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.


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.


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


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.


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.

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


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.


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.
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.

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.

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

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur


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.

Turkey has an ancient culinary tradition stretching back to the very beginnings of Western civilization. From these deep roots the Ottomans developed a sophisticated and aristocratic cuisine based on ingredients and influences pulled from an empire that stretched from North Africa across the Middle East and into Greece and the Balkans. The flavours of contemporary Turkish food emerge from this mix of cultures and traditions, and shine in Chef Tuba Tunç’s selection of traditional Turkish dishes.


A classic summer meze (starter) in Turkey, a cool and refreshing mix of smoky roasted eggplant, roasted peppers, tomato, garlic, lemon, and olive oil, garnished with parsley and served with with pita chips.

Spinach & Feta Borek
The quintessential savoury Turkish treat, delicate & flaky yufka dough (a paper thin pastry that’s a little thicker than phyllo) is wrapped around a luscious filling of spinach, feta, ricotta, and caramelized onions, enriched with eggs and yogurt, and generously glazed with melted butter before being baked until golden.

Manti (beef –or– veg)
An ancient Turkic dish that can be found in various forms along the full length of the Silk Road from Mongolia to Anatolia, Korea to Afghanistan — Turkey alone boasts 15 officially recognized versions. The ancestor of stuffed pastas like tortellini, Turkish manti are comprised of a thin, olive oil and egg-enriched wheat dough hand-formed into little bundles stuffed with either beef or lentils mixed with onions and spices. The little dumplings are first baked to dry them, and then boiled before being served with a garlicky yogurt sauce, lashings of paprika-infused butter, sumac, crumbled dry mint, and ruby-red dusting of dried urfa & chili peppers.

Labneh & Plum Cheesecake Cups
And elegant modern take on classic Turkish flavours. Crumbled hazelnut cookies and butter make a rich crumbly base that supports a luxurious mix of labneh (strained yogurt cheese), milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla, topped with a tart summer plum compote.

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur


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.

In so many of the world’s culinary tractions, delicious food and their warm memories are the domain of grandmothers. Chef Mary Freij’s newest project, Teta’s (Grandmother’s) Kitchen is an homage to those recipes, connecting Mary to her Palestinian and Lebanese roots, and sharing the stories and flavours from her family’s kitchen.


Watermelon & Feta Salad
The perfect summer salad; juicy, sweet watermelon and rich, salty feta are an addictive combination, topped with a tangy pomegranate molasses dressing and a sprinkling of fresh mint

Samakeh Harra (fish)
A traditional Palestinian/Lebanese dish from the seaside, delicate white fish fillets are cooked with a fresh, spicy tomato sauce with plenty of onions, garlic, coriander, and green pepper.
Koussa Banadoura (vegan)
Fresh summer zucchini lightly cooked with chickpeas in a spicy tomato sauce.

Served with golden basmati rice and a simple spinach salad.

Cardamom Date Cake
A rich, dark & luscious date cake topped with cardamom-infused caramel.


Mary Freij is a food entrepreneur who has traveled the world in search of amazing culinary experiences. She is the founder of, a marketplace for culinary activities. She is also a passionate cook, she started her culinary career working full-time as a cook and hosting pop-up food events, including the former Mazeh Brunch at The Depanneur and Mazeh take-out kiosk at the Gould St Global Market (now closed). She recently ventured into opening a new IndoLab concept called Teta’s Kitchen in North York.

Kamayan is a Tagalog word that translates to “by hand” and refers to a traditional Filipino style of eating—communally, and without plates or utensils. A typical kamayan meal features a table covered in banana leaves which is then artfully arranged with a variety of traditional Filipino dishes served rice, condiments and garnishes. Join Maria Polotan of Mama Linda’s for the unique culinary experience of kamayan, showcasing the flavours and traditions of Filipino cuisine.


Kinilaw na Pusong Saging
Banana hearts, the tender centre of the flower of the banana palm, are a popular Filipino delicacy similar to artichoke hearts. In this dish, thin slices of blanched banana hearts are prepared in the style of kinilaw, a dish similar to ceviche, with a tart, acidic dressing of coconut vinegar, lime juice, shallots, and ginger, finished off with coconut cream.

Ginataang Manok (chicken) –or– Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (vegetarian)
Chicken or long bean and Asian squash simmered in a rich coconut broth flavoured with garlic, ginger, onion, and lemongrass.

Ensaladang Talong
A salad of grilled Asian eggplant, tomatoes, green onions in a lime-honey-ginger dressing

An Ilonggo dish from the Western Philippines, this dish of kangkong (water spinach) is prepared with traditional adobo flavours of garlic, coconut vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and black pepper.

A tangy pickle of green papaya, carrot, onion, garlic, and ginger.

This meal will be served kamayan-style, on banana leaves, with a mix of white and brown rices, and a selection of condiments like cilantro chutney and crispy garlic.
Note: food will be served communally on the tables with serving utensils, and guests are asked to served themselves on their own plates

Maja Blanca
A light, delicate custard of young coconut juice and meat, coconut milk, corn, milk, sugar, and cornstarch.

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur


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.

Creole (Louisiana) and Kreyól (Haiti) foodways share common roots but represent diverse branches, informed by the idiosyncrasies of history and terroir. Chefs Marc Kusitor and Dan Holloway playfully explore the intersection of these two culinary worlds, where French techniques meet African traditions and New World ingredients.


Cornbread with Sides
At the iconic Creole restaurant Dookie Chase in New Orleans, it’s traditional to begin a meal with cornbread and a selection of spreads. Tonight homemade Southern-style cornbread is paired with a smoked mango and yellow pepper jelly brightened with sour orange, tartinade d’avocats, a creamy, spicy blend of avocado and scotch bonnet, and epis butter, a classic French compound butter built around the traditional Haitian seasoning blend of peppers, garlic, and herbs.

Poul Ak Kalalou
(Braised Chicken with Okra and Andouille Scented Rice)
A play on the flavours of Creole Gumbo and Haitian Poul ak Sos (stewed chicken). Citrus-marinated chicken legs braised in a spicy tomato-based liquid and finished with whole okra to add body to the sauce. Served with rice cooked in the renderings of smoked Cajun andouille sausage.
Cauliflower Étouffée
(Smothered Cauliflower with Black Eyed Peas and Brown Rice)
Étouffée — French for ‘smothered’ —is a rich, often spicy stew that shows its French roots through the use of a nutty, golden roux (a paste of flour cooked in oil or butter). Here cauliflower, originally from Europe, meets black-eyed peas, an ingredient brought to the New World by enslaved Africans, in a lush fresh tomato-based sauce, smothered over toothsome brown rice.

Corassol Ice Cream Sandwiches
Fragrant, tropical soursop is the star in this double-churned homemade ice cream, sandwiched between rich, spiced ‘Maria’ cookies.

Photo via Chop Time Catering on Instagram


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


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. 

Long-time Dep favourite, Chef Dali Chehimi brings his traditional Tunisian favourites to the table for a delicious taste of the Casbah! Tunisian cuisine features all the hallmarks of delicious North African food: complex spices, lush combinations of fruit and meat, Mediterranean ingredients and a hint of French colonial influence. Tagines, the flavourful stews that range from Morocco to Egypt, get their name from the characteristic conical dishes of the same name that they are most often cooked in.


Salade Mechouia
Hot and sweet peppers cooked until meltingly tender, stewed with tomatoes, onions, garlic, capers and black olives, garnished with tuna, sliced eggs and extra virgin olive oil; garnished with capers, black olives, sliced hard boiled eggs and tuna; served with baguette.

Chicken & Apricot Tagine
This dish features the classic North African combination of fruit, meat and aromatic spices. Tender chicken braised in a tomato broth with fresh ginger, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, garnished with slivered almonds.
– or –
Vegetable Tagine
A North African classic, a fragrant stew of zucchini, pumpkin, onions, garlic, and white beets in a lightly spiced tomato broth; garnished with slivered almonds

Rouz Djerbi
Also known as Riz Djerbien, this is named after the island of Djerba in Tunisia from where this dish hails. Similar to a biryani in that a variety of ingredients like spinach, peppers, chickpeas, and harissa combine to create flavourful dish where the rice soaks up the flavours as it cooks.

Served with side of refreshing carrot salad with lemon, honey and rosewater.

A dense, luscious cake of coarse semolina, golden and crunchy on top and tender beneath, soaked in a lemon syrup and topped with fresh summer berries.

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur


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.

Dutch for “rice table,” rijsttafel is part of the Dutch-Indonesian colonial heritage, a meal for festive occasions to be enjoyed with family or friends. It consists of serving many small Indonesian dishes, revolving around rice, to be shared with the whole table. Tonight Chef Elita from Nai Nai Indonesian Food curates an exquisite selection of the diverse and delicious dishes from Indonesia’s many cultures and culinary traditions.


Gado-gado is a popular Sundanese dish that masterfully combines slightly sweet, spicy, and savory flavours. A kind of composed salad, it consists of blanched vegetables, boiled potatoes, long bean and chayote, fried tofu and hard-boiled eggs drizzled with justly famous Indonesian peanut sauce.

Nasi Kuning
In Indonesia, nasi kuning (turmeric rice) is a dish traditionally served during celebrations, where its golden color is a symbol of good fortune. It is often stuffed into a cone-shape mold to make the centerpiece of a ceremonial nasi tumpeng plate in the Javanese slamatan celebration, a communal feast symbolizing social unity.

Sate Ayam (chicken)
Sate (aka satay) is maybe the best known and most beloved of all Indonesian dishes. Small skewers of chicken are marinated overnight with chili, ginger, turmeric, herbs and sweet soy sauce, before being grilled and served with peanut sauce
Telur Balado
Originating from Northern Sumatra (Padang or Minang), this humble dish takes hard-boiled eggs, deep-fries them until golden and slightly crispy on the outside, and then simmeres them in a flavourful sauce of red chili peppers, tomatoes, and garlic.
Sate Tempe (vegetarian)
A plant-based version of satay made with tempeh, a dense cake of fermented soybeans that originates in Indonesia, that picks up a delicious smoky flavor as it grilled.
Jamur Balado
Shitake mushroom simmered in a spicy chili pepper, tomatoes, and garlic sauce.

Buncis Tumis
Fresh green beans, simply stir-fried with garlic, salt, sugar and spicy sambal.

Acar Timun
A tart and refreshing Indonesian pickle made with fresh cucumber, carrots, fresh green chilies, shallots and seasoned with white vinegar, salt, and sugar.

Es Teler
Es teler (tipsy ice) is a rich and luxurious Indonesian fruit cocktail, with avocado, coconut meat, grass jelly, jackfruit and other fruits, served with luscious sauce coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, fragrant pandan leaf, and hint of salt.

Photo courtesy of The Depanneur


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


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.