New York City will get a taste of Guelph and Canada from a University of Guelph chef and winners of U of G’s Good Food Innovation Awards.
Simon Day, a lecturer in the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management and head of Guelph’s student-run restaurant PJ’s, is part of a team of chefs who will cook at the James Beard House in New York’s Greenwich Village May 21.
The James Beard House is a performance space for visiting chefs to showcase their work, with proceeds supporting the non-profit James Beard Foundation.
Chefs are chosen by a committee for reputation and excellence, and use of high-quality seasonal and/or local ingredients.
This is the first time that a university has been invited to cook there.
The chefs will use some of U of G’s and Canada’s most interesting ingredients, from the Yukon Gold potato to Quebec maple syrup to oxeye daisies to Newfoundland lobster.
“We are celebrating the fact that Canada is food, and the world is richer for it,” said organizer Anita Stewart, U of G’s food laureate and founder of Cuisine Canada and Food Day Canada.
“It’s an ideal opportunity for Canada’s food university to promote Canadian cuisine as well as ingredients that have their roots at U of G.”
Alumni living in New York and beyond have been invited to the dinner, along with government officials and U of G friends. University officials including Julia Christensen-Hughes, dean of the College of Business and Economics, will also attend.
Day has created the reception menu along with Guelph chefs Brian Schmeler, co-owner of Valeriote’s Market, and Christopher Jess, chef of The Food School at Centre Wellington District High School.
“I’m happy to be a part of the event and honoured to be representing the University,” Day said.
He and the other Guelph/Wellington chefs are celebrating the Ontario Agricultural College’s (OAC) contribution to Canadian cuisine during the last century by featuring ingredients such as Arctic char, honey, and OAC 21 barley, the foundation of Canada’s modern malting industry.
The meal will be prepared by the winners of U of G’s 2013 Innovation Awards, as follows: Brock Windsor, Sinclair, Sooke Harbour House, Vancouver Island, B.C.; Mark Filatow, Waterfront Wine, Kelowna, B.C.; Roary MacPherson, Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, St. John’s, N.L.; Charles Part, Jennifer Warren-Part, Yannick La Salle and Matthew Pritchard, Les Fougères, Chelsea, Que.; and Pierre-Olivier Ferry, Les Jardins de Métis, Grand- Métis, Que.
The annual innovation awards recognize food professionals who use Canadian ingredients, create novel, healthy menu selections and follow sustainable management practices. The awards are sponsored by Stewart and U of G’s agricultural and business colleges.
The James Beard Foundation supports events and programs that foster an understanding of culinary culture, including food industry awards, an annual national conference and scholarships.