With Gulf Food 2011 in full swing, Agriculture & Agrifood Canada hosted a reception for food hero Anna Olsen, a national treasure in her native Canada. Held at the Ritz-Carlton in the DIFC, the event highlighted not only the pockets of food lovers that reside in Dubai but that the desire to cook with fresh seasonal produce has become a universal theme.
After a few years spent working in the banking sector, Anna decided to follow her lifelong appetite for cooking, eventually finding her way onto television screens with ‘Sugar’ on the Food Network – her first show drawing on her experience of working as a pastry chef. A hit that lasted for several seasons, Anna diversified into other shows that concentrated on her love for Canadian cuisine. Anna has also published several award winning books, “Fresh” being her latest offering.
With an emphasis placed on her home country, guests sampled bite-sized–shots of creamy butternut squash soup, fresh bay scallops, prime Canadian beef sliders and foie gras with maple glaze which were devoured swiftly. Canadian wine from the Niagara region was also on hand to wash everything down.
An evening of food and wine was de rigueur for many of the guests; beef producers rubbed shoulders with fruit suppliers, trade ambassadors swapped stories with tourism industry experts while Michael (Anna’s husband and business partner) mingled with the guests, soaking in the new and much warmer climate of Dubai.
Anna is on a mission to raise the profile of Canadian produce in the region and further afield, dispelling the one-trick-pony myth that maple syrup is the only fine product exported overseas. In a very clever statement, Anna said her wish was for people to one day, instead of deciding whether to eat Chinese, French or Italian will think no… Shall we go out for Canadian?