Slow Food in Canada, representing all the Slow Food convivia across the country, recognized the contribution of six Canadian ambassadors of good, clean and fair food during its annual meeting held in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia May 1-4, 2014.
The Canadian Food Hero recognition is given each year by Slow Food in Canada to individuals who protect, defend and promote sustainable, good, clean and fair food by actively and positively contributing to a healthy food system, preserving the rich culinary history of their region, whether they are growers, harvesters, writers, entrepreneurs or activists.
The 2014 Canadian Food Heroes are:
- Ghislain Trudel (Québec)
- Chef Robert Clark (British Columbia)
- Josh Oulton and Patricia Bishop (Nova Scotia)
- Really Local Harvest (New Brunswick)
- Tony and Penny Marshall (Prairies)
- Paul Finklestein (Ontario)
Ghislain Trudel is the president of Slow Food Abitibi-Témiscamingue and co-founder of the Slow Food movement in Quebec. He works to preserve the culinary traditions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue by promoting and distributing high quality products to customers in his region including local chefs. A few years ago, he founded “Origine Nord- Ouest”, a group of local chefs who published a cookbook starring local products, titled “Tout le monde à table! À la découverte des produits régionaux”.
CHEF ROBERT CLARK
Robert Clark is a chef, an author, an educator, an advocate and a volunteer renowned for his dedication to connecting consumers with the abundant seafood of Canada’s wild west coast while creating exceptional sustainable food throughout his 32-year, award-winning culinary career. His early recognition of the delicate balance of quality, sustainability and market demand that surrounds the seafood industry makes him a culinary leader. He continually dedicates his energy and curiosity to seeking out local ingredients that are the best in quality and sustainable in supply.
JOSH OULTON AND PATRICIA BISHOP
Josh, the outgoing president of ACORN (Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network), is an advocate for assisting new farmers. Patricia is a Municipal Councillor for Kings County and is active in volunteering for organizations focusing on preservation of land (No Farms No Food), woman in agriculture (Farmers Helping Farmers) and children and food (Farm to School ). Together, they founded Taproot Farms, now the largest CSA in Nova Scotia with over 500 shareholders. Their operations are guided by deep organic values: local production for local consumption, and honour and respect for the ecosystem.
REALLY LOCAL HARVEST / LA RÉCOLTE DE CHEZ-NOUS
Really Local Harvest is a cooperative of about thirty farmers from the South East region of New Brunswick whose members work hard to offer authentic, wholesome, fresh and great tasting local products. They strive to promote the development of sustainable agriculture in their region. Really Local was created in 2000 and in June 2005 they helped create the Dieppe Farmer’s Market. They recently helped create Terroir Foods & Agrimarketing Inc., an organization that coordinates the sourcing and delivery of local food to 22 schools in the region for their students’ lunches.
TONY AND PENNY MARSHALL
Tony and Penny Marshall are farmers in the Canadian Prairies. They farm land that used to belong to Tony’s great-grandfather, making him and his wife the 4th generation of farmers on this land, and their kids the 5th generation. They organically grow oats, wheat and rye and firmly believe their organic certification give them an additional value. As Tony describes their work, they are managing an organic farm on his great-grandfather’s land is to pay homage to the way his land was intended to be farmed, organically like it always has been. Masters of their own packaging and shipping, they do everything from A to Z and also weekly bake a fresh granola which has grown to be very popular in the region.
Paul Finkelstein is a Stratford Chef’s School graduate, a teacher, and entrepreneur and the founder of the Screaming Avocado, a student-run café. He believes in food as a tool for change. With his high school students, he hopes to introduce children to good healthy food, notably by promoting the school garden, but also teach them how to cook it through experiential learning. When he is not inspiring kids in the classroom, he is taking the students out on culinary excursions. They notably visited Nunavut where the students inspired, in turn, their Northern “cousins” to be curious about food and inspired about cooking. He has received many awards for his work, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.