They now have a true global headquarters for the Global Medical Relief Fund. It was just one of those things. I was sitting on a Sunday, on my boat [in St. Bart’s in the Caribbean], and I saw the show and I said, we should do that. It was even more emotionally rewarding than we could have ever thought.
Chef and owner of CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary
Summer for me started after the Calgary Stampede when we welcomed a couple of friends and fellow chefs from San Francisco into the CHARCUT kitchen. We'd start with delicious baked goods and spend our afternoons at the farmers markets with a coffee in hand.
Typically, we do farm tours in the summer or take in an Okanagan wine country tour. But this year, my business partner and co-chef John Jackson and I headed west for a few days to Vancouver to stage a pop-up, making use of the bounty from Granville Island Public Market. We incorporated chubby gooseberries, raspberries, tomatoes, local potatoes, green beans and fiddleheads – all harvested in their prime– into a special menu.
We also made a marathon of dining out. We tackled pizza, pastas and fully loaded charcuterie. We hit a luxe downtown steakhouse, for thick cuts of PEI Blue Ribbon beef, Dungeness crab, prawns. W e feasted on sausages made by chefs Brad Hendrickson and Dale Mackay.
After Vancouver, we visited north Saskatchewan for some lake fishing for northern pike and yellow perch. We spent a day foraging for Saskatoon berries in the remote north.
Between our travels, my husband Jean Francois and I purchased and moved into our first house in South Calgary, with a garden plot. We christened the kitchen by making home-harvest kale and Portuguese sausage. No place like home!
Partner of the foraging company Société-Orignal in Montreal
I'm spending most of my time in the yards at the moment. Summers are so busy that taking a nap in the afternoon often counts as vacation - if I can take a nap between 3 and 4 in the afternoon, it's an extreme luxury. I had two this year. But I try to combine buisness and pleasure at the same time.
We went to the Gaspe region, because we are trying to recreate a garden on the beach seashore. That was a lot of work, but one of the great things we did was have a picnic on the beach. It was a great evening with my girlfriend's family. We improvised spaghetti bolognese, which we cooked on a small propane gas stove.The Gaspesian seabreeze was great, we just needed a little jacket. We found fresh sea parsley and sea rocket leaves growing just next to us on the beach. That, and a few beers, that's pretty much how we like to celebrate.
Another great summer moment: One week out of three I do my own deliveries. I wake up at 4 a.m. for the drive to Toronto, it's a great drive where I can take in the sunrise, and all the planes flying above the 401. One night when I was driving back to Montreal, I stopped at a service centre and got a Tim Horton's coffee, with one milk, and smoked a homemade cigar that a friend, who grows Mapacho tobacco in his backyard, offered me as a gift. I rarely smoke but an industrial coffee and a cigar is the perfect gastromic pairing.
As told to Christina Vardanis