Monday, November 16, 2009

"The Edible City" Book Launch

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last night Mark and I attended The Edible City book launch hosted by Coach House Books and This is Not a Reading Series at The Gladstone Hotel. Mark will be posting a review of the book itself soon, so stay tuned! This is my quick rundown, with photos of course, of the evening.

A few of the fabulous contributors to The Edible City made up the panel (they have many other accolades and excellent works too numerous to mention here. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to the Toronto food scene - Google them!): Sarah B. Hood, Joshna Maharaj, Lorraine Johnson, Sasha Chapman and Steven Biggs. The panel was moderated by Dick Snyder, who also happens to publish CityBites magazine.

I found that children and their relationship to (and education about) food was the most common theme throughout the panel discussion and the Q&A session. Sasha noted in her child's JK/SK split class only half the kids could correctly identify an onion, and many thought it had seeds. There's definitely a need to bring food education into schools and other institutions (summer camps, etc.) - I agree totally, but I also think it's a parent's responsibility to have kids help with the little things in the kitchen. Getting hands-on helps give them a real appreciation of their food. The panelists noted kids would even eat stuff that they had picked or harvested themselves even if it was a food they usually turned their noses up at - I think that even kids who are too young to fully understand the concept of pride must still feel that special something, you know, that pride we all feel in picking an apple or digging up a potato ourselves. Garden patches on schoolyards and in public parks was another hot topic, which really ties into making these kinds of experiences and connections to food accessible for everyone.

After the panel discussion and Q&A, a cookie decorating competition started up. The super delicious sugar cookies (baked just perfectly, might I add!) were courtesy of Wanda's Pie in the Sky and I couldn't help but eat an extra one as I decorated mine with the Toronto flag for the competition!

On that note, I'll leave you all with some fun facts (courtesy of Coach House Books' site) about Toronto and the food it produce(s)/(d), along with titles the book itself almost got named:

- In 1934, a community garden on St. Clair Avenue west of Keele provided food for about 5,000 unemployed families.

- David Garcelon, the executive chef at the Fairmont Royal York, has a garden atop the fourteen-floor hotel. But it's not your typical garden: Aside from herbs, fruit and vegetables, he has six hives (that's about 300,000 bees).

- More than 16,000 Mexican and Caribbean agricultural workers come to Ontario each year. Some stay a few weeks, some stay as long as 8 months.

- The Edible City could've been named any of the following (these were all book names tossed around before they settled on The Edible City): Eat TO Live; Chowtown; Food 401 Thought; A Gastronomical Guide to Toronto; CornuTOpia.

Yours in food,

Click here to read our reviews of the book's sections (antipastiprimosecondocontorno, and dolce)


Andrea said...

Looking forward to your book review!

Tasting Toronto said...

Thanks Andrea! Pt I of the book review is now posted :)

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