Taryn Boyd, Alexandra Gill, Andrew Morrison, Anna Olson
Taryn Boyd, Alexandra Gill, Andrew Morrison, Anna Olson
Cecil Green Park House, University of British Columbia
With Anna Olson, Andrew Morrison and Alexandra Gill
Facilitated by Taryn Boyd
A fundraiser for the KidSafe Writers’ Room
November 28, 2011

Nestled in the quiet northwest corner of UBC’s campus grounds, the stoic Cecil Green Park House was the setting for Speaking of Taste Buds: The Art of Food Writing, an intimate exchange between fresh and current literary successes, foodies, burgeoning writers and those interested in contributing to the KidSafe Writers’ Room, a local educational cause. Not only was this evening a chance to hear the guest speakers’ personal stories, it was also an opportunity to hear that there is still strong value placed on the written form, despite the span of tweets, Facebook short stories, and blogs and blogs of misinformation on the internet today. 

Showcased as “top of the know” in what good food really is were Food Network host Anna Olson, who recently released her seventh book, Back to Baking (Whitecap Books); Scout Magazine editor, Andrew Morrison; and restaurant critic for the Globe and Mail Alexandra Gill.

Interviewed by Taryn Boyd, the former managing editor of Whitecap Books, the three writers described their passions for food and their connections to writing. They told stories of their foundations in family and friends, different communities, and experiences that shaped their choices to break out of the mould (Anna Olson, for example, was a banker before she gave in to her true passion: baking). Ms Boyd opened with a story, about food, written by a student in the KidSafe Writers’ Room program.

The Writers’ Room is a literacy-enriching program housed within Queen Alexandra Elementary School. It is tended to by many, many committed, compassionate and talented volunteer tutors. These fantastic role models provide much more enrichment than just literacy tutoring to many resilient, deserving children and youth.

And, speaking of food! Vegetarian and omnivorous bites provided by Wescadia Catering floated around the common and sitting rooms at Cecil Green Park House, and the back-room bar offered traditional libations. The most interesting bite—not polled, purely my personal opinion—was the duck confit with cilantro and jelly perched in an orange mini waffle cone. Not only was the duck resting in an orange-coloured waffle cone, the cone was flavoured orange as well. Huh. That was something to write about!

By S.R.M., Writers’ Room volunteer

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