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SimonThibault.com

Journalist. Food Writer. Producer.

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Out like a lion, in like a well-seasoned lamb.

As someone who makes a living by recording other people’s voices, I am often told, “I sound so different.” No, I think you sound exactly as I know you.

But waking up this morning on this first Monday of the new year, I experienced a bit of that.  I was listening to my local morning show on CBC Radio, and I heard my name being called. It was an interview I had recorded with the host, chatting about food trends and topics for 2016. 

To be honest, I am used to hearing my own voice on the radio. I have recorded, edited, and heard my own voice quite a lot over the past few years, so it doesn’t phase me. Maybe it was because I wasn’t awake, but I listened to myself chatting away with the host, and thought, “I should be doing more of this.”

So that’s my resolution. To tell more stories that I am proud of. Stories like that of the Chen family, and how tofu was more than food, it was a way of life. Stories like that of Alexandra Mansour, and how an immigrant housewife came to change the palate of an entire community of rural Nova Scotians.  Stories that speak close to home, whether home is in Nova Scotia, or 2000 miles away. Like the story I told in Gravy, the Southern Foodways Alliance’s podcast. 

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I've already started on things for the new year. New radio pieces. More stories. And most importantly,  I'm working on a book project, one that will take me throughout Atlantic Canada, and through decades of dishes. Dishes likes the ones detailed in these recipe. But more on that later. Stay tuned.

They say years come in like a lamb, and out like a lion. I say this year went out with a roar, but this new one is coming in like a well-seasoned lamb. Tasty, indeed. 

 

Mas Tacos, Por Favor

Sometimes you experience something and you want to share that with as many as possible. That's how David Parks felt about the taco stands and cantinas that dot the streets in in Mexico City.  

La Catrina greets you over at La Cantina.

La Catrina greets you over at La Cantina.

That's why David Parks started La Cantina, a small taco stand that operates on the patio of Pat's Kitchen on Kaye Street in Halifax's Hydrostone district. The menu is small, but mighty, with two specials served every Tuesday and Thursday, weather permitting. 

In the latest episode of Assis Toi, David explains the nature of taco stands and cantina culture in Mexico City, all while doling out tasty tacos to his customers. You can stream the item here, or you can download the podcast here.

In the meantime,  have a listen to David explain the necessity of hand chopping your salsas, and the ubiquitousness of flor de jamaica/sorrel/hibiscus as a drink in Mexico and beyond in Have A Seat.


Soy Bean Stories

I'd been buying tofu from this guy for a while now. Heck, I'd even written about it in The Coast. But I never really thought about the work that went into it. Or who else ate his tofu.  

But there was one person in particular who ate a lot of that tofu. His daughter, Pay Chen. Pay wrote a piece for Munchies, Vice's sister site. Entitled, "My Dad's Half-Baked Plan To Introduce Tofu to Atlantic Canada," , Pay talks about growing up in a household where tofu was not only a meal, but a topic of discussion. 

Inspired, I contacted Pay to see if I could interview her to talk a little more about her parents, her relationship with tofu, and the relationships that people have forged with her Dad because of his tofu. 

 

You can stream the story here, and download the podcast of this episode via Information Morning's on iTunes

You can also hear previously unaired excerpts of my interview with Pay with "Have A Seat", the sister to "Assis Toi."

Update:  On July 12th, CBC New Brunswick posted about the story on their website, giving the story a little extra traction. Many thanks to them.