This week on Foodie Friday we are featuring Adele Buettner, owner of AgriBiz Communications in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. One of her favorite clients, and how we met, is Saskatchewan Mustard. But her story is even more interesting than that. Enjoy!
What is your role in the food industry?
I am a connector, communicator, builder and champion of food, farming, foodies and all that is involved in putting good food on our tables. I own AgriBiz Communications and for 25 years, we have provided management, marketing and communications services to the agriculture and food industries.
One of our many wonderful clients is Spread The Mustard, which is the marketing arm for about 1,000 Canadian mustard farmers – we help tell the good news about cooking with our favorite ingredient, marvelous mustard!
How did you first get involved in the food industry?
I was raised on a farm and still own a farm. The passion has never left me. We grow food on our farm and I can’t ever forget that this is where the food story begins.
What/who inspired your current role in the food industry?
I find motivation and passion in many forms. First off, my mother and grandmother were fabulous home cooks. They made nutritious and delicious food using the best ingredients they could afford, much of which they grew themselves. But they also truly loved spending time in the kitchen creating food that was enjoyed by many. For the most part, they never relied on recipes, but relied on creativity, adventure, confidence and taste. They also taught me that food is what connects us all.
Farmers and ranchers inspire me. Their passion and desire to ensure we all have access to affordable, safe and responsibly produced food motivate me every day. I’m also inspired by those who prepare food or write about food. In many cases they too carry the same passion to incorporate good food into their daily routine or writings. Those responsible for growing food, preparing food and writing about food are the three areas of influence that I admire, and find motivate and excite me every day.
What food trends are most influential in what you do?
In the last few years, there has been a noticeable trend from people outside of farming who are genuinely interested to learn more about how their food is produced at the farm level. People want to meet farmers and understand what they do. Considering that less than 3% of the Canadian population has direct ties to modern agriculture, more and more people want to learn more about how food grows, and this inspires me because it opens the door to many exciting conversations.
What is the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the food industry?
The growing interest to have a conversation about food and farming. There is a stronger connection now than ever before between restaurants and farmers; food writers and farmers; moms and farmers.
What keeps you going as a food professional? When you think of it, the food industry is huge. It starts with the farmer and ends with the consumer who has chosen the food he or she wants on their plate. To get from farmer to consumer, there are several steps in between and many people who make it happen.
Food is also the one thing that we all have in common regardless of our ethnic background, age, gender or where we live. The opportunities are endless because the industry is always changing in terms of trends, customs and expectations. Working in the food industry is an exciting place to be!!
What’s your favorite food to make at home?
All four of my grandparents immigrated to Canada from Hungary. Growing up, my mom’s parents lived next door to me, so Hungarian cooking was very much part of my upbringing. Nowadays when I entertain, I often make Hungarian food such as chicken paprikash or palatschinke for my guests. I cook the various dishes how I was taught, so it is a little taste of Budapest in every bite!
What’s your favorite meal to order in a restaurant?
Because I tend to make a lot of beef and pork dishes at home, I enjoy trying something different and ordering seafood. Usually the food choice will be a type of fish fillet that I don’t typically make or if travelling, can’t find close to home.
What three ingredients could you not live without?
Onions, cheese, meat
Tell us about a memorable meal you’ve had.
One of the most flavourful meals I have enjoyed was in the Signature Room on the 95th, in Chicago's John Hancock Center. We had Shrimp Dejonghe as an appetizer and Roasted Pork Loin for the main entrée with Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée for dessert.
It was an absolutely delightful culinary experience. Of course, the spectacular view added to the experience!
What food or meal makes you happiest?
I enjoy food that is bursting with flavor. Food that makes my mouth water before I even see it. However, I enjoy that food even more when I know it is on the healthy side. That does not mean I don’t enjoy decadent desserts or scrumptious appetizers, but I like to keep a balance.
What food or ingredient would you never use or eat?
Where would you most like to live? Why?
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which is where I live now. It is known as “Paris on the Prairies” for a reason! Saskatoon has a rapidly growing culinary scene, from new restaurants to innovative cooking classes to cool culinary competitions and celebrations, food and Saskatoon goes hand in hand. In fact, in September 2017 Food & Wine magazine named Saskatoon as Canada’s hottest new food city! That’s not all.
Saskatoon was the only Canadian city on The New York Times’ list of 52 Places To Visit in 2018.
Come for a visit and I will show you around. Just think of the fun we will have trying some of our exciting restaurants!
Connect with Adele: