TORONTO - "Iron Chef" star Masaharu Morimoto will be debuting dishes from his first restaurant venture in Canada at a Toronto food festival next month.
The renowned Japanese chef, whose latest eponymous restaurant is set to open in the city's theatre district later this year, is joining more than 20 other culinary stars at Taste of Toronto.
Also at the fest will be Michelin-starred "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung, accompanied by his protege, "MasterChef Canada" season 1 winner Eric Chong. The pair opened R&D in April.
Restaurateurs and TV personalities from some of the city's hottest establishments will lend their star power to the second annual festival, including: Michael Bonacini of O&B fame and a judge on "MasterChef Canada"; "Top Chef Canada" season 2 winner Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station; and Mark McEwan of Fabbrica and One and head judge on "Top Chef Canada."
Rob Bragagnolo of bustling downtown Marben will preview new establishment Carver, set to open in the fall and focusing on locally sourced and naturally raised, slow-roasted meats.
Stuart Cameron from Byblos, Patria and Weslodge, as well as the Kinka Family of Guu Toronto and Kinton Ramen, return to the festival, slated to take place July 2-5 at historic Fort York.
Lynn Crawford will do demonstrations on behalf of Egg Farmers of Canada, Massimo Capra will present Galbani cheese, and sustainable seafood advocate Rick Moonen will appear with producer True North Salmon.
Festival goers can enjoy Morimoto's fusion of Japanese and western ingredients, exemplified in showcase dishes Uni Carbonara made with quail egg, smoked bacon and Parmesan, as well as Toro Tartare served with caviar, sour cream, wasabi and dashi soy.
Gourmands can sample dishes hot off the grill, like Byblos' charcoal lamb kofte and R&D's octopus with char-grilled choy sum chimichurri and yu heung eggplant.
Food lovers can look forward to Los Colibris' ceviche, Richmond Station's burger, the Drake Hotel's fish fry and Splendido's braised pork belly with peanuts and Thai basil.
Or enjoy a taste of summer with plates such as compressed watermelon and cucumber salad from Little Sister; crispy barbecue pork taco on jicama slaw from Barque; and grilled summer squash, coloured with pomegranate and pickled red onion from the Harbord Room and THR & Co.
Sweet tooths will drool over Montecito's vanilla panna cotta or Bosk's peaches and cream.
The concept for IMG's Taste Festivals began a decade ago in London, and they now run in 20 cities around the world, the organization said in a release.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit tasteoftoronto.com.