3rd annual Pan American Food Festival Announces 2015 Program:

Top Chefs, Food Competitions, Pan Am Music Fest & Family Fun!

TORONTO, ON (June 17, 2015) – The third annual Pan American Food Festival – the only festival in the world that celebrates the best food and culture of the Western Hemisphere –returns to Toronto from July 30 to August 3, 2015 at Daniels Spectrum, in the heart of downtown Toronto.

This year’s festival features another roster of impressive chefs, fun food competitions and the premiere of the first annual Pan Am Music Fest.

“We are excited to present the best flavours and cultures of the Pan American region at the height of Pan Am fever in Toronto,” says Daniel Garcia-Herreros, Festival Director and Founder.

“We are returning to Daniels Spectrum this year with our biggest festival to date—filled with more delicious food experiences, cultural events and performances than ever before.”

The festival launches on Thursday, July 30 with the opening of 10×10 Pan American Faces, a new exhibition of photography by ten local photographers to celebrate the contribution of Pan Americans to Toronto’s vibrant quality of life. The exhibition will be on view in the South Lobby of Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East, Toronto) through the Festival. On Friday July 31, a private VIP Opening Reception will celebrate the Festival’s third year, and the 2015  Featured Country, Mexico.

Over the August long weekend, the Festival will be entirely free to the public on Saturday August 1-3, 2015. Once again, the public can participate in mouth-watering food demonstrations by international chefs, kids’ activities, Latin dance workshops, and a Pan American vendors market. Events will be held inside Daniels Spectrum, a vibrant cultural hub in downtown Toronto, and on the neighboring streets Regent Park Boulevard and St. David’s Walk), creating a large outdoor street fair called the Pan American Market for visitors to discover the delicious and diverse cuisine and cultures of the Americas. New this year will be the first annual Pan Am Music Fest (see details below). Sunday’s programs feature the food, music and dance of Mexico.


Many top Pan American food vendors and food trucks will sell specialties from their respective countries all weekend, bringing the best of Pan American flavour to Toronto. In addition, the Festival’s Culinary Curator, Mary Luz Mejía, has put together a unique line-up of culinary talent to present food demonstrations and participate in international food competitions judged by the public. This year’s feature International Chef is Colombia’s Master Chef winner, Federico Martinez, who will prepare a traditional Colombian favourite on August 1st at 4 pm.

A total of twenty-five Pan American chefs will live demo dishes, including:

  • Chef Federico Martinez, first-ever winner of Master Chef Colombia
  • Chef Ryan Wilson-Lall, chef de cuisine at the AGO’s FRANK restaurant
  • Chef Paola Solorzano, representing this year’s host country, Mexico
  • Chef Elias Salazar, competing in Heladisimo with his Peruvian cacao and quinoa paleta
  • Chef Cristian Heise, winner of 2014 Best Tamale, represents Chile in Empanada Battle
  • Chef Pedro Quintanilla, representing Cuba, who will demo his Picadillo Cubano live

Building on the success of last year’s sold-out Totalmente Tamales competition, three new international Food Competitions will be held this year. The festival’s first-ever Empanada Battle will pit some of the city’s best empanada makers in a friendly competition to determine whose empanada will be crowned la reina! Six chef competitors from the Pan American region will battle it out on Saturday August 1, 6:30-8:30pm. A $10 ticket entitles guests to sample all six empanadas and a voting ballot to pick their top contenders.

This year’s Host Country, Mexico, will sponsor Masa Mas Lucha Libre, where six chefs participate in a competition of masa-based dishes from different regions of the country. The event will take place on Sunday, August. 2, 2015 from 6-7:30pm, and visitors can taste all the contenders and vote with their $10 ticket.

On Monday, August 3 at 3 pm, the final food competition takes a sweeter and cooler turn as four chefs offer ices and ice creams with a Pan American twist in Heladisimo, with tickets priced at just $6.00. This is a great way for the whole family to cool down after a fun summer afternoon at the Festival.


New to this year’s festival will be the launch of the first annual Pan Am Music Fest, on August 1, 2 and 3. The Music Festival is co-presented by artistic curators Suah Entertainment,

producers of Latin music, art & culture events in Toronto, and has three main elements:

  • The free outdoor Pan American Stage will offer an outstanding line-up of music and dance performances from noon to closing each day, showing the rhythms and colours of such diverse traditions as Brazilian samba, Cuban salsa, Jamaican reggae and Mexican mariachi. Program details will be released at a later date.
  • A $15 ticket will grant access to the Pan Am Fiesta on Saturday August 1st at 9:00pm inside Daniels Spectrum, featuring an exclusive performance by Latin Grammy nominated Mexican singer-songwriter, Caloncho. This event will be licensed.
  • On Sunday August 2nd at 8pm, a $30 ticket will grant access to a special performance from the Mexican Folk Ballet showcasing the history of Mexico through dance. This spectacular presentation, with more than 60 performers, will take place inside Daniels Spectrum.


Thursday July 30

– Opening of 10×10 Pan American Faces photography exhibition, 7 pm

Friday July 31  

– VIP Opening Reception (by invitation)

Saturday August 1

– International Chef Food Demonstrations: free, noon to 5 pm

– Pan Am Music Fest: free, noon to 11 pm

– Pan American Market: free noon to 10 pm

– Pan American Parade: free, 5 pm

– International Food Competition: Empanadas Battle: $10, 6:30 pm

– Pan Am Fiesta, featuring Latin Grammy nominee Caloncho; $15, 9 pm,

licensed event, 18+

Sunday August 2

– International Chef Food Demonstrations: free, noon to 5 pm

– Pan Am Music Fest: free, noon to 10 pm

– Pan American Market: free noon to 10 pm

– International Food Competition: Masa Mas Lucha Libre: $10, 6:30 pm

– Special Performance by Ballet of Mexico; $30, 8 pm, all ages

Monday August 3

– International Chef Food Demonstrations: free, noon to 3 pm



– Pan Am Music Fest: free, noon to 8 pm

– Pan American Market: free noon to 10 pm

– International Food Competition: Heladisimo (Ice Creams): $6, 3 pm


For more information, visit www.panamfoodfest.com / Facebook: PanamericanFoodFestival


For more information, interviews or photographs, please contact:

Kristen Heredia, mediadirector@panamfoodfest.com , cell 416.333.2655.


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