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Think Globally, Eat Locally

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Toronto Board of Health Chair John Filion announced the successful applicants to the Toronto a la Cart street food program. The eight vendors will begin serving food at locations across the city this spring.

"The launch of this program marks an important moment in the cultural history of our city," said Councillor Filion. "The individuals selected, and the foods they will be serving, reflect the depth and breadth of Toronto's remarkable diversity. These vendors can also help change our food culture by demonstrating that fast food can be healthy, interesting and personal."

The vendors each passed through a tough competition that included rigourous nutrition, food safety, environmental and legal components as well as a food tasting judged by prominent local chefs Suman Roy, Brad Long, Joshna Maharaj and Oliver Li.

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Local Chef Suman Roy promised culinary excitement for residents and tourists alike. “I had the distinct privilege of being one of the four chefs who judged the food these talented men and women prepare,” said Chef Roy. “I can only say that the food was, without exception, interesting and delicious. This is a great step forward for the City of Toronto.”

Vendor Seemab Ahmad, who immigrated to Toronto from Pakistan in 2006, plans to bring the Central Asian rice dish Biryani to customers at Nathan Phillips Square. “When I heard about this program, I decided to apply because it posed such a delicate blend of challenges for a chef,” said Ahmad. “I thought my ethnic background, culinary skills, and restaurant experience could make a small contribution to this endeavour which will add variety to the street food currently available.”

The new vendors will be at the following locations:

Mel Lastman Square (Thai: Pad Thai with fresh rolls)
Metro Hall (Afghani/Central Asian: Chapli kebabs)
Nathan Phillips Square (Central Asian/Persian: Biryani)
Nathan Philips Square (Greek: Souvlaki)
Queen’s Park (Middle Eastern: Chicken/beef kebab wraps)
Roundhouse Park (Eritrean: Injera)
Yonge & Eglinton (Korean: Bulgogi with seasonal kimchi)
Yonge & St. Clair (Caribfusion: Jerk chicken)

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.