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I thought I would continue an earlier post, divided up into part 1 and part 2, on recent books surrounding food issues that seem to be so very prevalent in our society, as there are some new interesting sounding books I’ve seen around. There was also a request from one of these earlier posts to include a short description of each book, so I’ll do that from now on too. Here goes…

•Food Security for the Faint of Heart written by Robin Wheeler, published by New Society Publishers, 2008. Wheeler, a BC resident, permaculture activist, author, teacher and founder of the Sustainable Living Arts School, writes about the trip to the grocery store we all so often take for granted. What would we do if there was no grocery store? Where would we get our food? She tries to empower her readers into re-gaining control over their food and where it comes from with chapters such as “Preserving garden food” and “Saving freezer food during a power outage”.

• The Omnivores’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals is written by Michael Pollan, published in 2007 by Penguin Press. Simply put, Pollan as a self-proclaimed omnivore, writes a narrative work in which he evaluates where his dinner could come from; specifically from fast-food/industrial, organic, or self-gathered.  Pollan also wrote In Defense of Food which I mentioned in part 1, and Botany of Desire in 2002.

• The End of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Food Supply and What You Can Do About It by Thomas F. Pawlick. I like the look of the table of contents of this book because though it starts off with chapters titled “The End of Food”, “Collateral Damage” and “The X Files” and a little tale about a tomato that won’t ripen and bounces like a red tennis ball, which all sounds pretty grim (necessary to read, but grim just the same) he follows these with chapters of solutions, called “Think Locally, Fight Locally”  and “Being Human”. I like it already. BONUS: there is an interesting interview of the author by Malcolm Jolley on Gremolata.

• Slow Food Nation by Carlo Petrini, with Forward by Alice Waters, published in 2007. Petrini has written a stack of other books on the slow food movement, is the founder and driving force of Slow Food and was recently acclaimed as a great innovator in Time Magazine’s list of European Heroes.  Slow Food Nation teaches it’s readers about the ways in which they can re-gain control of what they’re eating. BONUS: see a little youtube clip of Petrini.

And if you want to ponder the world of food in a different way, you can check out Food by John Knechtel, Editor, and Director of Alphabet City Media in Toronto, Canada. This book puts together a variety of both visual artist and writers examinations of food: healthy food, unhealthy food, new food, old food, food with emotional ties, food as it’s told from different peoples points of view. What a novel concept; this will most certainly be my next purchase. Knechtel has also edited books on the topics and appropriately titled Trash, Fuel and Suspect.

Happy reading!

~ j


This particular foodie interview is actually a foodie-bevvie combo, of a wonderful client of mine John Hunt, Manager of Firefly Fine Wines and Ales.  He is a self-proclaimed wine, beer and food geek, who loves to cook and entertain, play hockey, golf, curling, and holds music as a passion. I had the pleasure of photographing his store interior, and only at that point was introduced first-hand to the incredible variety of product they have available.

If you haven’t strolled by, read on to for a ‘free wine tasting’ invitation. Yes that’s right, free…wine…mmmm. And trust me, John as your host combined with an Enomatic Wine Tasting Machine it’s well worth it.


© 2008 Firefly Fine Wines and Ales

© 2008 Firefly Fine Wines and Ales

Is there a certain food or dish or drink that reminds you of home?

If it is a food- Raisin Pie!….does anyone even know that this exists? It’s a prairie thing having grown up in Saskatchewan…just try and order this in a restaurant….most of the younger generation have never heard of it.

What is the ideal ‘John beverage’ ?

Tough question for me…in our business we get exposed to a ton of products and there is a lot to like. I suppose what started it all was Oregon Pinot Noir a lot of years ago…I long for one of the old style Pinots that they used to make…you could taste the dirt the vines were grown in right inside the glass.

What do you recommend for someone looking to try something new that can be found at Firefly?

The Enomatic Wine Tasting Machine…only the Italians can do it this good and with great style. We always have 8 bottles going in the machine….”try before you buy” is our motto with the machine….you must come by and taste (it’s free by the way)….just seeing the machine blows most people away.

Without naming any names and being possibly one of the most up-to-date people in the city on what new beers & wines are out there, what words do you have to describe the beverage menus in the majority of Vancouver restaurants at the moment?

In the upper to mid end restaurants excellent….lots of attention to pairing and trying to create products that work with the menu…beyond that those offering food should consult a sommelier….the time spent doing that will pay big dividends and it’s not about high priced products…it’s about choosing products that really work with the menu and being creative in choosing….don’t be afraid of “Spec” products…after that get the government out of the way so the customer can choose what he wants from around the world….we’re tired of being told what to choose by people who know nothing about customer service.

I have never really got into video…one may think if the technicalities of still photography are understood, those of video should be simple to grasp, but I subscribe to the theme of sticking to what you know, so when I met Chad Galloway, video artist extraordinaire, I was thrilled.  He’s talented, easy going, and committed to his craft.  He describes himself as a a Vancouver based shooter/cutter who’s loving the sun this summer with a one year old and a brand new (to me) bike!

Our next photo-video-combo-shoot together will be a two-day project for Herder Winery & Vineyards, a fabulous wine made by an amazing down to earth couple who are truly passionate about what they do. More on that to come later.

For now, here is a little bit about Chad…

Is there a certain food or dish that reminds you of home?

You know, this is really going to sound trailer park but I love my Mom’s tuna casserole!  She’s going to kill me because she is an amazing talent in the kitchen and makes so many great things and this one calls for two cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom dumped into the pan!  But there’s just something so amazing about this dish that every time I have it I am 6 years old again, with my legs dangling off the chair.  It takes me to another world.  And it’s super delicious as well!

Is there one thing you can’t live without in your kitchen?

Yep, her name is Jenny!  Jenny is my partner of 4 years and she’s without a doubt the best thing in our kitchen.  She’s amazing and teaches me everything from how to reduce sauces and make delicious Mexican dishes.  It helps that she’s Mexican!  Right now she’s editing delicious food videos for a site called so she comes home from work inspired and whips up the most amazing pasta dish or creme
brule!  So yeah, everyone should have a Jenny in the kitchen!

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Tonight we’re having some friends over so I’ve been marinating some steaks in a simple but delicious soy sauce and honey garlic marinade. We’ll do them on the the grill with some potatoes and corn on the cob

for sides.  Fast easy and a great excuse to be outside drinking beer with friends!

Is there one food that gives you the heebie jeebies?

Well now that I’ve been living in Vancouver for a few years I don’t bat an eye at eel sushi or octopus soup anymore.  But I’d be hard pressed to sit in front of a plate of liver.  Even the name – liver.  It just sounds gross.