Canadian food artisans break bread at the Artisan Incubator

Jan 14, 2013, 06:55 ET from ACE Bakery

~ ACE Bakery & Canada's top culinary names seek out food artisans to participate in food showcase ~

TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Hand crafted, natural, authentic - these are only a few of the principles that food artisans live by.  Driven by a love for their craft, these talented entrepreneurs are helping change the way Canadians think about food.  To celebrate these food lovers and help them achieve the success they desire, ACE Bakery, along with a panel of distinguished Tastemakers, are searching for 20 up-and-coming Canadian food artisans to take part in the Artisan Incubator.

The Artisan Incubator will be held in Toronto in June, where 20 selected artisans will be recognized at a showcase, given national exposure and have the opportunity to share in the industry insights ACE Bakery has gained over the last 20 years.  ACE hopes to help them achieve success while also drawing attention to the thousands of hard-working artisans who put their heart and soul into everything they make.

The following Tastemakers will co-host and work directly with the artisans on developing recipes, hosting workshops and providing advice on their business:

  • Anita Stewart, Canadian culinary activist, author and University of Guelph Food Laureate
  • Pete Luckett, gourmet food store and Luckett Vineyards owner in Nova Scotia
  • Chef Anne Desjardins, executive chef, co-founder and co-owner of Hotel-Restaurant-Spa L'eau à la Bouche in Ste Adele, PQ
  • Chef Lynn Crawford, host of the Food Network's Pitchin' In and owner of Ruby Watchco in Toronto, ON
  • Chef Lora Kirk, executive chef at Ruby Watchco in Toronto, ON
  • Chef Connie DeSousa, finalist on the Food Network's Top Chef Canada and chef and co-owner of CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary, AB
  • Chef John Jackson, chef and co-owner of CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary, AB
  • Robert McCullough, award-winning lifestyle and food publisher and Random House's preeminent publisher for its recently created lifestyle imprint: Appetite
  • Michele Genest, writer of The Boreal Chef cooking column for Yukon, North of Ordinary Magazine

"The Artisan Incubator is a celebration of the joys of artisan food, the importance of local, sustainable food producers and the vital contributions artisan entrepreneurs make to communities across Canada," said Linda Haynes, co-founder of ACE Bakery and author of the ACE Bakery Cookbooks. "During ACE's 20th anniversary as an artisan bakery, it only seems right to create a national public showcase to recognize and honour up-and-coming artisans who are helping change the way we all experience food."

In 1993, ACE Bakery began baking artisan breads at a small bakery café. Today, thanks to the support of bread lovers, food retailers and restaurants, ACE breads are available across Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.

From today through February 15, Canadian artisans are encouraged to apply to be part of the Artisan Incubator by submitting their profile at After that, together with the Tastemakers, ACE Bakery will select 20 artisans and bring them to Toronto this June.  During their stay, the artisans will attend a seminar about developing an artisan business, including branding, marketing and business planning.  Each artisan will also host public workshops and have the chance to be one of two artisans selected for further business development.

The 20 artisans will be announced the week of March 18, 2013 and the Artisan Incubator will run from June 20 - 22, 2013.

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.