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10 May

First, a humble and heartfelt thank you to all the people who have been in touch during the last few days to offer encouragement and support. I’m amazed and delighted – and determined to cherish this revenant blog as a place where I can continue to write about food (and wine and whisky and all sorts of other good things). Restaurants will be a part of it, to be sure, but now that I have my freedom I can clamber out of that rather limiting mandate and start exploring all the social, cultural, artistic, political, moral, immoral, geothermal, nonsensical, paradoxical lumber we pack around the things we put into our mouths – everything that gives context and resonance to the merely culinary – food’s intellectual and emotional terroir, if you will. I’m looking forward to it no end.

Meanwhile, on Saturday night, Michael Stadtländer will be cooking an extraordinary dinner at The Wychwood Art Barns. I’m lucky enough to be the emcee. I don’t want to give away the menu but it involves white and green asparagus, squab and foie gras, lake trout and piglets, Canada’s finest cheeses and Lübeck mazipan – not exclusively and not necessarily in that order. It’s the last event of the Salut Wine + Food Festival and will raise funds for The Stop Community Food Centre. As some of you may know, I love nothing more than describing Stadtländer’s food and this time the great chef has also chosen all the wines to accompany his dishes. Most of the ingredients come from his farm or from his close neighbours outside Singhampton (not the marzipan). If you can join us, that would be great! Tickets are available through If not, check here afterwards for a report describing all the succulent magic you missed.

This just came through the ether from some disembodied vox americana:
“Top Chef is coming to Canada! Based on the highlighly successful US show we are looking for Canada’s next culinary star! Top Chef Canada will select the country’s best culinary talent to face-off in a gruelling competition that will put their skills and creativity to the test. Ultimately only one chef will claim their rightful place in the spotlight, winning the top prize of $100,000 and the Title of Canada’s Top Chef. If this is you or someone you know please go to and download the application. Deadline for applying is June 14th 2010.”
A hundred big ones. Got to be worth a shot.



Leave a Reply


  1. Alison

    May 11, 2010 at 7:17 am


    You are a lovely, lovely writer.

    Looking forward to reading the next thing you have up your sleeve.

    Good wishes,


  2. Rochelle C.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Looking forward to your thoughts and continued appraisals of the world’s food scene. Sadly, Stadtländer is sold out but can’t wait to see what you will have to write about the day after. Glad you have found an online, unfettered presence!

  3. jeff Crump

    May 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Stadtlander is cooking a similar dinner at the Ancaster Mill June 1….tickets still available 905.648.1828

  4. Ben

    May 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Well said, I raise 2 fingers of Auchentoshan 12 year in your honour!

  5. Audrey

    May 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Dear James: I was mortified to have read about Toronto Life dumping you, even though I commend you for your dignified comments to the Toronto Star. As soon as I heard about Top Chef Canada, I immediately hoped you’d be on the cast of regular adjudicators. I’m sure I will be one of many readers who will miss your Toronto Life articles. I really think it was one of the best highlights of the magazine. You will be missed!