Networking: A Merkato PR Girls Night Out

Friends at Eat the Beat

Last night Bea and Sacha hit the town, to attend two separate female-focused networking events. These events were so fun, we couldn’t resist the urge to post about the night.  So we’re going to hit you up with a double whammy!

First up: Merkato Senior Consultant Beatrice Bastedo was invited by one of her dear friends and favourite bloggers Yvonne Tsui (a.k.a Th3 Hungry Cat) to Toronto’s annual Eat the Beat celebration at Roy Thompson Hall. Huge thanks, Yvonne!

Celebrating its 18th year, Eat to the Beat is a magnet for urban foodies and do-gooders who come together to experience fabulous food and support a great cause: 80% of the proceeds raised at Eat to the Beat are applied directly to Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada. Way to go Willow!

Eat the Beat is the only event in Canada that exclusively features the talent of 60 female chefs.

Yvonne and I enjoyed savoury and sweet dishes at 60 stations along with libations from 20 of the finest beverage purveyors.

We even ran into a ton of friends along the way including recipe developer, Top Chef contestant, and founder of the always awesome Killer Condiments, Andrea Nicholson.  She delighted us with her interesting combination of wild BC sockeye salmon, baby potato, smoked tomato chutney, fennel and preserved lemon gremolata.

We also crossed paths with our long-time pal and extraordinary chef, Emily Richards, who gave Yvonne one of her favourite bites of the night; a gorgonzola profiterole with roasted balsamic pears.  I honestly thought I had died and gone to blue-cheese heaven after popping that wonder into my mouth.

We scored an epic laugh from the hilarious and effervescent ultra-foodie Andrea Buckett who actually had the night off to enjoy the evening.  The lucky gal deserved it!

In the nick of time, we managed to arrive at our favourite mamacita, Rossy Earle’s station.  We literally grabbed the last mind blowing bite of her Carimañolas (cassava chorizo & queso fresco fritters) with Diablo’s Fuego ketchup & cilantro cream vegetarian paella.


It’s hard to choose, however, our favourite bite of the night was most definitely from Alexandra Feswick, chef at the hip Queen West eatery, Samuel J. Moore.  Her bite of gnudi with cream, mushrooms and peas was both simple and surprising.  The smooth texture and clean flavours just worked…not to mention they were adorable (see below).


We also loved Lynn Jones-Adams’ (from Jordan, Ontario’s Inn on the Twenty) ice wine cheesecake balls.

Ice balls

Eat to the Beat was tremendous fun, all for a wonderful cause.  The outstanding women who attended to support the event and those who cooked up the exquisite morsels are truly inspiring.  The evening reminded me of how happy I am to be a woman in the food industry, and how much I love my profession and appreciate my health. I can’t wait to return again next year!  To learn more about Eat to the Beat please visit or follow them @EattotheBeat_TO.

Thanks again for everything Yvonne.

(posted by Bea)


Next up: Sacha was invited to a join General Electric’s communication team for a fun night of hockey and networking at GE’s annual women in communications networking event.

The event was held in GE’s executive suite at the Air Canada Centre and it was pretty ‘suite’(pardon my terrible pun). It was my first NHL hockey game and I’ve got to say, it’s a swell way to experience a game – though honestly, I didn’t follow the game too intensely.

O Canada

While attempting to keep an eye on the score and watch a couple plays, I had a chance to speak with some impressive women at different stages in their careers.

As a woman who’s recently taken her first job in PR, networking/professional development events are so valuable. I was able to discuss my path career up to now and garner insight from these accomplished women for the years ahead.

It’s fascinating to hear about different career paths and the varied experiences these women had  – from agency, corporate, non-profit to entrepreneurial endeavours.

The night was filled with women speaking about their careers with passion and I couldn’t help being left inspired! I’ve had my eye on some of the events Women of Influence have been hosting, but maybe it’s time that I stop looking and start going!

And… in case you were wondering! The Leafs beat the Ducks 4-2. Leaf’s forward Phil Kessel scored a hat trick! Look at me go! #sportstalk

A big thank you to Jenna LaPlante and the GE communications team for the invitation!

Sacha and Hayley

(posted by Sacha)


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