Toronto’s 2024 Spice Food & Wine Festival on May 11 set to smash cultural barriers

First-ever outdoor ethnic food and wine fest will ‘change the diversity narrative forever’

Toronto, ON. Canada’s first-ever outdoor ethnic food and wine festival, Spring into Spice is returning to Toronto by popular demand. On Saturday May 11th from 12 noon – 10 PM, festival attendees will flock to Fort York national historic site to experience an unusual collision of diverse wines and far-flung food. Caribbean, African, Indian, Thai and Latin American cuisines will all be paired with a diverse range of wines, instead of the tradition of rum – something that may seem innocuous but is quite irregular, according to Toronto sommelier, Beverly Crandon. Ms. Crandon and her team from African-Caribbean and Latin roots aim to destroy preconceived and practiced wine and food notions with the Spring into Spice festival through education and while highlighting BIPOC, gender and diversity by including people of colour, female-led wineries and immigrant proprietors all who have a compelling story. The event is a jump-off point for many of the exhibitors highlighting their international cuisines and pairings and is the third in a series of vibrant GTA events that will break tradition and make wine accessible to all.

Saturday in the park: soul, sipping and spring sun

The event brings forty-five ethnic food vendors, wineries, and wine importers together in an open-air environment. While the hippest DJs play, attendees may walk and graze on a variety of international cuisines. Additionally, festival goers will have the opportunity to visit the wine tent to taste various wines paired with flavourful foods and have countless pairings at their fingertips using sample tickets. Event tickets are now on sale here; food & wine sample tickets can be purchased at checkout, or at the venue on the day of the event. Ticket options include: General Admission and a Mother’s Day Package; VIP Packages include: Premium Cabana for 10, VIP General and a Mother’s Day VIP Package.

“Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world with a tapestry of neighbourhoods,” explained Beverly Crandon, founder, Spring into Spice. “Many immigrant cultures have passionately brought their culinary traditions to the city. We are here to honour that with an inspired food and wine festival, which goes further than anything before.”

One of the common tropes in epicurean circles is that Caribbean cuisine does not pair with wine, as much as it does with rum and beer. According to Ms. Crandon, a sommelier, wine lover and marketing expert, these preconceived notions make wine much less approachable to first-and second-generation diaspora dwellers including Caribbean, Latin, African, and East Indian cultures.

The Spice Food & Wine Series is just that; a series of food and wine tastings that highlight the beauty in ethnicity, cuisine, and wine. Imagine choosing a wine made in Hungary and pairing it with an Eritrean dish, or a wine made in Burgundy, France, and pairing it with a plate from Trinidad. This embodies the Series — pairing the spices we love with the wines we love and building new and inclusive narratives around wine. For those interested in learning more about food and wine pairings, people can take advantage of the immersive seminars scheduled throughout the day.

Each year, the festival incorporates BIPOC artists into the program. For the past two years, it has supported a young artiste named Trenedee Watson by having her live paint and sell her festival-inspired work. This year, the festival has partnered with BAND Gallery.  Black Artists’ Networks in Dialogue (BAND) is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting, documenting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists and cultural workers in Canada, and internationally. BAND recognizes the need to provide a large-scale platform, such as theirs, for artists of colour who often get overlooked, especially early in their careers. As part of this exciting collaboration, BAND will showcase some of their artists, and host a unique pop-up experience which invites attendees to create their own artwork on-site — a rare opportunity to get “hands-on” to express one’s creativity at the heart of the festival.

“With Spring into Spice, Torontonians will be able to travel the world without leaving the city, let alone crossing oceans,” added Ms. Crandon. “Patrons will be able to buy a glass of wine and feel confident in pairing it with an international dish – a pairing they may have never imagined possible – and enjoy some music, express their creativity through art, engage with the community, then return home all in the span of a few hours.”

For more information visit and @springintospice.

Share this post

Start typing to see posts you are looking for.