I’m always happy to see a really good new Canadian cookbook – particularly so when it has been written by one of the posse of amazing culinary judges who adjudicate Gold Medal Plates events. CJ Katz is GMP’s Senior Judge for both the Regina and Saskatoon events and now she has written her first book, Taste: Seasonal Dishes from a Prairie Table (CPRC books, $29.95) – and it’s a beauty, a delicious portrait of Saskatchewan’s foodways and, for me, a fascinating introduction to Canada’s prairie heartland.
When Gold Medal Plates first moved into Saskatchewan a couple of years ago, CJ was the obvious choice to serve as our Senior Judge. A prolific writer and documentary food photographer, she is the culinary host of The Wheatland Café on CTV and a regular columnist on CBC Radio. She is also very well connected across the province having met and interviewed just about everyone connected with the food industry from farmers to chefs to research scientists. All that experience is distilled into this book as we venture away from the cities to meet the people who grow and gather and produce the ingredients that CJ then turns into simple but mouth-watering recipes. As Anita Stewart writes in her foreword, “CJ’s food voice is strong and determined and respectful… She has chronicled the seasons and cooking traditions with great care. She honours farmers and fishers and a research community that is as creative as any.”
How can you find this book? If you live in Western canada, you can find it at Chapters. Here in the East, it’s at the U of T bookstore and also online at Chapters and Amazon. Well worth getting your hands on this one!