ANNOUNCING! The Good Food Innovation Awards 2016

Ancaster Old Mill Sparkling wineWant to eat ‘Canadian’?  Get ready to salivate! As we look forward to 2017, the summery menus of this year’s Food Day Canada chefs remind us of our immense Northern Bounty.  Canada IS food and the world is, and will be, richer for it.  

With the greatest number of Innovation Award winners in our history, the menus reflect a culinary diversity unlike any other nation on earth. Congratulations to all the winners!  You can check out their 2016 menus on the links provided.

First of all, welcome to the new Gold Award winning chefs!   They join a constant and exceedingly talented roster.  Theirs is not world class cuisine, it’s Canadian-class cuisine in all its incarnations from Chef James Walt’s British Columbia Barkley Sound Sockeye that was pan-seared and served with fresh pea agnolotti at Araxi  in Whistler to the fabulous wood-fired loin and seared pork belly of Chef Michael Smith at Fireworks on Prince Edward Island in the tiny community of Bay Fortune.

Canoe, TorontoThen there was the week long menu at Toronto’s now-iconic Canoe and spectacular pan-Canadian offerings at Ottawa’s Fauna which began with East Coast oysters and ended with an Okanagan plum tart. Check out the wine pairings!  

Peller Jason Parsons in Vineyard L_DJason Parsons, Peller Estates’ Executive Chef has a whole winery cellar to play with and his dishes were created with some of their best in mind.  Imagine a perfect peach and tarragon gazpacho dolloped with goat cheese mousse and paired with a Private Reserve Pinot Gris!  

From the Fenwick cauliflower and buttermilk bisque with smoked sockeye to Featherstone Verjus curd and Mennonite-grown blackberries,  Zest’s chef, Anthony Greco went all out.  His entire menu framed the notion of Canadian cuisine at every course, celebrating the regional riches of Niagara, something that Chef Greco is known for all year round.

Fougeres Back on the Gold list for this year are Chef Pierre Richard of  Little Louis’ Oyster Bar and Chef Mark Filatow Waterfront Wine joining the veterans, Chef Francis Wolf of Manoir Hovey’s Le Hatley ; Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall Country House Hotel; the team effort headed up by Charles Part and Jennifer Warren Part at Les Fougères; Chef/forager Nancy Hinton of Les Jardins Sauvages; Chef Jonas Stadtlander of Sooke Harbour House; Chef & cheesemaker/hunter/gardener Derek Bendig of Siwash Lake Wilderness ResortChef Josh Crowe and Barb Irwin of Montreal’s Taverne Monkland; Pierre Olivier Ferry of the spectacular Jardins de Métis  on the shores of the St. Lawrence River and Chef Warren Barr at The Wickaninnish where diners are treated to the panorama of the wild west coast of Vancouver Island!

Sleek and well curated menus are the characteristic of the Silver Award winners, each with its own particular food voice.

Cork and Fork 1From the east coast come Shadow Lawn, a beautiful country inn in Rothesay, New Brunswick and the Windjammer in Moncton’s Delta Hotel.  Both have been dedicated to the art of local cuisine on a year long basis for years.  From Ontario there’s London’s Abruzzi who shared the proceeds of a week long FDC menu with Growing Chefs Ontario; Kitchener’s Fork and Cork Grill, Mercer Hall in downtown Stratford where Chef Ryan O’Donnell has created a very real culinary destination. Then there’s Guelph’s Miijidaa which honours many of the ingredients of Ontario’s First Nations;  Niagara’s Treadwell and Toronto’s Boralia, Indie Ale House and Buca Yorkville. Klondike Kate’s has been a bastion of great FDC menus for years in the north while Rouge  created a splendid, full-on summer menu in Calgary.   RauDZ Regional Table  has been a pioneer of all things local in British Columbia for literally decades. One of Vancouver’s most creative chefs, David Gunawan Royal Dinette, in this his first year as a Food Day restaurant, also claimed a silver.

L'Abattoir Food 2 - Pumpkin pie with creme fraiche, candied sugar pumpkin, pumpkin seed steusel (1)Food Day Canada began this incredibly inspiring journey with a handful of like-minded chefs and restaurants. Now it’s become an embarrassment of riches and our full list rivals any in Canada!  This year (2016), the quality and creativity of our chefs and restaurateurs was unparalleled.  With that in mind we are honouring a number of them with Honourable Mentions. 

You can be assured, when you to to any one of them to dine, that you’ll have a great, regionally/nationally sourced meal cooked with dedication and a good modicum of creativity!   Both Vancouver’s L’Abattoir and Ottawa’s Beckta’s menus have always been concise and to the point whereas Alex Haun’s Savour in the Garden even provided a map of New Brunswick suppliers to his diners.  The East Coast Bistro showcases New Brunswick cuisine twelve months of the year.

Bruce Wine BarBruce Wine Bar in the beautiful Georgian Bay town of Thornbury is almost a local secret…one of those unsung restaurants that needs to be better recognized across the nation. Check out Chef Edmonstone’s menus and book a table.  His winemakers dinners are exceptional.

Saskatchewan has a wealth of great produce celebrated beautifully at The Riverside Golf & Country Club, Calories and the Wascana Golf & Country Club with well-curated, hyper-local menus this year. B.C.

Mission Hill Terrace RestaurantWe loved the family style approach taken by both Chef Matt Batey at The Nash in Calgary and Dave Watt at Garrison House in Niagara-on-the-Lake, two great bookends for the opulent menus of Mission Hill’s Terrace Restaurant in Westbank/Kelowna and Mount Julian in Ontario’s lake country.  Scozia at the Breadalbane Inn in Fergus, Ontario interprets some spectacular ingredients through the cooking techniques of Italy.  It works and meals there are delicious!

 

 

 

 

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