Desi Diary

What’s on in July

July 6-22: Summerlicious returns at 200 Toronto restaurants with three-course prix fixe lunch menus priced at $23, $28 and $33, and dinners priced at $33, $43 and $53. Reservations are strongly recommended and are to be made directly with the participating dining establishments. A complete list of participating restaurants is available at

July 8: Raag-Mala presents vocalist Vidushi Kankana Banerjee  (above) and Rattan Bhamrah on the esraj. 5 pm at the Aga Khan Museum. Tickets: or Manoshi (416-276-5616).

July 14, 15: Culture Bridge Festival at Riverwalk Commons in Newmarket. Sounds of India from 4-8 pm on July 14 and World Cultures from 1-8 pm on July 15. Performance, music, dance, marketplace, workshops and more. For program listings and updates, visit

Aug. 9-12: The Grace International Jerk Food and Music Festival is coming back to Toronto to celebrate its 17th year. The festival will showcase authentic cuisine, cultural arts and crafts and exciting entertainment to best represent the Caribbean tradition. With music at the backbone of the Caribbean spirit, JerkFest will host a Jamaican musical duo during the weekend festival. The performance schedule will feature Chaka Demus and Pliers – one of the most iconic duos to impact the history of Jamaican music with three singles in the Top Five of British music charts. More info at

Aug. 25, 26: The sixth annual Pan American Food and Music Festival – the only festival in the world that celebrates the best food and culture of the Western Hemisphere – returns to Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square, in the heart of downtown Toronto. The free festival offers food demonstrations by international chefs, dance workshops, two food competitions, the fruit carving carnival and a Pan American vendors’ market, with live music performances. Women in Food celebrates the creative power of women in Canada’s kitchens, with only female Canadian, Latin, Caribbean and Brazilian chefs, cooks and caterers participating in the festival. Additionally, an All-Women Panel will discuss the challenges that Pan American women face in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Audiences can taste creations from six chefs from different countries and vote for their favourite at the new interactive food competitions. Also new this year is the Arepa Eating Contest, on August 25 at 4 pm. A $40 ticket entitles guests to participate in this contest, trying to eat the most arepas in the shortest time possible. The top three winners will win a gift basket and a cash prize. The Pan American Light Parade will move around Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday, August 25, at 9:30 pm. More info at, Facebook: Panamerican FoodFestival.


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E-mail: Deadline for Aug. listings: July 20, 2018.