Terroir 7: For The Love of Food

It’s been a few weeks since the end of the whirlwind that was Terroir 7; it’s just taken us that long to recover.A� The food, the camaraderie, the speakers and stolen moments with delicate sea buckthorn berry desserts… it was a day to remember.

The 7th annual Terroir Symposium was on April 8th in Toronto.A� Dedicated to the stories, memories and culture of all that is edible in Canada; the symposium was aptly themed: For The Love of Food.

Breakfast is served--by Oliver & Bonacini team. Photos by Pat Anderson, PatAnderson.net

Breakfast is served–by Oliver & Bonacini team. Photos by Pat Anderson, PatAnderson.net

Speakers included international influencers like JP McMahon from Aniar Restaurant in Galway, Ireland; Magnus Nilsson from Faviken in Jarpen, Sweden;A�Alessandro Porcelli, Founder & Director ofA�Cook it Raw;A�Kobe Desramaults from In de Wulf in Dranouter, Belgium to name just a few.A� Canadian content was just as inspirational with Gillian Files & Brent Preston from The New Farm in Singhampton, Ontario; Paul Rogalski from Rouge in Calgary;A�Joshna Maharaj,A�Chef & Activist from Toronto; Nick Saul from CommunityA�Food Centers Canada and many, many more.

Bringing together food lovers from far corners to celebrate and learn about what is at once simple and complex is just one of the amazing parts of Terroir.A� The other parts?A� The food!A�

Connie DeSousa boned a pigs head in 49 seconds.

You heard me, 49 seconds. A whole head. She then turned it into pig’s head mortadella for her audience to devour.

Pig's head mortadella

Pigs Head Mortadella, Photos by Pat Anderson, PatAnderson.net

Another highlight was this years keynote speaker: Rene Redzepi of NOMA in Copenhagen.A� Redzepi brought home the point that in this business, we should never let ourselves feel spent.A� He asked himself repeatedly: ?Why do I like food??A� He shared his first food memory: a crispy skinned chicken cooked in it’s own fat over a fire at house his family stayed at in Macedonian decades prior.A� A chicken that made him love food.A� ?Food is everything,? he said. ?Something that you can interact with the world with; have conversations over; transform the environment with�. makes life fun to live.?

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Chef Rene Redzepi shares his first food memory. Photos by Pat Anderson, PatAnderson.net

There were wine tastings, craft beer classes, a dozen takes on classic sandwiches by 12 of Canada’s best chefs–including OCTA staff favorite:A� a fried cod tongue sandwich by Chef Jeremy Charles from Raymond’s Restaurant in New Foundland.A� Smothered in a pickled slaw on a soft milk bun, it was quite likely the most delicious take on a po’boy we’ve ever had.

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Serving up local craft beers at lunch.A� Photos by Pat Anderson, PatAnderson.net

And that’s what it’s about.A� A bloody good sandwich.A� A crisp cold glass of beer.A� A slow cured salami–and the people who craft these moments.A� Chefs, farmers, artisans, winemakers, story tellers.

So, after a day full of learning, sharing and eating we celebrated those people.A� The winners of this year’s GE Monogram Terroir Awards of Excellence in Hospitality were:

  1. Connie DeSousa, Chef/Owner, Charcut, Calgary, AB in the outstanding chef category
  2. Jeremy Bonia, Owner/Sommelier, Raymonds, St. John�s, NFLD in the outstanding beverage professional category
  3. Stephen Beckta, Proprietor, Gezellig, Beckta and Play Food & Wine of Ottawa, ON in the outstanding service professional category.

?This year�s winners once again showcase Canada�s best in terms of performance, innovation and craftsmanship? said Philippe Meyersohn, GM of GE Appliances Canada, sponsor of the awards.

High praise that is well deserved.

If this years’ symposium taught us anything, it is that food, and those who live it, do not need to take themselves too seriously.

As delegates moved onto the Drake Hotel for what was sure to be an unforgettable after-party, I heard lofty ideas about food coupled with a renewed sense of whimsy circling conversations.A� Food is inspiration and happiness.A� It is passion and pride of place, of culture and what brings people together across borders and generations.A� But above all, and quite simply, all present agreed: food is good.

As of the day speakers, Trevor Gulliver of St. John’s in the UK, said: Gastronomy is a discourse that doesn�t exist: it�s not a science and it can�t be taught. “You should remember that all we�re talking about is eating,? he said, as plates of sweet yellow cake, from the team at Langdon Hall, paired with a gooey cheese were passed into the audience.

?Just eat the cheese.?

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