Taste Canada Honours Excellence in Food Writing


TORONTO — With interest in all things food continuing to grow at an obsessive rate, it stands to reason that last night’s Taste Canada awards at the Arcadian Court in Toronto attracted hundreds of food professionals to celebrate excellence in food writing and publishing.

Donna Dooher, national chair of Taste Canada and president and CEO of Restaurants Canada, welcomed the nominees and a collection of industry professionals to an evening that featured an awards celebration followed by a sampling of food from some of the city’s top toques.

The hosts for the evening were Vikram Vij, Vancouver chef, restaurateur and cookbook author and Ricardo Larrivée, chef, author and television personality, and most recently magazine publisher. The duo regaled the audience with banter providing a humorous background to what was an entertaining evening focused on the efforts of 68 cookbook authors. For the first time, this year’s competition also featured entries from 27 bloggers from coast to coast, providing a new dimension to food writing. Last night’s winners included:

Culinary Narratives, English: Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen by Mary-Ann Kirby
French: Ainsi cuisinaient les belle-soeurs dan l’oeuvre de Michel Tremblay by Anne Fortin

General Cookbooks, English: Family Meals by Michael Smith
French: Ensemble: Cuisine gourmande et colorée by Christelle Tanielian

Single Subject Cookbooks, English: Duchess Bake Shop by Giselle Courteau
French: Soupes-repas gourmandes by Anne-Louise Desjardins

Regional & Cultural Cookbooks, English: The SoBo Cookbook: Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canada Road by Lisa Ahier and Andrew Morrison

In addition to the cookbook awards, four women were inducted in the Hall of Fame: Rose Murray, food writer; Nellie Pattinson (presented posthumously); and Elinor Donaldson Whyte and Helen Wattie (presented posthumously).

As a relatively new feature of the Taste Canada awards, initiated two years ago, the evening also celebrated winners from the Taste Canada Cooks the Books, a cooking competition pitting students from culinary schools across the country against each other to compete for the title of Canada’s Best New Chefs. Each student team was paired with a Taste Canada culinary author and given the challenge of recreating a recipe from the author’s cookbooks, along with their own signature garnish. The competition took place this past weekend as part of the Food & Wine event held at Evergreen Brick Works. Awards were presented to George Brown, which placed first and second in the competition while Centennial College placed third.

The Taste Canada awards were initiated by Cuisine Canada in 1998 under the leadership of Jo-Marie Powers. Three years ago, the awards were rebranded with a new name, logo, website and additional award categories.

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Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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