Keeping It Local With Chef Jamie Kennedy
Food There is a reason top chefs look to local sources to create gourmet cuisine: it’s fresh, it’s grown close to home and it simply tastes good.
Celebrity chef, Jamie Kennedy, has helped shape the culinary landscape of Canada over the last three decades; however, what he is most passionate about is the local food movement. “True Canadian gastronomy is found in the regions, and is represented by its regional and ethnic diversity. That is what should be celebrated,” says Kennedy.
His critically acclaimed kitchen headquarters, Gilead, serves signature dishes made with local ingredients, an extensive list of local wines and has a casual environment, which provides an ambiance both beautiful and tranquil. “When we discovered local flavours at random places — like around the family table — tasting those things was a revelation,” states Kennedy, who also owns and runs a working farm in Hillier, Prince Edward County. The farm supplies fresh produce such as tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic and many other vegetables and herbs to Jamie Kennedy Kitchens.
A local pioneer
Eating and cooking with locally sourced foods is highly recommended because the benefits are endless. Not only will Canadians contribute to the maintenance of farmland or green space within their communities, but local produce also means a lighter carbon footprint and flavourful cuisine that contains more nutrients and supports the local economy.
Jamie Kennedy is pioneering this movement by preparing eco-friendly feasts that are delicious. In 1989, he partnered with Michael Städtlander to create Knifes and Forks, an alliance of environmentally conscious chefs and farmers in Toronto and the surrounding area.
“Canada represents the opportunity to express yourself in a viable economic platform. We are not so tradition-bound, so it’s easier to push the envelope and think outside the box.”
Cooking with Kennedy: Chef Jamie Kennedy invites local grower Vicki Emlaw to the Thermador kitchen as he prepares a winter feast using some locally grown foods. Video Credit: Thermador.ca
Jamie Kennedy has created a blueprint easy enough for others to follow. He takes inspiration from Michael Städtlander and any of the nouvelle cuisine chefs in France, spanning the late 70s through the 80s such as Alain Chapel, Jean and Pierre Troisgros and Paul Bocuse. “Canada still represents the opportunity to express yourself in a viable economic platform, because we are not so tradition-bound. It’s easier to push the envelope and think outside the box,” insists Kennedy.