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On the left  is a black-and-white icon of a plate, fork and knife. On the right is text that says "Un grande pasto Italinao (A Grand Italian Meal)."  To  the right of the text is a star icon that says "Top Pick." Bottom right corner sits text that says "Readers and Writers Week."



Paul D. Fleck Marquee, Festival Theatre
Saturday, August 26, 2023
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Forum Dinner Series

This series of exclusive meals will take you on a journey of the senses, complete with informative speakers, incredible entertainment and an exquisite atmosphere. We've partnered with some of the nation's most celebrated chefs to present a distinctively theatrical culinary experience.

Tickets are $165 and include dinner and drink pairings.

Ticket purchases for all events in the Forum Dinner Series must be made five days prior to the scheduled event.

Un grande pasto italiano (A Grand Italian Meal)

Buono, Squisito, Gustoso and Saporito are just a few ways to describe delicious Italian food. In this celebration of Grand Magic and all things Italian, join us for an authentic Italian cena (dinner). Professor Teresa Lobalsamo from the University of Toronto Mississauga will speak about the inspirations and history of Italian gastronomy.

Curated by chef Matthew Sullivan with The Food Dudes.

About Maître Fromager Afrim Pristine

Food Network personality and Maître Fromager (Cheese Master), Afrim Pristine, is Canada's premier cheese expert with over 25 years of experience in the art of cheese making and co-owner of Cheese Boutique alongside his brother Agim. From studying with some of the world's greatest cheesemakers like Luigi Guffanti, Stefano Sarti, Carl Schilt, and Jean-Paul Morin as well as hands-on training from his father and experience at the world's most renowned dairy farms, Pristine has helped grow his family business of 53 years into a local favourite and trusted partner of chefs and restaurants across the Canadian restaurant industry like Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwan, Daniel Boulud, David Chang and Lynn Crawford, earning him a place on Food & Drinkmagazine’s 10 Most Influential People in the Food Industry list. Known to audiences as the star of Food Network Canada’s first-ever docu-series, Cheese- A Love Story (available on Amazon Prime and Hulu), his wealth of cheese knowledge can also be tapped through the pages of his cookbook For the Love of Cheese. In addition to his own show, he is the expert consultant for Top Chef Canada, MasterChef and Chopped Canada, among other programs. As one of the world's youngest "Maitre Fromager", an honour bestowed by the France-based Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, an exclusive association representing more than 5,000 dairy professionals worldwide, Pristine is the only Canadian to receive this title, awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional cheese knowledge and recognized within their community. He is also the recipient of the "Chevalier," a distinction from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France and has been awarded with Top 30 Under 30 in the Food Industry by Ontario Hostelry Institute.

About the Chef & Series Curator

Chef Matthew Sullivan began his culinary career attending and graduating from Stratford Chefs School. His passion for food has landed him in high-profile kitchens around the world, including Gramercy Tavern in New York City and the three-Michelin Star epicentre to molecular cuisine, England’s The Fat Duck, where he was a stagiaire. After a long stint in fine dining, Sullivan transitioned into being a corporate chef for top companies including Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, where he was Corporate Executive Chef and Food Dudes, overseeing their kitchens in Toronto’s Hotel X. Sullivan has participated in prestigious gastronomic competitions, including winning the People’s Choice Award at Gold Medal Plates in 2019, earning the title of champion on Chopped Canada and  competing in season 6 of Top Chef Canada .

About Professor Teresa Lobalsamo

Teresa Lobalsamo is Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, of Italian language, food studies, and cinema at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Current research foci include curating a digital archive of Italian-Canadiana, titled “Mapping Italian-Canadian Foodways.” Professor Lobalsamo currently serves as an Executive Committee member for the Association of American Teachers of Italian (AATI). She received the UTM Teaching Excellence Award for Junior Faculty for 2017-18. 

Food Dudes logo     Pelee Island Winery logo

Support for The Meighen Forum is generously provided by Kelly & Michael Meighen and the T.R. Meighen Family Foundation.

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