A Tribute to Mothers’ from Food Day Canada
Continuing the Legacy in 2021!
We all have a few things in common; we eat, drink, breathe and have moms. The first two things are greatly improved by the latter, at least in our house. Growing up, mom made a great effort to keep us well-nourished and healthy. It was not always easy with four young boys, but she never gave up. Like the time she tried to make us all eat beef liver. Hardly a favourite dish around our table, she tried liver sticks, she even tried hiding chopped liver in our family’s much-loved meatloaf. She was determined to do the best for her boys and now enjoy calf’s liver sautéed with caramelized onions and double-smoked bacon.
It was with that same tenacity our mom, Anita Stewart approached her life. She brought persistence and passion challenging herself and others to do better. One of her ways to cook wholesome, delicious food was to eat seasonally and locally and Mom was always an advocate for eating local. We all have fond memories of farmers markets as a child in Kitchener, Waterloo, St. Jacobs, Elmira and all over Ontario.
Mom passed away on October 29, 2020, after complications from cancer. However, her legacy lives on. As a passionate advocate supporting, promoting and researching Canadian food, her work was extensive.
When Canadian Beef farmers suffered in 2003, mom brought Canadians together to help promote the quality and safety of Canadian Beef. She encouraged everyone to put a few steaks or whatever beef they chose on the BBQ and celebrate. Her idea for The World’s Longest BBQ rapidly grew extending beyond just beef. Almost 20 years later the idea of celebrating Canada’s bountiful harvest, Food Day Canada, has grown and flourished. Thanks to a dedicated network of talented chefs combined with amazing producers and access to incredible quality ingredients, it gives us all as Canadians something to celebrate nationally. Mom said all the time, “Canada is Food!” and we are grateful for it. Carrying her legacy forward we encourage all Canadians to celebrate our diverse ingredients across Canada. Mid-Summer our markets and menus are abundant with local bounty. Corn on the cob, tender fruit, berries, heirloom tomatoes, fresh dug new potatoes, what an amazing start to a menu and opportunity to promote our northern bounty.
In Mom’s words…
“First and foremost, THANK YOU for sharing your pride and passion for Canadian cuisine and for honouring all the people who help make the food life of Canada so very rich. As Canadians, we are unique among all other nations on earth! Food Day Canada continues to be a growing success story because of people like you who come to the table to collaborate. It’s bigger and better on so many levels because we’re working together.”
Together, in so many ways, we can all “Shine a Light on Canadian Cuisine” on the Saturday of the Civic Holiday Weekend July 31st, 2021
On behalf of our family and mom Anita Stewart, Founder of Food Day Canada, we are expressing gratitude to all of our owners, chefs, managers, staff, farmers, foragers, fishermen, drivers and everyone in our food system that has been keeping us healthy, safe and well-fed throughout this past year and going forward. Food Day Canada is so simple and fun to be a part of. It’s national and local. It’s free. It’s inclusive. It’s collaborative. The harvest is everywhere and people can celebrate with Canadian food no matter where they are.
As we get ready for another Food Day Canada, we hope everyone will make a commitment on July 31, 2021 (and the rest of the year whenever possible) to Eat, Shop and Dine Like a Canadian with a focus on Canadian ingredients.
In the meantime, post a picture with your mom in your kitchen, give thanks for the food and the precious times you spend together.
Mom, we are grateful for all you have done, we miss you and love you with all our hearts!
Jeff, Brad, Mark & Paul Stewart