SPG launches new web series with Chef Michael Smith
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG), under its Canadian Lentils brand, celebrated the third annual Love Your Lentils Month this May with the launch of a brand new web series, Lentil Hunter with Chef Michael Smith. In the series, Chef Michael Smith, Food Network host and Canadian Lentils brand ambassador, travels to France, Italy, Morocco, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the hunt for the best lentil recipes on the planet.
Chef Michael’s Lentil Hunter Recipes:
- A rustic dish of Umbrian Lentils & Sausage (Norcia, Italy)
- A classic light French Lentil Soufflé with Star Anise (Le Puy-En-Velay, France)
- A hearty traditional appetizer of Moroccan Lentils & Table Bread (Marrakech, Morocco)
- A tangy sweet and spicy Gujarati Thali with Lentil & Basmati Rice (Ahmedabad, India)
- Delightfully Crispy Lentil Fritters (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) These recipes are available at www.lentilhunter.ca.
SPG’s work in the area of lentil promotion aligns with the organization’s current strategic goal of seven million tonnes of pulses marketed by 2025. In order to achieve this SPG continues to find ways to increase the use of pulses in existing traditional export markets, as well as increase demand for pulses in new consumer markets such as North America. This web series is just one of the ways SPG is achieving these goals.
“As I travelled the globe searching for the world’s best lentil dishes, my goal was to discover recipes that work for home cooks,” Smith said. “The ideas and insight I found along the way allowed me to test, taste, and interpret those recipes for Canadian kitchens. Authenticity was part of the goal, but ease and simplicity were just as important.”
The purpose of the videos are to showcase to Canadians the global versatility of lentils and the way in which lentils are a staple food in cultures across the world, aiming to encourage Canadians to consume more of the homegrown food.
“From spotting giant bags of Canadian-grown lentils in the markets of India, to throwing lentils off of the tallest building in the world, to cooking with some of the best chefs around the world, I discovered people around the world share a passion and pride for lentils,” Smith said of the experience.
Canadian Lentils Take Centre Stage on Top Chef Canada
SPG’s lentil promotion Brand, Canadian Lentils, was featured on the April 14 episode of Top Chef Canada, on the Canadian Food Network. Lentils were the secret ingredient in the quick-fire challenge component of the show, where contestants are challenged to create a dish of their choice using the featured ingredient in only one hour.
The eight chefs featured in the episode cooked up a variety of dishes for the challenge, including lentil-battered fish, lentil gnocchi, and even lentil ice cream. The winner was Vittorio Colacitti, a Toronto-based chef, who came up with a multi-dish creation including seared foie gras served over red lentil puree with beluga and green lentil ragout.