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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nov 6/09 Trade Event: Canadian Culinary Book Awards

The Time and Date: Friday, November 6, 2009   12 noon to 4 PM
The Event: Announcement of the winners of the 2009 Canadian Culinary
Book Awards (hosted by Cuisine Canada and University of Guelph)
The Venue: Direct Energy Centre Building, adjacent to the Royal
Agricultural Winter Fair.
The Target Audience: contenders, their guests and the media. A large
number of people turned up, which is always a good sign.
The Quote/Background: More than 50 cookbooks published in Canada in
2008 were assessed since April, 2009. These are the 12th annual
presentations, the second at the Royal Winter Fair.
The Wines: we had three wines, all from Niagara College Teaching
Winery. First up was the Sauvignon Blanc 2008, which caught me by
surprise since it was straw and golden in colour, and did not have the
initial zest of a sauvignon blanc. It was an atypical wine, served with
the appetizers (crab and cucumber, asparagus and Balderson cheese with
toast) prepared by Rootham Gourmet Preserves, using some of their
preserves. With the reception food, we had a Cabernet Franc 2006
(nicely maturing, even throwing a deposit) and a Barrel Fermented
Chardonnay 2007 from the Ziraldo Vineyard in St. David. The chardonnay
was excellent, redolent with lanolin unctuousness and oak tones, and
the same colour as the Sauvignon Blanc.
And the award goes to…: it took a while to get through the bilingual
introductions. The awards were for both French and English language
books. The winner of the Canadian Culinary Landmarks Hall of Fame (a
new category reserved for Hall of Fame type books) was "Culinary
Landmarks; a bibliography of Canadian cookbooks, 1825-1949" by
Elizabeth Driver (UTPress). The Gold winner in the English Cookbook
Category was "Small plates for Sharing" edited by Laurie Stempfle
(Company's Coming Publishing). The Gold in the English Special Interest
Category was "Beyond the Great Wall; recipes and travels in the other
China" (Random House Canada) by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. And
the Gold for the English Canadian Food Culture Category was "Anita
Stewart's Canada" (HarperCollins). For other winners and French
language winners, check
The Food: At the closing reception for the winners, we enjoyed a range
of dishes prepared by Jeff Crump of Ancaster Old Mill (risotto with
cauliflower and mushrooms), Jim Loat of Borealis Grille in Guelph
(smoked elk ragout on red fife tagliatelle), David Garcelon of the
Fairmont Royal York Hotel (pork loin from Willowgrove Hill Farm with
cabbages), baking and pastry students from George Brown Chef School
(cookies, apple-cheddar savoury muffins with prosciutto slices,
butternut squash bisque), and Wanda Beaver from Wanda's Pie in the Sky
(pecan pies, cookies, etc.)
The Website: will have further details on these
awards plus more.
The Downside: all the food service lines were packed into one corner
which made for a really bad traffic jam. The other end of the room was
free, and George Brown and Wanda could have been located there.
The Upside: food was terrific, and matched rather well with the wines.
With the long lines it was impossible NOT to talk to others around you.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

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