Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

On Writing, with Marion Kane & Adrienne De Francesco

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share by Marion Kane and Adrienne De Francesco

If you're already feeling hungry, you may want to grab a snack before reading about share: Delicious Dishes from Foodshare and Friends (Between the Lines Books) by Adrienne De Francesco with Marion Kane. A cookbook and more, share celebrates the vision of Foodshare Toronto, a 27-year-old non-profit with the mission statement "good healthy food for all".

Adrienne and Marion speak with Open Book about their favourite recipes, their experiences with Foodshare and the cookbooks that get a workout in their own kitchens.

Open Book:

Tell us about your book, share: Delicious Dishes from FoodShare and Friends.

Adrienne De Francesco & Marion Kane:

share is a celebration of the power of food to bring people together, to nourish and to inspire us. It showcases the joy and ease of healthy, affordable, culturally-diverse cooking with a selection of a hundred carefully selected and rigorously tested recipes contributed by all of the partners in FoodShare’s large community. And it’s a tribute to how FoodShare Toronto stirs the pot, dishing up heartening stories and easy ways for us all to feel good about saying yes to food.


How and why did the two of you become involved with FoodShare Toronto?


I love food, social justice and community development, so working in an organization that combines all of these is a dream come true, and it is a joy to collaborate with and highlight the work of all of my passionate coworkers, and our whole community of volunteers, partners and friends.


I'm a fan of FoodShare's longstanding, thriving Good Food Box and of their policy to champion local, seasonal, organic food. I also like their programs that promote healthy food in schools, in particular those that educate young people about healthy eating, cooking and sustainability of the food supply.


Would you describe share as a cookbook? What makes it different from other cookbooks out there?


This really a collection like no other, and one we hope you will keep close in your kitchen and turn to again and again for recipes you can find nowhere else: so many favourites from the FoodShare kitchen, a tribute to the magical lunches we share at FoodShare every day; Michele Landsberg’s latke recipe; Jack Layton’s bouillabaisse; chicken soup from Debbie Field’s mother; pumpkin leaves in peanut butter sauce with millet sadza from Tinashe Kanengoni; roasted celery root mash with sautéed mushrooms, kale and pepper purée from Jared Davis, Art Eggleton’s favourite Indian-spiced shrimp; Harriet Friedmann’s Louisiana gumbo; and many others.


It's harvest time again. Do you have a favourite fall dish to make at home?


Autumn is my favourite season and I find that I really am drawn to comfort food like pot pies (with lentils and vegetables, for example), nut loaves and things like scalloped potatoes and lasagna which I have veganized. I love parsnips and kale and cauliflower, even Brussels sprouts, so they turn up in all forms in my meals, and then of course I graduate into even heartier fare as we get close to winter, like my vegan Tortiere.


Everything apples: baked apples, applesauce, apple crumble, apple cake. In my book Dish, I sleuth the McIntosh apple. In the book, I love Debbie Field’s apple cake and my own perfected apple crumble recipe. I’m a real apple expert at this point and can tell you which ones are best for what kinds of recipes.


What are some of your best-loved and most frequently consulted sources for recipes?


Of course I am lucky to have some experts near me every day at work, so I often stroll into the FoodShare kitchen to chat, get inspired and ask questions. At home I consult The Joy of Cooking, David Rocco’s Dolce Vita, The Artful Vegan, Veganomicon, How It All Vegan and that series of books, Ripe from Around Here, Julie Daniluk’s Meals That Heal Inflammation, and my ancient favourites (I collect old cookbooks that say a lot about society at their moment in time, plus contain really interesting classic and/or forgotten recipes) such as The American Woman’s Cook Book (mine is a 1949 edition).


The Way to Cook by Julia Child; my own three cookbooks, especially Dish; Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef; The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cooks Illustrated; On Rue Tatin by Susan Hermann Loomis; Healthy Starts Here by Mairlyn Smith; Friday Night Dinners by Bonnie Stern; any books by Marcella Hazan; the Silver Palate Cookbooks; Moosewood Cookbooks.


What are you working on now?


At home I’m working on perfecting vegan beignets (I just about have it!) and exploring spicing I don’t often use, so that I can ‘get’ it instinctively and begin to cook the way I like to — just combining flavours and foods as they inspire me. And at FoodShare we’ve just launched a gorgeous new website, and I’m working on getting all the details in place for our fundraiser, Recipe for Change, which will happen in February 2013.


I'm a curious individual who finds being in the food media a great excuse to talk with people on general and specifically to get into their kitchens so we can cook together. Doc-style audio podcasts about food are my current passion. Sleuthing in general is my favourite modus operandi.

Adrienne De Francesco is a creative home cook who knows FoodShare inside out. She delights in exploring and sharing all things food: where it comes from and how to grow it, to the many ways in which it feeds us all, body and soul.

Marion Kane has been a leader in the world of food writing for more than 30 years and has authored three cookbooks. She was food editor/columnist for Canada’s largest newspaper, the Toronto Star, for 18 years and is now a freelance food sleuth, writer, broadcaster and cook.

For more information about share please visit the BTL Books website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Foodshare or BTL Books.

You can also purchase online from Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the On Writing interviews in our archives.

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