19th annual Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival raises more than $5 million

Grand Cru lights behind a server.
(Photo: George Pimentel Photography)

This year’s Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival raised more than $5 million to support groundbreaking medical research and innovations across brain, diabetes, regenerative medicine, surgery and vision program areas at University Health Network (UHN).

Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival is a two-day event uniting esteemed chefs and wine producers from Toronto and around the world with the brightest minds in medical research to support UHN’s world-leading programs. The event features a series of private dinners in homes across Toronto and a live auction. The largest event of its kind, Grand Cru is the top fundraising food and wine festival in the world, and is a marquee event on the UHN Foundation calendar year after year.

“Food and wine have an incredible uniting quality! This week at the Grand Cru festival, they united community leaders, patients and medical experts to transform health care at the number-one hospital in the country,” says Julie Quenneville, CEO of UHN Foundation. “When we are united, we have the power to unlock new discoveries that will save lives.”

Opening night, hosted at the iconic Casa Loma in Toronto, included a spectacular live auction and cocktail reception. Guests had the opportunity to bid on a number of rare items including pieces by renowned artists Mr. Brainwash and Jane Waterous, a luxury Range Rover Autobiography and trip to the U.K. to tour the Jaguar Land Rover factory, rare wines from around the world and more. The live auction raised more than $1 million.

On night two, 14 private homes across Toronto opened their doors for invitation-only private dining experiences with the world’s most esteemed chefs, including multi-Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud (Daniel) and Emmanuel Renaut (Flocons de Sel); the first woman at the helm of a restaurant awarded four stars by the New York Times, Melissa Rodriguez (Al Coro); and Toronto culinary masters Eron Novalski (Aria Ristorante), Sash Simpson (Sash) and many more. Each unique five-star menu was custom-designed to pair with fine wines selected by international vintners.

“Philanthropy plays a pivotal role in funding medical innovation,” says UHN Trustee and UHN Foundation Board Member, Todd Halpern, who founded Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival. “It is thanks to our donors that major medical advancements at UHN are within reach. Thank you to our sponsors, participants, volunteers, wine-makers and culinary talents who continue to make Grand Cru the best impact-based food and wine festival out there.”

Thank you to our generous sponsors and supporters Grand Touring Automobiles, Miele and Halpern Enterprises. Thank you to all of our donors, guests, hosts, chefs, winemakers and volunteers who helped in making this year’s event such a success!

For a complete history and further information about Grand Cru, including a full list of sponsors, participating hosts, chefs, wineries and UHN clinicians and researchers, please visit grandcru.ca.

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