Grilling Tent personalities like Christian Pritchard, Matt & Hugo of Rock Lobster Food Company, Jeremy Parsons, Afrim of the Cheese Boutique, as well as Ted Reader. What a great bunch of fun loving, flavor loving, passionate beer and food folks.
5. The fest guests were all robustly having a grand time! Thanks to those who sat in on my session, the last one on the last day and shot me questions from the floor. I always say the guests make the party and I mean it. Shout out to Lisa & Steve whom I met in the Series session.
6. The host hotel, The Gladstone, was a funky and fun place to stay, assisted by Kalvin and crew. It was easy walking distance to the fest to some exercise to and fro was ideal to see more of the neighborhoods of Toronto.
What a thrill! I sincerely hope to return next year. Toronto has much to offer, beer wise, food wise, and people wise. Thanks Beerlicious and everyone who made the visit for WEB all the more eye opening and delicious.