Last night at the Taste Canada Awards Gala, Seema Jethalal, Regional Director of General Ontario at Canadian Heritage, said: “Food is at the heart of Canadian heritage.”
I couldn’t agree more! In its 19th year, Taste Canada honours the best culinary writers in Canada and once again I sat in awe. From food bloggers to recipe creators to culinary historians, the breadth of talent in this country is endless.
Apart from getting to meet great authors and eat great food at the gala, for the second year in a row I got a whole new bucket list of cookbooks and culinary books to drool over. Here are the five books really getting me excited to cook!
Sir John’s Table by Lindy Mechefske, Goose Lane Editions
Winner of the gold award in the Culinary Narratives category, English language, this book focuses on the life of Prime Minister John A. MacDonald through a unique lens: his food! The book signposts important moments in his life through the meals he ate, from fish he stole during his childhood to roast duck at the Charlottetown Conference. This is the book I’m most excited to read. As a history nerd, I relish culinary stories that are historical and talk about Canada in a unique way.
A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails by Victoria Walsh and Scott McCallum, Appetite by Random House
This book won silver in the Single Subject Cookbook category, English language. I already own this book and was really excited see it win; it’s a great resource! In addition to the large variety of cocktails amassed from coast to coast, there’s also a basics section about bar tools and recipes for things like simple syrup. I am obsessed with “The Bright Red” a tribute cocktail to my favourite literary ginger, Anne of Green Gables. Made with Raspberry Cordial or Chambord, lemon juice and simple syrup, this cocktail has the right bite with sweet undertones. Plus, there are some great recipes for Newfoundland cocktails, and the photography is beautiful.
Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady, Appetite by Random House
Seven Spoons won the silver award in the General Cookbooks category, English language. I’ve been following Tara’s blog, Seven Spoons, since I started mine four years ago, and she was a veteran blogger then! It’s so great to see people who do great work get rewarded, especially a fellow food blogger. I am excited to dive into recipes like Roasted Grapes with Sweet Labneh.
A Taste of Haida Gwaii by Susan Musgrave, Whitecap Books
To be perfectly honest, I’m sorry to say I hadn’t heard of this cookbook before I went to the gala last night, but I have heard of Susan’s B&B, Copper Beach House. A Taste of Haida Gwaii won gold in the Regional & Cultural category, English language. This cookbook is a collection of recipes inspired by the Pacific Northwest, an area I’ve always wanted to visit. By exploring this cookbook, I anticipate my desire will increase with recipes like Hands-free cloudberry jam and Rose Spit Halibut with Wild Rose Petals. Now I just have to find me some roses!