Communal Dinner

The Depanneur

The Depanneur and The Bentway are back this summer for the 4th year of diverse and delicious food events. The 2022 Communal Table series is bigger and better than ever, with 20 events running from June 16 to August 23.

Communal Dinners are family-style meals served and shared at 10 tables of 6 guests. Guests are asked to bring their own plates and cutlery. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, up to 48 hours prior to the event, or until they sell out. Seating begins at 6:00pm and dinner is served at 6:30pm.

Tickets are available for 2, 4, or 6 persons, but all guests will be seated together at the available tables and will be sharing platters of food in this communal dining experience.

As part of our ongoing commitment to fostering inclusion and accessibility, we will once again be sponsoring a Pay It Forward donation program to help provide fresh meals to the Spadina-Fort York Community Care Program which will be distributed to those in need in the community.

Communal Picnics are also available for pick up every Tuesday night at The Bentway Studio (55 Fort York Blvd). Click here to pre-order your meals!

What you need to know:

  • Communal Dinners will be held on Thursdays from June 16 to August 18, 2022.
  • Tickets must be purchased in advance online, up to 48 hours prior to pick up, or until they sell out. 
  • 3-course dinners are $69 for 2, $129 for 4, and $189 for 6 (+HST);  single tickets are not available.
  • Meat and vegetarian options are available for each meal, but no substitutions or other customizations can be accommodated.
  • Guests are asked to bring their own plates and cutlery. No dishwashing facilities are available on-site, so please plan accordingly — you may wish to bring an extra bag to facilitate taking your used dishes home.
  • Dinners are served at The Bentway (250 Fort York Blvd.) on Thursdays. The dining area is located at Strachan Gate, at the west end of The Bentway site, just east of Strachan Ave, and north of the Fort York Armoury.
  • Seating begins at 6:00pm and dinner is served at 6:30pm; please do not be late! 
  • Meals will be served rain or shine; there are no refunds for uncollected meals. In the event of an extreme weather event, the dinner will be rescheduled to our rain date of Thursday, August 25, 2022.
  • As not to waste food, we will have a ‘rush’ waiting list on-site; seats not taken by 6:45pm will be given away to this list.
  • Water will be served with the meal, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase on-site.
  • The Bentway washrooms are available for use until 8:00pm.
  • Please do not move tables or chairs, or seat more than 6 people per picnic table.
  • Please help us keep the space clean and safe for everyone by using the garbage and recycling bins available on-site.
  • This outdoor event does not have a specific mask policy, but we kindly request guests not attend if they are experiencing any COVID-related symptoms.

SCHEDULE

Ah, tacos… warm, savoury fillings topped with a variety of colourful garnishes, all wrapped up in fresh, tender corn tortillas. These little bundles of deliciousness have become the most iconic Mexican dish the world over, and for good reason. Join Chef Chef Erika Araujo of Ixiim for this fun and interactive DIY taco party featuring a fabulous spread of 5 different fillings and toppings that showcase the delectable diversity of authentic Mexican flavours.

MENU

Totopos with guacamole & salsa
Kick off with this classic starter of totopos (crispy fried corn tortilla chips) served with tomatillo & avocado guacamole and piquant red arbol chile and tomato salsa.

DIY Taco Party!
A selection of 5 fillings served with warm corn tortillas for you to mix and match.

  • Chicken Pibil – tender chicken cooked in banana leaves in the style of the Yucatan; with orange, oregano, and achitote (annatto) which lends its distinctive red colouring; served with pickled red onions
  • Pork Carnitas – the ever-popular shredded pork shoulder of Michoacán; slowly confit in its own juices with garlic, bay leaves, and citrus
  • Mole Verde – summer squash, zucchini, and cauliflower in a complex sauce of pumpkin seeds, tomatillos, poblano chiles, scallions, and green herbs
  • Sweet potato and black beans with spiced with fragrant guajillo peppers
  • Roasted corn and zucchini a la Mexicana, with tomato, onion & garlic

The party isn’t complete without the classic accompaniments: refried beans, a fresh pico de gallo of tomato, jalapeño, onions, lime & cilantro.

Arroz con Leche Palettas
Sweet, creamy cinnamon-infused rice pudding is a Mexican favourite, but it is sometimes also served up as a refreshing frozen paletta (popsicle). 
*Contains dairy

Photo by Shane Parent

ABOUT ERIKA ARAUJO

Erika Araujo is a trained nurse in Mexico who found her passion for Gastronomy once she emigrated to Canada. She completed the Culinary program at Humber College, and since then she has been tirelessly promoting Mexican culture and cuisine through her brand Ixiim, at workshops and culinary events like TacoFest, Soupalicious, and the PanAm Games.

Momos — hearty dumplings of simple dough wrapped around delectable fillings, served steamed or fried with spicy sauce — are probably Tibet’s best-known culinary export. In fact, momos are well-loved in many of the countries around the Himalayas, with countless variations in ingredients, appearance, and names. But especially in Tibet, momos are not just food; they are also symbols of festivity and celebration. They are served during important social occasions like marriages, New Years, and other special family gatherings. Join Tsewang & Lhundup of TC’s Tibetan Momo, for a taste of traditional Tibetan fare, all made with local, organic ingredients sourced directly from the Ontario farmers they work alongside at several of Toronto’s farmers’ markets.

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Himalayan-style Vegetable Chow Mein
Chow mein is a common and popular street food across Asia. Originally from China (‘chao’ means ‘stir-fried’ and ‘mian’ means ‘noodles’), they are a more recent addition to the culinary repertoire of the Himalayan regions of Tibet and Nepal. Thin wheat noodles are tossed with a selection of local vegetables like cabbage, carrots, leeks, and onions before being topped with a savoury homemade tomato and garlic sauce. Served with a side of Tsewang’s homemade spicy kichmi.

Momo Feast
These kotey momos feature an organic flour dough that is elegantly shaped by hand, then steamed and pan-fried for an extra special bit of golden crust. There will be 4 kinds of momos on the table for sharing: beef with onions, chicken, mixed vegetables, and tofu & spinach — a generous helping of 8 momos per person. The momos are served with Drang Tsal, a tangy pickled cabbage salad, a fabulous homemade hot sauce, and soy sauce for dipping.

Dre-Sil
A traditional Tibetan New Year’s dish of steamed rice with butter and a mixture of dried fruits, it symbolizes good luck and happiness for the year ahead. Served with homemade yogurt.

Tibetan Sweet Tea
Sweet black milk tea with ginger.

Photo via TC Tibetan Momo on Instagram

ABOUT LHUNDUP & TSEWENG

From a young age, Tsewang Chodon has enjoyed cooking a varied selection of delicious dishes and serving yummy food to her family and friends. Now TC is sharing traditional Tibetan/Himalayan cuisine by offering her own handmade MoMo sourced from local ingredients. TC has been selling her products at local farmers’ markets, the Evergreen Brickworks, and at other local events under the banner of TC’s Tibetan Momo.

Newcomer Kitchen started at The Depanneur in 2016 as a grass-roots initiative to create social and economic opportunities for newly-arrived Syrian refugees. After a wildly successful 3-year pilot at The Depanneur, Newcomer Kitchen expanded to become an entrepreneurial training program aimed at helping diverse groups of newcomer women gain experience in the food sector. Mama’s Cuisine is one of Newcomer Kitchen’s newest cohorts, women from around the world who have come together to share their foods and cultures with Toronto. Hot on the heels of a successful pop-up at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market, these ladies from Palestine, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, and Egypt are excited to create a truly international meal just in time for Canada Day — a celebration of everything that makes this country home for so many.

MENU

Green Pea Kachoris
In India, these spiced fried spheres of delicate dough are stuffed with green peas, poho (a kind of flattened rice), and a myriad of spices.

Kibbeh bil Sayniyeh (beef)
This kibbeh ‘pie’ is a longstanding tradition in the Middle East. A firm dough made from cracked wheat bulgar mixed with finely ground halal beef is layered with more ground beef fried with almonds and spices. It is set in large, round pans and cut into complex geometric patterns before baking.
–or–
Grilled Market Veggies with Spiced Lentils (vegan)
This delicious dish showcases fresh, local summer veggies nestled on a bed of fragrant, spiced lentils.

Egyptian Basmati Rice Pilaf
An elegant rice dish studded with nuts and dried fruit, lentils, rice, and bulgur.

Naan
These homemade Indian-style flatbreads will be prepared on a traditional saj cooker on site!

Salateh Malfouf
A cool, refreshing Egyptian shredded cabbage coleslaw, jeweled with pomegranate seeds, dressed with olive oil, garlic, and lemon.

Basbousa
A traditional Palestinian semolina cake made with shredded coconut and a delicately scented sugar syrup.

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur

ABOUT NEWCOMER KITCHEN

Newcomer Kitchen is a nonprofit organization that seeks to create social and economic opportunities for newcomer women through food-based projects. Their goal is to create a model that can be replicated with any newcomer group, in any kitchen willing to open its doors, in any city in the world.

Check back for the full menu… Details to follow!

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur

ABOUT TUBA TUNç

Tuba Tunç was a marketing professional in Istanbul for 10 years, but her true passion has always been cooking. Through countless dinner parties for friends and family, she came to realize that she needed to follow this passion and turn it into a career. Since graduating from the Culinary Management Program at George Brown College, she has worked in various positions at restaurants including managing Anatolia, one of the oldest Turkish restaurants in Toronto. Tuba has recently founded LokumEats, where she showcases Turkish & Ottoman cuisine, as well as her take on international cuisines.

Check back for the full menu… Details to follow!

ABOUT MARY FREIJ

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Photo courtesy of The Depanneur

ABOUT MARIA POLOTAN

Maria Lourdes Polotan grew up in a family where food played a central part in how life was celebrated; the kitchen was where the family congregated and her mother presided. Maria has begun to share sharing her passion for food by cooking for others through her new catering project Mama Linda’s, offering traditional Filipino home cooking with quality local ingredients at pop-up events, catering, and at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market in the summer.

Check back for the full menu… Details to follow!

Photo via Chop Time Catering on Instagram

ABOUT MARC KUSITOR

Chef Marc Kusitor graduated from George Brown’s culinary program and became interested in exploring the possibilities in the space between tradition and innovation in Afro-Caribbean cuisine. He combines restaurant technique with family recipes and food memories instilled by his Haitian mother and his Ghanian father — both of whom were great cooks. Throughout his career, Marc has worked in various kitchens around Ontario and America and along the way has picked up a wide range of influences, experiences, and techniques that carefully prepared him for his foray into entrepreneurship via his startup Chop Time Catering.

Photo via Daniel Holloway on Instagram

ABOUT DANIEL HOLLOWAY

Daniel Holloway of Urban Acorn Catering believes great food is achieved by harnessing bold flavours from humble ingredients. Looking to bridge the social gap between vegans and omnivores, Holloway moved to Toronto in 2012 and joined forces with Haitian partner Marie Fitrion. They created Urban Acorn LTD., a Toronto-based sustainable plant-based food company focused on connecting food and community. By collaborating with other chefs and like-minded local businesses, Holloway aims to create a communal connection to food and celebrate its diversity regardless of dietary restrictions. His food philosophy is simple… Food Should Unite, Not Divide People. 

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Photo courtesy of The Depanneur

ABOUT DALI CHEHIMI

A veteran Toronto restaurateur, Dali Chehimi’s storied career has seen him working at iconic restaurants such as Sassafraz, Sarkis, and Avec, as well as running Casbah, a catering company specializing in Tunisian fare.

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Photo courtesy of The Depanneur

ABOUT ELITA ROCKA

Chef Elita learned her craft from several generations of family chefs; her grandmother founded a popular noodle restaurant in Central Jakarta that has been a local staple for over three decades, and now owns a noodle factory in Indonesia. Her Mother continued the restaurant business with Elita at her hip. Those indelible experiences have inspired Elita to bring her own authentic Indonesian meals to Toronto. As a food entrepreneur, she has catered for the Indonesian embassy and most recently launched NaiNai Noodles, an Indonesian noodle bar and take-out restaurant on King Street West.

Check back for the full menu… Details to follow!

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur

ABOUT GREG COUILLARD

It would not be hyperbole to suggest that Greg Couillard is one of the most influential chefs in Toronto’s culinary history. Through groundbreaking restaurants like The Parrot, Stelle, Avec, Sarkis, The Spice Room, and many others, his prescient embrace of this city’s multicultural flavours and ingredients revolutionized fine dining in Toronto, and foreshadowed the eclectic, international menus many now take for granted.

The Depanneur

Founded in 2011 by Len Senater, The Depanneur is an ongoing, evolving experiment, prototype, and proof-of-concept exploring food’s role in building community, creating opportunity, and celebrating diversity. It has evolved over the years into a social, urban food hub where food producers, creators, and consumers can connect and explore new food ideas in a fun, informal setting.