Remembering Anita Stewart
By Everett Potter
My friend and colleague Anita Stewart died last week, leaving a devoted family, an uncountable number of friends, and an incredible legacy as arguably Canada’s greatest culinary champion. The author of 14 books, most notably Anita Stewart’s Canada, she was the University of Guelph food laureate and the founder of Food Day Canada, a yearly nationwide celebration of the culinary heritage of her beloved country.
Anita was a passionate and tireless advocate for Canadian farmers, fishermen, and chefs. I met her in the early ’90s in Canada and had my first taste of her drive, dedication, and fervor. Years later, she wrote a series of amazing stories for this site on restaurants, chefs, and farmers, as well as bakeries, sleek city eateries, and country house hotels. These stories highlighted the varied contributions of a very diverse group of Canadians who grew food, made wine, and cooked with the country’s incredible bounty.
Anita was a one-woman force of nature, obsessed with having the best of Canada recognized and showcased, feisty when she needed to be, and clearly a woman on a mission. I last saw her over a quick coffee here in New York a couple of years ago, on the eve of a James Beard House dinner that she had organized to celebrate some of the best Canadian chefs she knew.
This woman who truly helped put Canadian wine and food on the map will be greatly missed. Here’s a selection of some of her best work on this site.