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Cooking Canadian


Flavours of the Southern Gulf Islands

by (author) Andrea Spalding & David A.E. Spalding

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price

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Salt Spring, Pender, Galiano, Mayne and Saturna are the best known of the Southern Gulf Islands. Their residents value a rich food and drink heritage, and experiment busily with new foods and approaches to improve diversity and flavour, and support special diets and local sustainability. They celebrate slow foods--and slow islands; and many embrace a 100-mile--or even a 100 yard--diet.

Organic Food is prominent in island life--at farmers' markets, farm gate honesty stands, community gardens, potlucks, wine festivals, and the biggest Gulf Island party--the Saturna Lamb Roast. Some growers preserve heritage varieties, others introduce new crops and unfamiliar foods to the Gulf Islands--and the province. Island producers are famous for lamb and cheese, and celebrity chefs open small intimate restaurants, creating with local products for discerning residents and visitors. Recognized experts teach organic gardening and creative cuisine.

Hidden in the woods are micro-coffee roasters, organic chocolatiers, wood-fired bakeries, salmon smokers, and rogue cheese and tofu makers. Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring all boast vineyards, developing new wines to complement local foods. the islands food industry is rich in character, passion and variety. Hostelries range from the 5-star Poets Cove Resort on Pender, to the more modest but equally delicious fare found at La Berengerie on Galiano,

Veteran writers and long-time island residents Andrea and David Spalding have explored the highways and byways of the islands, interviewing farmers and chefs, gardeners and artists. They have gathered and created recipes that reflect the variety and abundance of island food year round, that can be enjoyed by locals, visitors and tourists, and carry the islanders' passion for food to distant places. Traditional and experimental recipes from the islands' chefs include Brie and Squash Pizza, Lavender and Lemon Roasted Saturna Lamb and the blackberry pie that won the blue ribbon at the Fall Fair. They capture the flavours of the Gulf Islands for islanders and visitors, and provide a perfect way to escape for those who have yet to enjoy the islands--without even setting foot on BC ferries.

About the authors

Andrea Spalding is a prolific writer for children.
Born in the industrial city of Manchester England, she trained as a teacher. Then, with husband David, Andrea immigrated to Canada in 1967. After living in Alberta for 24 years, Andrea and David relocated to British Columbia and live on Pender Island, one of Canada's Southern Gulf Islands.
Canadian life proved to be rich and varied. Curiosity about her chosen country compelled Andrea to listen to other Canadian immigrants who shared tales that later became her folktale book, A World of Stories.
A love of the outdoors prompted her and David to take their family and travel quintessential Canada. They've skated on frozen lakes, worked on dinosaur digs, and panned for Yukon gold. Andrea has whale-watched on both coasts, enjoyed vineyards and theatre festivals on the Niagara Peninsula, and tapped her feet in Toronto jazz clubs. A highlight West Coast experience was assisting in the carving an Aboriginal Honour Pole with Tsimshian master carver Victor Reece. These experiences provided background for her stories.
Andrea's first children's book, The Most Beautiful Kite In The World, was selected as a Canadian Children's Book Center's "Our Choice." She has garnered awards and nominations ever since. Her fantasy novels - The Summer of Magic Quartet - are avidly read by both children and adults. Her picturebook, Secret of the Dance, is her 30th. Written with Aboriginal Elder Alfred Scow, it has gained accolades from both the aboriginal and white communities.
Andrea gives school presentations across the country, and also teaches writing workshops, and in-service presentations to teachers, librarians, and any one interested in her passion for Children's Literature.

Visit Andrea's website at

Andrea Spalding's profile page

David A.E. Spalding held senior positions at the Provincial Museum of Alberta for 15 years and worked in radio and television. Spalding now lives on Pender Island, BC. He has published 13 books, including Whales of the West Coast, Dinosaur Hunters and Into the Dinosaurs` Graveyard, as well as many articles and television scripts.

David A.E. Spalding's profile page

Other titles by Andrea Spalding

Other titles by David A.E. Spalding