Five Canadian restaurants have won this year’s University of Guelph Good Food Innovation Awards for inventive approaches and imaginative meals.

The annual awards recognize chefs and food professionals using Canadian ingredients to make unique, healthy menu selections and who follow sustainable management practices.

“Canadian culinary traditions are constantly evolving, and these five chefs are at the forefront of these changes,” said Anita Stewart, Canada’s first food laureate at U of G and founder of Cuisine Canada and Food Day Canada.

“They are setting an example for the Canadian restaurant industry by thinking outside of the box to deliver meals that are not only novel but also delicious.”

Judges including executive chefs and culinary instructors grill contestants on all aspects of their operations, Stewart said.

The Good Food Innovation Awards, launched in 2010, are sponsored by Stewart, the U of G President’s Office, the Ontario Agricultural College, and the College of Business and Economics.

This year, five gold medals were presented, as follows:

  • Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ont.
  • Taverne Monkland, Montreal
  • Les Jardins Sauvages, Saint-Roch-del’Achigan, Que.
  • Little Louis Oyster Bar, Moncton, N.B.
  • River Café, Calgary

This year’s medal winners discussed changes in Canadian restaurant food during a hospitality and tourism class Sept. 28 at U of G, known as “Canada’s food university.”