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Taste Canada Awards Marks Its 20th Year

Celebrating its 20th year, Taste Canada Awards / Les Lauréats des Saveurs du Canada has announced the shortlisted titles of books and food blogs competing for a coveted culinary writing award. Taste Canada Awards celebrates Canada’s world-class culinary writers of books and blogs in both official languages. The winners will be announced at the awards gala on October 30, 2017 in Toronto.

Over the past 20 years, Taste Canada Awards has honoured 208 Canadian-authored books and blogs that have covered an array of topics related to food in both official languages: Canada’s culinary history, culinary narratives, regional and local food stories, seasonal foods and single ingredients, food trends at home and abroad, healthy food and nutrition, and everyday recipes for families.

Taste Canada Awards was founded 20 years ago by Jo Marie Powers, formerly a professor at the School of Hotel and Food Administration at Guelph University, now retired. Powers continues to serve on the Taste Canada Awards board of directors.

“Our food writers, who I believe are the best in the world, deserved recognition,” says Powers. “And, it was very important to me to present the awards to books written in English and French.”

The presentation of the first awards were held every other year at the Cuisine Canada conference. “Other years, we presented the trophies at a potluck dinner – and you can imagine, the food was incredible,” said Powers.

The awards (then known as the Cuisine Canada Cookbook Awards) had one category – Cookbooks. In the years that followed the categories changed and grew. In 2012, a new name and branding was launched together with the newly incorporated not-for profit status. Today, Taste Canada Awards has seven categories in both official languages.

“Canadian culinary writing is about so much more than just recipe books. These award-winning books and blogs reveal the very essence of Canada – our culture, our land, our farms, our crops, our chefs, our languages, our families, our travels, and our global perspective – through the art of writing,” said Donna Dooher, Chair, Board of Directors, Taste Canada Awards. “For 20 years, Taste Canada Awards has shined a spotlight on Canadian culinary writers and the Canadian publishing industry and we are honoured to play a central role in the celebration of Canada’s food culture.”

The Taste Canada Awards Gala is a one-of-a-kind gastronomic celebration with an incredible array of chef-led food stations and a Red-Carpet event. This year, the Gala will be held at a new venue, the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, and will be hosted by the Food Network Canada’s Noah Cappe, host of Carnival Eats. Early bird tickets are now on sale at TasteCanada.org.

“We couldn’t present an event of this caliber without the generosity of our sponsors and partners, and the support of our dedicated volunteers,” said Karen Baxter, Executive Director, Taste Canada Awards. “This year Gala promises to be our best yet. Anyone who loves cookbooks and food blogs should attend to see our talented Canadian culinary writers get the recognition they deserve!”

At the Gala, Taste Canada Awards will also name this year’s Hall of Fame Award inductees (living and posthumous) sponsored by The Culinary Historians of Canada, and the winner of Cooks the Books, a culinary student competition.

Taste Canada Cooks the Books will be held at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Toronto on October 29th. Cooks the Books is a cooking competition that invites Canadian culinary students from across the nation to compete for the title of Canada’s Best New Student Chefs. Taste Canada Cooks the Books is presented in partnership with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. Tickets to Cooks the Books are $30 at the door or online at www.tastecanada.org.

In 2016, the total units sold in Canada for books in the “Cooking” subject category amounted to 1.3 million for a total value of $43 million, according to BookNet Canada.

For more information about Taste Canada Awards, visit the website TasteCanada.org.

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