Image courtesy of All The Best Fine Foods
By: Kristina Gutauskas
The Toronto gourmet and specialty food company All The Best certainly lives up to its name.
The newly renovated retail outlet in Rosedale, with its production kitchen a mere 10-minute drive away, sells the finest ingredients, gourmet goodies and prepared meals hailing all things local, naturally-raised and with no chemical additives or preservatives.
They also happen to be pretty good at throwing parties.
On November 22, the sleek and modern space was all decked out for a customer appreciation holiday get-together featuring sweet and savoury Christmas treats towering out front (think ornament-shaped ginger cookies, fruit cake and Santa Belgian chocolates).
There were, of course, their prepared quiches and casseroles, bottled oils, preserves and spices, and a wall of confectionary delights, but it was the evening’s extra flourishes that really stood out. Trays of red, white and sparkling ciders complimented the hor d’ourves of, for example, smoked trout and radish crostini prepared before your eyes, or free samples of candied peanut dark chocolate bark and curry shortbread.
All The Best also partnered up with a few businesses like Fred’s Bread and Monforte Dairy to celebrate the evening, providing samples of their wares at different spots around the store. Authors Elizabeth Baird and Rose Murray had one corner as well, signing away copies of their latest cookbook.
My find of the night was Sloane Tea. Hoda Paripoush’s loose-leaf varieties, each individually sourced and processed using centuries-old artisanal techniques, were a welcome change to my ho-hum Tetley and Tazo bags. Being a sweet tooth, my favourites were the rich Oolong Crème with its delicate creaminess, and the velvety smooth black tea Heavenly Cream.
While it’s a bit out of the way unless you live in mid-town, don’t wait until they host another event to drop in and pick up dinner or stock up on quality ingredients-- it’s worth the visit.
All The Best Fine Foods
1101 Yonge Street
They have a number of in-store events throughout December to celebrate the holidays. A couple noteworthy mentions:
December 12, 6 – 9 pm: Koopjesavond! A European-style festive shopping evening with extended store hours to take the stress out of last minute shopping, offering specials, door prizes and sampling. Also DIY gingerbread cookie decorating with pastry chef Mario Totaro, and a holiday toy drive.
Dec 14, 2 – 6 pm: Killer Condiments with chef Andrea Nicholson’s hand-crafted Canadian artisanal condiments showcasing sustainable farming.