When I heard about the forthcoming book We Eat Together back in October, I was excited – not only did it feature local farmers, but recipes featuring ingredients from those farms.
Julianna Mimande (formerly of Bacon and currently the chef behind the EATery at the ARTery), joined forces with local designer Gabe Wong and photographer Zachary Ayotte to produce a celebration of local food production in book form.
Gabe Wong, Zachary Ayotte and Julianna Mimande (nice enough to pose for a photo!)
The launch at d’Lish tonight was absolutely packed. Several of the producers featured in the book were there (the Irving family of Irvings Farm Fresh, and Patty Milligan, aka Lola Canola, among others), as well as other members of the food community (food writer Jennifer Cockrall-King, Isabelle Gallant of CBC Radio and The Little Red Kitchen, chef Nate Box, and Liane Faulder of the Journal). It was good to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen in a while – as always, food has a tendency of bringing everyone together.
Chef Sebastian Lysz of Relish Culinary Consulting was in the kitchen all night, cooking up a few dishes from the book to the delight of the crowd. I unfortunately didn’t get to try the carrot spread, which seemed to be the biggest hit, but what I did sample was great. In particular, the shredded pork in adobo barbeque sauce on a potato crisp was amazing, as was the (what else?) bacon ‘n’ cornbread.
Sparrow’s Nest Organics Carrot Spread (so vibrant in colour!)
Canada Goose Wild Rice Cakes with Blueberry Relish
Victoria Fancy Bacon ‘n’ Cornbread
Of course, we were there to pick up a copy of the book, and boy is it gorgeous. For $40, it’s not inexpensive, but from my relatively quick first glances, it is worth every penny. Cover to cover colour photos, with recipes that include helpful cooking tips and substitutions, it’s a book that any home cook would love. But more than that, We Eat Together pays respect to the farmers that produce our food, with nine profiles of farms from James Vriend and Jennifer Berkenbosch of Sundog Organics and Emily McNairnay and Sean Superkoski of Mighty Trio Organics. In particular, I love the “We Want to Get to Know You” questionnaire page – it’s a fun read not normally found in such books.
It was flying off the shelves!
But then again – I suppose We Eat Together really isn’t a typical book. It’s a made-in-Edmonton book that highlights how incredibly lucky we are to have access to such bounty all year round. Thanks to Julianna, Gabe and Zachary for this gift!