Anita Stewart is the University of Guelph’s food laureate and recipient of the Order of Canada, 2012 for her role as one of Canada’s leading culinary ambassadors. Stewart encourages us all to participate in sustainable agriculture by shopping for and enjoying food that’s grown right here. And with summer at our doorstep, our growing season is upon us so there is no better time to enjoy local than now!
Stewart has been has been highlighting the diversity of Canadian terroir with Food Day Canada, an annual celebration of our homegrown cuisine. The first event was held on August 2nd, 2003, when Stewart launched The World’s Longest Barbecue to support the cattle and beef farmer and ranchers, which had been affected by cross border sanctions due specifically to the BSE crisis (mad cow disease). The event was larger and more widespread than anyone could have imagined, with participants from across Canada, as well as Canadians living abroad. Since then Food Day Canada has evolved into an annual mid-summer celebration held on the Saturday of the August long weekend.
And what exactly is Canadian Cuisine? According to Stewart, ‘It begins in the farms, forests and oceans and ends on our tables when we use these ingredients in our own special fashion … be it an Italian pasta or Indian dhal or good old-fashioned British roast beef.’
Food Day Canada will be held this year on Saturday, August 3. It is an opportunity for Canadians from coast to coast to coast to come together in a national collective celebration to showcase our time-honoured culinary traditions and the rich culinary heritage. The goal as stated by Food Day Canada “is primarily for celebrating, appreciating, and supporting local farmers, fishers, food producers, chefs and researchers and, above all, our home cook.”
The table is set. Join the celebration in your own backyard, beach, field or cottage. Wherever Canada finds you!