Inaugural Food Innovation Awards Announced

December 20, 2010 - News Release

The winners of a new University of Guelph award recognizing Canadian restaurants that emphasize innovation and creativity have been announced. The award was created for the 2010 national Food Day.

"Guelph is Canada's food university, so it is natural that we would be following the progress of Food Day,” said Sue Bennett, director of University and community relations. “The Innovation Award captures Guelph's leadership role in Canada's food system.”

U of G Innovation Awards were presented to three restaurants in Newfoundland and Quebec over the weekend. Winners were allowed to choose their prizes, which included the opportunity to work with Guelph researchers on new innovations and tours of U of G’s research facilities.

Food Day was held July 31 and involved restaurants across the country offering special menus to showcase Canadian food products and Canadians cooking with local or regional ingredients.

The national event evolved from the 2003 World’s Largest Barbecue that was begun by U of G friend and culinary expert Anita Stewart as a way of supporting Canadian farmers after the BSE crisis.

Stewart, the founder of Cuisine Canada, is the author of numerous books that promote Canadian foods and wines, including many that feature U of G. In 1999, she also prepared a special menu for the 125th anniversary of the Ontario Agricultural College.

The U of G Innovation Awards were open to restaurants that took part in Food Day. Winners were selected by a judging panel that included Stewart. “This award is a great testament to Canadian chefs who are always pressing the limits of food preparation and culinary arts through bold innovation,” she said.

The gold Innovation Award went to Restaurant DNA of Montreal for a menu that included innovation and tradition. Chef Derek Damman and restaurant partner Alex Cruz will tour U of G, including its research stations, food laboratories and Canada’s largest cookbook collection.

The silver award went to Les Jardins Sauvages in St-Roch-de-l'Achignan. Chef Nancy Hinton will work with a U of G researcher or the Guelph Food Technology Centre to develop a personal innovation.

The St. John’s restaurant Bacalao won the bronze award. Owners Andrea Maunder and Mike Barsky will work with Ontario’s top tomato breeder to develop a special Bacalao tomato.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

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