LONDON UK – It was about six years ago and my mother and I were about to leave her flat on Steeles Rd. in Primrose Hill. We were standing in the small hallway when she put on her new navy blue gabardine coat with a hood.
Sistering – a drop-in for homeless and marginalized women – has been a stalwart front-line facility in downtown Toronto since 1981.
Today, this busy place is located on Bloor West at Dovercourt and, for the past three years, it has expanded its services to be a “low-barrier” shelter. That means that they operate 24/7 and turn away no-one. With the homeless crisis reaching a peak this year and only getting worse, it’s a crowded spot.
It was May, 2004, during a glitzy dinner celebrating that year’s James Beard Awards at a mid-Manhattan hotel.
Gabriella Gershenson, at that time a fledgling food writer living in New York, was seated next to me. I discovered that I and this soft-spoken young woman with thick, wavy black hair and a winning smile were kindred souls.
This article by me appeared in the Toronto Star after I interviewed Linda McCartney in Toronto in October, 1991 about her vegetarian cookbook “Home Cooking”. Sadly, she died too young from breast cancer in 1998 at the age of 56.
In real life, Linda McCartney is nothing like the stilted photo that graces her cookbook.
For 18 years, as food editor and food columnist for the Toronto Star, I shared my passion for things culinary.
Most important and gratifying was the joyous connection it gave me to people who enjoy and prepare food – from the Filipino taxi driver who enthusiastically described how his mother makes Chicken Adobo to the firefighters with whom I cooked and then ate a luscious, convivial meal of grilled chicken and rhubarb crumble at their downtown Toronto firehall one lovely evening.
It took a flurry of e-mails and phone calls between publicists and p.a’s but I finally obtained an audience with Martha Stewart: one of the most powerful women (up there with Oprah, methinks) in North America and now the come-back queen of cuisine.
She was one of the stars at this year’s annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival: a four-day feast on the beach that took place from Feb 19 to 22.
Marion Kane has been a leader in the world of food journalism for a few decades. She is an intrepid populist whose work combines social commentary with a consuming passion for all things culinary. For 18 years, she was food editor/columnist for Canada's largest newspaper: the Toronto Star. She lives in Toronto's colourful Kensington Market and is currently a free-wheeling freelance food sleuth®, podcaster, writer and cook.