Interview with Chef Marc Breton

February 3, 2009

marc-breton-slow-food-torontoSlow Food Toronto’s Miriam Streiman met with Chef Marc Breton, Executive Chef at the Gladstone Hotel, to discuss how his upbringing influenced his approach to food, the importance of food and our seasons, and building relationships with local producers.

MS: Why did you become a chef?
CMB: I am French Canadian and grew up with food being a big part of everyday life. When I was young, eating was a social event.  I did well in high school and then went to University.  I hated it and ended up answering an ad for kitchen help.  I started as a dishwasher and moved my way up.

MST: What were the traditional foods eaten at home?
CMB: Some are on our menu now; tourtiere at Christmas time, for Harvest Wednesday this year we made Head Cheese, but it was not as good as my mother’s. We had the staples growing up, baked beans, pies. We also did a lot of preserving, which we have done at the Hotel all along.  That was from my grandmothers and mothers kitchen.  I remember going to pick fruit as a family, and going back and making plum jam. With my grandmothers cooking, it was like you had died and gone to heaven.  It was not do you want pie, but what kind of pie? My grandmother was an amazing cook.  She used lard to make her pie crust.  Now fat has become a bad thing, but then, we needed to eat fat to survive the winter, we also used a lot of pork and cheaper cuts of meat.

MS: Are people more open to eating animal fat now?
CMB: People are making a political statement when they pick up their fork. You have to eat in a healthy way and in moderation, diets are not moderate, they are too extreme.  There is no reason you should not have a little bacon now and again, or some of those excellent dried cured salamis.

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An Evening with Jeanette Longfield of Sustain UK

January 23, 2009

Attend an evening with Jeanette Longfield, Coordinator of Sustain: the Alliance for Better Food and Farming in the UK. Sustain is an alliance of over 100 public interest organizations advocating for food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.

Jeanette will share her experience leading an inclusive and cross-sectoral local food alliance that has shaped food and agriculture policy in the UK.

When: Tuesday February 3, 2009 – 7:00 to 9:00p.m.
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, Room 256; 601 Christie Street, Toronto

Sponsored by: The Stop Community Food Centre, the Metcalf Foundation, and Sustain Ontario

Farmers and Producers Forum

An interactive discussion, moderated by Margaret Webb.

When: Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 – 9:30a.m.-12p.m.
Where: Hart House, University of Toronto – 7 Hart House circle

Local, small-scale farming produces better food, is better for the environment and can adapt more quickly to food crises and demands. Yet government policies and corporate manipulations make the survival of such farms a serious challenge.
Join us at this Town Hall discussion to think about solutions to help make small-scale farming a sustainable economic model.

We will have an open format meeting followed by small break out sessions where we will discuss specific topics. We welcome your suggestions regarding topics that are relevant to your operation. Please submit topics or let us know if you would like to make a short presentation no
later than Friday, December 5th , 2009

Contact Arlene Stein to rsvp at 416-978-8393 or arlene.stein[at]

We look forward to this first step in the process of finding solutions.

Arlene & Paul

Current suggestions for topics, and background:

Fair prices for food; GMO; Supply Management; Maintaining a network of small-scale abattoirs; Collaborative Certification; Distribution; Conversion of Industrialized Farmlands; Government Policy