In honour of the country’s 150th birthday, Canada Beef and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts have joined forces to celebrate how Canada’s cultural diversity has influenced the evolution of our cuisine.
Last week, Canada Beef and Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York highlighted the Asian influence in Canadian cuisine featuring the Royal York’s Executive Chef Robert Mills and Chef Clinton Zhu from Shanghai. Chef Mills’ commitment to sustainability and sourcing local set the stage to showcase Canadian grown and raised beef and produce.
The day began with a farm tour, bringing east and west together. Professional home economist and author Mairlyn Smith guided a group of top culinary media and influencers as they embarked on a full day of epicurean exploration, delving into the narrative of taste and terroir. Much like wine, the characteristics of Canadian beef are shaped from a terroir effect.
At Sunnymead Farm, near Caledon, Ontario. Alberta rancher Kelly Smith-Fraser joined Will Sheard of Sunnymead and shared the stories of how they raise Canadian beef. The farmer and rancher pair offered an insider’s perspective on the similarities and differences in raising beef across the country.
While feeding and housing cattle can be quite different between these two parts of the country, the similarities are significant. “We do the very best we can for our livestock and are continually advancing our methods with our animals’ and land’s best interests in mind,” said Smith-Fraser.
Sheard summed it up. “People ask me why I farm – and one of the main reasons is that 97 per cent of farms are still family run. I feel blessed to work with my dad every day and learn the craft of raising good quality beef like my grandparents and my great grandparents did.”
Grass and grain-fed beef went head-to-head in a terroir tasting experience, before guests indulged in a gourmet picnic packed up in bento boxes with beef and seasonal, regionally grown foods.
Back at the Fairmont Royal York, guests were treated to a Canada 150 exclusive maple whiskey cocktail and Chef recipe demo of smoked brisket and braised beef short rib. For the grand finale, guests were treated to an East meets West themed dinner where the Chef duo presented different preparations of beef, reflecting unique cultural influences. Dishes like Yonge Street Sirloin with Gremolata and Mushroom, Oven Roasted Orange Beef Tri-tip with Shanghainese Sauce and Charred Sirloin Roll with Pickled Asparagus were all part of the event, showcasing the hard work of Canada’s farmers and ranchers.
“I am thrilled to be part of such a unique series of events connecting chefs and paying tribute to high quality ingredients like Canadian beef,” said Chef Zhu. “Once we take the time to get to know where our food comes from and how it is crafted, we can truly appreciate its beauty.”
“In working with our global partners, we’re exploring how far the Canadian pantry has come,” said Joyce Parslow, Executive Director of Consumer Relations at Canada Beef. ” To continue pushing culinary boundaries, we’re working with international chefs and pairing them with leading local chefs to demonstrate how Canadian ingredients have earned a reputation on the global stage. In building these relationships, we aim to inspire Canadians to continue expanding their pantries, embracing global flavours in their daily cooking.”
For more information about Canada Beef, visit canadabeef.ca. Curious about the event? Go to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and look up #beefbeyondborders or #RYHCanadabeef.
About Canada Beef
Canada Beef is the cattle producer-funded and run organization responsible for domestic and international beef and veal market development. It has offices in Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, and Taiwan. Canada Beef works to enable and sustain loyalty to the Canadian beef brand and build strong relationships with trade customers and partners around the world. These efforts increase demand for Canadian beef and the value producers receive for their cattle.
About the Canada Beef – Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Culinary Exchange Series
Canada Beef and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts have teamed up to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday through a series of unique culinary exchange events with talented chefs from across the globe. In the hands of top global chefs, the culinary exchange series is designed to improve the reputation and understanding of Canada’s food identity. All events in the series will include farm and ranch tours, beef and wine pairing seminars and gala dining experiences. The first event was held at the Fairmont Banff Springs in May, and featured chef Zahie Téllez and tastes of Mexico. The second event was at the Fairmont Royal York in August with chef Clinton Zhu of Shanghai and the final event will be in the Fairmont Lake Louise in December 2017.