If the late-summer heat has you craving refreshing, fruity dishes, then Toronto Chowfest on August 24 at Kalypso Hut in Mississauga is the perfect event for you. You can expect tasty Trinidad and Tobago-inspired dishes, live entertainment, DJs playing Caribbean music, and even kids play areas for the little ones. If relaxing and enjoying seasoned mango sounds like the perfect way to wrap up your summer, then you abso-fruitly need to attend this festival.
In this context, chow is, in the simplest terms, a dish of seasoned fruit. This local Trinidad staple has been passed down for generations and is now an integral part of the culture, Chowfest organizer Savannah Taylor tells Narcity.
"The most popular chow is mango but you can make chow out of any fruit. Especially more tropical or exotic fruits like pomerac, pommecythere (also known as golden apple), and even the cashew fruit," says Taylor.
Taking place just a couple of weeks after the annual Caribana festival in Toronto, event-goers will also have the chance to experience "liming" - a term that describes hanging out, drinking, and listening to music, explains Taylor.
"Toronto Chowfest is all about community. We strive to celebrate our Trinidad and Tobagonian culture and provide a laid-back environment for everybody to enjoy, Trinidadian or not," Taylor says. "'Liming' is a big thing in our culture... Trinis can lime anytime and anywhere. Seriously. Anytime!"
Adding to the appeal of Chowfest, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. on August 24, is that the event isn't set up at all like your typical festival, according to Taylor.
"We use a blockchain format where all 10 of our participating restaurants will be hosting their own limes the same time and day. Kalypso Hut in Mississauga is our judging point and we will be hosting the live entertainment (there)... However, we encourage our festival-goers to stop by any of our participating restaurants as well!"
A map of all participating restaurants can be found on the Chowfest website.
This year there will be five judges, including guest judge DJ Riyad from G98.7 FM, assessing the quality and uniqueness of each chow dish. The restaurant or individual with the best chow will be taking home a prize of $250.00.
If you think you've got what it takes, you can register online to compete for the prize as well!
Toronto Chow Fest
Location: Kalypso Hut, Mississauga
Price: Free Entry
Why you need to go: The culturally rich environment and delicious traditional fruit dishes are the perfect way to finish out the summer festival season.