How does food teach us about culture, community and wellness? What stories and social or political contexts shape our relationship with the food that sustains us?
UTM International Education Centre and Hart House co-present a multi-session journey to explore and expand our understanding of how food informs culture and wellness. Each session will be an interactive conversation, led by a food and culture expert who will share a recipe that is significant to their culture and personal history.
Students, staff, faculty and alumni from all U of T campuses are encouraged to join us to explore the many ways food teaches us about culture and how food creates community, while also learning a tasty recipe and skills to help you in the kitchen.
Sessions are 1-hour long and will include recipe share, open discussion, cooking tips and tricks.
Food & Culture Facilitators will use a recipe to tell a story about culture in a particular region. Food or ingredients used in this recipe will initiate the conversation around the significance of specific ingredients in histories, cultures, and communities. During the last 15 mins of the session, the facilitator will share a secret cooking technique.
No previous knowledge or experience required
Latin Heritage Month
In honour of the federally recognized Latin American Heritage Month and in the lead up to Day of the Dead, Tastes of Culture welcomes back Chef Paula Zavala to tantalize our taste buds with an education on the foods of her native Mexico.
As referenced on the Government of Canada's website, "Canadians of Latin American descent arrived here mostly in the late 20th century from all around Latin America. Canadians of Latin American descent enhance the cultural mosaic in Canada through their artistic and culinary traditions, as well as their numerous contributions to the overall prosperity of the country through their entrepreneurial spirit."
We invite the campus community to participate, learn, share stories and cook together in a fun and welcoming online environment.
Menu details to follow but it's guaranteed delicious!
Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration!
Recipe (4-6 servings)
- 15 corn tortillas
- 2 large white potatoes, cooked (no need to peel them) or rotisserie chicken (pulled) Salt to taste
- Pinch of oregano
- 1 cup of avocado oil or vegetable oil
To garnish (all optional):
- 1/4 shredded lettuce 1 avocado sliced 6 radishes sliced
- 1/2 cup sour cream Queso fresco or feta Spicy salsa
- Once the potatoes are cooked, roughly chopped them, and set aside.
- Chop the mushrooms finely. Heat a frying pan and add 2 tbsp of oil, once hot, add the mushrooms. Season with salt and add a pinch of oregano. Fry for 10 min at high/medium heat. Set aside. Mix the mushrooms with the potatoes, sauté for a bit and set aside.
- Then heat another frying pan and start heating the tortillas slightly, so they are flexible, and they don’t break when they are fill with the mushroom and potato mix. I usually heat one tortilla at once and fill it straight away.
- To fill the tortilla. Get a warm tortilla, put some filling on one side and fold the other side. Set aside ready to be fry later.
- While you are filling the tortillas, add the rest of the oil onto another frying pan, heat it to medium heat and once hot, add the filled tortillas. Maybe fry 3 or 4 at a time. Fry for 2 min on one side or until golden brown and then using some kitchen tongs, turn each taquito to fry the other side.
- When the first batch is fried, place the taquitos onto a collider to drain the excess of oil. Then continue frying the rest.
- Once all are fried, fill each one with shredded lettuce and place them on a big platter and scatter some avocado and radishes slices as well as the crema and feta. Place the platter on the dining table and put some spicy salsa on the side.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1⁄2 cup condensed milk, canned 1 (8oz) package Cream Cheese 1 1⁄2 cups Cookie Crumbs
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Pour into a greased 6-inch tart pan (or Pyrex), then press into an even layer along the bottom. Set aside.
- In the blender or hand mixer, beat the rest of the ingredients and pour the mixture over the crust.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake has a nice light brown colour.
Chef Paula Zavala
Paula is a proud Mexican-born Canadian Chef who has lived in Toronto for almost 20 years. Her impressive career started in Mexico City where she attended CESSA (Instituto Culinario de America Latina) immediately after graduating she became part of Las Mañanitas Garden Hotel & Catering by Relais & Chateaux in Cuernavaca.
She worked in the United States in different catering companies including Truffles at The Belvedere Catering in Baltimore, Maryland. She owns Paula Zavala Eventos in Mexico City and founded Paula Zavala Chef Co. after relocating into Canada where she has been melting pre-hispanic traditions with contemporary flavors.
Paula recently won the 2021 Small&Mighty Summit, Business Transformation of the Year Award. She has participated in different TV shows and has been host-chef of important brands like Fontaine Santé at the Toronto’s Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, Dos Equis Canada, Tequila Herradura, as well as Chef Paula is proud to have worked with well-recognized brands and companies such as Snapchat Canada, SickKids Hospital, Markham Stouffville Hospital, North York Hospital, Omers (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), Royal Bank of Canada, Bell, York Region District School Board, among others.
Paula co-founded El Rudo Gourmet with her dear compadre Cesar Mendoza in 2020Website
International Flavours Fair
Join us On Wednesday, November 17th in person at The Blind Duck Pub at UTM for Tastes of Culture as we celebrate cuisines from around the world. Come dine with us as we enjoy delicious samples prepared by our talented chefs. Food offers an opportunity to gather, share stories and fond memories while building community. Taste, learn and experience cultures from different regions through the stories told by food. What meals did you enjoy growing up? What is your favorite go to meal now? Come out and see if your favourites will be featured on the menu! Plus, all food and refreshments are free for registered attendees!
Join us in this global celebration of food from around the world! Students, staff, and faculty are invited to engage their senses of taste, smell, and sight with samples of favourite dishes from a variety of cultures.
Registration is required and spaces are limited so be sure to secure your seat at the table!
It’s time to get cooking! Let’s celebrate Black History Month by cheffing it up from the comfort of your home! In this session we will be making delicious jollof burritos with Ghanian Chef, Chef Kwame. Chef Kwame will be making stewed black-eyed peas and krakro (sweet plantain fritters) known as RED RED. He will use this traditional Ghanaian lunch staple and fusion it with jollof rice to make a burrito. Grab your chef’s apron and join us on zoom for a night of cooking, learning and community.
Chef Kwame Owusu-Afriyie Nsafoah
Chef, Golden Stool Restaurant
"Being a Canadian trained Chef with West African background, it has always been my passion to share the wonderful flavours of West African dishes with the beautiful people of GTA and beyond."
- Jollof rice (refer to last year's recipe)
- Burrito bread
- Shito (Ghana pepper sauce) or one of your choice
- Ripe plantains
- Black eyed peas, 4 cups
- Red onions, 4 large
- Scotch bonnet pepper, 4 whole
- Garlic, 1 tablespoon puréed
- Maggi bullion cubes, 3 (optional)
- Canned mackerel fish in chilli tomato sauce, 2 (optional)
- Vegetable oil (enough to deep fry fritters in a pot)
- Palm oil, half cup
- Salt to taste
- Choice of protein: battered fish/jerk chicken (optional)
- 3 medium whole onions
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
- 5 pcs peeled garlic (1 tbl spn)
- 1 tbl so ginger
- Vegetable oil about 1/2 cup
- Jamaican curry
- Grated nutmeg
- 2 tbl spn Tomato paste
- 4 28oz diced Canned tomatoes with herbs
- 2 Maggi bullion cubes.
- Tbl spn of fresh basil
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 whole carrots
- Medium dice one of the onions and sauté it on low heat with about half cup oil. Add tomato paste and stir well. Add Maggi cubes and cook for about 3-5min real low heat, stir to avoid sticking and burning.
- Add remaining onions, ginger, garlic, carrots pepper, basil in a blender with a bit of water for easy blending. ( cut carrots/onions down to fit in blender)
- Add purée to sautéed onions and tomato paste. Incase heat to medium and stir well.
- Add 2 tsp curry and 1tsp nutmeg along with 2 tbsp salt. Keep periodically stirring here and there and cover on low medium to stew. Keep lid vented.
- In about 20min once oil has started to emerge back to top of stew then add the 4cans of diced tomatoes. Raise heat and stir.
- Bring to a boil and reduce back to low medium heat, cover with lid vented and allow to cook and stew for about an hour. Periodically stirring. Can add a about a cup of any stock for extra flavour or half cup water to thin it out if gets too thick.
- Preheat oven to 450f. Add washed basmati rice to reach a consistency of 55% (stew) and 45% rice in a deep baking pan. Fully store and cover with thick foil sheet. Bake for 15min. Then remove and stir again
- Reduce oven heat 350f and bake for additional 30min or till soft and fluffy
Join us for our fourth Tastes of Cultures live cooking session with Trinidadian Chef, Chef Kareema. In this session, Chef Kareema will be making Trini Mango Chow, and a delicious Trini Corn Soup. Chef Kareema brings over 20 years in the hospitality industry to the table as she provides her unique tips and tricks for making authentic Trinidadian food that is also healthy and nutritious. Grab your ingredients and cook along with us live on zoom, or pull up a seat and watch Chef, Kareema do what she does best.
This event is open to and welcomes all UofT Staff, Faculty, Alumni and Students.
Chef Kareema, is a first generation Canadian of Trinidad & Tobago decent. Kareema has over 20 years in the hospitality industry (her tagline is "Mom had me cooking since the 80's"™) and combines her love for Caribbean flavours with her passion for culinary cuisine to create unique tastes of the world.
She continues to feed her food vocabulary and passion for cooking. Chef Kareema seasons her culinary creations with her fun loving, energetic personality and adds her unique touch to every dish.
Throughout the years, her pallet for flavours has diversified. She incorporates flavours from the Caribbean and North America to feed her love of unique dishes. Kareema creates culinary masterpieces using ingredients ranging from classic to exotic tastes.
- 2 unripe mangoes, sliced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp chadon beni/cilantro
- 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Combine all ingredients together thoroughly.
- 4 corn on cob, cut in pieces
- 2 cups cream corn
- 2 cups corn kernels (peaches & cream)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- ½ garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp red sweet pepper, chopped
- 3 cups coconut milk (or milk of choice)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- *hot pepper to taste*
- Melt butter, sautee green onions, garlic and sweet pepper for 2-3 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock, all the corns (lol)
- Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Add milk, salt & pepper continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ cup water to knead
- Make the dumplings by putting the flour and salt in medium bowl.
- Pour water slowly while kneading the flour into a ball.
- Pinch off small pieces of the dough and roll in the palm of your hands to make a long dumpling (spinner).
- Repeat and place each dumpling in the pot of soup at the end of the 20 minute mark of soup cooking