The Good Food Innovation Winners 2017 !

Once again the bar has been raised with this year’s University of Guelph Good Food Innovation Awards.  The calibre of the 2017 menus was absolutely outstanding!  The depth and breath of our chefs’ commitment to the producers of Canada was the finest ever.  (We DID trend at #1 on Twitter across the nation!)  What pleases us so much is how many new Gold Award winners there are this year, men and women who can stand on any culinary stage in the world. 

The new members of what we believe to be an elite group join many veterans who’ve made top notch local offerings the cornerstone of their menus.  All the categories are filled with culinary game-changers.  Check the links to each menu and then challenge anyone who says Canada does not have it’s own vibrant food scene.  We rock! 


These are our premier awards.  The University of Guelph and President/Vice-Chancellor Dr. Franco Vaccarino annually host the new winners,showcasing the highlights of some of the culinary research that positions the school as “Canada’s Food University.”  From there, these chefs make their way to Manhattan to cook at the James Beard House, a testament to both their talent and their commitment. 

Leading off the new inductees in B.C. are Brock Bowes and Rod Butters who head up the creative team at RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna with business partner Audrey Surrao. They join other B.C. regional Gold winners who’ve been creating amazing menus for years…Araxi Restaurant and Bar (Chef James Walt), Sooke Harbour House (Sinclair and Frederique Philip), Waterfront Wines Restaurant (Chef Mark Filatow), The Pointe Restaurant (Chef Warren Barr) and The Terrace at Mission Hill (Chef Patrick Gayler).

Calgary’s Jamie Harling of Deane House (owner Sal Howell) and Jinhee Lee with her partner Duncan Ly of Foreign Concept are new to the podium and join River Cafe (Sal Howell & Chef Matthias Fong).

Further east, in Ontario, Jamie Kennedy cooked a spectacular dinner at his Prince Edward County J.K. Farm while a veteran of the province’s food scene; Todd Clarmo, led Bauer Kitchen to its first win as did Eric Neaves of Kitchener’s Fork and Cork Grill. Few restaurants have been so immersed in the produce of Niagara as Treadwell Farm to Table Restaurant in downtown Niagara on the Lake.  Chef Stephen Treadwell has marvellous backup in his son James who has one of the best wine lists in the region.

Miijidaa (translated from Cree meaning “Let’s Eat”) is so hyper local that it has earned a B-Corp designation, a massive accomplishment for any business.  It’s the home of Chef Shea Robinson and founders Bob and Court Desautels. They all join Langdon Hall Country House Hotel (Chef Jason Bangerter); Canoe (Chefs John Horne, Ron McKinlay & Anthony Walsh); The Restaurant at Redstone (Chef David Sider) and Fonthill’s Chef Anthony Greco who is poised to open a new restaurant shortly.

Derek Dammann’s Maison Publique garnered Gold in Quebec joining Les Jardins Sauvages (Chef Nancy Hinton); Le Manoir Hovey (Chef Francis Wolf); the legendary Les Fougeres (Chefs Charles Part, Jennifer Warren Part and Yannick LaSalle) and a perennial favourite in Montreal, Taverne Monkland.

New Brunswick’s super creative chef Pierre Richard of Little Louis’ Oyster Bar along with Chris and Graziella Aerni’s Rossmount Inn held up the Gold banner for New Brunswick again.

Newfoundland’s Raymond’s Restaurant in downtown St. John’s is the most easterly Gold Award winner this year with a menu that honours some of the finest wines in the nation!

And a  SPECIAL GOLD AWARD has been created and will be presented to Calgary Chef Paul Rogalski who left his restaurant is good hands with a FDC menu in place and flew north to cook a feast on August 5th for the crew of Canada C3 MV Polar Prince, in Pangnirtung Fiord, the most northerly such meal ever to be part of this crazy national project of ours.


It was often a mark or two that made the difference but these Silver Award winners are exceptionally talented and worthy of recognition! 

This year’s roster include some great chefs and restaurants.  Check them out…the list is long and illustrious!  From B.C. there’s Spinnakers Brewpub and Guest Houses (Victoria), Terrafina (Oliver) and Old Vines at Quail’s Gate (Kelowna/Westbank), Chateau Whistler’s The Wildflower (Whistler),  L’Abattoir  (Vancouver).  In the Prairies you’ll find CHARCUT Roast House and NOtaBLE (both from Calgary), HayLoft (Airdrie), Wetlands at The Wascana and Skye Bistro (both in Regina). The only northern restaurant on this large list is Klondike Kate’s from Dawson City way up in the Yukon.

From Ontario let’s celebrate Bruce Wine Bar and Kitchen (Thornbury), Envers (Morriston), Abruzzi (London)  Fauna (Ottawa), Scozia (Fergus), Peller Estates Restaurant and Ravine Vineyard and Estate Winery (both from Niagara) and the venerable Wooly Pub (Guelph).  Toronto’s only Silver goes to Buca Yorkville. Two restaurants represent Newfoundland, both from the same island, the Fogo Island Inn and Nicole’s Cafe. In New Brunswick, there’s the Delta Hotel’s Windjammer (Moncton) and nearby on Prince Edward Island, there’s Chef Michael Smith’s Fireworks (Souris).

Newly-minted Canteen represents Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and should be on everyone’s list when heading to Nova Scotia.


Spread across the nation are restaurants, some quite new, that deserve to be mentioned for their take on Canadian cuisine. 

There’s Crowbar & Variety  a restaurant that opened its doors for the first time at the end of July and Northwinds Brewpub and Kitchen (both from Collingwood), The Farmers’ Apprentice (Vancouver), The Paisley Notebook Pop Up (Kelowna) and  From Scratch, a Mountain Kitchen (Fairmont Hot Springs), Miradoro (Oliver), Winnipeg’s Fusion Grill with  The Garrison House and Good Earth Food & Wine  from Niagara.


Congratulations to ALL the chefs and their teams who work so hard to feed us all. Whether it’s high cuisine or pub food, we here in Canada can be very proud of our great Northern Bounty! 



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