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Chefs to serve quintessential Canadian fare to diners at James Beard House in NY

05/20/2015 05:50 EDT | Updated 05/20/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Canadian chefs will showcase some of this country's most interesting ingredients when they cook at the legendary James Beard House in Manhattan on Thursday.

The team comprises chefs from across the country whose 2013 menus for Food Day Canada, the country's largest national culinary celebration, were chosen as University of Guelph Innovation Award winners.

It's not the first time Canadians have cooked at the former home of the late cookbook author, columnist and TV personality but it is a landmark project, according to Anita Stewart, culinary activist and food laureate at the University of Guelph.

"As far as I can see and as far as they can see, this is the first time it's been pan-Canadian and it's also the first time a university from Canada, or maybe even a university, has been part of the project," said Stewart.

The meal being served to about 80 diners will feature sea cucumber, geoduck clams, parasol mushrooms, nodding onions, ox-eye daisies and lobster. Canadian wines, including a Riesling from the oldest such vines in the Okanagan and a port-style dessert wine made from Quebec maple sap, will be paired with the food.

Other ingredients being highlighted have been perfected by University of Guelph and Ontario Agricultural College scientists over the years, such as Arctic char, heart nuts, honey and Yukon Gold potatoes. They will be accompanied by three Ontario craft beers that can trace their lineage back to OAC 21 barley, bred at OAC in the early 1900s and the foundation of Canada's malting industry, said Stewart.

Three chefs from Guelph/Wellington County — Simon Day, chef/instructor from the University of Guelph; Brian Schmeler, chef and co-owner of Valeriote's Market; and Christopher Jess, chef of the Food School at Centre Wellington District High School — will be responsible for that part of the menu.

Other participating chefs are:

— Brock Windsor of Sooke Harbour House, Vancouver Island, B.C.

— Mark Filatow, chef/sommelier/owner of Waterfront Wine in Kelowna, B.C.

— Roary MacPherson, executive chef of the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, St. John's, N.L.

— chef/owners Charles Part and Jennifer Warren-Part and chefs Yannick La Salle and Matthew Pritchard of Restaurant Les Fougeres in Chelsea, Que.

— Pierre-Olivier Ferry, executive chef of Estevan Lodge Restaurant, Grand-Metis, Que.

Chefs will be prepping their dishes in the kitchens of the Waldorf Astoria hotel where another Canadian, David Garcelon — formerly of the Fairmont Royal York and Jasper Park Lodge — is director of culinary operations and executive chef.

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