To start off the new year, here is a list of the 2008 Culinary Book Awards as well as some recent books from Fernwood Publishing – a company that publishes critical works that address social issues and challenge existing scholarship. In addition to these, this list includes practical cookbooks and more inspiring works from well-known authors to help inspire us all in another year of healthier eating and living.
The Canadian Culinary Book Awards 2008:
English Canadian Food Culture Winners:
Gold – “A Year at Les Fougeres” by Charles Part and Jennifer Warren Part.
“A Year at Les Fougeres” chronicles a year at a new restaurant in the Gatineau Hills. Divided into 12 sections for each month of the year, it includes seasonal recipies and details their lives and food philosophy.
Silver – “Menus from an Orchard Table” by Heidi Noble
The menus and essays in the book reveal the “birth” of this new wine country cuisine in the Okanagan and allow the reader to recreate some of the flavors of this emerging wine country.
Honourable Mention – “Icewine” by Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser
Ziraldo draws on his insights and experience to bring to life what is an exacting science, an expressive art and an earthy celebration of regional terroir. Food and wine pairings provide the perfect finish for this luxurious volume, designed to immerse readers in the velvety smoothness of Canada’s most precious beverage.
English Special Interest Winners:
Gold: “Ultimate foods for ultimate health… and don’t forget the chocolate!” by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith
Liz Pearson is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for peanut butter sandwiches and an undying love for chocolate. Mairlyn Smith is a multi-talented home economist who creates recipes that are super nutritious and incredibly delicious. This book answers questions, give great advice, and highlights more disease-fighting, powerhouse foods.
Silver: “The 100-mile diet: a year of local eating” by Alisa Smith and J.R. MacKinnon
In 2005, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon began a one-year experiment in local eating. Their 100-Mile Diet struck a deeper chord than anyone could have predicted, inspiring thousands of individuals, and even whole communities, to change the way they eat.
From Fernwood Publishing:
Edible Action: Food Activism and Alternative Economics, by Sally Miller
Edible Action argues that food is peculiarly situated to address the ills of an unjust economic system and to mobilize people against it.
Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Todd Merrifield and Steven Gorelick
The authors argue if the trend of large agribusiness were thought about rather than accepted without question, then local food production would be seen as a viable means of supplementing this existing system. This book presents a thoughtful argument that calls for a more conscientious and active role for people at the local level of food production
Food for All: The Need for a New Agriculture by John Madeley
Madeley argues for the spread of a low-external input approach, a reintegration of traditional farming techniques, new farming practices like organic agriculture and permaculture, and a range of ‘green’ technologies to offer a more viable livelihood too farmers, food for the hungry, and safe and good tasting food for the rest of us.
Tomorrow’s Table by Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak
Genetic engineering, combined with organic farming, may well be the best way to resolve the need for increased global food production, while minimizing environmental impact, suggest husband-and-wife agricultural experts at the University of California, Davis.
Slice of Organic Life by Alice Waters, Sheherazade Goldsmith
Everybody can have a slice of the organic life. To get closer to the soil there’s no need to become completely self-sufficient or make radical sacrifices to the way you live. With this book, just pick out the projects that appeal to you and follow the straightforward practical advice to make small changes to your life. Even if your home is an apartment in the city, there’s still plenty you can do.
In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan – Author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
In his hugely influential treatise The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan traced a direct line between the industrialization of our food supply and the degradation of the environment. His new book takes up where the previous work left off. Examining the question of what to eat from the perspective of health, this powerfully argued, thoroughly researched and elegant manifesto cuts straight to the chase with a maxim that is deceptively simple: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
Simply Organic: A Cookbook for Sustainable, Seasonal, and Local Ingredients by Jesse Ziff Cool.
The world is changing, and along with it, so must our eating habits. Author and restaurateur Jesse Ziff Cool has compiled over 30 years of knowledge about organic, local, and sustainable food into one magnificent cookbook, including indespensible elements of her earlier cookbook, Your Organic Kitchen, which is now out of print. With 150 enticing recipes, Simply Organic encourages home cooks to embrace organics as a lifestyle rather than a fad. Cool organizes her chapters seasonally to ensure that the freshest, ripest ingredients enhance the flavors of dishes like Filet Mignon with mashed Potatoes and Leek Sauce in early spring to Pumpkin Raisin Bread Pudding in autumn. Inspiring profiles on farmers and producers reveal how these individuals are working to create a sustainable future every day.
The Organic Food Shopper’s Guide, by Jeff Cox
This handy guide shows you how to select the freshest, tastiest varieties and transform your organic groceries into memorable meals. You’ll find guidance on what to look for when shopping, how to handle each food in the kitchen, and why, when foods are organic, they’re so darn good for you.
Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes, by Mark Bittman
Bittman offers a no-nonsense rundown on how government policy, big business marketing, and global economics influence what we choose to put on the table each evening. He demystifies buzzwords like “organic,” “sustainable,” and “local” and offers straightforward, budget-conscious advice that will help you make small changes that will shrink your carbon footprint — and your waistline.