Farmers and chefs unite for Soupstock in Toronto's park in October

09/21/2012 04:04 EDT | Updated 11/21/2012 05:12 EST
TORONTO - A huge culinary protest is being concocted to raise awareness about a quarry being proposed for north of Toronto.

More than 120 of Canada's best chefs are preparing for Soupstock, being billed by organizers as the largest culinary protest in the world. It's a sequel to 2011's Foodstock, where dozens of chefs, farmers, musicians and 28,000 supporters gathered to protest against the proposed quarry in the area north of Shelburne.

The chefs have volunteered to create original soups for Soupstock that celebrate the rich agriculture of the Melancthon region. Local farmers are donating the produce being used in the soups.

"By participating in Soupstock we hope to motivate Torontonians to join the inspiring movement to stop the Mega-Quarry and protect our precious headwaters and farmland," chef Jamie Kennedy of Jamie Kennedy Kitchens said in a release.

Chef Michael Stadtlander of the Canadian Chefs' Congress, which is co-hosting the event with the David Suzuki Foundation, is being joined by well-known culinary champions such as Lynn Crawford, Kennedy, Brad Long and Donna Dooher. Up-and-coming chefs like Jon Pong of Hoof Raw Bar, Craig Harding of Campagnolo and Calgary's Connie DeSousa of Charcut will also showcase their talents.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness about the Highland Companies' proposed limestone quarry in the Township of Melancthon, 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto. Those against the quarry say it would permanently destroy more than 930 hectares of potato farmland. The company has proposed to blast a pit deeper than Niagara Falls to excavate the limestone, which Highland says is one of the largest deposits in the province.

The quarry would require 600 million litres of water to be pumped out of the pit each day in perpetuity. Up to one million Ontarians downstream rely on this water, the group that is organizing Soupstock said in the release.

Last fall the Ontario government ordered an environmental assessment.

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