2018 Taste Canada Awards (Tue. Oct. 30, 2018)

photography by Kimberly Samnang

October 30, 2018, Toronto, ON — Taste Canada Awards / Les Lauréats des Saveurs du Canada (tastecanada.org) has announced the winners of the country’s only national, bilingual food writing awards.  October is National Cookbook Month #Love Cookbooks #MoreThanRecipes

A champion of cookbook authors and food bloggers, Taste Canada inspires readers to discover delicious recipes and diverse food stories written from a Canadian perspective. Taste Canada is a not-for-profit founded in 1998. More than just recipes, cookbooks and food blogs reveal Canada’s unique history, culture, and diversity.

“When we write about food, we are really writing about humanity and community; about love and death and biological imperatives; and about the powerful connections and similarities between us. Food writing has been as undervalued as the actual work of food preparation. Taste Canada is the only body in the country recognizing the importance of the work of food writers. Food stories are after all, the real stories of our lives,’ said Lindy Mechefske, author of Out of Old Ontario Kitchens, and Sir John’s Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada’s First Prime Minister (2016 Taste Canada Gold Award Winner for Culinary Narratives).

This year, 91 cookbooks and 50 food blogs entered the competition. A shortlist announced earlier in the year narrowed the competition to a maximum of 5 entries per category.

The 26 gold and silver award winners were revealed at the Taste Canada Awards Gala on October 29 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, co-hosted by Shahir Massoud and Claire Tansey. The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Her Honor Elizabeth Dowdeswell delivered the welcoming and opening remarks. 

The Hall of Fame Awards were presented to The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr (living) and Constance Hart (posthumous), the first Jewish person in Canada to write a cookbook. This award, sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Canada, goes to authors of a stellar culinary book or body of work that has had a lasting impact on Canadian cuisine.

The annual Gala brings together writers, publishers, chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, industry, media and cookbook fans to promote a vibrant national conversation about food and the art and culture of culinary writing.

The evening started with a welcome reception by Summer Fresh, followed by the awards presentation, and then, aone-of-a-kind gastronomic celebration, presented by Good in Every Grain,featuring food by Fairmont Royal York Executive Chef j.W. Foster, as well as Ivana Raca (Ufficio), Matt Basile (Lisa Marie/Fidel Gastro’s), Ted Reader (Ted’s Famous BBQ), Trevor Lui and Hemant Bhagwani (Fat Rabbit), Charlotte Langley (Restaurants Canada), Brad Lomanto (Conestoga College), Brian McCourt and Benjamin Lillico (Ignite Restaurant Group), Daniel Stubbe (Cacao Barry), Dufflet Rosenberg (Dufflet),  Trevor Ritchie (Bocuse d’Or Team Canada), and Vanessa Yeung (Aphrodite Cooks). Wines were presented by the Niagara College Teaching Winery.

The winners of Cooks the Books, a cooking competition that invites Canadian culinary students from across the nation to compete for the title of Canada’s Best New Student Chefs, were also announced at the Gala. The Silver Medal was awarded to  Celina do Souto and Sydney Lutz from Conestoga College (Kitchener, Ontario) for their Braised Beef Cheeks with Roasted Squash & Maple Milk Foam recipe.  Jessi Coulter & Kaitlin McCarthy from Assiniboine Community College (Brandon, Manitoba) won the Gold Medal for their Cast Iron Seared Hudson River Arctic Char with Smoked Maple Birch Glaze, on Heritage Grain recipe written.  Cooks the Books – A Student Chef Battle was held at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Toronto on October 28.  This competition is presented in partnership with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission and sponsored by Summer Fresh, with Education Awareness Partner, ThinkBeef.ca.

In 2017, the total units sold in Canada for books in the “Cooking” subject category amounted to 1.4 million for a total value of $47.4 million, according to BookNet Canada’s national sales tracking service for the print English-language trade market, BNC SalesData.

Award Categories (English and French Language)

  • General Cookbooks / Livres de Cuisine Générale
  • Single-Subject Cookbooks / Livres de Cuisine Sujet Unique
  • Regional/Cultural Cookbooks / Livres de Cuisine Régionale et Culturelle
  • Culinary Narratives / Narrations Culinaires
  • Health and Special Diet Cookbooks / Livres de Cuisine Santé et Diète Particulière
  • Food Blogs: General / Blogues culinaire
  • Food Blogs: Heath and Special Diet (English only)

About Taste Canada A champion of Canadian cookbooks and food blogs, Taste Canada inspires and encourages readers at home and abroad to discover delicious recipes and diverse food stories written from a Canadian perspective. Taste Canada brings together Canadian food and beverage writers, publishers, chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, industry, post-secondary culinary colleges, media and cookbook fans, recognizing that food connects us all.  Since 1998, Taste Canada, a national, bilingual not-for-profit, has presented awards to the best Canadian food writers. Awards are presented each year at a Gala in Toronto. For more information, visit tastecanada.org.

Taste Canada Awards would like to thank our partners who support our mission to champion Canada’s culinary writers including the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Summer Fresh, Fairmont Royal York, Good in Every Grain, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Restaurants Canada, Toronto Star, Canada’s 100 Best, Eat Your Words and Education Awareness Partner, ThinkBeef.  For more information, visit, tastecanada.org.


English-Language Books

Culinary Narratives

Vij, Vikram. Vij. Penguin Canada, Toronto

Phillips, Rod. 9000 Years of Wine. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Markham

General Cookbooks

Crawford, Lynn. Farm to Chef. Penguin Canada, Toronto

Wimbush-Bourque, Aimée. The Simple Bites Kitchen. Penguin Canada, Toronto

Regional/Cultural Cookbooks

Anderson, Lindsay and Dana VanVeller. Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip. Appetite by Random House, Vancouver

Butters, Rod. The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking. Figure 1, Vancouver

Single-Subject Cookbooks

Kohlman, Renée. All the Sweet Things: Baked Goods and Stories from the Kitchen of Sweetsugarbean. TouchWood Editions, Victoria

Gardner, Kristy. Cooking with Cocktails.Countryman Press, New York

Health and Special Diet Cookbooks

Podleski, Greta. Yum & Yummer: Ridiculously Tasty Recipes That’ll Blow Your Mind, But Not Your Diet!Author/One Spoon Media Inc., Kitchener

Wright, Laura. The First Mess Cookbook. Penguin Canada, Toronto

English-Language Food Blogs

General Food Blogs

Rhubarb & Cod, Susan Keefe www.rhubarbandcod.com

The Lemon Apron, Jennifer Emilson www.thelemonapron.com

Health & Special Diet Blogs

Oh She Glows, Angela Liddon www.ohsheglows.com

Joyous Health, Joy McCarthy www.joyoushealth.com

We would like to thank Saskia Brussaard of Crave PR for this invitation.