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Old stomping grounds, new foraging grounds.

It can be complicated to explain where I grew up. 

I was raised in a village in Nova Scotia, called Pointe-de-l'Église. But it's also known as Church Point. You see, I grew up in a french-speaking community, in an anglophone province, hence the two names.  The community is called Clare, which is also its municipal designation. It's also known as la Baie Sainte-Marie, or the french shore, which is the name given to the series of french-speaking Acadian villages that dot the shoreline in the area between Digby and Yarmouth.  

Is that as clear as mud? Good. I'll just call it home for now. 

Participants in the  Tintamarre , an Acadian tradition where participants gather together to make as much noise as possible, to remind the rest of the world that Acadians are still here. 

Participants in the Tintamarre, an Acadian tradition where participants gather together to make as much noise as possible, to remind the rest of the world that Acadians are still here. 

Suffice to say, I recently went home to visit my family, participate in the 60th anniversary of the Festival acadien de Clare, which is the oldest Acadian festival in the world. I had the chance to go picking fruit in my parents' orchard, and even go fishing for mackerel. You can see the best bits of the trip over on Steller. 

A crab apple tree in my parent's orchard.

A crab apple tree in my parent's orchard.

But I also went there to do some work for an upcoming project, an audio documentary that will be podcast in the next few months. I can't say much more than that, but stay tuned. I'll keep you posted.

I also had the chance to visit my old alma mater, Université Sainte-Anne, Nova Scotia's only francophone university. It was there that I ran into Sébastien Dol. Sébastien and I were both students at Ste-Anne, and his father was a professor in the science department at the time. When I ran into him, he suggested he take me out to go foraging for mushrooms on the campus, a habit he picked up from his father.

You can hear more about Sébastien in this episode of Assis Toi, which you can listen to via streaming over at CBC, or you can download the podcast on iTunes.

Symphony In Blue

This week's episode of Assis Toi might as well be subtitled, In The Basement

That's where Lyndell Findlay, owner and cheesemaker from Blue Harbour Cheese plies her trade.

Since she launched her Urban Blue cheese, a gorgonzala-esque double cream blue cheese, Findlay has been amping up her production, as tasters and buyers seem to be following her wherever her cheese is sampled. She has been chronicled in The Globe and Mail, and is currently working on a few more cheese products which have yet to reach the market.

You can listen to the latest episode of Assis Toi by streaming it here, or downloading it here. I also invite you to Have A Seat with Lyndell, down below.



Park-ing it in Nova Scotia

This week’s episodes of Assis Toi and Have A Seat wouldn’t have happened without the help of social media. 

I was at the CBC working on an episode of Assis Toi, when I checked my Twitter feed. And this is what I saw:

I was a little confused... what was one of the biggest names in Canada's culinary world doing in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia?  So I tweeted at him, asking what he was doing in the province.

Turns out he has family in that area of southwestern Nova Scotia, and was paying a visit. He was really impressed by what he saw in the area and wanted to share things with people on his social media accounts. Things like this video of sword fishing that he posted to his Instagram account. 

Clockwise from top left: Park and Neil Patrick Harris, a selection from Park's restaurant, Park and his fellow judges on Chopped Canada, down at the wharf in Yarmouth, NS. All images from  Antonio Park's Instagram feed , which you should check out.

Clockwise from top left: Park and Neil Patrick Harris, a selection from Park's restaurant, Park and his fellow judges on Chopped Canada, down at the wharf in Yarmouth, NS. All images from Antonio Park's Instagram feed, which you should check out.

For those of you who don't know Antonio Park, here is the Coles Notes version: 

- He is the brains behind Park Resto and Lavanderia, two very successful restaurants in Montreal.

- He is of Korean heritage, raised in South America, came to Canada as a teen, and trained as a chef in Japan.

- He is a judge on Chopped Canada. 

- People go ape for his sushi. Especially celebrities.

- He brings in fish from Japan. But not just any fish. Fish that is, in layman's terms, acupunctured

I sent Park a message and asked him if I could interview him about his time here in Nova Scotia, and he happily agreed. You can listen to that interview in its Assis Toi version, by streaming or downloading it. Or check out Have A Seat for an extended interview with Antonio, where he tells me how his time with the men and women who work the waters in this region have changed the way he looks at fishing.




Eat It Up!

I'm lucky enough to write about food, yet sometimes this career path can take me to other places in culinary storytelling.

Enter Devour! The Food Film Fest.

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Festival organisers Michael Howell and Lia Rinaldo asked me a few months ago to be one of the programmers for the festival, helping view the over 200 film submissions to the festival.

We narrowed it down to seventy films which screened over five days in November at the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. (You can see a list of my faves over here at Passable).

Still on the writing side of things, I had the chance to talk with Costas Halavrezos on the publication of his first book, "Seasoned". 

News- October 22nd, 2013

This update of recent published stories is all about food. And like a nice snack, it's not too big, not too heavy, but still very tasty. 

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Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean that the BBQ is put away. To get you in the mood, here is a story I did for East Coast Living's summer issue, all about steak. 

 

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With the fall comes preserving, a topic I enjoy discussing and a practice I enjoy partaking in. Over at The Coast, I find I am not the only one.  

And while we're at it, how about a nice slice of pie?