ICYMI: Racist incident at Saskatoon eatery gets national attention, Alberta restaurants divided on dine-in service, and more

Interesting Canadian food news stories from the past week to get caught up on

While some parts of Canada are still under lockdown, provinces like Alberta and Manitoba have begun to relax restrictions on in-person dining. Some restaurant operators are torn on whether to welcome guests back into their establishments or to just continue a takeout-only model. 

Although we should all be more aware of and be trying to actively combat racism more than ever before, there are still many incidents that prove we’ve still got a lot of work to do. A racist outburst at a Saskatoon restaurant earlier this week proves a prime example.

Looking beyond our borders, Canada-United States trade relations in the agri-foods sector are expected to improve in the coming months after years of difficulty with the Trump administration. President Joe Biden has publicly promised to fix and renew its relationships with a variety of allied countries.

Here are some of the past week’s top Canadian food news stories.

Saskatoon restaurant receives support after racist incident

Photo via Mai's Kitchen's Facebook page.

On Wednesday, a video capturing outbursts from a disgruntled anti-masker inside Mai’s Kitchen in Saskatoon went viral. Since that incident, many have flocked to the restaurant, some even organizing a “solidarity lunch” to support the eatery.

The owner recently posted on social media to share thanks for the overwhelming amount of support the business has received since the terrible confrontation.

Find out more in this CTV News piece.

Alberta restaurants torn on dine-in service as restrictions relax

Photo of the interior of RGE RD via the restaurant's Facebook page.

Alberta restaurants were permitted to resume dine-in services as of Monday, February 8. Restaurants appear to be split on whether or not they should be opening their doors just yet. It is a difficult situation for most business owners with many opening out of necessity and some bidding their time to resume service as "normal".

Read more about the situation in this Globe and Mail feature.

Toronto chef reflects upon the importance of his Chinese heritage in new book

Toronto chef Trevor Lui is making waves with his recently released cookbook “The Double Happiness”. Throughout the pages of his book, there are recipes that are staple to Chinese cuisine such as mapa tofu and whole steamed fish, but Lui’s life story is also incorporated throughout.

He grew up not only in an immigrant household, but also in his family’s restaurant. He hopes his story and his recipes rooted in Chinese culture will both inspire and help to educate Canadians on diversity.

Head over to the National Post for the full story.

Future of Canada-United States agri-food trade looking brighter

The Canada-United States agri-food trade relationship is clearly important to both countries, but it’s often been a bit more one-sided for our neighbours down south as we are more dependent on Americans’ purchasing our products and commodities. In this vein, the Canadian-American relationship was especially strained during the Trump administration.

Thankfully things are on the mend as the Biden administration has promised to immediately begin to repair and improve relationships with their allies around the globe including Canada.

Click on The Conversation for the full scoop.

Indigenous community centre combats food insecurity with care in Atlantic Canada

The Natoaneg Community Food Centre located on the Eel Ground First Nation in a Mi’kmaw community in northern New Brunswick is not your typical food bank. The community hub offers healthier options on top of the nonperishable food items, including fresh produce and local moose meat for residents to enjoy.

The importance of offering traditional food to the residents is crucial to their culture as it connects local Indigenous populations to their ancestors.

Read more about this unique food bank in this CBC News story.