Finding Common GROUND
For those of you with even a passing interest in food, you’ll have heard of James Beard (1903 to 1985). The renowned American chef was prolific as a food personality, cookbook author, lecturer and television host. In 1990, five years after his death, his organization created the James Beard Awards, to recognize exceptional culinary professionals in the United States; these awards border on being a household name today.
We tell you this because, when we began to research this issue, we came across a James Beard quote that resonated instantly: “Food is our common ground. A universal experience.” And when you think about it, it couldn’t be more true. Food and drink is so often how we come together, how we celebrate, how we show that we care, how we share experiences. A memorable meal lives long after the last sip or bite. And when you consider just how much effort is required for those experiences — from the work that goes into growing or producing quality ingredients to the hours it takes to train to be a professional chef, it’s no wonder that food is such an important part of our culture.
So with this in mind, we fully embraced our theme of farm to table and set out to find and acknowledge some of eastern Ontario’s tastemakers. We talked to those who grow the freshest local ingredients; those who teach others to work the land; those who seek to innovate how we farm and manufacture; those who feed communities; and those who take their passion for food and make products for Canadians to enjoy coast to coast to coast. We’ve also recommended some of our favourite local restaurants, rounded up a few of the area farmers’ markets and shed some light on the long agricultural history of Durham Region.
We’ve profiled food and drink companies in issues past, but we’ve never dedicated so many pages to the industry. It’s a surprise to absolutely no one on our team that these pages basically filled themselves — more evidence that James Beard hit the nail on the head — and just in time for a delicious summer ahead.
Until next time…
LISA VAN DE GEYN