Here it is, folks, EAT CANADA – the app of apps for anyone who travels across Canada and wonders where to eat and drink. It was my good friend John Gilchrist’s idea – to mine the accumulated knowledge of Canada’s primo restaurant critics and create an app that would benefit one and all. We all knew each other from Gold Medal Plates, of course – but, above all, each of us knew the city where he or she lives. And now the wisdom of the ages is distilled for you into an app. I don’t have a portable telephone so I don’t really know how it looks, but my children tell me it’s dandy and full of good and useful things, especially if you are a business traveller. To be sure, I stand behind my selections.
Here is why you should work up an app-appetite for Eat Canada:
Eleven of Canada’s major cities are included – Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and St. John’s.
Each city features twenty, critic-chosen restaurants and beverage places, largely within the downtown business core. In total, over 200 highly recommended restaurants are included.
Reviews contain info on cuisine styles, noise levels, private rooms, price ranges, credit cards, hours, websites, alcoholic beverages, corkage and outdoor dining.
The app’s interactive elements include full mapping to get directions to a restaurant from a user’s current location, plus links to phone numbers, websites and the OpenTable reservation system.
Users can track which restaurants they’ve visited and keep notes on their favourites.
The app has been built for iPhones and iPads and will be available through the App Store for $9.99.
Developer for Eat Canada is Jeremy Gale of Force Grind Inc., Calgary, Alberta.
For more app info check out http://www.forcegrind.com/eatcanada
And here are the critics who have contributed to this marvel of the age:
Karl Wells (St John’s): restaurant critic for The Telegram, an accredited chef and host of the Rogers TV show, One Chef One Critic.
Bill Spurr (Halifax): features writer and restaurant critic for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.
Robert Beauchemin (Montreal): restaurant critic for La Presse and college instructor on culture and food.
Anne DesBrisay (Ottawa): restaurant critic for the Ottawa Citizen for 19 years and author of Capital Dining, the definitive guide to dining in the Ottawa area.
James Chatto (Toronto): restaurant critic for over 25 years, editor of Harry Magazine and National Culinary Advisor for Gold Medal Plates and the Canadian Culinary Championships.
Christine Hanlon (Winnipeg): has written about food and culture for Style Manitoba, Western Living and Fodor’s Canada.
CJ Katz (Saskatoon/Regina): culinary host of CTV’s Wheatland Café, restaurant writer for the Regina Leader-Post, publisher of Savour Life Magazine and author of the newly released TASTE: Seasonal Dishes from the Prairie Table.
Mary Bailey (Edmonton): publisher of The Tomato Food & Drink, certified sommelier and wine instructor Art Institute of Vancouver, and co-author of two National Best-Sellers on Alberta food.
John Gilchrist (Calgary): CBC Radio restaurant critic for 32 years, restaurant writer for The Calgary Herald, author of ten National Best-Sellers on dining in the Calgary-Banff area, and instructor of food and culture programs at the U of C.
Andrew Morrison (Vancouver): editor of Scout Magazine, restaurant critic for the Westender newspaper and instructor of food writing at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.
I know – it’s a hell of a roster. And, unlike other lists and top tens and what-have-you guides to eating in Canada, we have actually eaten at these places. And that, in the world of restaurant criticism, is as rare as hen’s teeth.
Here is where you need to go: http://bit.ly/eatcanada Bon appetit!