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A year ago, 7 Toronto chefs (who cook mostly meat, it must be said) from new-ish, acclaimed restaurants got together to cook everything but fish or meat. And they were back at it again this year. This vegetarian tasting included several amuse bouche and other nibbles not noted on the menu, and what you also wouldn’t know unless you were there…

…is how enjoyable and communal the vibe was. Starters and snacks were served and shared family-style. Mains were introduced by the chefs who created them.

All were inventive, delicious and well-executed (to be expected) and my favourites were the first course, a complementary quartet of South East Asian flavours, and the second (pictured above, excuse the quality) —the marriage of squash seed butter and mushrooms blew my mind. I can’t wait to play with something like that soon in my own kitchen. And with the idea of hops (hidden in the 4th course and enjoyed recently when I dined at Acadia) and other crunchy, crumbly things…more on that later.

(P.S. The “Group of 7 Chefs” have semi-regular events, if you want to check one out for yourself.)