Michael Stadtländer has done it again, raising the consciousness of the entire restaurant industry. He and his wife, Nobuyo, are hosting the first Canadian Chefs’ Congress at Eigensinn Farm on September 21 and 22. It’s a unique opportunity for chefs to gather for a two-day powwow and by the looks of the prospectus, it could be a life-changing experience. The idea is to create a national network of chefs to reinforce “the passion and integrity of the Canadian food culture,” by bringing in great chefs from every part of the country who will cook and give workshops. It costs $250 to attend and Stadtländer could sell it out in a heartbeat to the general public. But this one is just for chefs – the lucky dogs. Read the bulletin below and tell me if it isn’t the most extraordinary industry event of the year!
The biennial Congress will be taking place in a different province or territory after this one, so it won’t be coming back to Ontario for another 27 years. I’d say this is a chance for our local chefs that should not be missed.
Here’s the message from Stadtländer as posted on the Congress’s web site:
Nobuyo and Michael Stadtlander will be hosting the first Canadian Chefs’ Congress at Eigensinn Farm
Canadian Chefs’ Congress – September 21 & 22, 2008
This exclusive biennial event, scheduled for September 21st and 22nd, 2008, is a celebration of the unique food cultures of our country. This year’s Congress will bring together over five hundred chefs from across Canada. Participants will savour an exceptional showcase of regional cuisine, while also learning about the sustainable production practices that make it all happen.
The conference will begin with an opening ceremony introducing the chefs and the Eigensinn Farm landscape to one another. After the ceremony, celebrated Canadian chefs from each province and territory of Canada will create “The Best of the Country”: a culinary masterpiece composed of regional delicacies. Each meal will be supported by wines from Canadian producers.
Keynote speakers will set the academic tone for the conference by establishing panel discussions on subjects such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other key points related to our distinct Canadian food culture. International bestselling author Jeffrey M. Smith, a leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMOs will be addressing the congress. Chef Robert Clarke from C Restaurant in Vancouver will be addressing sustainable aquaculture.
As day one comes to an end “Midnight Kitchens” manned by noteable Ontario chefs including Michael Stadtlander, Jamie Kennedy of Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, Anthony Walsh of Canoe, Lino Collevecchio of Via Allegro, Daisuke Izutsu of Kaiseki Sakura, Mark Cutrara of Cowbell, Scott Miles of Grey County Meats, Kevin McKenna of Loyalist College and Adam Colquhoun of Oyster Boy will provide late night feasts for those who have lasted beyond the well known
Canadian musicians, early evening bonfire and a spectacular firework finale by Adam Colquhoun of Oyster Boy.
On the second day of the congress, a breakfast highlighting artisinal Grey County products will be prepared under the guidance of Chef John Higgins and the students of George Brown Chef School. The students and instructors of Georgian College and Loyalist College will be providing support throughout the Congress.
Following breakfast, authorities in the fields of contemporary cuisine, food security, biotechnology, conservation, sustainable agriculture and responsible aqua culture will present a series of ten workshops in the sculpture gardens designed and built by Michael and his apprentices for the 2005 Heaven on Earth project.
Later that day, chefs from Niagara, Prince Edward County and Pelee Island/Lake Erie North Shore will create the “Ontario Harvest Feast”. This event will celebrate the emerging food and wine culture from all three of Ontario’s recognized VQA wine regions, highlighting their wines and local foods.
The 2008 Canadian Chefs’ Congress will bring together the expertise of chefs, producers and supportive communities, promising to become an important think tank for our country’s culinary future. Michael and Nobuyo see this congress as the beginning of a twenty-six year series that will travel to each province and territory across the country. Each edition will be hosted by a venue that typifies that region’s distinctive culinary practices and products.
The confirmed participating chefs are: Vikram Vij (Vijs’ in Vancouver, British Columbia), Scott Pohorelic (River Cafe in Calgary, Alberta), Remy Cousin (Calories Restaurant, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), Tristan Foucault (Oui Bistro, Winnipeg, Manitoba), Michael Daquisto (529 Wellington, Winnipeg, Manitoba), Ross Fraser and Simon Fraser (Fraser Cafe, Ottawa, Ontario), Chris Aerni (Rossmount Inn, St. Andrews, New Brunswick), Craig Flinn (Chives Restaurant, Halifax, Nova Scotia), Gordon Bailey (Lot 30, Charlottetown, PEI), Jeremy Charles (Atlantica Restaurant, Portugal Cove, Newfoundland), and Pierre LePage (L’Heritage Restaurant, Yellowknife, NWT).
In addition to the Congress festivities four invited chefs representing The Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador will participate in “Canada North.” This event will take place during the week leading up to the Congress and will be held at four separate restaurants in the Toronto/Singhampton area (David Chrystian/Chez Victor, Anthony Rose/The Drake Hotel, Paul Boehmer/Rosewater Supper Club, Jonas Stadtlander/Haisai) with each chef highlighting products and techniques from his home province. The aim of “Canada North” is to promote truly regional cuisine and the distinct challenges of sourcing local food products in Canada’s most northern provinces and territories.
The Canadian Chefs’ Congress is an exclusive event devoted to the enjoyment and preservation of Canadian food culture. The Congress is an opportunity for chefs and food producers to meet and taste all that Canada has to offer in a beautiful natural setting!
The Canadian Chefs’ Congress connects chefs to our land, in solidarity with farmers, fishers, gardeners, foragers and all artisanal food producers. It is a biennial gathering of chefs from across our country that reinforces the passion and integrity of the Canadian food culture.
For further information: regular updates and online registration:
www.canadianchefscongress.com; For more information, please contact: Michael
Dixon, Public Relations and National Liaison, Canadian Chefs’ Congress, phone
(647) 999-0012, firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Stadtlander,
Executive Director, Canadian Chefs’ Congress, phone (519) 922-2645,