35,000 expected at Toronto ‘halal’ food festival

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More than 350,000 visitors are expected to converge at the The International Centre in Mississauga on on May 21-22 for the largest  halal food festival in North America.

The GTA is home to 47 per cent of Canada’s Muslim community, which makes it a natural fit to host the Halal Food Fest 2016. The event, now in its fourth year, recorded over 35,000 visitors in 2015 and even more expected this year from across the U.S. and Canada.

The event brings over one hundred food exhibitors, in-house chefs, and guest chefs, including finalist from Master Chef US Amanda Saab, together for two days of sampling and programming focused on halal food. Exhibitors include Mortimer’s Halal Kitchen, Naked Dates and Pasha Turkish Cuisine. Some notable and diverse offerings from vendors include original fusion creations such as Nihari Sliders, Paratha Crepes, and Tandoori Lasagna. In addition to food there will also be stage shows, workshops, and seminars on the booming halal food industry.

“We’re extremely excited to be bringing Halal Food Fest back for a fourth year,” said Salima Jivraj, Founder, Halal Food Fest. “With new halal labeling regulations coming into effect this year a lot of attention has been given to the halal industry in Canada. We’re proud to have a platform that can help reflect the needs of Muslim consumers.”

Canada’s halal food market is currently estimated to be a $1 billion industry, and the demand for halal options has increased along with Canada’s Muslim population, which grew 82 per cent over the last decade, and is expected to triple by 2031. Halal is an Arabic word meaning “permissible,” and for food to be deemed halal it must meet certain conditions.

Main stage events include a cake decorating competition, a sushi workshop and live performances. An outdoor area will feature more food vendors plus live cooking demonstrations. In addition to the many food features, there’s also a shopping area, and a 7,000 square foot indoor playground for kids, since a third of last year’s attendees were under 16.

Event sponsors include Solmaz Food Inc., Halal Monitoring Authority Canada, Sargent Farms, Sysco, Al Safaand Paramount Fine Foods. The presenting sponsor of the event is Mina Halal, one of the top halal chicken providers in Canada.

Event details:
Date: Saturday, May 21st 10am-10pm and Sunday, May 22nd 10am-8pm
Location: The International Centre, Entrance 5, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga
Tickets: $5 each, children under 16 and seniors over 65 are free. Sample tickets available for purchase at event – $10 for 20 tickets. – CINEWS/CNW

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