Torontonians to taste the country's hidden culinary talents at Artisan Incubator

~ ACE Bakery & Canada's top culinary names celebrate Canadian artisan excellence at national showcase ~

TORONTO, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Cheese, chocolate, cherries and everything in between - whatever your preference, the ACE Bakery Artisan Incubator has something for you.  In celebration of 20 years of artisan baking, ACE Bakery and its panel of distinguished Tastemakers have selected 20 Canadian culinary artisans to introduce to food lovers during the Artisan Incubator. On June 21 and 22, the artisans and Tastemakers from across the country will hold public workshops where Canadians can get up close and personal with them, their product and their artisan methods.

"Our talented Tastemakers have been working closely with the 20 artisans over the past few weeks helping them develop workshops that are engaging, informative and fun," said Linda Haynes, co-founder of ACE Bakery and author of the ACE Bakery Cookbooks. "From creating chocolate bonbons to learning about sugaring-off camps in the Yukon to discovering different types of salts, at least one of the 20 workshops is sure to catch your eye."

Each artisan will hold two workshops (listed below) with the help of their Tastemaker at various venues across the city.  The sessions are designed to be both educational and interactive, with most involving a hands-on component where attendees get to try making a selected product.  Additionally, each workshop attendee will leave with an artisan product as a gift, courtesy of BMO Financial Group.

Leading up to the workshops, the artisans will participate in a variety of activities aimed at helping them improve and expand their businesses.  On the Thursday evening, the artisans will be introduced to a wide variety of food industry members and food lovers at an event that will allow the artisans to showcase their products and highlight their achievements.  During the evening, ACE Bakery will also announce the two artisans selected to receive future business development support.

On Friday morning, the artisans will attend a seminar covering topics such as branding, marketing and business planning to help them develop their artisan businesses.  This seminar will feature a variety of industry experts, including representatives from BMO Financial Group, lead sponsor of the Artisan Incubator who will provide insights into small business financing and management.

"The Artisan Incubator is an incredible project, one that we are proud to support," said Justine Fedak, senior vice-president, branding, advertising & sponsorships, BMO Financial Group. "ACE Bakery has been a business innovator and community builder for 20 years. We salute them on providing emerging entrepreneurs with tools to enhance their businesses and wish each artisan the best of luck as they continue to build their business foundation."

The Artisan workshops are open to the public.  Tickets range from $25 to $40 depending on the materials required for the session. More information on the workshops is available at ACEBakery.com

Workshops:

  • A Yukon Experience: Tapping the Flavour of the North with Uncle Berwyn's Yukon Birch Syrup and Michele Genest
  • Cheese Please with Primeridge Pure, Chef Lynn Crawford and Chef Lora Kirk
  • Cheese-making: The Inside Story with Upper Bench Winery & Creamery and Robert McCullough
  • Chocolate Heaven with Choco Cocagne and Pete Luckett
  • Cooking with Lavender with Sledding Hill and Pete Luckett
  • Everything Balsamic with Venturi-Schulze Ltd. and Robert McCullough
  • Fermentation: Creative New Uses for the Ancient Techniques with Pyramid Farm and Ferments, Chef Lynn Crawford and Chef Lora Kirk
  • Fun with Flax with Highwood Crossing Foods Ltd., Chef Connie DeSousa and Chef John Jackson
  • Harvesting the Wild with Up River Commercial Fishing and Michele Genest
  • I Scream, You Scream, for Gelato with Bella Gelateria and Robert McCullough
  • Playing with Wild Ingredients with Les Jardins Sauvages
  • Reinventing Recipes with Boreal Spices with d'Origina and Chef Anne Desjardins
  • Salt Talks with Vancouver Island Salt Co.
  • Sausage Camp with Seed to Sausage, Chef Lynn Crawford and Chef Lora Kirk
  • Spirits: Beyond the Conventional with Ironworks Distillery Inc.
  • The Cherry on Top with Over the Hill Orchards, Chef Connie DeSousa and Chef John Jackson
  • The Endless Possibilities of Peanuts with Kernal Peanuts and Anita Stewart
  • The Road to Avonlea Cheddar with Cows Creamery and Pete Luckett
  • The Secret of Cider with Spirit Tree Estates and Anita Stewart
  • Your New Favourite Ingredient: Oyster Mushrooms with Champignons Charlevoix Inc. and Chef Anne Desjardins

ABOUT ACE BAKERY:
One of North America's leading artisan bakeries, ACE Bakery opened in 1993 creating hand-made, European-style rustic breads.  The gentle shaping of each loaf, long fermentation periods, and a stone deck oven all work to create exceptionally flavourful bread with a pleasing texture and crisp crust. The breads contain no preservatives and are made with the finest ingredients. ACE Bakery's baguettes and artisan breads are available at hundreds of restaurants, hotels, caterers, grocery and gourmet food shops across Canada, throughout the United States and the Caribbean.

Community involvement is an essential part of ACE's philosophy. The company donates a percentage of its net profits to charitable organizations in the principle centres where ACE breads are sold. ACE's focus is on food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, financing culinary scholarships and supporting organic farming initiatives.

ABOUT BMO FINANCIAL GROUP:
For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2012, BMO contributed more than $87.6 million in donations, sponsorships and events in Canada and the United States to groups, organizations and programs that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

ABOUT METROPOLITAN HOTELS:
Metropolitan Hotels operates two luxury properties: SoHo Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto, Ontario and the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia. With more than 285 rooms, Metropolitan Hotels is committed to providing luxury accommodation for business and leisure travellers seeking an independent choice. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Metropolitan Hotels strives to provide superior service with distinctive accommodations. Award-winning restaurants at Metropolitan Hotels include Senses (SoHo Metropolitan Hotel) and Diva at the Met (Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver).

SOURCE: ACE Bakery

For further information:

Kate Kurys | Citizen Optimum | kate.kurys@citizenrelations.com | 416 934-8020
Marika Pick | ACE Bakery | mpick@acebakery.com | 416 241-3600 x.384

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