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2019 Taste Canada Awards Shortlists
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2019 Taste Canada Awards Shortlists

By 49thShelf
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Canadian food books are amazing. Now in its 22nd year, Taste Canada Awards / Les Lauréats des Saveurs du Canada has announced the titles of shortlisted cookbooks competing for a coveted culinary writing award. The winners will be announced at the Awards Gala on October 27, 2019 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.
Food Artisans of Alberta

Food Artisans of Alberta

Your Trail Guide to the Best Locally Crafted Fare
also available: Paperback

The food lover’s guide to finding the best local food artisans from all over Alberta.

From the coulees of the badlands to the combines of the wheatlands, discover Alberta’s diverse terroir, and be captivated by the distinct tastes of this majestic province. Food Artisans of Alberta is a robust travel companion for local food lovers and visitors alike.

Come to know the stories, inspiration, and friendly faces of the people who craft great food as they cultivate the community of food artisans. J …

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Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix

Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix

224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun

2019 American Horticultural Society Book Award Winner

Best-selling author Niki Jabbour invites you to shake up your vegetable garden with an intriguing array of 224 plants from around the world. With her lively “Like this? Then try this!” approach, Jabbour encourages you to start with what you know and expand your repertoire to try related plants, many of which are delicacies in other cultures. Jabbour presents detailed growing information for each plant, along with fun facts and plant histo …

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Out of Old Ontario Kitchens

Out of Old Ontario Kitchens

tagged : canadian, history

Out of Old Ontario Kitchens is a window into the past, exploring the stories of the First Peoples and settlers. It pays homage to all those who trapped and fished and hunted; to those who cleared the land and planted crops; and most importantly to all those women — our mothers and aunts, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers and great-great grandmothers — who got up and lit the fire; who toiled and stirred and cooked and baked and who kept families alive through long hard winters, through …

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The Measure of My Powers

The Measure of My Powers

A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris

INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 TASTE CANADA AWARDS AND THE RAKUTEN KOBO EMERGING WRITER PRIZE. For fans of Eat Pray Love, Wild, and H is for Hawk, The Measure of My Powers is the story of one woman's search for self-love, experienced through food and travel.
"With searing vulnerability and unflinching honesty, Jackie Kai Ellis takes us on an intense and immersive journey from her darkest moments to the redemption she finds through her love of food, Paris, and ultimatel …

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The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
These were the two moments in my day I dreaded—no, I think “feared” is a better word—most: the moment just before sleep and the precise moment I woke up. The unnerving silence of those times. There were no busy sounds to distract me, and nothing to occupy my mind. They were the moments I would be forced to face my own tangled and disfigured mind, even though I wanted desperately to look away.

At night I would lie awake sometimes until the dark sky lightened into paler shades of dawn. My insides crawled and vibrated, panic hijacking hours that, for others, were filled with easy rest. Even when I did find sleep, usually on the couch with the artificial noises of late-night TV lulling me, it was never for very long.

In the morning my chest would clench and yearn for uncon­sciousness. I kept my eyes closed and my body still, like a corpse, in hopes that my fragile sleep wouldn’t leave me completely. I tried to remember the last lingering image, any residue of a dream, wanting it to pull me back for another moment or two, but I was always out of luck and would quickly realize the effort was in vain. I hadn’t dreamt in months. In the past, my dreams had been wild and vivid: full of colors, conversations, places, the feel of fabric between my fingertips, or even the faces of people I had long forgotten. I would dream of a friend’s hazel eyes speckled with rust, or of the fine hairs at the back of their neck that formed a V. But these dreams had stopped, and so had sleep, with rest­lessness replacing both almost entirely. I was abandoned and forced to be alive for another day, so I would relent and slowly open my eyes to my dark, damp bedroom.

Inhale. Exhale.

“I can do this. Just get through today . . . and then after today . . .” I paused to imagine what came next. There was only a repeating image of a lifeless routine that made me feel nauseated.

“Tomorrow it starts all over again.” Dread filled me. I closed my eyes again, sinking into myself, wishing I could cry, but mostly, that ability had abandoned me too. “I have to do this over and over again, and again, and again,” I thought to myself, G sprawled to my left, the sheets, humid from his sweat, covering me like thick, cold skin.

“When does this end?” Inhale. Exhale.

Light was so unbearable to G that he had dark blinds installed on every window in our two-bedroom apartment. Greater than his dislike for light, though, was his loathing of materialism and superfluous “things.” So there was no artwork on the walls of our room, there weren’t any family photos or night tables for them to sit on, only a bed and a generic Swedish floor lamp in the corner. And every single morning, I awoke in this beige room, with bare beige walls and carpets that were an ever-so-slightly lighter shade of beige. I opened my eyes to nothing but emptiness in an empty room, numb with only the feeling of moist blankets cradling me.

I pleaded silently to God, to anything that might help me. “All I need is one thing, one thing to focus on, one thing that will help me get through today. Anything. Please.”

I scanned through my day for something that might give me relief. Waking up. Showering. Getting dressed. Driving to work. Saying good morning to coworkers. Starting a new design account. Meetings. Lunch . . . maybe.

I decided on one of the few things that still made me smile: “I’ll eat a chocolate chip cookie.”

I sat up and headed to the shower. I dressed myself in opaque black tights and a baggy tweed skirt suit I bought from a store I frequented that catered to affluent seniors. I tied my black hair in a tight bun at the nape of my neck and put on my wire-framed glasses and a pair of pearl earrings I had received as a wedding gift from an uncle. I was careful to look polished so no one would suspect that I was actually breaking apart, but I was also purpose­fully unobtrusive so as not to draw too much attention. I drove to work in my reliable silver sedan, and after lunch, I sat at a café table while I savored each sweet bite of my chocolate chip cookie, taking time to sip black coffee between each morsel. For those minutes, there was nothing else, no one to please, nothing to prove, just a cookie and me.
In the months that followed, I felt myself become more numb. There were muffled sounds of laughter and life bus­tling all around me, and yet it felt like I was submerged deep underwater, separated and hearing only the sound of my own breath and my heart slowly beating. I lived in this isolated world, sometimes comforted by the imaginary cocoon that solitude cre­ated, but mostly feeling anxious and restless for anything but the stillness. I was desperate to escape the feeling, and the longer it continued, the more I fantasized about a world where not only did I not exist, but where I had never existed at all.

The first time this thought had crossed my mind was about seven years earlier. I was lying in bed on a sunny afternoon, having come home during summer break from art college across the country with an overwhelming sense of pressure closing in on me. I didn’t understand it completely—I didn’t know why I felt it at all. Perhaps I could sense that I had disappointed my parents with the career I had chosen, but I also knew that I hadn’t been something that I was told I was supposed to be. I simply didn’t know how. Feeling like a helpless failure, I toyed with the idea of death. But I didn’t want to disappoint my family even more than I felt I had already, and I imagined that suicide would be shame­ful and burdensome for them. I wanted to be eliminated from their memories entirely.

I pulled and straightened the blanket over my head, hiding and imagining myself disappearing.
“How perfect would it be if I never existed? I could escape all of this,” I whispered, the sheets resting lightly on my face. They smelled musty and comforting, like my parents’ home.

Years later, these seemingly innocent daydreams were replaced with invasive, surprising, flickering images. Every time I crossed the street, changed lanes, or drove through an intersection, I would see Mack trucks demolishing me. As I soaked in the tub, the image of my dead body in a bath of blood would appear in my mind, along with scenes of G discovering it and then having to making agonizing calls to my family.

When I was a young adult, my younger cousin C killed her­self. I overheard that when her parents had found her, in a base­ment room, there was blood everywhere. I caught a glimpse of the room later. The white linoleum floor was spotless, and I won­dered who had cleaned it. Over the years following, I continued to see the devastating impact on the entire family. I saw the light die in my uncle’s eyes, never to return. I understood that C didn’t foresee the pain she would cause in her family’s life by ending her own, but the memory of that time and the knowledge that I would hurt those I loved if I chose to leave it were the only things holding me to life, like a leash.

But still, when the sadness was too paralyzing and all I could see and feel was my own incessant pain, I just wanted relief. “I think the best way is to take pills, painless and peaceful,” I jour­naled one evening. “But there is always the fear of waking up and things being worse, like brain damage, paralysis. Slitting my wrists is also an option, only because I hate the idea of suffocation. But that is messy (the blood, G would have to clean it up). Hanging: not pretty; they will have too much to regret when pulling me down. I heard C took painkillers. I heard there was blood, but she did it. She was decisive, resolute and spent time saying goodbye. I could too. I could write letters.”

I resolved to make a better plan, one where my family wouldn’t have to find my dead body or clean up some morbid mess. My plan also needed to be foolproof; they couldn’t be burdened by the consequences of the plan backfiring. And, though I figured it wouldn’t be more than the pain I already felt, I didn’t want it to hurt a lot.

I began my research there and Googled “painless ways to kill yourself.” Diagrams, including medieval, gothic imagery flooded my screen. I clicked on a link for a forum topic: “Carbon monox­ide is often not as effective as commonly believed.” I educated myself on how catalytic converters decreased the levels of poison in exhaust and the increasingly popular “death by hibachi.” But then I read a comment that made my body go cold.

“Don’t do it, it’s not worth it.”

It wasn’t the truth of the statement that caught me off-guard; it was the unexpectedly banal stereotype that snapped me into a different consciousness. It reminded me of all those movies where someone is trying to talk an unstable person off a building’s ledge. Then it dawned on me that, in this scenario, I was the one on the edge of the cliché, and it all seemed laughable and then incredibly frightening when contrasted to the reality of how close I was to killing myself. I had to tell G.

“I looked up ways to kill myself today. I don’t think that’s normal.”

“No. Maybe you should go talk to someone. I’m not sure I can help you.”

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The Cookbook

Marc Lepine's debut cookbook, Atelier, is a celebration of a restaurant that has reinvigorated the fine-dining culture in Canada. It begins with "Origins," which traces Lepine's expansive career-from his relationship with food at an early age to his formal training in Europe and, eventually, the US at Michelin-starred Alinea to the opening of Atelier. "Vision" explores a unique creative approach that is fueled by a restless imagination and personal expression, while "Innovations" features a spir …

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Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse

Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse

Another Cookbook of Sorts

Shortlisted for the 2019 Taste Canada Awards
It's the end of the world as we know it. Or not. Either way, you want Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse in your bunker and/or kitchen.

In their much-loved first cookbook, Frederic Morin, David MacMillan, and Meredith Erickson introduced readers to the art of living the Joe Beef way. Now they're back with another deeply personal, refreshingly unpretentious collection of 150 new recipes, some taken directly from the menus of Fred and Dave's acclaimed M …

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I love restaurants. Everything about them. Always have.

A restaurant is both a superficial and deeply profound experience. Restaurants can leave an existential mark on your life though you’re essentially just sitting down in a place to eat food and drink booze.

A restaurant is built on a foundation of broken hearts, failed relationships, trips to the hardware store, the clinic, extended credit and the goodwill of people who care about you. Writing a book and building a restaurant are deeply personal acts. They require everything of you, your passion and your spirit. You can meander in fits and starts for months, years even, down the wrong path, all to get to the right one. Books and restaurants, the best ones in my estimation, are built on unworkable rewrites and failed ideas, and let me tell you: that body count is high.

Writing a book or opening a restaurant can make you lose your mind.

Until you haven’t.

And then it clicks. And that’s Day 1. That’s where you start.

Building and then maintaining a restaurant is about loyalty. And this is why Joe Beef thrives. Because it is a deeply personal restaurant. That is not to say the food made in this tiny French restaurant isn’t technically on point (it is) or that the old cottage influence of Maine or Gaspé won’t fill you with nostalgia (it will), or that the care of the staff doesn’t enchant you (they do).

The attraction to Joe Beef is due to its authenticity. You cannot bullshit people with an inauthentic voice or cooking.  Well, you can. But it won’t last.

“Deeply personal” is the beginning and the end of Fred and David’s playbook.


The point of a prologue is to make overarching sense of the chapters, to lay out the sequence of what you’re about to read. To pop the hood and preview what’s inside. But I’m not going to do that. Because this book is simply about where we are now.
Surviving the Apocalypse was a theme we dreamt up in 2014. We’re well aware there have been a few instances (some extreme weather, more-than-extreme elections) over the last couple years when it seemed survivalism and talk of impending doom had jumped the shark. The cars were packed and the E.T.  suits were zipped. The zeitgeist seemed to be closing in on us. Maybe the world was actually going to end. But this book was never about the headline.

This book is about how to build things for yourself.
This book is about how to make it on your own.
We don’t expect anyone to build a trout pond that doesn’t work, like our pond at Joe Beef. Or to create your own makeshift cellar to house 31 bunker-friendly foods (though it would be prudent). But maybe you’ll write a poem about the Laurentians. Or make wine in a Yeti cooler. Or cook up a Pot-au-Feu in the autumn for your girlfriend, and then a baby for the spring.

We set out to write a book about shutting out the noise, because that was the problem in our own lives. We vowed there would be fewer recipes than in our first book (The Art of Living According to Joe Beef henceforth referred to as Book One), because recipes are time-consuming to write, but… we found inspiration in our weird theme and are giving you even more this time around (158!). So, the joke’s on us.

After 12 years of Joe Beef, and seven years after our first book, we think you know us by now. And so, in the pages to come, you’ll find good ideas, less good ideas and other ramblings. You’ll find etiquette on how children should behave at dinner, quick tricks for cheat sauces, a chapter devoted to the weird and wonderful Québec tradition of celebrating Christmas-in-July, a recipe for soap, and a towering cake made of rum balls.

I waitressed at Joe Beef on Day 1. We never thought we would make it to Week 2.

We never imagined people could love the restaurant as much as they do.

We never dreamt of writing a book.

We never thought anyone other than maybe our moms would buy the book.

And we definitely didn’t think we would have the opportunity for a second.

With gratitude and tremendous love, this book is dedicated to our city of Montreal.

—M. E.

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Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson

Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson

Recipes to Bring Comfort and Joy: From Starters to Sweets, for the Festive Season and Almost Every Day

Shortlisted for the 2019 Taste Canada Awards
Get set for holiday season success, with more than 100 savoury and sweet recipes from celebrity baker and chef Anna Olson.

When does the festive season begin for you? For Anna, it's with the first pumpkin pie of the year. Pumpkin pie isn't something she bakes on any old evening, so it signifies something very special when she does: the start of the holidays! In Anna's house, the holidays are a time for coming together with family and friends, celebrat …

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You get the call . . . this year it’s YOUR turn to host the big family dinner. No pressure, just make the best meal your family has ever had! I still remember the very first big family holiday dinner I hosted. It was my first Thanksgiving out of university, years before I studied to become a chef, and I was proud to have an apartment with a decent kitchen (even then, it was a priority for me!). I can’t recall the turkey and stuffing, although I’m sure there were phone calls home to Mom to guide me through it, but I do remember being immensely proud of the pumpkin pie—my first ever attempt. It was only as I was bringing it to the table that I realized I had completely forgotten to add any sugar to the filling! I made a 180 back to the kitchen, poked holes into the filling with a skewer and poured maple syrup overtop, hoping it would seep in. It didn’t.

On that note, I now share with you the wisdom accumulated over the years that have followed that very first festive meal. I’ve included three menus, one of them a vegetarian option, that will help you tailor the dinner to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I offer traditional preparations and some more unconventional ones, or combine a couple if you have both vegetarians and meat eaters in your group. This is your year!

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Bottom of the Pot

Bottom of the Pot

Persian Recipes and Stories

Winner of the IACP 2019 First Book Award presented by The Julia Child Foundation

Like Madhur Jaffrey and Marcella Hazan before her, Naz Deravian will introduce the pleasures and secrets of her mother culture's cooking to a broad audience that has no idea what it's been missing. America will not only fall in love with Persian cooking, it'll fall in love with Naz.”-Samin Nosrat, author ofSalt, Fat, Acid, Heat: The Four Elements of Good Cooking

Naz Deravian lays out the multi-hued canvas of a Persi …

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