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Food

Chef Lynn Crawford dishes on her favourite Canadian foods

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Lindsay William-Ross Jun 29, 2017 4:38 am 426

Canada Day is a time to gather with friends and family, and enjoy fun and celebrate being Canadian. And what’s a celebration without food?

If there’s one Canadian who knows food, it’s Chef Lynn Crawford. The chef, restaurateur, and food TV personality is a familiar face on the food scene, and she is part of an exciting ongoing conversation happening nationwide about what we eat, and where our food comes from.

Chef Lynn Crawford

Crawford, left, doing a demo with Loblaws (Photo courtesy Loblaw)

Crawford has been working with grocer Loblaw for a series of food-focused events exploring the past, present, and future of Canadian food. From what’s trending to what “Canadian food” even means, there’s more than a mouthful to talk about.

Daily Hive had the chance to connect with Crawford via e-mail to find out some her favourite Canadian eats, and what she’s serving up for her Canada Day celebration.

Daily Hive: What does Canadian food mean to you?

Chef Lynn Crawford: Canada is such a magnificent country with so much diversity. Our diversity lives not only in our culture, but also in our cuisine, and in the unique, regional differences between the East and West coasts and everything in-between. This diversity offers us so many different wonderful ingredients to cook with, and this is even truer today with our growing multicultural mosaic. Loblaw actually identified this as part of their 2017 Canadian Food Trends. This “New Canadian Cuisine” trend is witnessing the transformation of traditional Canadian meals with exciting global flavours.

What are some under-appreciated ingredients and dishes you’d love to see get more attention from Canadian–and global–chefs and food lovers? 

Spot prawns (Kit Leong/Shutterstock)

Spot prawns (Kit Leong/Shutterstock)

We are very lucky in Canada because we have so many different ingredients to choose from throughout the different seasons. In order to develop a greater appreciation for different Canadian ingredients, Canadians need to make an effort to really go out and explore what those different ingredients are. For example, right now Ontario strawberries are truly the star ingredient. For all Canadians, it’s really about looking into what the star ingredients for each season are, and if you haven’t cooked with them before, then make an effort to try them out – taste and enjoy the food that’s around you!

As people become more and more interested in where their food comes from, you are starting to see more of a focus on new, exciting ingredients that Canadians wouldn’t have cooked with in the past. A great example of this is BC spot prawns – they’re a magnificent ingredient, very seasonal, unique and special. Fogo Island cod is another great example. 

There’s a back story to so many different ingredients, and if you dig a little deeper you can get really excited and have more of an appreciation of the local and artisanal ingredients that surround us.

How can Canadians get more truly Canadian foods on their own tables at home?

That’s really easy to do – support your local farmers and fishermen. There is such a wonderful bounty of ingredients and products available from within our own backyards. Fresh Canadian ingredients should be your first choice this summer, and you can find them at your local farmers market and neighbourhood grocery store. At peak times, nearly 50 per cent of the produce at Loblaws stores is sourced here in Canada and it’s easy to find as it’s marked with a sticker that has the product’s place of origin on it.

We’re surrounded by so many great food resources – social media, magazines, books, etc. Canadians should find inspiration, work on their own personal repertoire of recipes, and have fun with it!

Is it okay that when most people hear “Canadian food” they think of poutine? If you’re a poutine lover, where do you think makes the best in Canada?

Aha! The quest for the best poutine. I truly believe that it doesn’t matter where you go in Canada, there will be always a very talented chef putting forward their best version of a poutine. Whether it’s a lobster poutine in Nova Scotia or P.E.I., a bison short rib poutine in Calgary, or an aged cheddar poutine in the Ottawa Valley, every region has their own unique version and they are all delicious. Who doesn’t love a really great poutine?!

What’s on your table for Canada Day eating? 

Grill flames closeup

Grill/Shutterstock

For Canada Day, I’m going to be up at the cottage and hosting a few friends. My menu for Canada Day this year includes a little bit of everything, a lot of which will be cooked on the BBQ. Here are a few highlights:

Mains:

  • The Great Canadian Burger (peameal bacon, local cheddar cheese)
  • Maple glazed chicken and kabobs
  • Fogo Island fish tacos
  • Make your own delicious pizzas on the wood fired pizza oven (These will have a ton of delicious ingredients, including: Ontario asparagus, delicious cheese (burrata and local mozzarella), heirloom tomatoes, marinara sauce, spicy cappicola, Canadian bacon, and prosciutto)

Dessert:

  • Chocolate strawberry shortcake with whipped cream (with freshly picked strawberries from Mclean Berry Farm in Ontario)
See also

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Lindsay William-Ross
Lindsay is a former Daily Hive Food Editor. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she has also lived in Toronto, NYC, and LA.

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