Book on top talent turns blind eye to Canadians
Canada’s foodies and top chefs have decided they need to clank theirpans and rattle their pots a little louder when it comes to promotinghomegrown culinary talent in the future.
Canada’s foodies and top chefs have decided they need to clank their pans and rattle their pots a little louder when it comes to promoting homegrown culinary talent in the future.
The country’s top kitchen gurus have had their aprons in a twist since learning last week that an upcoming book profiling the world’s 100 most-promising culinary talents fails to include a single Canuck.
Described as part cookbook, part restaurant guide, and part who's who of the international food scene, Coco was compiled by 10 big-name culinary masters including Spanish chef Ferran Adria and Brit kitchen authority Gordon Ramsay.
A campaign by 24 of Canada’s culinary A-listers, including Susur Lee and Rob Feenie, demanded publisher Phaidon Press look north and slot a Canuck into the book’s 100th space.
But even after letters of protest and a few angry calls, it seems the fracas still boiled down to a case of Canadians being too quiet and humble.
“If you don’t promote yourself, you’re not going to get that attention,” said Toronto-based chef Martin Kouprie, adding that disappointed Canadians have learned a lot from the Coco affair. “We have to have a bigger voice.”
According to Kouprie, the publishing industry and tourism leaders could do a lot more to give Canadian cuisine a higher profile in international circles.
“There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that goes into this business ... we just have to get the word out,” he said.
Coco's U.K.-based publisher has clung to a statement released last week and declined to comment any further on the Canadian uproar.
“We understand the disappointment of not being included. However, the decision of who is chosen in the book is not Phaidon’s, rather the 10 noted chefs who curated the emerging talents in the book,” said spokeswoman Sarah Goodin, reading from the prepared release.
Shaun Smith, the Toronto writer who led much of the protest, said the response from Phaidon was disappointing. “From our perspective they barely even acknowledged our campaign, which was somewhat insulting,” he said.