Good Food Innovation Awards 2013 Announced
In the same spirit of innovation that permeates its faculties all across the various campuses, The University of Guelph created the Good Food Innovation Award to honour food professionals from across the country who strive to provide innovative menu solutions based on Canadian ingredients. There are chefs and restaurants that are the virtual homesteaders of Canadian cuisine. In their evolution, they’ve traveled down different culinary pathways on extraordinary journeys that have led the way for others. They have created milestones. They have created history.
As menus are posted during Food Day Canada, they are also compiled into a rather large file to be held for our panel of judges. The process is long and although one might think relatively easy, it’s quite arduous. This year there were, in fact, to ties…for Gold and also for Bronze. The menus were judged on Canadian content, creativity and clarity. Judges also looked for innovation in the use of ingredients and sustainability in the choice of those ingredients. You can read and salivate over the full menus on their individual web-pages.
This is the third year that Sooke Harbour House has claimed Gold. However joining them on the podium this year is Les Fougères of Chelsea, Quebec. The Silver Award goes to Les Jardins de Métis, the glorious gardens of the Reford family on the south shore of the St.Lawrence.
Bronze is also shared by Executive Chef Roary MacPherson from the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland and Chef Mark Filatow of Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar in Kelowna, B.C. Roary’s menu was pure Newfoundland from the freshly baked molasses and oatmeal loaves to the deep-fried Screech ice cream, spiced beet cake and toffee sauce. The beverage was rhubarb fizz and bakeapple slush. Meanwhile with the assistance of Sous Chef Wayne Morris, Chef Filatow’s was finely tailored to showcase the foraged and cultivated ingredients of the Okanagan Valley from wild salmon with lactic-fermented horseradish cream, dill pollen and spruce tip vinegar to Red Fife doughnuts suff with Claremont apricot jam.. One of their strongest suits is how well they match the local ingredients with the wines harvested all around the city. Their menu was lean and well balanced in every respect.
What made the judges task so difficult this year was the utter embarrassment of riches from chefs and restaurants across the nation. Mere fractions of points separated all of them.
Most Honorable Mentions go to The Breadalbane Inn, Fergus, Ontario; Monkland Taverne, Montreal; Little Louis Oyster Bar, Moncton, N.B.; another Newfoundland restaurant, Raymond’s in St. John’s and Le Hatley Diningroom, Manoir Hovey, North Hatley, Quebec.
We would also graciously thank all the other passionate Canadian chefs who continue to push the boundaries of excellence and who are committed to sourcing some of the most delicious ingredients on earth…our own! Take the time to read their menus. This is our Canada…strong, proud and absolutely delicious!
The University of Guelph, a proud Charter Member of Food Day Canada®, is ranked as Canada’s most inventive university or one of the nation’s top comprehensive universities because of their commitment to student learning and innovative research. The Awards are sponsored by the President’s Office; the College of Business and Economics and the Ontario Agricultural College.
About the images:
These images were taken throughout the 2013 growing season. They are only the tiniest smattering of the culinary work being done on three of the Ontario Agricultural Campuses. The Sustainable Garden Project is a partnership between the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism and O.A.C.
Yukon Gold and Ruby Gold are cultivars developed by the late Dr. Garnet Johnston and continuously grown in potato trials at the Elora Research Station. At that same station are hundreds of varieties of dry beans, both white and multi-coloured; Crimson Crisp apples are nurtured at the Simcoe Research Station where I first saw artichokes being grown, however this picture was taken at the Muck Crops Research Station near Bradford. The drooping heads of red amaranth were part of the Sustainable Garden Project along with a myriad of berries, greens and herbs.