This week in food- Musings of a restaurant bon-vivant, Sept. 7-13

This week’s food and restaurant scene news as I see it from Toronto and across the universe.

Restaurant and Chefs

The new food of American diplomacy

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...
Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On September 7,  the U.S State Department announced the new Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Program. The program in partnership with the James Beard foundation has enlisted  eighty of America’s best chefs to newly created  American Chefs Corps.  The list of high profile chefs include Jose Andres, Amanda Freitag, Duff Goldman, Ming Tsai, Art Smith and many other great American chefs.  Their diplomatic mission – to prepare meals for dignitaries and travel to U.S. embassies abroad for cultural programs as well as other diplomatic responsibilities involving food, culture and promoting American agriculture products in foreign countries.

Over the past three year’s Clinton has increasingly used food to bring people together to underscore the importance of food as a cornerstone to culture and forge diplomatic cultural exchanges.   Food has been a positive highlight in the Obama administration, from Michelle’s vegetable garden and the recent brew recipes from the White House kitchen.  The perception of food has been different, certainly from Clinton’s addiction to fast food, and Jimmy Carter‘s

End of Night: Group of Seven Chefs and friends
End of Night: Group of Seven Chefs and friends (Photo credit: Sifu Renka)

peanuts.  It’s interesting that it has taken taken forty years to formalize a program using food as a diplomatic tool.  I say forty years, because it was that many years ago that Nixon sat down to dinner with Zhou en Lai in 1972.   For those of us that can remember that momentous TV event, the flashing black and white images of Nixon adeptly using chopsticks to eat food he was unfamiliar with, was the real beginning of improved diplomatic relationships over a meal.

More James Beard Foundation news, but locally….. Toronto’s Group of Seven chefs travelled to NYC to host a Ontario themed dinner.   Instagram photos and  Tweets from the chefs chronicled the entire process from landing in NYC through to the preparation of each course, it was a great way to virtually be part of this event.  Here’s a glimpse of the courses prepared by  the seven Toronto chefs.

*Photo credit: Group of 7 Chefs Facebook page photos taken by the respective chefs.

Toronto Beer week begins today, Friday September 14.  A packed beer schedule for all aficionados, including pub crawls, craft-brew competitions, beer tours and beer and food pairings.  I hope you’re thirsty sounds like a great week of fun with libation!  Stay thirsty my friends (and don’t forget to eat).  I will be back next Friday.  Happy eating!

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