Twenty Awesome Artisans



This June, some of the best culinary artisans Canada has to offer gathered for a weekend in Toronto. The ACE Bakery Artisan Incubator wrapped up with a spectacular Showcase event, a business-building seminar for the participating Artisans, and a series of Artisan Workshops at leading culinary facilities across Toronto. Food Day Canada’s Anita Stewart was thrilled to participate as a Tastemaker.

Congratulations to Michael McKenzie of Seed to Sausage and Nancy Hinton of Les Jardins Sauvages, who have been awarded additional mentoring opportunities over the next year.

Missed out on the action? Check out the video above to see what it was all about.


Some background:

Spirit Tree Ice Cider

When Brillat-Savarin wrote, way back in 1825,  “The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star”, he was celebrating the new found cuisine of France.  Like him, we here in Canada have much to celebrate.  Over the past few weeks, Canadian culinary artisans have come out of their kitchens in anticipation of Canada’s first Artisan Incubator.  With hundreds expressing interest in participating in the culinary showcase, narrowing down the field was a challenge; but  ACE Bakery, along with a panel of distinguished Tastemakers, ultimately settled on 20 participating artisans.  They had the opportunity to travel to Toronto, and show the rest of the country some of the most delicious regional foods in Canada.

Venturi Schultze BalsamicOur hope was that by participating in the Artisan Incubator, each artisan would gain national exposure and business insights that would help them grow as a company and achieve the success they desire. Brillat-Savarin’s most famous aphorism sums it up perfectly. “The fate of nations depends on the way they eat.”  Canada is such an enormous nation and this sort of networking is invaluable.

Sledding Hill Jelly, Nova Scotia

The Artisan Incubator was held in Toronto in June, where all 20 artisans were recognized at a showcase, given national exposure and the opportunity to share in the industry insights ACE Bakery has gained over the last 20 years.  ACE hopes to help them achieve success while also drawing attention to the thousands of hard-working artisans who put their heart and soul into everything they make.

“When my husband and I started the journey of creating ACE Bakery 20 years ago, we were very lucky to have a mentor who owned his own artisan bakery in New York,” explained Linda Haynes, co-founder of ACE Bakery and author of The ACE Bakery Cookbooks.  “He believed in what we were trying to do, especially around our community investment, so he went as far as to train some of our bakers, help us find used equipment and he even shared some of his recipes with us.  Now it’s ACE’s turn to pay it forward and help other talented Canadian artisans in a similar way.”


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Author: Anita

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