University of Guelph celebrates Good Food Innovation Awards 2014 Winners

IMG_4145The creativity of Canada’s Food Day Canada chefs and restaurants was celebrated by gathering the winning chefs and restaurateurs at the University of Guelph to network, feast and, most importantly, learn!  

IMG_3611In the same spirit of innovation that permeates the faculties across its various campuses, The University of Guelph created the Good Food Innovation Awards to honour food professionals who not only participate in Food Day Canada but also strive to provide creative menu solutions based on Canadian ingredients. These chefs and restaurants 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. 

The Good Food Innovation Award 2014 Gold Awards were presented by Dr. Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President/Research (on right).  

Chef Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall Country House Hotel,  

GFIA Chef Jason Bangerter LD

Chef Josh Crowe from Montreal’s Taverne Monkland;

GFIA Chef Josh Crowe LD


Chef Nancy Hinton from Les Jardins Sauvages,

GFIA Chef and forager Nancy Hinton LD


Chef Pierre Richard of Moncton’s Little Louis’ Oyster Bar 

GFIA Chef Pierre Richard LD

Sal Howell with Chef Matthias Fong of Calgary’s quite-incredible, always innovative  River Cafe.  

GFIA River Cafe LD


At the end of September,  the university is literally buzzing with excitement and because truly great chefs are curious, they dove into the food life of the campus with huge enthusiasm,  From the Culinary Archives to the Bee Research Lab; from the Biodiversity Institute to the glorious permaculture garden, they talked, traveled, tasted and learned why U of G is Canada’s food university.

IMG_3610Off campus, they visited the Elmira Produce Auction and Clovermead, a state of the art dairy farm that has served as a site for much of the university’s research.  The 7th generation home of the Whale family, Clovermead has won countless awards.

Also honoured with the 2014 Gold Awards, but not in attendance, were Frederique and Sinclair of Sooke Harbour House, Chefs Charles Part & Jennifer Warren Part of Les Fougeres, Mark Filatow of Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar and Pierre Olivier Ferry of Les Jardins Metis who have once again held their own in this friendly competition.   IMG_3649

Earlier in the year, VERY close runners-up garnered Silver. They were:  Chef James Walt of Whistler’s Araxi; the talented team at St. John’s Bacalao ; Chef Tyler Shedden formerly of Cafe Boulud; the enthusiastic Montreal-based team at EVOO ;  Josee Savard and Phillipe LaMarche at Klondike Kates in the Yukon;  Chef Murray McDonald of Fogo Island Inn ; the inimitable Derek Dammann of Maison Publique ; Kelowna’s iconic Chef Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao of RauDZ Regional Table ;  Alex Haun from New Brunswick’s Savour in the Garden; Roary MacPherson (a.k.a. Mr. Newfoundland Food) from the Sheraton Hotel NFLD;  and the veteran the father and son team of Stephen and James Treadwell .

IMG_3629The Judging Process: 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 arduous to a point where we revisited the entire marking system.  In consultation with former President of the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks, Judson Simpson, we have adopted the international standard that over a certain score is Gold and so on.  We increased the marks for Canadian Content which included the wine pairings, when applicable.  Marks for Creativity were also elevated.  IMG_3690

The menus were also scored on New/Innovative Ingredients and whether the restaurant was Exemplary within its own Category, be it a fine dining establishment or a casual public house.  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 the pages of the individual restaurants.

For further information on the Awards,contact: 
Anita (at) FoodDayCanada (dot) ca

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Author: Anita

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