Last spring, on an Easter weekend trip to Miami to research the area’s thriving food truck scene, Suresh Doss had a revelation. Mr. Doss, a 34-year-old computer systems engineer who runs a popular food and drink website called Spotlight Toronto, is the de facto face of street food in Toronto. He’s a born organizer. When somebody wants to start a food truck, or work through the city’s all-but-impossible street-food regulations, or even just to find a street-food seller at lunchtime, they turn to Mr. Doss, typically. He grew up surrounded by the stuff.
As a child in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he’d often buy a bowl of poori slathered with curry, or a paper cone filled with mango, pineapple and hot sauce from a street-side hawker on the way to school in the morning. He even worked as a chutney boy on the days when his mother, Bernadette, made her fermented rice and lentil dosas at fundraisers held outside one of Columbo’s Catholic cathedrals.