July 14, 2024

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Culinary gathering celebrates legacy of Anita Stewart, 20 years of Food Day Canada

Culinary gathering celebrates legacy of Anita Stewart, 20 years of Food Day Canada

ELORA – The savoury scent of freshly ready Canadian substances fills the air as chefs and cooks physical exercise their culinary chops on the Jack R. MacDonald bridge on Aug. 1.

Foodies and people alike are cradling scorching dishes of smoked brisket and seafood paella as they investigate other choices from the likes of LaFontana, The Helpful Modern society and The Wild Tart in the warm glow of a late afternoon summertime sunlight.

A live band performs “Drops of Jupiter” as a qualifications keep track of even though men and women appear jointly in excess of a mouthwatering journey in Canadian food, correct at household in downtown Elora.

The gathering kicked off the 20th anniversary of Meals Day Canada, and celebrated the culinary legacy of the late Anita Stewart.

The Elora resident spent a life time advocating for Canadian food items and introduced individuals alongside one another in kitchens throughout the country with her numerous cookbooks.

A cookbook signed by Anita Stewart in 1987 and gifted to Resa Lent of Desert Rose Cafe. Image by Jordan Snobelen


If only she could have only been there on Tuesday evening.

Coined “Party on the Bridge,” the collecting begun with a discussion atop the Elora Mill Granary as one of Anita’s 4 sons, Jeff Stewart, Mill staff members and Elora BIA users missed Mill Road.

Wearing a shirt with a phrase Anita thought up — “Kiss a chef, hug a farmer, consume true food” — Jeff recollects imagining “What could this be?”

“Next matter you know, there is a bunch of folks obtaining concerned,” he states.

The Elora Mill, Elora BIA, Elora Centre for the Arts, Riverfest Elora and quite a few some others contributed their experience to make the party come about.

“And listed here we are now,” Jeff reported, looking out in excess of the Grand River running beneath the downtown pedestrian bridge, introducing it “feels surreal.”

Foodies and residents peruse culinary offerings introduced on the Jack R. MacDonald pedestrian bridge in downtown Elora for a “Party on the Bridge” function on Aug. 1 to celebrate the legacy of the late Anita Stewart and Meals Working day Canada. Picture by Jordan Snobelen


Even though the dishes becoming served up might trace their origins to much-off areas these kinds of as Brazil, as is the circumstance with a picanha beef dish, Canadian interpretations and flavours ended up front and centre.

A seafood dish served by the Elora Mill included mussels and scallops from Nova Scotia and oysters from British Columbia.

Canada’s meals also reaches plates much further than our borders, Jeff notes.

Somebody lathering Dijon mustard, named immediately after the French metropolis of Dijon, on to a burger in France, may possibly be feeding on seeds developed in Manitoba (Canada’s prairies are one particular of world’s major producers of mustard seed).

A seafood paella dish found on the Jack R. MacDonald pedestrian bridge in downtown Elora for a “Party on the Bridge” function on Aug. 1. Picture by Jordan Snobelen


Meals Working day Canada, staying celebrated this weekend on Aug. 5, was commenced by Anita in 2003 to assuage fears in excess of an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow illness, at the time.

Anita arranged the “world’s longest barbecue” with a concentrate on beef.

“She claimed, ‘let’s get Canada’s beef on the barbecue and help out farmers,’” Jeff remembers.

Chefs, cafe and farmers across the country ensured beef was a prominent characteristic on the menu.

As the event gained momentum and mad cow abated, the aim shifted to locally grown and generated foodstuff across Canada.

Elements are carried by means of a group on the Jack R. MacDonald pedestrian bridge in downtown Elora for a “Party on the Bridge” function on Aug. 1. Photo by Jordan Snobelen


Anita required people to consider about buying and consuming locally developed food stuff as a aware option, Jeff claims.

The party has due to the fact turn into a Canada-wide celebration of meals and individuals — from farm to fork.

Many thanks to modern parliamentary endeavours of Senator Rob Black and Perth-Wellington MP John Nater, the Saturday of each August long weekend is now officially recognized as Foods Working day Canada.

“Mom experienced an indelible impact on meals in Canada and in Elora,” Jeff tells the Advertiser.

“Maybe to a specified degree she’s observing out,” he suggests, using a second as tears begin to slide.

“I desire she was right here to see it.”

If she ended up, there is minor doubt in Jeff’s brain that Anita, an at any time supportive mother, would say how happy she is.

“It’s absolutely great to be element of her legacy,” he said.

Anita Stewart


To learn additional about Food stuff Day Canada and ways to rejoice, simply click or tap below.

Organizers are encouraging people today to use the hashtag #FoodDayCanada when sharing meals stories on-line.