The Most Gifted: Tastemakers Katie Boland, Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan

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Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan popped into The Tastemakers Lounge at the InterContinental for a Popchips fix in-between press junkets. The duo, who star together in The F Word, autographed the lounge’s signing board in support of SickKids Foundation. With bowls of Katy Perry’s delish new kettle corn flavour on every table, snacking goes hand in hand with networking. Co-founders Deb Goldblatt and Leesa Butler put a new travel twist on their ninth year lineup – much of the Canadian gear is jet-set inspired and perfect for celebs on the go. Eco-darling Bobble reusable bottles fit neatly into Jessica Jensen carry-on bags, while Cake Beauty hand cream is perfect for hydrating after long haul flights.

Gift bags this year will include handcrafted wood and fibreglass accessories by Alto Collective; delicious caffeinated chocolate treats by AWAKE Chocolate; stylish, reusable water bottles by bobble, top book titles from Penguin Canada; tasty snacks from popchips; apparel from The Real Collective; eco-conscious home products from Seventh Generation; uKloo, an educational and entertaining game for early readers (age four to seven); Dentyne gum; Jessica Jensen limited edition totes courtesy of VISA; Coconut water by O.N.E. Coconut Water;  ultra nourishing hand cream by Cake Beauty; a selection of teas from Pluck Tea; and fresh, natural honey by Wendell Honey.

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Iconic Flashdance actress Jennifer Beals (Cinemanovels) used to do a treasure hunt game with her daughter when she was young, and thought uKloo was a great idea. She is a big fan of Seventh Generation products and already uses them at home. Cinemanovels director Terry Miles is a Katy Perry and kettle corn fan, so naturally popchips’ new flavour, katy’s kettle corn, was a big hit with him.

Tara Spencer-Nairn (The Listener) and Gabrielle Miller (Call Me Fitz) brought their Corner Gas character’s sense of humour to the Tastemakers Lounge. Tara was wowed by Seventh Generation’s Natural Baby Shampoo & Wash Gel. She plans to start using Seventh Generation with her two year old. Gabrielle is a big fan of Cake Beauty, and is very excited to try her new Be Delectable hand cream.

Oscar nominated actor Demián Bichir (Dom Hemingway, Weeds, The Bridge) looks forward to playing uKloo with his daughter Gala. He’s a big snacker, so at 100 calories a bag, katy’s kettle corn popchips will satisfy both his sweet and salty cravings. Bichir even got playful, posing in the popchipsphoto booth beside a poster of the brand’s current face Katy Perry.

I love category-defying Popchips – despite being guilt-free alternative, they’re actually addictive. And the flavours cater to more sophisticated tastes, not that mysterious fake tasting mumbo jumbo. It’s hard to give up your fave fried (unhealthy) and switch to baked (undelicious) choices. We know, we know. But Popchips are actually supremely tasty and has been winning awards and acclaim since its launch in 2007 with a growing list of celebrity fans and investors, led by social media pioneer and popchips’  president of pop culture, Ashton Kutcher, Diddy, and of course, Katy Perry, the current face of the brand. www.popchips.ca, Twitter: @popchipsCAN, Instagram: @Popchips.

Cake Beauty is a proudly Canadian, indulgent bath, body and hair care line with gourmand scents, unique textures and multi-purpose product offerings. Infused with 90 to 95 per cent raw and natural ingredients, Cake Beauty products are nourishing and results-oriented. Cake Beauty will be gifting talent with their be Delectable coconut & cream ultra nourishing hand cream. There is a lot of glad handing at TIFF, soft hands can seal the deal! Packed full of goodness, this ultra-nourishing hand cream is enriched with shea butter, coconut oil and aloe vera to smooth, nourish and rejuvenate hands and cuticles. Rich and never greasy, this beautiful blend is kissed with the delectable scent of coconut and cream and is free of parabens, sodium chloride, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, GMOs, mineral oil, petrolatum, gluten and triclosan. www.cakebeauty.com, Twitter: @cakebeauty, Instagram: @cakebeauty.

For those who want to carry on the TIFF glamour during and after the Festival, attendees will walk away with a limited edition tote courtesy of VISA and Toronto-based handbag designer Jessica Jensen.  Jensen is standout in the lounge – a Canadian designer and creator of luxurious handbags and small leather goods. Emily Hampshire (All the Wrong Reasons) arrived at the lounge toting her own Jessica Jensen’s handbag; she adores the Canadian designer and was coveting the Jessica Jensen for VISA and Tastemakers limited edition tote bag. Gia Milani (All the Wrong Reasons) was excited for her first TIFF and her first Tastemakers Lounge experience. Since its debut in 2008, the namesake label has become a must-have classic in designer accessories and has been featured on Fashion Television, Breakfast Television, etalk, Global News and across the pages of Vogue, InStyle, Lucky, Fashion, Flare, and Elle. Celebrities including Katie Holmes, Helen Mirren, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Connelly, Vivica Fox, Kristin Booth and Sarah McLachlan, amongst others have all been spotted carrying Jensen’s bags both on and off the red carpet. Twitter: @JessicaJensen.

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In terms of culinary offerings, Tastemakers offers many artisanal treats – after talking all day long, Pluck Tea will help stars unwind while soothing tired throats with their local, natural and bespoke blends. All tea is sourced ethically in sustainable tea gardens and made locally. Founded in 2012 by tea sommelier and passionate connoisseur Jennifer Commins, Pluck Tea’s bespoke loose-leaf teahouse provides signature offerings to restaurants, hotels, offices and retail partners. All products are blended and packaged locally at Pluck Tea’s solar-powered office and lab in downtown Toronto. Pluck Tea can be enjoyed at restaurant partners including Shangri-La Hotel, Soho House, The York Club, Nota Bene, The Beverley Hotel and, starting in September, individually purchased at McEwan or online at foodiepages.ca. www.pluckteas.com, Twitter: @PluckTea, Instagram: @PluckTeas.

And perfect for pairing with teas, Wendell Honey is a great natural fuel for mind and body after a long day. From the heart of the pristine Canadian prairie the Wendells have delivered honey of unparalleled taste, texture and integrity since 1940. This all natural, unheated, raw, creamed honey is also packaged in a beautiful Italian jar. Wendell Honey is ready to use and easy to spread, and experienced success with an appearance on the popular CBC series Dragons’ Den. www.wendellestate.ca, Twitter: @WendellEstate.

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The other revelation of this lounge is AWAKE. Jet-setting isn’t easy – to stay alert and still have the energy to promote their latest films, filmmakers and actors can nosh on *AWAKE Chocolate bars. Katie Boland (Gerontophilia) headed into the Tastemakers Lounge fresh off the plane from Venice, where she appreciated the AWAKE chocolate bars and O.N.E. coconut water. Each bar has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, or a 250ml energy drink, and is more convenient (and more delicious) to eat on the go. www.awakechocolate.com, Twitter: @AwakeChocolate.

By Si Si Penaloza

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