From now until this Sunday, stop by the Toronto Congress Centre to enjoy all things sweet, baked, and delightful.
I was at the Baking and Sweets Show yesterday where I sampled lots of delectable cakes, squares, tarts, cupcakes, chocolates, macarons,… and loads more! It was certainly a sugar- high of a day!
Not only were there desserts to devour, but plenty of fantastic equipment and kitchen gear to stock up on. Best of all, the prices during the show’s run are pretty much unbeatable– and the quality– pretty much jaw dropping. In fact, I found my a few of favourite brands of chocolate and cocoa powder there for fantastic prices. (Callebaut and Guittard.. they were just missing Valrohna!.. My holy Trinity!)
Speaking of being kitchen equipped, I saw the new line of Baking gear from Buddy Valastro that Canadian Tire will be offering to all of us fine Canadian Folks. The quality of the devices looked quite durable and as I was reading a few of the labels, the wooden spoons I saw were made of just that– the real deal– rather than being diluted with a cheaper substance.
In addition to filling your bellies at the show, you can also partake in a few of their informative workshops and even try your hand as an assistant. There are a number of stages at the show that will fit whatever you’re hankering to learn about (i.e. decorating, fondant, exotic ingredients,etc)
Kids will also be pleased to know that there’s an Easy Bake Area for them too! They can be artists to their own cupcake and decorate it to their heart’s content.
Keeping in line with the Alice in Wonderland Theme, I saw a series of cakes that were in a word… breathtaking. They are truly a sight to behold! All the intricate details: from Alice to the Cheshire cat– you must go and see for yourself in person what I’m referring to.
I had an opportunity to speak with Master French Chef Christian Faure who has cooked for royalty and worked alongside some of the greats (i.e. Alain Ducasse) as well as Brian Emmett, winner of The American Baking Competition 2013 on CBS who was Crowned Americas Top Amateur Baker.
Here is a recap of my mini Q&A with Chef Faure. (*There was a bit of a language barrier– aka fail on my lack of remembering my French!.. so Emilie Cobbold, one of the staff members, was fortunately– on hand to do the interpretation)
After traveling around the world cooking and making pastries/desserts for the like of the Prince of Monaco, to the royal family in numerous Arab countries, to offering his showstopping art and chocolate works in the VIP village at the Vancouver and Salt Lake City Olympic Games, he began teaching at the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa. This year, he decided to make the jump and open his own Culinary School in Montreal: Maison Christian Faure. The school offers both formal training and workshops for those who simply wish to make it a pastime or learn about Baking and Pastries in general. If the macarons with soft chocolate ganache are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the talents he has to offer, I think you’ll all be in for a treat if you choose to participate in one of his classes. Make sure to drop by, say hi to him, and pick up a sample treat.
Brian Emmett is a friendly and charming person. Although we only had time to speak over the phone, he had a warmth and presence which allowed me to understand why everyone
A few things to note from our chat:
– He began Baking when he was 6 years old.. and as an adult, he enjoyed baking for his friends and family as a host and entertainer when they held house parties and dinners.
– With his newfound fame, his desire is to continue with his passions in baking– whether it’s hosting baking classes or teaching
– With his $250,000 winnings, most of it has gone into savings (*it was his wife’s choice 🙂 )
– He is writing a Book (Yay!). It will be published by Simon & Schuster. Look out for it in bookstores soon.
– His favourite thing to bake is a mascarpone cheesecake. He also mentioned that he makes a divine strawberries and cream version, as well as caramel apple. All renditions sounded drool worthy.
– The sugar he uses? Redpath, but of course 😉
– Why is he attending the show? He wants to inspire people to get into the kitchen and continue to bake for pleasure and fun. Also, when you are passionate about something and persevere, you can acheive anything (Emmett won despite a severe injury to his ankle– he fractured it and throughout the competition had to go for therapy. In spite of this roller coaster experience, he was still able to come out on top and crowned the champion
-Tell me one quirky fact: Brian loves to vacuum. His favourite brands include Bissell, Dyson, and Kenmore
To purchase tickets, visit their website: http://www.canadasbakingandsweetsshow.com/buy-tickets