The 18th annual Food Day Canada kicks off this weekend and for the first time since its inception, Canadian food-lovers across the country will celebrate local cuisine and the people who make it possible without culinary icon and Food Day Canada founder, Anita Stewart.
Even prior to founding Food Day Canada in 2003, Stewart was widely regarded as a Canadian food pioneer and an impassioned advocate for bringing the country’s culinary community together, and the legacy she built–as well as the impact she had on innumerable Canadian chefs, writers, and producers–will continue to live on.
To launch this year’s Food Day Canada and to honour Stewart’s remarkable lifelong efforts championing Canadian cuisine, Langdon Hall executive chef Jason Bangerter and LaFONTANA owner Denis Fontana have joined forces with Stewart’s family to create a tribute dinner on July 29 in Stewart’s hometown of Elora, Ontario.
“I am very proud of the incredible event we have put together to celebrate Anita's philosophy to care about what is around you! When I think of Anita Stewart, I think of what the hospitality and culinary world should represent: passionate individuals who care about food, more than just for nourishment.” Fontana says. “Anita directed us to become a center of showcasing what's available in our ‘backyard’, even when featuring a foreign cuisine.”
The dinner itself will take place at LaFONTANA and will feature an array of Stewart’s favourite local ingredients and recipes, along with an all-star lineup of local chefs from throughout the region.
“Anita Stewart was a longtime mentor, supporter, close friend and a national culinary icon in her tireless advocacy for Canada’s food industry," says chef Bangerter. "Using Canadian ingredients is at the forefront of our ethos at Langdon Hall, and Food Day Canada provides an important opportunity to educate and celebrate our local foods, farmers, fishers, home cooks, chefs, bakers, brewers, wine makers and so much more. I’m so happy we can honour our nation’s cuisines and the legacy Anita has left us. I miss her dearly and I am so proud to be able to continue her work and cook Canadian with Canadians on Food Day Canada on July 31st.”
Food Day Canada officially takes place on July 31 and Canadians are encouraged to celebrate the annual campaign by shopping, cooking, and dining exclusively Canadian. Proceeds from the tribute dinner on July 29 will be directed to the Anita Stewart Tribute Fund at the University of Guelph.