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Aspiring Chefs: The future of Canada’s culinary industry

Despite periods of uncertainty and disruption, one thing is for certain: Canada’s culinary community has
supported one another, with seasoned chefs, food and agricultural organizations helping to lead the way.
Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC), a national organization representing regulated egg farms across the
country, stepped up to the plate recently, demonstrating its commitment to supporting farmers and
chefs alike, to ensure a prosperous future for all.


For over six years, Egg Farmers of Canada has partnered with notable chefs across the country to
educate Canadians on the importance of fresh, local, high-quality food, strengthen trust in Canadian
farmers and highlight the important relationship between food producers and chefs. To help inspire the
next generation of culinary leaders, the organization has also worked with prominent culinary
institutions to lead educational activities that put student skills to the test while providing valuable
mentorship.


One such opportunity was the Farm to Table: A Virtual Culinary Challenge event series hosted in
partnership with George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Toronto, and Nova
Scotia Community College in Halifax. Each event gave students the chance to showcase their cooking
skills while being judged on their recipe development, technique and dish presentation by a panel of
celebrity chef judges, including, Egg Farmers of Canada chef ambassadors, Chef Dale MacKay, Chef Lynn
Crawford and Chef Craig Flinn. Throughout the process, students were also mentored by faculty
members, and were taught by local egg farmers Ian Laver and Jill Thomas about egg production in
Canada and the role of supply management, in helping ensure a continuous supply of fresh, local and
high-quality eggs.


“The event was a great opportunity to connect with students first-hand, and speak about Canadian egg
farming and the sustainable and innovative practices in place across the industry,” said Thomas. “The
students’ curiosity, passion and drive was truly inspiring, and it was amazing to see each students’ recipe
come to life.”


Egg Farmers of Canada prides itself in its commitment to supporting the foodservice industry and
educating Canadians about the reciprocal role of chefs and farmers, working hand-in-hand to produce
fresh, high-quality food. By taking part in the virtual culinary challenges, aspiring chefs from each school
were able to connect with egg farmers and seasoned chefs, while learning about the food industry
firsthand!


Egg Farmers of Canada chef ambassador, and host of the Nova Scotia Community College events, Chef
Craig Flinn, reflects on his experience at the competition: “I was truly impressed with the students’
curiosity, creativity and their ability to incorporate a variety of ingredients, drawing upon their individual
backgrounds and culinary influences,” said Flinn. “Each student showed up prepared to put their skills to
the test, creatively incorporating the ever-versatile Canadian egg into their recipes.”


At the most recent competition, put on by Egg Farmers of Canada and Nova Scotia Community College,
the judges were wowed by each student’s effort and talent, however, one student really stood out for
their unique and minimalist approach- Tsubaki Onishi!


Tsubaki prepared Tamaga Dofu, a steamed savory custard, a childhood favourite and recipe that
honoured her cultural background. The dish included a total of six eggs alongside ingredients such as
sake, soy sauce and dashi powder, with a sliced scallion and chili garnish inspired by a Japanese garden,
and reminding her of home.


When asked about her experience taking part in the competition, Tsubaki said that she was grateful for
the opportunity to share her favourite dish with the judges and gain valuable exposure to several key
players in the industry. “I enjoyed learning from Jill throughout the competition, and was really excited to
learn that the eggs I purchase at the grocery store are always locally produced.”

As a leading agricultural organization representing more than 1,200 regulated egg farmers from coast to
coast, Egg Farmers of Canada is proud to support and inspire members of the culinary community new
and old through mentorship and education. While this year’s competition has come to a close, Canada’s
aspiring chefs have shown us that the next generation of leaders have a bright future ahead.

To learn more about Egg Farmers of Canada, visit www.eggfarmers.ca

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