When citizens of a city put on their fancy clothes for a swanky food festival, there are certain expectations: That it will be packed, that it will be delicious, and that there will be some really strange things served. Every one of these assumptions rang true at Second Harvest's 22nd annual Toronto Taste event last Sunday, held to raise funds for more than 700,000 meals to be served to those in need.

Supported by the Daniels Corporation, with tickets selling for $250 a pop, Toronto Taste showcased the wares of 60 of the city's top food purveyors, and 30 beer and wine companies -- though with 11,000 restaurant options in the city, it's no surprise those participating tended to be from the upper end of the price scale. Auctions, both silent and live, and one ongoing online, put more in Second Harvest's charitable pot, all the while feeding over a thousand guests some truly surprising food.

Pork was a major theme throughout, served in steamed buns, as sliders, in grilled cheese, and as straight-up porchetta sandwiches. Some vegetarian options did eke through, however, like chilled pea soup, and a marinated tofu on brioche to challenge the other sandwiches, while ramps and fiddleheads were added to quite a few (non-vegetarian) options. Seafood also took a fair amount of attention, with almost every form of crustacean and fish handed out, either raw (as sashimi) or delicately paired with veggies like fennel to complement the dish.

But the most talked-about offering of the evening was the black bear being served by Petite Thuet -- an animal shot by chef Marc Thuet himself. A smokey, not unpleasant option, it probably isn't going to be hitting menus anytime soon -- all the more reason for its popularity at Toronto Taste.

So what exactly does a taste of Toronto look like? Take a look at 50 dishes from the night -- and prepare to salivate.

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  • Dufflet Pastries

    <b>What</b>: Maple caramel budina<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.dufflet.com/home.asp" target="_hplink">Dufflet Pastries</a>

  • Dufflet Pastries

    <b>What</b>: Milk chocolate peanut butter and jam balls<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.dufflet.com/home.asp" target="_hplink">Dufflet Pastries</a>

  • The County General

    <b>What</b>: Steamed pork belly buns with kimchi<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://thecountygeneral.ca/" target="_hplink">The County General</a>

  • Union 72

    <b>What</b>: Steak tartare with a pickle and house-made hot sauce<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.union72.ca/" target="_hplink">Union 72</a>

  • BeerBistro

    <b>What</b>: Berkshire pork, smoked and braised in barbecue sauce with a blanche de chamblay, served with Dutch gouda on a buttermilk bun. It was being served alongside a Mad Tom IPA.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.beerbistro.com/" target="_hplink">BeerBistro</a>

  • Thompson Diner

    <b>What</b>: Grilled flank steak, served with a baby beets and goat cheese salad, topped with an apple cider vinaigrette<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.thompsondiner.com/" target="_hplink">Thompson Diner</a>

  • Centro

    <b>What</b>: A seafood salad, consisting of octopus, shrimp, mussels, scallops, oven-dried tomatoes, fennel and finished with fried garlic<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://centro.ca/" target="_hplink">Centro</a>

  • Ace Bakery Artisan Breads

    <b>What</b>: Italian Flag Tramezzino on Pane di Liguria (a new ciabatta bread Ace was offering at the event), made with salami al prosciutto from Niagara Food Specialties and Quebec Fontina from the Cheese Boutique.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://acebakery.com/" target="_hplink">Ace Bakery</a>

  • Boehmer

    <b>What</b>: A pork slider with a wild leek and piri piri mustard<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.boehmer.ca/chef's_philosophy" target="_hplink">Boehmer</a>

  • Corner House

    <b>What</b>: Local roasted leg of lamb served on a red-skin grilled rosemary potato with a fruit stew and smoked chipotle drizzle<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.cornerhouse.sites.toronto.com/" target="_hplink">Corner House</a>

  • Great Cooks On Eight

    <b>What</b>: Tomato-braised oxtail on a quinoa and arugula cake<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.greatcooks.ca/" target="_hplink">Great Cooks On Eight</a>

  • Aria

    <b>What</b>: Smoked duck, fresh pea marscapone and freeze-dried pea risotto<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://ariaristorante.ca/" target="_hplink">Aria</a>

  • e11even

    <b>What</b>: Nova Scotia lobster roll on a top-cut hot dog bun with iceberg lettuce<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.e11even.ca/" target="_hplink">e11even</a>

  • Oro

    <b>What</b>: Butter-poached octopus and Niagara chorizo in a vegetable ragout with a little smoked paprika<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.ororestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Oro</a>

  • Ruth's Chris

    <b>What</b>: A USDA prime tenderloin<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.ruthschris.com/Steak-House/3877/Toronto" target="_hplink">Ruth's Chris</a>

  • Rodney's Oyster House

    <b>What</b>: "R.O.D. Dukes" oysters, from Rodney's Oyster Depot in Prince Edward Island<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.rodneysoysterhouse.com/" target="_hplink">Rodney's Oyster House</a>

  • Rodney's Oyster House

    <b>What</b>: The "sea dog," a combination of lobster and sea scallops, topped with a tequila mustard, smoked tomato ketchup and wild Halliburton ramp relish<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.rodneysoysterhouse.com/" target="_hplink">Rodney's Oyster House</a>

  • Buca

    <b>What</b>: Prosciutto d'Alce (aged 16 months) served with mustard, radish, spiked mascarpone and pistachio<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.buca.ca/" target="_hplink">Buca</a>

  • Cafe Belong

    <b>What</b>: Ground pork, rhubarb, pickled ramps, morel mushrooms and sheep's yogurt served on a buttermilk biscuit<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.cafebelong.ca/" target="_hplink">Cafe Belong</a>

  • Little Anthony's

    <b>What</b>: House-made lamb sausage on date soda bread, with Jerusalem artichoke crisp, pickled onion and "made with 95% love, 5% anger," according to chef Aaron Foster<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://littleanthonysrestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Little Anthony's</a>

  • Woodlot

    <b>What</b>: Marinated tofu on brioche<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.woodlotrestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Woodlot</a>

  • Scaramouche

    <b>What</b>: Seared yellow fin tuna on a taro root crisp with fava bean<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.scaramoucherestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Scaramouche</a>

  • Globe Bistro and Earth

    <b>What</b>: Sunchoke vichyssoise made with sunflower earth and sorrel<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.globebistro.com/" target="_hplink">Globe Bistro</a> and <a href="http://www.globeearth.ca/" target="_hplink">Globe Earth</a>

  • Epic

    <b>What</b>: Sous vide Arctic char over an organic quinoa and wild rice salad, served with celery cress puree, bay oil, crispy chickpeas and pickled pear<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.epicrestaurant.ca/" target="_hplink">Epic</a>

  • Frank at AGO

    <b>What</b>: Churro with salted dulce de leche and chocolate sauce, originally tossed in cinnamon sugar<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.ago.net/frank" target="_hplink">Frank</a>

  • Salt Wine Bar

    <b>What</b>: Lamb taco with confit garlic aioli and pickled fennel<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://saltrestaurant.ca/" target="_hplink">Salt Wine Bar</a>

  • Chiado

    <b>What</b>: Baked skate fish with a lobster saffron veloute<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.chiadorestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Chiado</a>

  • Mark McEwan's Fabbrica/North 44/Bymark/ONE/McEwan

    <b>What</b>: Grilled crostini with whipped fresh ricotta, mint and citrus, a lamb bouillabaisse with chickpea and fennel<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.bymark.ca/" target="_hplink">Mark McEwan</a>

  • Nota Bene

    <b>What</b>: Cumbrae farms chuck and brisket burger with braised shortrib and crema on a poppyseed bun<b> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://notabenerestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Nota Bene</a>

  • Sotto Sotto

    <b>What</b>: Porchetta sandwich, served with Dijon mustard or homemade chili oil (made by the owner's mother)<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.sottosotto.ca/" target="_hplink">Sotto Sotto</a>

  • Ciao Wine Bar

    <b>What</b>: Chianti-braised shortribs on a gorgonzola polenta with crispy onions<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.ciaowinebar.com" target="_hplink">Ciao Wine Bar</a>

  • Harvest Kitchens

    <b>What</b>: A play on macarons, these "Louisiana macarons" represent the Asian element in the taste. This "Pinoy" is made of Chinese five-spice biscuits with confit duck tongue and black garlic pate.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://secondharvest.ca/harvest-kitchens" target="_hplink">Harvest Kitchens</a>, a part of Second Harvest that trains adults and youths in food preparation, and readies meals to distribute to Second Harvest partners, like the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club

  • Harvest Kitchens

    <b>What</b>: This "Lousiana macaron," the "Bayou" consists of Andouille-spiced biscuits with roasted frog leg and palm heart pate.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://secondharvest.ca/harvest-kitchens" target="_hplink">Harvest Kitchens</a>

  • Far Niente

    <b>What</b>: The restaurant's take on a BLT, the sandwich consists of an in-house confit pork belly with smoked tomato jam, baby gem lettuce, rocket and argyle -- and to make up for not being able to saute indoors, they added a chicharon pork rind.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.farnienterestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Far Niente</a>

  • C5

    <b>What</b>: BBQ pork steam buns made with carrots, red peppers, pickle shiitake, diakon and cilantro.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.c5restaurant.ca/" target="_hplink">C5</a>

  • Estiatorio VOLOS

    <b>What</b>: A dolmata of arborio rice with a brandy macerated raisin and wrapped in a grape leaf, brined in chicken stock and lemon, and topped with tzatziki<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://volos.ca/" target="_hplink">Volos</a>

  • George

    <b>What</b>: Cobia sashimi on top of an avocado and quinoa summer roll<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.georgeonqueen.com/" target="_hplink">George</a>

  • Pauline's Pastries

    <b>What</b>: Carrot cake with a cream cheese topping<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.paulinespastries.com/" target="_hplink">Pauline's Pastries</a>

  • Linda Modern Thai

    <b>What</b>: Curry, three ways, including a curry shrimp cocktail with Thai yellow curry, a vegetarian yuba dumpling with Thai sour curry, and a crispy beef wrap with a curry tortilla and Thai panang curry<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.lindarestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Linda Modern Thai</a>

  • Tundra

    <b>What</b>: A lobster salad with truffle potato foam with a bacon bone marrow vinaigrette<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://tundra.sites.toronto.com/" target="_hplink">Tundra</a>

  • Scarpetta

    <b>What</b>: Three takes on fish: Fluke crudo with yuzu cucumber, trout tartare with fiddleheads, and yellowtail -- accompanied by radish and pickled ramp.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/toronto/thompson-toronto/eat/scarpetta" target="_hplink">Scarpetta</a>

  • L'Unita

    <b>What</b>: Rhubarb and fennel zeppole<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.lunita.ca/" target="_hplink">L'Unita</a>

  • Petite Thuet

    <b>What</b>: Black bear on bread -- the animal was shot by Chef Thuet himself.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.petitethuet.com/" target="_hplink">Petite Thuet</a>

  • Petite Thuet

    <b>What</b>: 72-hour braised pork belly with house-made teriyaki and Asian mayo with arugula, served on a beignet<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.petitethuet.com/" target="_hplink">Petite Thuet</a>

  • Sassafraz

    <b>What</b>: Pulled pork grilled cheese made with a four-year-old cheddar and manchego and served on sourdough bread<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.sassafraz.ca/" target="_hplink">Sassafraz</a>

  • Sodexo

    <b>What</b>: The food service company, which has partnered with chef Michael Smith, created crusted venison with a risotto cake and cranberry chutney, topped with crispy shallots.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.sodexo.ca/" target="_hplink">Sodexo</a>

  • Grano

    <b>What</b>: Hand-made bufala ricotta and whole what cavatelli (served with prosciutto, for those who wished)<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.grano.ca/" target="_hplink">Grano</a>

  • Indian Rice Factory

    <b>What</b>: One of the few vegetarian options, with a traditional rice dish.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.indianricefactory.com/" target="_hplink">Indian Rice Factory</a>

  • Ruby Watchco

    <b>What</b>: Chicken liver parfait with spreads: beetroot marmalade, bacon and caramelized onion jam or a summer berry compote.<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://rubywatchco.ca/" target="_hplink">Ruby Watchco</a>

  • Pangaea

    <b>What</b>: A chilled pea soup with goat cheese and lime sorbet -- all made in-house-- and a cured lardo<br> <b>From</b>: <a href="http://www.pangaearestaurant.com/Welcome.html" target="_hplink">Pangaea</a>

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