Whether it’s Pacific sea asparagus, Ontario’s wild raspberries or a Quebec brewery’s hoppy beer, Canada’s diverse geography and peoples offer a bounty of culinary delights worth celebrating, says Food Day Canada founder Anita Stewart.
Food Day Canada (FDC) on Aug. 4 is the ultimate celebration of Canadian food, she said. And with the recent “buy Canadian” movement amid trade issues with the United States, this year’s national food fest is a call to action to put Canadian food on the menu.
Stewart is available for media interviews.
“Nothing is more patriotic – or more environmentally responsible – than feasting on our local northern bounty. It’s all about culinary sovereignty,” said Stewart, U of G’s food laureate who has travelled and written extensively about Canadian food.
FDC began 15 years ago when Stewart organized the World’s Longest Barbecue as a grassroots response to help save Canada’s beef trade, then threatened by American trade concerns. The annual celebration – which takes place on the Saturday of the August Civic Holiday weekend – engages chefs, home cooks, farmers, fishers, processors and anyone who loves food to celebrate Canada’s bounty.
Canadians today are changing their buying habits in response to tariffs and global trade issues – they’re actively engaging, reading labels and making a real effort to cook Canadian, said Stewart. Although eating locally has been a movement and way of life for many Canadians for years, this year is a “watershed moment,” she said.
“If there was ever a time to eat like a Canadian, cook like a Canadian and shop like a Canadian, it’s now.”
Whether it’s a dinner overlooking Lake Okanagan at Mission Hill Family Estates, or at Fireworks where Chef Michael Smith vows to use every ingredient grown on Prince Edward Island, or a sunset salmon barbecue on Tofino’s Chesterman Beach, all who take up Stewart’s call will use their favourite home-grown ingredients.
“Food Day Canada is our one national day to celebrate the great food fortune we have in this country,” said Prof. Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College.
“Our great fortune of land, water, climate, farmers, scientists, home cooks, chefs, restaurants and retailers brings a bounty of great food to us every day. But on this one day, in the middle of our precious summer, we have a chance to give thanks and to celebrate great Canadian food,” he said.
If you’re near Toronto on Aug. 4, look up at the CN Tower – it’ll be lit up in red and white to honour FDC, and a team of Ontario chefs will serve up culinary delights on the tower’s observation deck.
Anita Stewart: firstname.lastname@example.org