Food Day Canada is an opportunity for people across the country to celebrate Canadian ingredients and cuisine and give thanks to farmers and fishers, chefs and researchers, and home cooks who make it possible for us to enjoy.
To help kick off this year’s festivities, Arrell Food Institute hosted a special reception at the University of Guelph. Guests enjoyed local food and heard from distinguished speakers.
Through its leadership and interdisciplinary colleges, U of G has deep roots as a hub for food research and innovation. There are many stories and examples of how it is Canada’s Food University. Dr. Charlotte Yates, President, and Vice-Chancellor spoke about the university’s role and how Anita Stewart, U of G’s former food laureate left a lasting impact on the community.
The reception was an opportunity to remember AFI friend, and founder of Food Day Canada, Anita Stewart. Guests heard from Chef Jeff Stewart, Anita’s son, who thanked U of G for its efforts in continuing to highlight Canadian cuisine and honouring his mother’s legacy.
Guests also had the chance to visit the Anita Stewart Memorial Food Lab in the Macdonald Institute. The lab, which was reopened in 2021 after renovations, is a modern culinary space for faculty, students, and food enthusiasts to teach, learn, and research food. The studio hosts special events, like Deep Dish Dialogues which brings together food experts and chefs to explore important food topics.
Also on the list of speakers were Senator Rob Black and MP John Nater who are seeking the passing of the Food Day Canada Act, which would designate Food Day Canada as an official day and recognize Anita’s devotion to Canadian food.
Focusing on the importance of local cuisine, the event’s food was prepared and catered by U of G’s Hospitality Services which is notably committed to Food Day Canada’s mission of sourcing fresh, local ingredients. Ice cream and drinks were also provided by two local businesses, Four All Ice Cream and Fixed Gear Brewing Company.
As a thank you for attending and supporting Canada’s food culture, guests were gifted with hot sauces created by U of G food sciences students at the Guelph Food Innovation Centre.