It’s a book that unifies Toronto’s diverse culinary cultures with recipes from every corner of the city. And Toronto Star food editor Jennifer Bain took top honours for it at Taste Canada’s The Food Writing Awards ceremony Monday night.
“I want to thank everybody,” Bain said from the podium at Arcadian Court in the Simpson Tower on Bay St., accepting the award for the Toronto Star Cookbook, which features 150 recipes from across the province.
“We get to be the name and face of a book but we all know that there’s such an incredible team around us — the people who hold your hand, those who do the media, the food stylists, the people who sell your book and those who buy it.”
Bain wins in the regional/cultural category and joins the night’s other winners, including The Stop’s Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis, who wrote The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement; The Globe and Mail’s Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol for their book The Flavour Principle: Enticing Your Senses Through Food and Drink; and BBQ god Ted Reader for his book Gastro Grilling.
The 17th annual awards celebrate food writers and authors across the country. Taste Canada, a not-for-profit organization, which partnered this year with the Delicious Food Show, also hosted a competition among Canadian culinary students. Each author nominee mentored a team as they cooked a recipe from their nominated book. A panel of judges at the Delicious Food Show Sunday chose among 10 teams from schools across Canada.
Bain’s team, from the Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Man., took third place in the competition.
Karen Gelbart, national chair of Taste Canada, announced during the ceremony that she is stepping down from her role and Donna Dooher, of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, will succeed her.
Gelbart said the 58 book submissions were “extraordinary” and help define Canada’s food future, document our current culture and detail its evolution.
“They continue to feed innovation in today’s kitchens,” she said of the nominated books. “Cookbooks stimulate the imagination . . . Showcase works of art . . . They’re a source of inspiration.”