TORONTO — How the written word is received may be changing, but it was clear at last night’s Taste Canada food writing awards, that books — such as the 58 submissions at this year’s event — continue to feed innovation.
The 17th annual awards united old friends and new colleagues at Toronto’s Arcadian Court to an evening hosted by celebrated TV personality Ricardo Larrivée (pictured), who extolled the virtues of cookbook authors and cooks. “We bring people together around the table,” said the chef who recently released his eponymous magazine in English in Canada. “Every recipe we create is forging this tradition.”
And, tradition continued as nine awards were presented. The winners were: The Stop, by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis (Culinary Narrative – English); Les Saveurs Gastronomiques de la Bière, by David Lévesque Gendron and Martin Thibault (Culinary Narrative – French); The Flavour Principle, by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol (General Cookbooks – English); Dans la Cuisine de Danny St. Pierre, by Danny St. Pierre (General Cookbooks – French); Toronto Star Cookbook, by Jennifer Bain (Regional/Cultural Cookbooks); Gastro Grilling, by Ted Reader (Single-Subject Cookbooks – English); Les Règles d’or des Épices, by Philippe and Ethné De Vienne (Single-Subject Cookbooks – French); Michel Lambert (Hall of Fame Award); and Mona Brun (Hall of Fame Posthumous Award).
As the awards presentation drew to a close, the crowd took a moment to honour The Cookbook Store. The Toronto mainstay, which closed recently, has been credited with elevating the quality of cookbooks since opening in 1983. “We thought it would be fun to do for a few years, and then get back to our ordinary lives,” joked Alison Fryer, manager, continuing on to marvel at how far the industry has come since the store opened. “Thank you for your support. We miss you,” she added.
Moving forward, next year the awards will have two new additions with a new Best Food Blog accolade and a new national chair of Taste Canada. Donna Dooher, chef, restaurateur and community activist, will assume the role at Taste Canada from Karen Gelbart, former SVP of Lifestyle Content at Toronto’s Shaw Media, who is stepping down after her three-year term.
Submissions for the 2015 Taste Canada Awards open Jan. 1.