Canadian culinary activist, author and University of Guelph Food Laureate. She holds Doctor of Laws (Honouris cause), a Master of Arts (Gastronomy) and is the founder of Food Day Canada. In 2011, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. She will chair the Tastemaker Committee.
Anne Desjardins is a self-taught chef who has developed her knowledge and skills through study at many hospitality schools and by working with leading chefs around the world. She has been widely published and received the Best Chef Book award in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She is known for her involvement in local and regional agribusiness, and looks to create links between professionals in gastronomy and artisan producers and farmers. She has developed long-lasting relationships with producers and the epicurean world. Her goal is always to promote the quality of our best products and share the benefits of this acquired knowledge with her guests. In 2002, Chef Anne was made "Chevalier de l'Ordre national due Québec" (Knight of the National Order of Quebec).
Together, Lynn and Lora create memorable dining experiences at Ruby Watchco restaurant in Toronto where the philosophy is that food should be locally grown, harvested and raised, and cooked to perfection with heart.
Chef Lynn Crawford has over 25 years of culinary experience. Chef Lynn has traveled throughout Canada and the United States, gaining culinary strength and knowledge by working alongside world renowned chefs at top destination restaurants and hotels. She has received tremendous media attention and international awards as the Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and New York City, and has been invited to cook, speak, and mentor chefs and food lovers across North America. Chef Lynn also stars in her two-time Gemini nominated Food Network Canada hit show, Pitchin’ In. The show is one of the highest rating cooking shows in Canada and is seen in the USA and Asia.
Chef Lora Kirk is regarded as one of Canada's leading chefs with over 15 years of international culinary experience. She gained her culinary strength and knowledge by working with renowned chefs, Gordon Ramsey and Angela Hartnett at the famous Connaught Hotel for three years. Chef Kirk received tremendous media attention and awards, including the Five Diamond award for two consecutive years and four stars in Toronto Life. Chef Lora was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York and in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef America. Going back to her roots and passion for cooking, Chef Kirk is an advocate for supporting local farmers and growers, those who give top chefs the best quality products with which to cook.
Together, Connie and John are the critically acclaimed chefs and co-owners of CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary where they focus on simple ingredients sourced from small, local artisan farmers and ranchers, and herbs harvested daily from their own garden.
Chef Connie DeSousa is one of Canada’s Top Chefs having starred as a finalist in the Food Network culinary competition and a Tourism Calgary Culinary Ambassador. Connie is always true to time honoured culinary techniques, sustainability and walking the “toe-to-tail” talk. In a “back-to-basics style” she expertly prepares authentic, regional food at great value and to high critical acclaim.
Chef John Jackson brought San Francisco-style collaboration to the chef community in Calgary. John is a powerful voice with tourism and civic organizations advocating for community through food; he welcomes other chefs into his kitchen for shared creative dinners that surprise as well as satiate with flair.
Award-winning lifestyle and food publisher. He recently established a new imprint for Random House of Canada, called Appetite. In its first season, Appetite achieved four bestsellers on the Globe and Mail and New York Times bestsellers lists. “Nothing makes me happier than our return to authentic artisanal foods. From delicious crackers, breads and pickles to unbelievable barrel-aged vinegars and spirits. From top chefs to regular home cooks, people are seeking out small-scale artisan food producers who offer natural and sustainable alternatives. In my opinion, there is no one better than ACE Bakery to help these artisans develop their craft and gain a national audience. ACE has grown from one man’s hobby into one of our greatest Canadian success stories. We need more stories like this, and I believe we’ll find them in the ACE Bakery Artisan Incubator.”
Yukon author and cook Michele Genest has lived in Whitehorse since 1994, where she moved from her hometown of Toronto. She has written about food and culture for the past 25 years, and cooked ever since she can remember. Her past experience includes a four-year stint as dining editor of enRoute Magazine, and another as chief dishwasher and fish-cleaner in the waterfront restaurant on a small Greek island. She writes a regular cooking column for Yukon, North of Ordinary Magazine, and her print credits include the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette, enRoute, Flare and Geist. Her cookbook, The Boreal Gourmet is a national bestseller and won a Canadian Culinary Books award in 2011. She is at work on her second book in nothern cuisine, to be released by Harbour Publishing in spring 2014.