The Food Web

  I get asked on an almost daily basis, “How’s the growing season?” I’m sure the person inquiring wants nothing more than a pleasantry exchanged. Their eyes begin to glaze over as I launch into my (regrettably) usual answer. “It depends on the crop you’re talking about”. Fifty different types of vegetables have almost as … Read More

Fall into Your Garden!

  Every spring, especially after a long winter like this past year, people love to see those harbingers of spring: bulbs! Spring bulbs are hardy enough to survive our winter and magically pop up when the temperatures are warm enough to coax them out of their winter slumber. They are also a great way to … Read More

The Third Plate: Field Notes...

  If you read only one book about food this year, let it be this one. The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food (Penguin Press, 2014, $32.00) by Dan Barber takes the discussion about food to a new level. As soon as I closed the back cover, I turned to the first … Read More

Join the Club!

  A wine club may sound like something out of reach for many, reserved for the elite. But thousands of Ontarians of all ages and economic groups are members of Niagara winery clubs. Through membership they become part of a social and educational group, allowing them access to seminars, tours, tastings, special events and delivery … Read More

Flex Appeal: A Vegetarian Cookbook...

  Have you ever been planning a party and realized that one of your guests is a vegetarian? Has your teenager come home and announced that cows are too cute to eat? Then the newest cookbook from Pat Crocker and Nettie Cronish just might save your bacon, so to speak. Flex Appeal; a Vegetarian Cookbook … Read More

Patio Pleasures & Liquid Passports

  Hoo-wha, I love summer! Not just the weather, but the seasonal offerings local brewing artisans bring to café tables. Forgive the indulgence of my title but it dovetails into the theme I’m working into this edition’s column; I’m reviewing and recommending a few delectable craft beers I experienced on tap at sunny café patios … Read More

Five Fortune Culture Restaurant “Pure Chinese” Cuisine

Although the ethnic cuisines of Yunnan province may not be particularly well known in the West, they are touted as being among the best regional eating experiences in China. There are 26 ethnic groups in this southwestern Chinese province, all contributing within their cultural cuisine subgroups. Agrarian by nature, Yunnan is the birthplace of tea. … Read More

Bohemian Rhapsody! at Marienbad & Chaucer’s

    Why do some restaurants stick around for decades while others seem to disappear before people know they exist? There are a good many reasons that Jerry Pribil’s landmark Marienbad Restaurant and the adjacent Chaucer’s Pub celebrated their fortieth anniversary this past March. The brother businesses feature a welcoming sidewalk patio with a black … Read More

Coming This Fall: Over the Top!

  Recently someone asked, after hearing of my latest acting adventure, “Why would you want to be someone else?”  Twenty-seven years in the biz and I’ve never been asked that. “I’m an actor; that’s the gig,” I replied. But, I wondered, why wouldn’t I? Although acting usually involves portraying a character written by someone else, … Read More

Beyond the Paper Bag Princess

  Nothing heralds the end of summer more than kids heading back to school. Even if you don’t have children you can’t fail to notice a certain September smell in the air, a softer, more golden light in the mornings. And for parents this also indicates an abrupt about-face in terms of routines that have … Read More