I have been chair of a special national food award for a couple of years. The award is called the Edna after Edna Staebler for her pioneer work as one of the first Canadian authors to write about local and regional food in her magazine articles and her hugely popular cookbooks, beginning with Food That Really Schmecks. Her sympathetic portrayal of the Old Order Mennonites and their food lifted Ontario’s Waterloo County cooking to hear mythical status. In 1996, Cuisine Canada gave Edna a lifetime achievement award that has been given since to individuals who have shown an exceptional and long-standing contribution to regional cuisine. This year’s winner to whom I presented the award on Friday, November 6th at the Royal Winter Fair
, was Chef Robert Arniel from St. John’s Newfoundland.
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