¡Buen provecho! Last week, at the Toronto Travel Centre, guests were treated to a tantalizing taste of Latin America. We’re talking about the annual Ceviche Smackdown, presented by Flight Centre & Ocean Wise Seafood and hosted by the acclaimed culinary authority, Ivy Knight. Toronto’s top ceviche chefs battled it out for bragging rights of being this year’s Ocean Wise Seafood Ceviche Smackdown Champion.
Sipping on expertly paired wines from Noble Estates, guests tasted three takes on ceviche, then voted for whose creation they thought was best. All the seafood used at the Smackdown is 100% sustainable and was graciously donated by Seacore Seafoods. All proceeds go to support Ocean Wise and protect the health of our oceans.
Your Ceviche Smackdown Chefs
Chef Rodrigo Aguilar of El Rey Mezcal Bar
Rodrigo Aguilar is the son of a Spanish father and Mexican mother, and both have shaped his culinary style. After graduating from Mexico’s renowned, Colegio Culinario Coronado he travelled the world before settling in Toronto. Having cooked for over ten years, he says, “my mission is to show the world the heart and soul of Mexican cuisine.”
Chef Jeremy Saluma of Cava
Chef Jeremy has been working at Cava for four years. “I take a lot of inspiration from Spanish cuisine. My menu also takes influences from Mexico as well as the surrounding areas of Spain, specifically Morocco.” Born in Toronto to Filipino parents, that culture also plays a prominent role in his repertoire
Rodrigo de Romana of Rodney’s Oyster House
Born in Peru, Rodrigo de Romana came to Canada at the age of 3. He’s been cooking his whole life and started working at Rodney’s Oyster House in 2006, where he has been chef de cuisine for the past six years. Working at the country’s oldest oyster restaurant has made him passionate about sustainable seafood. He is also heavily influenced by Peruvian cuisine, “Even though I grew up in Canada my upbringing has been very Peruvian.”
After the samples were enjoyed and the votes were counted, Chef Rodrigo Aguilar was crowned the Ceviche Smackdown Champion.
So good, you can almost taste it! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be in the know about our next foodie event. In the meantime, check out some of the pictures from the event here:
Here’s what people had to say about the event:
“The ceviche dishes showcase a huge variety of sustainable seafood, not only to the public, but also to the chefs involved, making it a learning experience for everyone that results in greater awareness when it comes to purchasing fish in the future.
To see the Travel Centre buzzing in such a deliciously interactive way on a warm summer evening, with a crowd enjoying sparkling wine and rosé while trying the amazing ceviche creations of the competing chefs, was really fantastic. It’s a great space that feels like a chill oasis in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in the country.”
- Ivy Knight, Ceviche Smackdown host
“Ocean Wise was absolutely thrilled to be involved in the Ceviche Smackdown at the Flight Centre Travel Centre this year. Events like these are key for not only promoting the importance of sustainable seafood but for establishing that strong connection between our food choices and their impacts. The beautiful open space for this event provided the perfect opportunity for mingling and gave the guests ample opportunity to connect with the chefs and learn about ocean conservation while sampling some deliciously prepared sustainable ceviche. “
- Isabella Sulpizio, Ocean Wise Seafood Coordinator, Eastern Canada
“One of Flight Centre’s core philosophies is corporate social responsibility. An event like the Smackdown represents our values on sustainability and ecological protection. Like travel, food brings people together, and this event showcased just that. We are grateful for Seacore Seafoods’ generous donation, Ocean Wise’s involvement and of course, Ivy Knight’s expert touch, and look forward to more events like this in the future.”
- Sam Melkic, National Event Specialist for Flight Centre
Host your event at the Toronto Travel Centre
Not just for travel enthusiasts, our beautiful Travel Centre can be the perfect backdrop for your special event. Want to host an event of your own at the Travel Centre? Get in touch with Flight Centre’s National Event Marketing Specialist, Sam Melkic, today!