Inspired to Taste Canada

Inspired to Taste Canada - 2017 Event Recap

By Jennifer MacKenzie

Chair, Awards Committees and Special Events Coordinator

Taste Canada Awards teamed up again this year with Hudson’s Bay to present Inspired to Taste Canada to celebrate Canadian culinary writing by showcasing the talents of Canadian cookbook authors, and this time we took the celebration across the country. Three events featured six cookbooks and their seven authors and all included cooking demos, samples, a meet & greet with the authors, sponsors’ product demonstrations and a whole lot of fun.

First up, on May 17th at Hudson’s Bay’s Toronto Queen Street flagship store we welcomed guests to the beautiful 7th floor Home Department for the evening.

Joel MacCharles, co-author with Dana Harrison, of Batch: Over 200 Recipes, Tips & Techniques for a Well Preserved Kitchen inspired us all to think about preserving local and seasonal food and reducing our food waste by using up all the food we buy and grow. Joel whipped up a savoury beet hummus and explained the simple technique of curing salmon and served his delightful salt-cured gravlax flavoured with pure maple syrup.

Sweet treats came in the form of stunning rose-topped cupcakes from the pastry experts of Bobbette & Belle: Classic Recipes from the Celebrated Pastry Shop, co-authors, Allyson Bobbitt and Sarah Bell. Showing us how easy it is to create their coffee-scented chocolate cupcakes they dazzled the audience with their piping skills as they made works of art out of buttercream – certainly inspiring everyone to step up their decorating skills.

Montréal Downtown was the next stop on May 25th. Nutritionist and cookbook author, Hubert Cormier, taught us that healthful food made with legumes can be beautiful and delicious, too. His Roasted Pepper Gazpacho with Quinoa and Chickpea Salad will be gracing the dinner tables of inspired guests this summer for sure, along with Potato Salad with Olives and White Beans from his book Légumineuses & cie.

On the sweet side of things, famed chef and first-time cookbook author, Martin Juneau, charmed the crowd with his personality and his Choux à la Crème – cream puffs filled with luscious chocolate cream – from his book Simplicité culinaire.

On June 17th we headed all the way west to Vancouver’s Granville Street Hudson’s Bay for a Saturday afternoon filled with inspiration. Co-author of Vij’s Indian: Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes, Meeru Dhalwala was scheduled to appear but unforeseen circumstances interrupted that plan so we were joined by her co-author, famed chef and entrepreneur, Vikram Vij. Vikram cooked up a fragrant Lentil Curry and Potato and Greens Sauté and encouraged us to cook real food, and cook from the heart and with passion. We will, indeed!

As a celebration of all things British Columbia with a focus on sweet and seasonal, chef and author, Denise Marchessault, created fabulous silky, fluffy cups of pastry cream topped with fresh berries, raspberry coulis and accompanied by a crisp Sweet Wafer cookie. Denise, along with her book, British Columbia from Scratch: Recipes for Every Season surely will have all the guests embracing the bounty of the province and creating delicious meals from scratch.

Guests also got to learn about new products and taste samples prepared by event sponsors: Canola Eat Well oils, Grosche coffee and tea accessories, Turmeric Teas, Cuisinart Canada , De’Longhi Canada, and Braun Kitchen Collection.

Taste Canada Awards is grateful for the support of the event sponsors and our partner, Hudson’s Bay, for helping us celebrate our dynamic Canadian culinary cookbook authors and their books

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