This month opened with one of The Roaming Life’s favourite annual events – Eat To The Beat. For 21 years now, Toronto’s finest female culinary and pastry chefs have gathered together at Roy Thompson Hall in support of breast cancer support and research. They bring with them a wealth of edible delights, paired with local wine, beer and spirits. This year was no exception! If you missed this year, or have never been, we’ve got the pictures to make you drool. 

This was the 21st year of the event, and it was just as glamorous and gourmet as ever. The event was originally founded in support of Willow, which in turn provides support to women with hereditary and breast cancer.   This year saw Willow’s merger with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), which in turn acted as host for this year’s Eat To The Beat.  ETTB is special to us, both for its support for the survivors and families of those with cancer, and for its showcasing the the incredible female talent here in Toronto. It is an inspiring show of women helping women, and it doesn’t hurt that everything is delicious!


Whatever your tastes or dietary preferences, there is something for you to try. You might expect your average  hors d’oeuvres, but these chefs putt out all the stops and the selection couldn’t be further away. From edamame falafel to roast duck on crispy polenta, to adobo pork buns, to Moroccan maftoul, it was a wonderland of perfect bites. The array of options is almost overwhelming.

Fortunately there is no required order to your grazing – you can float around and snag whatever catches your interest while listening to live music. Note that everyone naturally turns right when they enter, which leads to crowding at the first few stations. We recommend going counter-clockwise when you enter the venue, to minimise the already negligible wait times at the stations.

So you have a plate full of savouries, and naturally you need a drink. All around you’ll find wines, beer and cocktails to freshen your palate and pair with your selections. Without drink tickets to worry about, you can be as adventurous as you like, and might even stumble on a new favourite beverage.


And while all this deliciousness happens around you, you’ll notice the corset models. A long-standing tradition, whole ensembles (based around the corset) are crafted to represent the fun and tasty. The models themselves are very important to the event – either survivors themselves, or standing in stead for a loved one.


Amidst the food and drink stations are the desserts. Oh, the desserts!

Every year one of them breaks my heart with its sheer perfection. These cream puffs filled with vanilla hazelnut custard have haunted my dreams ever since. Another highlight grabbed our attention by straddling both the sweet and savoury camps – a cherry and mascarpone donut filled with arugula pesto!


Congratulations once again to the organisers and chefs, and to the participants and patrons for supporting CBCF! The event was a huge success, and we can’t wait until next year.

See our full Eat To The Beat gallery!