Back for its fifth year, Halal Food Fest expects over 35,000 visitors from July 15-16
Toronto’s Halal Food Fest (HFFTO), the largest halal food festival in North America, is coming back to the city for its fifth year from Saturday, July 15 to Sunday, July 16, 2017 at The International Centre in Mississauga. Representing cuisines from around the world, guests will enjoy unique offerings from over 100 of Toronto’s best halal restaurants, bakeries, specialty stores, and manufacturers. As the largest event to date, the annual two day food festival is expecting over 35,000 visitors this year, bringing foodies together from Toronto and beyond to celebrate the city’s diversity.
This year’s HFFTO will feature established and up-and-coming food exhibitors, in-house chefs, and guest chefs, including Amanda Saab, past contestant on MasterChef on Fox, and Jeremy McLellan, a comic hailing from South Carolina. Notable exhibitors and dishes include include butter chicken and waffles from Messy’s Sandwiches, who will also be bringing back their popular nihari sliders, a Unicorn Cronut from The Pastry Shop, and authentic Jamaican halal cuisine from Rose’s Kitchen. Guests can also enjoy stage shows, including the popular Cake Walk hosted by comedian Aman Ali, with special guest judges Amanda Saab, and Yvonne Maffei, author of the popular blog-turned cookbook, My Halal Kitchen, and take part in educational workshops and seminars to learn about the growing halal food industry.
“We’re excited to host nearly 200 halal food booths, the most we’ve ever had, for Halal Food Fest’s fifth anniversary event,” said Salima Jivraj, founder of Halal Food Fest. “The Muslim population continues to grow in Canada, and because of it, the halal food industry is also growing. The demand for halal food is there, but there’s still room for more education around what halal is and what makes certain foods halal. Providing education is one of our goals at Halal Food Fest, and that’s why our festival is for everyone – Muslim or not.”
According to a report from Nourish Food Marketing, the Canadian halal food market is estimated to be worth $1 billion, and Canada’s Muslim community is expected to triple by 2031. As the Muslim population in Canada increases, so does the demand for halal food and education. A survey commissioned by Nourish Food Marketing found that food plays an integral part in the lifestyle of halal consumers, and these consumers are concerned both by the source of their food and what’s in it, signalling the importance of education in the industry.
This year’s main stage events include cooking demonstrations by Kaif Khan and Chef Russell Auckbaraullee, and live performances by artists and comedians, including Khaled Siddique and Aman Ali. The indoor kids’ zone sponsored by Sufra, a 5,000 square foot playground for children, will feature insect and reptile shows, face painting, balloons and meet and greets with popular characters. The festival’s outdoor area will host dozens of grills, where attendees can enjoy a range of menu items from beef ribs to burgers, amongst other offerings. Other highlights include the festival’s shopping bazaar, where attendees can browse unique products and services, and the PC Cooking School presented by Sufra.
For the fifth year, Mina Halal, one of the top halal chicken providers in Canada, will be presenting sponsor at Toronto’s Halal Food Festival. As platinum sponsors, Redpath Sugar will host the main stage, and IKEA will provide a fully-designed kitchen for demonstrations. HFFTO is funded in part by the Government of Canada.
Date: Saturday, July 15 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday, July 16 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: The International Centre, Entrance 5, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga
Tickets: $5 each, children under 10 and seniors are free. Sample tickets available for purchase at event – $10 for 20 tickets.