Weekly Toronto Food & Drink Event Pick: CNE Aug 21-Sept 7

For some people, the Canadian National Exhibition is all about the rides, buildings and games.

For others, it’s all about the food and drinks.

This year the Canadian National Exhibition, which opens Friday, August 21st, has a host of food and drink events and offerings:

Food Truck Frenzy is back this year (Aug 28-30) with trucks including Chimney Stax, Gorilla Cheese, Hogtown Smoke, Food Dudes and Frankie Fettuccine.

- And this year, there’s an added bonus of Craft Beer Fest happening simultaneously with the food trucks (Aug 28-30). 11 brewers will have their local brews available for sampling.  Sip on beers from Beaus All Natural Brewing Company, Old Tomorrow Brewery, Sawdust City Brewing Company, and Underdogs Brewing Company.

-  RibFest (Aug 21-Sept 7) has always been a hit. Since its launch back in 2007, pitmasters have been showcasing their very best ribs, wings, and other meats. This year , they’re competing for "Best Rib Recipe." But the best thing about RibFest this year? It’s going to be open every day of the CNE from 11am-11pm, and it’s licensed.

- The lineup of chefs this year is impressive – Chef Lynn Crawford (Aug 21), John Higgins (Aug 23), Chuck Hughes (Aug 29) and La-toya Fagon (Aug 31) and many, many more. This is your chance to meet your idols and learn an impressive thing or two to make in your own kitchen.

The Food Building is as iconic as the CNE itself. And while you can indulge in deep-fried snacks, sugary sweets, chocolate desserts, and extreme foods, there are many healthy options and ones that adhere to a variety of dietary restrictions such as dairy/ gluten/peanut free, halal, vegetarian and raw selections.

So go ahead and dive into sweet and sour pork, fudge, roti, perogies, deep-fried ravioli, butter chicken, fresh squeezed lemonade,  fish and chips, poutine, smoked meat sandwich, burger, waffle, mac and cheese, whole deep-fried onion, deep-fried chocolate bar, deep-fried butter, spaghetti, pizza and hot dog, to name just a few items.

You’ve got 18 days and 192-acres to cover. You’ve better start early.