Bringing together celebrated chefs from Canada and the Nordic Region – and in celebration of Sustainable Gastronomy Day – this talk focuses on the significance of food localism. How can it promote sustainability in the high-end world of culinary arts and eliminating food insecurity in underrepresented communities?
About Viktor Eriksson
Viktor Eriksson has been working as a professional chef for decades. After a successful stint in the Nordics following culinary school, Chef Eriksson’s focus is now on his home island of Åland where, in 2018, he was elected food ambassador for the region. For a decade, he worked at the exclusive resort of Silverskär where he developed a deep connection with regional fishers, farmers and hunters to source local ingredients for his cuisine. Most recently, Chef Eriksson has worked as a consultant for public and private events and educational seminars; all intended to improve people’s knowledge of the unique culture and diverse produce Åland has to offer. An active hunter, fisherman, forager and hobby farmer, Chef Eriksson’s foray into the culinary world is a natural consequence of his deep passion for delicious food.
About Sheila Flaherty
Chef Sheila Flaherty is renowned for her innovative take on how she prepares traditional Inuit foods. She lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and is the founder of Sijjakkut Inc., a business focused on sharing culture through food in her remote community of Iqualuit with the hopes of making it a destination for tourism and to experience Indigenous cuisine and culture.
Chef Flaherty has shared her cuisine with people in Canada and the United States, and, most recently, Dine Out Vancouver Festival’s World Chef Exchange. She’s also collaborated with other accomplished chefs in a New Arctic Kitchen event in Nuuk, Greenland.
Beyond food, Chef Flaherty is an alumnus of entrepreNorth and serves as the Nunavut Director for Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. She is also a Director of the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations and is becoming a National Technical Committee Rep for Nunavut – 32 Cooking, Skills Canada Nunavut.
About Laura Maxwell
Chef Laura Maxwell is a George Brown College graduate and a Red Seal certified chef. She was a winner of the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30 Award for 2012, and her 2018 and 2019 Food Day Canada menus received a Gold Good Food Innovation Award.
Chef Maxwell began as a line cook in some of Toronto’s most notable restaurants before landing at Le Sélect Bistro, working her way through the ranks to Executive Chef. In the summer of 2021, she took over the role of Executive Chef of the Drake Hotel, overseeing their ambitious food program for the restaurant, room service and special events departments. Her menu focuses on locally sourced, naturally cultivated, and sustainable ingredients with French influences. She was honored to become a 100km Brand Ambassador with 100km Foods as locally sourced, seasonal ingredients are the driving force of her food philosophy.
Chef Maxwell is inspired by Toronto’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene and the top chefs she has been fortunate enough to work with, both in Canada and abroad. When not leading her talented team at the Drake Hotel, she enjoys cycling and spending time with her husband, Chef Brent Maxwell, and their two giant kitties.
About Paul M. Taylor, Moderator
Paul Taylor is a champion for the right to food, a dedicated anti-poverty activist and the Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto.
He teaches at Simon Fraser University, is a regular political commentator on CTV and authors op-eds and columns that push for equity and social change.
Growing up materially poor in Toronto inspired Taylor to commit his life to do what he can to dismantle the systems of oppression that cause and uphold food insecurity and wealth inequality, including neoliberalism and white supremacy. Taylor has been named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, named one of Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential Torontonians and voted Best Activist by readers of NOW Magazine.