Jeff Stewart, the son of Canadian food champion Anita Stewart, celebrated his mother’s legacy with a special culinary event for Food Day Canada, July 31, 2021.
The Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory at the MacDonald Institute on the University of Guelph campus was the venue for the preparation of two special dishes, both from cookbooks authored by his mother. Jeff is the first guest to cook in the recently renovated state-of-the-art food lab.
Anita Stewart, an Order of Canada recipient, renowned culinary activist and journalist, author and food historian, passed away on October 29th, 2020, at the age of 73. She was the founder of Cuisine Canada and Food Day Canada and was the University of Guelph’s inaugural Food Laureate.
Each year on July 31 Canadians are encouraged to celebrate Canadian food through local shopping, cooking and dining. They can also share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #FoodDayCanada. Last year #FoodDayCanada reached nearly 15 million Canadians online.
The University of Guelph carries on her legacy by celebrating all things food in Canada in the Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory, a facility made possible through a $1.33-million gift from Michel Eric Fournelle, a 1992 U of G graduate and long-time real estate developer and philanthropist. Whirlpool Canada donated top-of-the-line appliances and food preparation equipment. Food preparation demonstrations will be recorded and broadcast using the high-end audiovisual hardware installed in the lab.
As the first chef to cook in the new laboratory, Jeff Stewart explained the background to one of the recipes.
“The first dish is called Plaltz, or pie by the yard,” Jeff Steward explained “The original recipe came from a fruit vendor at the Windsor Farmers’ Market. I was with mom when she was talking to this vendor. He scribbled down the recipe on a napkin. He made it in long trays. It’s like a giant danish, made with any available seasonal fruit.”
Source: University of Guelph July 29, 2021 news release