Yum, Yum: Food Truck Eats

Toronto has long been home to a sinful trinity of street eats: hot dogs, French fries and ice cream. Yes, we love our street meat, and with hot dogs poised to be one of the foodie top trends this year, we say pass the ketchup.

Image via Toronto Star.
But, a new trend has hit the streets, putting the regular hot dog cart to shame. Food trucks have captured our hearts and stomachs with their sophisticated fare and rock bottom prices. While the mobile foodie trend has already taken root in the United States, as well as Niagara Falls, Hamilton and Newmarket, the roving eateries have hit the brakes on parking in this city until recently.

On Saturday, July 2, the first Toronto food truck festival caused serious traffic in the Distillery district as pedestrians swarmed the trucks looking to satisfy a sweet tooth or nibble on savoury gourmet creations.

The pretty trucks lined up outside.
Image source
Gorilla Cheese was there, sans wheels, serving up ooey-gooey sandwiches. We also adored Hamilton mobile newcomer The Cupcake Diner and her pink truck. Her cupcakes, including flavours from classic vanilla to caramel apple pie, were a hot commodity and sold out by noon.

Delicious cupcakes went like…hotcakes.

Niagara’s El Gastronomo Vagabundo was a popular choice, with lines-up snaking its way along the cobblestone. We were rewarded for our patience and perseverance in the form of “Buddha Belly” pork buns topped with cucumber and coriander. 


This little bun packed quite the tasty punch.

We can’t wait until the next food truck pit stop in Toronto! The hype is already building for part two which will be held on Saturday, August 20, and will feature our favourites from the first foodie frenzy as well as the addition of local smoked meat aficionado Caplansky’s. Until then, an office road trip might be in order – look out food trucks, here we come…

 

TIFF ’10: We’re Not Just Pretty: Victoria Gormley


Victoria Gormley studied communications and radio broadcasting at Fanshawe College. After graduating, she worked on-air on Easy Rock Q97.5. She then moved to Toronto and accepted a position at Alliance Atlantis (now, Alliance Films) as an assistant in their Home Video Marketing department. Shortly thereafter, Gormley was promoted to Publicity and Promotions Manager for Home Video.

In 2006, Gormley joined the Warner Bros. Canada theatrical team as Publicity and Promotions Manager (where she currently works).
“When away from the office, whilst still tied to my BlackBerry, I try to spend as much time with my family and friends as I can, with a few bottles of wine thrown in for good measure. Muskoka, re-runs of Law & Order, shoes, The Distillery District, and low-budget disaster movies are a few of my favourite things!”

Website: www.warnerbroscanada.com

How does your company leverage PR (i.e. to generate press, to build reputation, to manage crisis communications, etc)?
We leverage PR in a variety of different ways, all with the same goal in mind – to create early awareness and drive traffic to the theatres on opening weekend and beyond.

Our main focus is to maximize each and every press opportunity that comes our way, regardless of how likely we “think” it is to generate press activity – you’d be surprised what gets picked up, and in the same way, what is given a pass.

We also find that opinion makers have massively influenced consumer behavior, so building word of mouth is critical. One of the latest tools we’ve found success with is social networking. It’s allowed us to leverage our PR efforts in a far more savvy nature than traditional methods.

What qualities are most important to you when hiring a PR team member?
From my experience, PR has more to do with personality than scholastic achievement. Energetic, personable people determined to see results have typically been a successful hire. That being said, experience is always a huge asset.

Who is your mentor or professional in the industry you admire?
I don’t have any one mentor to mention, but have had the benefit and privilege of working with many highly exceptional people over the course of my career.

What are your feelings about how PR has been positioned in the media in more recent years, on popular TV shows (Melrose Place, Sex and The City, The Real L Word, The City, etc.)?
I think it’s great that the profession is being recognized in popular programs and that more people are exposed to the idea of having a career in PR. My only fear is that it glamorizes an industry that, let’s face it,  is generally not all glitz and glamour. I hope those entering the industry are doing so for the right reasons and won’t be too disappointed when they’re not given a clothing allowance or invited to Lake Como for a script reading with George Clooney.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for PR pros, both junior and senior?
Best advice I was ever given – be positive and offer ideas. The business needs fresh thoughts and the more quality ideas you offer, the more responsibility and recognition you’ll receive. (But also remember to be respectful of the tried and true methods that have proven successful).

Advice for all – The step & repeat is for the actors in the film – stop posing and get out of the shot! 😉

What do you love most about your job?
The content always changes and each film is its own product.

The challenge to respect each film and filmmaker’s work is interesting and exciting. We don’t always have to love the project, but we have to search for and ensure the best avenues to maximize awareness about the project.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: YouTube, The Hollywood Reporter, TMZ.com, The Onion, Go Fug Yourself, Funny or Die.
Designer: Nicole Miller, David Dixon, Kensie.
Store: The Bay (totally underrated), Want Boutique, BCBG.
Book: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Snack: Cereal (with as much artificial colour and flavouring as possible), and chocolate chip granola bars.
Season: Early fall.
Sexy: A great pair of heels.
Inspiration: My family, friends, and the idea of Freedom-45.
Drink: Hendricks & Tonic.
Motto in two words: Keep Going.
Idea of perfect happiness: Vodka Lemonade on a beach in Fiji.
Indulgence: Chicken Parm from Toni Bulloni’s, shoes and spa days.
Celebrity crush: Tom Hardy.

Rave: Lexus Live at The Distillery

To fully enjoy one of the last weekends of summer, we’re going to rock out at an amazing indie concert series, presented by Lexus. The Lexus Live event will be held all weekend (Friday, August 27 to Sunday, August 29) at the Distillery District (55 Mill St.), with four fantastic Canadian bands, for free!

The purpose behind pulling together this great concert? The worldwide launch of the tour for the new Lexus CT200h. This hot new hybrid car makes its debut in Toronto, with a prototype and “sophisticated virtual setting”, including an interactive iPad and digital display. 

We’re très excited for Montreal-based, Juno-winning The Stills tonight from 7 to 8 p.m.

The other bands are equally thrilling: Lily Frost and her lovely voice will take the stage Saturday afternoon, from noon to 1 p.m. You might recognize her as the singer and songwriter of the Being Erica theme song, All I Ever Wanted To Be.

The Midway State, who infamously leaked a Peter Gabriel cover with Lady Gaga last year, will perform Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m.

 

Finally, Paper Lions close out the concert series with a show on Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m. The P.E.I. band has won an East Coast Music Award, and we hope they’ll perform their tune, Travelling.

A cool car and hot bands? See you there! Be sweet and tweet – #lexuslive.

Photo credit: 
The Stills: themiddledistancerunner.wordpress.com
Lily Frost: lilyfrost.com
The Midway State: last.fm
Paper Lions: http://www.myspace.com/paperlionsmusic