AMHERST, Mass. – Billed as the largest Canadian college chefs gathering south of the border, 10 chefs representing five universities from the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan, assisted by UMass Amherst chefs, will prepare the menu for the “Flavors of Canada” event on Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 5-9 p.m. at the Berkshire Dining Commons of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The event is part of UMass Dining Services’ Visiting College Chef Series.
The chefs, who hail from McGill University, three Ontario universities – McMaster, Waterloo and Guelph – and the University of Saskatchewan, will showcase students’ favorites and regional specialties of their respective campuses. This year’s theme also focuses on flavors, healthfulness and sustainability. The featured items will include maple baked salmon, cedar planked, maple glazed, arctic char, French Canadian duck and pork tourtières, braised beef short ribs with Niagara fruit chutney, Diefenbaker steelhead trout and spinach Wellington, herb chevre-stuffed bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, Waterloo baby back ribs and laksa lemak aromatic shrimp curry. Each university will provide three main entrees, one being vegetarian, three side dishes and a dessert. All of the items will be served in small portions and use seasonal and local ingredients as much as possible.
“It will be a treat and culinary delight for our students and guests. The visiting chefs are some of the best from prestigious universities in Canada,” says Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. “They are coming together to prepare a delicious repertoire of some regional Canadian fare from east to west. The event will strengthen the ties between two great professional associations: Canadian College & University Food Service Association (CCUFSA) and National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). UMass Amherst is a member of both associations and has learned some of the best practices from each one, says Toong.
“The Flavors of Canada event is one of our most popular guest chef events and it will introduce our students to a little bit of Canada, our northern neighbor and our largest trading partner,” Toong adds. Chefs will give a brief talk on the cuisine that they selected to represent their particular region of Canada.
Several special guests will attend the showcase event including Bruce Griffiths, president of CCUFSA; Timothy Dietzler, president of NACUFS; Colette Lekborg, trade commissioner, Canadian Consulate General, and Jim Sheehan, vice chancellor of administration and finance at UMass Amherst.
“Expect a lively amount of fanfare with tunes and a video of all things Canadian – and an atmosphere of warmth during this cold time of year in New England,” says Toong.
The event is open to the public for $12.50 per person.