Book launch and reading of Foodshed: An Edible Prairie Alphabet

October 23, 2014

food-shed-edible-prairie-appetite-slow-food-torontoThe event will be held in a private home from 6pm to 9pm. It will be a cost informal potluck with dee reading selections from her book and lively conversation regarding local food systems and food politics. Please RSVP to: [email protected] for more details/event location. Space is limited! Please see below for more information on dee and why we are so happy to have this opportunity to host this event.

dee Hobsbawn-Smith’s award-winning journalism, poetry and fiction has appeared in books, newspapers, magazines, anthologies and literary journals in Canada, the USA and elsewhere, including her popular food column that ran for eight years in The Calgary Herald. Dee is a farmer’s daughter and grand-daughter, a fifth-generation prairie dweller, a classically trained chef, caterer, talented baker and restaurateur, a best-selling author, award-winning food journalist and speaker in advocacy of local foods and sustainability.

Between 1992 and 1994, she was chef and co-owner of Foodsmith, one of Calgary’s first restaurants to use and champion locally-sourced ingredients. For 12 years, she researched and hosted the Calgary City Palate magazine’s “Foodie Tootles,” rural farmgate bus tours culminating in on-farm locavore dinners. As a passionate advocate for local chefs, growers and producers, dee served for ten years on the Steering Committee for Slow Food Calgary, on the Terra Madre selection committee, and three as President of the Calgary Convivium.

She is a popular culinary educator “gifted with whimsy and precision” and has taught thousands of Calgarians—adults and children— to understand and implement the techniques, methodologies, flavour principles and science that lead to good cooking and good living. Both of her sons are professional cooks in Calgary.

She has authored five bestselling culinary books: Skinny Feasts; The Quick Gourmet; The Curious Cook at Home; Shop Talk: The Open-All-Hours Insider’s Guide to Finding Great Ingredients in Calgary, the Bow Valley and Beyond; and Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet.  Her fifth book, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, published by TouchWood Editions, has been hailed by The Globe and Mail as ‘a locavore call to arms.’

Dee remains an active Slow Food member and an active educator, local foods and sustainability advocate. Since relocating to the family land west of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she helped to co-found Canada’s newest Slow Food convivium in Saskatoon. She is currently leader of Slow Food Saskatoon, and is events co-ordinator at the Saskatoon Farmers Market.

About Foodshed:

Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet is published by TouchWood Editions. It is the winner of several awards since its publication: Best Food Literature book (Canada-English) at the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards; Best Culinary Book Prize at the 2013 High Plains Book Awards; and was awarded 3rd prize in the 2014 Les Dames D’Escoffier MFK Fisher Award for female food writers in North America and Great Britain. The MFK Fisher Awards recognize “women writers whose published non-fiction works reflect creativity and insight, and illuminate the pivotal roles of food, beverages, and the arts of the table or contribute to our knowledge of those who grow, produce or prepare nourishment.” Foodshed was also the Top Albertan book in CBC Radio’s 2012 Cross-Country Culinary Bok Shelf.

“You know your doctor, you know your lawyer, you know your accountant. Who’s your farmer?”

In Foodshed, an intimate guide to the politics and challenges of Alberta’s sustainable food scene, dee profiles seventy-six of the province’s growers and producers in answer to this provocative question. The farmers (and ranchers, and fishermen, orchardists and market gardeners) she profiles are smart, canny, funny, computer-literate, very human and totally with it. They happen to all be from Alberta – but their stories are the stories of Canadian farmers from sea to sea. And the food they produce – a mind-boggling array of fruits, berries, grains, vegetables, meats and fish, from asparagus to zizania – could soon be playing a starring role on your table. Do you know your farmer?

Foodshed examines the ground that farmers stand on: government involvement, sustainability and the environment, animal welfare, farm labour, and organizations from Slow Food to the grassroots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. An (agri)cultural exploration of modern farming that offers a clear look at current government policies and sustainable growers’ best practices, Foodshed sets forth some of the issues that modern farmers face, as seen by the growers themselves. Foodshed includes colour photos by the author and 26 of her favourite dishes utilizing local food, from A to Z.

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