Arrell Food Institute hosted 25 fine-dining chefs from across North America and South America to explore food systems research taking place at the University of Guelph. The day started with presentations and a lively discussion with University of Guelph researchers in the Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory. Robert Hanner, Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, discussed biodiversity and Philip Loring, Arrell Chair in Food, Policy and Society, suggested chefs should build menus with a focus on regenerative cuisine. Maleeka Singh, Arrell Scholar in Food Science, presented on food fraud and traceability of food products, and Bruce McAdams, Associate Professor at the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, shared research on chef perceptions of sustainable seafood.
Executive chef Vijay Nair prepared a delicious snack for the chefs which included local ingredients. The chefs then had the opportunity to visit the Canadian Cookbook Collection at the McLaughlin Library where they were able to dig into cookbooks that contained rich histories. The last stop on the tour was a visit to the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility to see the research Mike Dixon, Michael Stasiak and their team have been conducting to develop methods to grow food in untraditional growing areas.
The chefs were impressed with the amount of food research taking place across many different departments on campus. Many mentioned that they became more aware of what the future of food could look like after their visit to the University of Guelph. This visit was equally rewarding for the University of Guelph experts participating because they were able to learn about issues the chefs are currently facing and where there is a need for further research to take place.