oronto Fashion Week designers have combined forces with restaurants in the city’s Bloor-Yorkville area for a two-day extravaganza of delicious food, drinks and fashion. From Sept. 4 to 6, the event will feature collaborations between restaurants and designers such as Cibo Wine Bar and HENDRIXROE, ONE Restaurant and Christopher Bates, STK and Victoria Hayes, and Sassafraz and ZOFF, to name a few. Chefs have taken inspiration from each unique collection to plate creations for the most discerning of palates as bartenders serve up colourful concoctions and models take to the runway.
Italian restaurant Sofia teamed up with Toronto-based womenswear label, NARCES, to create the Fashion Royale — a deep burgundy cocktail made with vodka, sweet Cointreau, passionfruit juice, and ginger grapefruit honey cordial. Sofia’s mixologist, Nishan Nepulongoda, says the inspiration for the drink came from the multilayered beauty of NARCES gowns.
“NARCES gowns are bold, dynamic and feminine, and I wanted the Fashion Royale to reflect that. The colour is a deep burgundy and it is a sipping cocktail that reveals many different layers of flavour and elements, similar to the brand’s designs. It’s simple yet sophisticated and vibrant,” Nepulongoda says.
Claudia Pontorno, corporate executive chef at Cibo Wine Bar, says her lemon seared bay scallop dish felt like the best option for the event based on the bright colours of Toronto Fashion Week and the produce currently in season.
“Being a dish exclusively for Toronto Fashion Week, I thought vibrant colours were really important to reflect the fashion world itself,” she said. “The vivacity of the red of beets paired to the green peas, sweet and sour after taste, balanced by the scallops and bittered by the lemon zest. This plate quickly came to mind when I thought about the current season and what was available. I love to cook what Mother Nature offers me at the moment as I always try to utilize the products of the season.”
Along with the scallops, corporate bar operations manager at Liberty Entertainment Group, Caylee Alzner, created the ‘Naomi Cocktail’—a fresh and elegant refresher inspired by the one-and-only Naomi Campbell.
“My inspiration behind The Naomi cocktail came from the legend herself,” she says. “It’s deeply complex with Tanqueray Malacca Gin, exquisitely balanced with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and Contratto Aperitif. The perfect cocktail for the sophisticated fashionista.”
Alzner says the energy of the Yorkville area during fashion week never fails to pique her creativity as a mixologist.
“This event excites me because for three days, Yorkville is transformed into a hub of creativity and culture. There is something stimulating in the air and the energy can be felt all throughout the community. It is an event made to inspire,” she says.
The campaign is called Style Plate and it will run from September 4 to 6 in Yorkville.