One of the things I like best about working in a library is getting to scope out all of the cookbooks when they arrive. I’m a terrible baker and a passable cook, but I still love the thrill of opening up a brand new never-been-read cookbook and perusing the recipes. Here are a few that have caught my eye recently, all by Canadian chefs:
Living High off the Hog: Over 100 Recipes and Techniques to Cook Pork Perfectly, Chef Michael Olson
Michael Olson, of Niagara’s Inn on the Twenty fame, wants to push you out of your comfort zone when it comes to pork. Focusing on cuts of meat that a typical Canadian family would be able to find in their grocery store, Olson’s book will gently nudge you towards trying something new. Recipes are organized into the sections of a butcher’s counter – deli, ground and dried, chops and steaks, and roasts and big cuts – and you’re certain to find a recipe that surprises you.
Tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, Shane M. Chartrand
It’s pronounced ta-WOW and I will not debase myself by making the easy pun, but what a gorgeous book! Part travelogue, part bildungsroman, and all just astoundingly delicious-looking. Chartrand, who you might recognize from Chopped Canada, has a fascinating life story that informs his approach to food, and the recipes he’s chosen span the Indigenous culinary traditions of the country from coast to coast to coast.
Burdock & Co: Poetic Recipes inspired by Ocean, Land, & Air, Andrea Carlson
Andrea Carlson runs both the Burdock & Co restaurant and the Harvest Community Foods grocery store in Vancouver. It’s hard to figure out which trendy foodie category she belongs in, if any – hyperlocal, foraged, farm to table, food security – but the recipes in this book give you a sense that her passion for food encompasses all of this and more. The layouts are beautifully presented and the recipes run the gamut from aspirational to relatable; I bet even I could handle making the rhubarb kimchi.