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.
In addition to writing about the latest balsamic vinegar and the best way to deep-fry calamari, I used my platform with Canada’s largest newspaper to discuss social, cultural and even political issues associated with food. This includes the disturbing issue of those who go hungry in a land where there should be plenty to go around.
When I resigned from my job in 2007 having written Julia Child’s obituary, after interviewing Joe “Dogs” Iannuzzi about his role as cook for New York mobsters while he was under the witness protection plan and feeling that I had new fish to fry, I turned my hand to radio, blogging and working with non-profit groups – always with the focus on food.
And thus was born Kitchen Sisters: a fundraiser feast at which some of Toronto’s top women chefs will join forces at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen on March 8, 2011, the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, to raise money for much-needed expansion and renovation of the kitchen at Sistering, a drop-in for homeless women.