Elora/Ottawa September 14th, 2011
Food Day Canada judges have selected the top three chefs/restaurants to receive the Egg Farmers of Canada 2011 Award for the Best Brunch in Canada.
The Gold Award for the Best Brunch in Canada goes to Harbour House Hotel, Restaurant and Organic Farm and Chef Paul Stewart and his team. One of the most intriguing dishes was the Quinoa Breakfast Pudding. Combining quinoa grown in the large organic garden adjacent to the hotel, Chef Stewart sweetened this beautiful eggy custard with syrup harvested from the big leaf maple trees that ring the farm then topped it with fresh tayberries which also flourish there.
Other wonderful dishes were a House-candied, Alder-smoked Wild Caught Pacific Salmon with Poached Eggs under a Tarragon Hollandaise on House-baked English Muffins and a side of Farm Tomato Relish; and a Sunrise Salad of Poached Bullock Farm Eggs on a bed of Pork & Fennel Sausage in a Phyllo Pastry ‘Blossom’ and Fresh Herb Hollandaise.
Judge Chef Michael Smith commented that this menu was “the most intentionally regional” with “the best grounding in local community”. He spoke for all the judges when he also noted that it has “the best story told through the menu system.”
Claiming the Silver Award is Epic Restaurant at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Chef Timothy Palmer offered three days of fabulous brunches that showcased ingredients from around Ontario and across Canada from the traditional Peameal Bacon Eggs Benedict with Soft Poached Eggs on Toasted Brioche to Eggs with Perth Pork Slab Bacon in an Ontario Maple Shallot Glaze. He headed to the roof to harvest herbs for the Epic Burger and sweetened ricotta with honey from that same rooftop garden high above Toronto.
The Bronze Award goes to Vancouver’s Rain City Grill and Chef Jennifer Peters. Her thoughtful menu included “100 Mile Crepes” made with flour from Agassiz, a mill on the lower mainland east of the city and egg rich French Toast bathed in Huckleberry & Elderflower Syrup and served with Chantilly cream. Dungeness crab was the basis for her ‘Benedict’ while in another dish she creatively used Saskatchewan green lentils to create a Lentil Cassoulet with Bacon and Duck Confit topped with a Poached Egg.
Prior to Food Day Canada the challenge went out to create a special brunch menu with dishes that not only featured Canada Grade A Fresh Shell Eggs and the talents of the chefs and farmers who produce some of the best food on the planet. Judges scored on imagination, creativity and, of course, Canadian content.
The Judging Panel for this award was made up of James Chatto, Dr. Sinclair Philip, Chef Michael Smith and Elizabeth Baird. The judges are from a wide range of disciplines and are all experts in food and food life of Canada.
Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) is a not-for-profit national organization representing Canada’s regulated egg farmers from coast to coast. Food Day Canada / Journée des terroirs is a mid summer celebration of Canada’s northern bounty and the talent that serves it forth. With chefs and restaurants participating from all across the nation, it is the largest ‘locavore’ event in Canada.