Congress 2014

The Canadian Chefs’ Congress presents

Spring Thaw

Spring Thaw will highlight the best organic and non-gmo produce Ontario has to offer.

Come and taste the spring creations of twenty-one chefs!

Celebrating the arrival of a new growing season

Palais Royale, 1601 Lakeshore Blvd. W.

Monday, March 31, 2014 | 7-10pm | $175/person

Chefs participating in Spring Thaw and Congress:

  • Renee Bellefeuille, Frank Restaurant
  • Paul Boehmer, Böhmer
  • Ryan Crawford, Gastrohomestead
  • Jason D’Anna, Magna Golf Club
  • Alexandra Feswick
  • Ross Fraser, Simon Fraser, Fraser Café, Ottawa
  • Paul Harber, Ravine Vineyard
  • John Higgins, George Brown Chef School
  • Geoff Hopgood, Hopgood’s Foodliner
  • Steffan Howard, Palais Royale
  • Daisuke Izutsu, Don Don Izakaya
  • Jamie Kennedy, Jamie Kennedy Kitchens
  • Marc Lepine, Atelier Restaurant, Ottawa
  • Murray McDonald, Fogo Island Inn, Nfld
  • Alexander Molitz, Farmhouse Tavern
  • Paula Navarrete, Momofuku Daishō
  • Anthony Rose, Rose and Sons, Big Crow
  • Jacob Sharkey-Pearce, Ursa
  • Michael Stadtländer, Eigensinn Farm
  • Bryan Steele, Old Prune, Stratford
  • Anthony Walsh, Canoe
  • Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar
  • Oyster Boy

and music by the Darren Sigesmund Jazz Quintet

In 2008 Chef Michael Stadtländer and his friends founded the Canadian Chefs’ Congress. His vision was and still is to connect chefs to our land in solidarity with farmers, fishers, gardeners, foragers and all artisanal food producers. This biennial gathering of chefs from across Canada reinforces the passion and integrity of Canadian food culture. The Canadian Chefs’ Congress has so far hosted congresses for 500 chefs, farmers, fishers, and artisanal food producers from across Canada in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. In 2012 we retrofitted a school bus with a professional kitchen and a dining room which doubles as sleeping quarters for 8 people. We drove the bus from Ontario to Nova Scotia and back in September 2012 hosting dinners for the public in Ottawa, Montreal, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

We are reworking the biennial congress format – the intent was to host the congress in a different province or territory each time until it had taken place in every one. We followed this format for the first three congresses beginning in 2008.

We want to host smaller, more idea-focused gatherings more frequently and to include a larger scale public event which could help to offset the costs of the congress and our work. This new format will result in more opportunity for feedback and participation with regard to issues which affect our community. So, for our first ‘new format congress’ we are planning a public event which we are calling ‘Spring Thaw’ at the Palais Royale in Toronto on March 31st Ontario wine and beer for 500 people in a stand-up setting. The theme is pure and clean with an emphasis on organic and non-GMO ingredients.
On April 1st and 2nd we are planning a mini congress of about 40 invited chefs, speakers, farmers, fishers, distillers, etc to join in discussion and food and drink at Haisai Restaurant and Eigensinn Farm (Michael and Nobuyo Stadtländer’s farm and restaurant in Singhampton). Our discussions will focus on 1. the invasion of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes and how the Fisheries of Ontario are affected and 2. what chefs should know about GMOs and Organic Farming; as well as discussion around GM Salmon. In the evening we will snowshoe back to the maple forest at Eigensinn Farm for a big bonfire and cookout. We plan to have a little musical entertainment too. On April 2nd
going to share the details of our new project with our invited guests, with the hope that they will be inspired to help make it a reality.