Book Review: The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Maker By The Sea
By Jennifer Schell
Touchwood Editions 2015 $29.95
If the name sounds familiar to you, you’re right! This is the west coast follow up to the award-winning Okanagan cookbook by BC food writer, Jennifer Schell. This vibrant author continues to introduce us – personally – to all the producers linked by her somewhat catchy geographical reference, ‘by the sea.’ Inside her cookbook there are fisherman from Tofino, bison farmers, mixologists, brewers, Pemberton potato growers (who are potato vodka makers too) and plenty of other interesting individuals.
The stories told by Schell demonstrate the passion and pride in their crafts. Her goal is to educate about what goes into their work and survival, and to pay tribute to their dedication and those who support them. The stories are all inspirational, and it is easy to find many you want to follow. This is easy to do as the cookbook provides great location and social media contact information for each participant.
The recipes are based around a featured local ingredient, prepared by a chef and paired with a wine or beverage maker, then accompanied by their personal stories. There really is so much to choose from in the area with just about every category of food and drink imaginable. The book also doubles as a useful tool to explore any area of the region. An edible travel guide, if you will.
It is obvious the author is enamoured of the west coast of British Columbia and its farmers, artisans and chefs, and she wants us to be too. The beginning of each personal story may be different, but their journeys all end with a common base to work from; to provide safe and sustainable Canadian food and drink.