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Local Legends, Culinary Crusaders

Among the variety of musical, artistic, natural and culinary legends that have emerged from Elora, French Chef Roger Dufau, celebrated author and culinary crusader Anita Stewart, and award-winning restaurateur Resa Lent stand tall. And all three call Elora home.

Anita Stewart


Anita StewartAnita Stewart is one of the best-known names on the Canadian food scene. The multiple-cookbook author, Food Day Canada founder and local food luminary has been on a quest to pin down the essence of Canadian cuisine throughout her storied career.

“It’s about possibilities,” she says, “about celebrating our magnificent differences, our roots and ethnicity.” A passionate advocate for the local food movement, she says Canada is about creating the best from local ingredients, then selling it to the world. “It’s about branding ourselves Canadian,” she says, “and giving our producers an unmistakable edge that no other nation can emulate.”

The message is getting through. Everyone has noticed. In 2011, Anita was awarded the Order of Canada for her contribution to Canadian culinary culture.

Roger Dufau


Roger DufauCelebrated in a new book by New York Times best selling author James Twyman—not just for his cooking but for his wisdom and wit—Love, God and the Art of French Cooking recounts Roger Dufau’s philosophy about food and food preparation, wherein, he says, the principal ingredient is love.

Roger claims he does not consider himself a great chef, though others will differ. “I just know how to shop,” he says. “When I pick up a squash or an onion, I Iet it speak to my soul. If it’s ready and wants to be in my pot, it tells me.”

Roger has proven throughout his career that the approach works, having owned wildly popular restaurants and patisseries in France, Toronto and Australia. Today he imparts love to food at Drew House, his popular Elora Bed & Breakfast.

Resa Lent


Resa LentFor years, Resa Lent served up fresh local food on the main street in Elora, and made the Desert Rose Café a must-eat destination for anyone passing through town. And over those 30 years, she created recipes and collected stories, which she finally decided to set down in a self-published book simply called The Desert Rose Café Cookbook.

Little did she realize that her project would quickly gain international recognition. The book won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Canada in 2010, and went on to finish in the top three for Best Vegetarian Cuisine Book in the World. “It was crazy,” she says looking back. “It blows my mind that my little cookbook went that far.”

Congratulations Roger, Anita and Resa—international leaders in a hotbed of local world-class cuisine, emanating from the heart of Elora, Ontario.  
 

"Eating unloved food is like living an unloved life..."

Roger Dufau, Drew House

 

 

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