TORONTO ─ The Cambridge Food and Wine Society of Canada recently presented a few awards to individuals who have exemplified distinction in their fields. On October 15, the group named Eduardo Chadwick its 2020 Riedel Austria Winemaker of the Year. As president of Vina Errazuriz, Chadwick’s wines are considered by international wine writers to be amongst the finest in the world. For years, he’s been one of the most-enthusiastic promoters of Chile’s wine industry.
Past recipients of the Riedel Winemaker of the Year included Robert Mondavi, Lamberto Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Miguel Torres and Anthony von Mandel.
The award was presented to Chadwick by Sheila Swerling-Puritt, from the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. For this award, Riedel Austria sent Chadwick one of its modern engraved decanters.
Additionally, the Cambridge Food and Wine Society of Canada awarded its 2020 Grand Prix D’honneur for Best Latin American Wine to Errazuriz for its 2018 Max Cabernet Sauvignon.
In addition to the two wine awards, chef Lynn Crawford was also fêted with the Glenfiddich Award for best chef of 2020. The award is in recognition of outstanding achievement and contribution to the restaurant and culinary arts industry.
As a Food Network Canada celebrity chef, Crawford has more than 25 years of culinary experience. She was the chef-owner of Toronto’s Ruby Watchco, which operated for 10 years, garnering critical acclaim as one of the best restaurants in Canada, before recently shutting its doors.
Crawford was formerly executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in both Toronto and New York. She is also the author of three best-selling cookbooks ─ “Pitchin’ In” (2012), “At Home with Lynn Crawford” (2013) and the award-winning “Farm to Chef” (2017).
During her career, Crawford won several awards, including the 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Award, and the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by Canada’s 100 Best. Chef Crawford has competed on Iron Chef America, where she was the first Canadian female chef to battle in kitchen stadium, on Top Chef Masters, and was a resident judge on Chopped Canada.
As part of the Cambridge awards presentation, the group also honoured Sheila Swerling-Purritt as its Woman of the Year. The award is presented annually to an individual of distinction and is the highest recognition for continuous support, leadership and inspiration, demonstrating exemplary quality of Cambridge professionalism. It’s the first time this award has been presented; in past years, the group has honoured three men: Peter Mielzynski Jr., Philip Mirabelli and Tony Aspler as Men of the Year.
Swerling-Puritt has maintained an ongoing love affair with wine dating back to her university days. Her national and international relationships with the wine, spirits and food industry have included extensive touring, panel/judging and lectures. She was president of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada (2004 to 2009).
Swerling-Purritt’s varied career that has seen her serve on a Board that raised funds for the African Students’ Foundation. She also spent time in Tanzania working in varied jobs as teaching art, delivering babies, while completing a degree in African Theatre Arts and Literature. After returning to Canada, she spent time with First-Nations women and in the late 1980s was a volunteer for the home-hospice palliative-care program for HIV/Aids. Swerling-Purritt sits on a number of committees and Boards that assist underprivileged children as well as those who are developmentally delayed.
For many years, Swerling-Puritt also served as the first Toronto president for the Society of American Wines. She has the distinction of being the first female elected as a national president of a wine society in Canada. In addition, she’s been a spokesperson and co-ordinated public and trade tastings for numerous wineries and governments.
The Cambridge Food and Wine Society of Canada is an organization co-founded in 1998 by professors Leo Chan and Gian-Paolo Michelini.