Friday, August 31, 2012

James Barber's cookbooks on sale in Vancouver, Jamie Oliver opens Montreal restaurant

"We buy cookbooks in moments of passion. We want them to bring pleasure and give pleasure, along with joy and happiness and most usually, togetherness." James Barber, Peasant's Choice, 1994

The Urban Peasant James Barber, Canada's celebrated TV chef, will be honored at Barbara-Jo's Cooks to Books in Vancouver on Sunday, September 23, 2012. The afternoon event from 12-5 PM features a trunk sale of some of the chef's treasured cookbook collection. Barber passed away in 2007.

The informal trunk sale benefits Providence Farm, a Vancouver Island therapeutic community located on a Cowichan Valley working organic farm, and one of Barber's favorite charities. According to Barber's widow, wine writer Christina Burridge, her husband started collecting books in the 1960s and his collection grew over the decades. 

Book store owner Barbara-Jo McIntosh, a longtime friend of Burridge and Barber, said it was like opening a treasure chest. "But in this case, several treasure chests of books," added McIntosh. She said there are some real gems in the collection and calls it "a privilege" to be able to offer the books to the public. The collection reflects the TV host and author's eclectic taste, and includes everything from European to Frugal, along with reference books. From his first cookbook, Ginger Tea Makes Friends, Barbara-Jo's will serve ginger tea, cookies and 'gingertinis to attendees.

"For many of us, James Barber remains in our memories as the gentle bon vivant who inspired us to fry fearlessly and to share a good cup of ginger tea with a friend or two." Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks 

Maison Public to open in Montreal

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver (top) has teamed up with celebrated Montreal chef Derek Dammann to open Maison Public (Public House) in Montreal. The 40-seat resto will feature British pub fare and is Oliver's first restaurant investment in North America. The eatery is scheduled to open in mid-September in the Plateau neighborhood. The duo's collaboration is a result of their friendship during the past dozen years (Dammann worked at Oliver's Fifteen restaurant in London). More details about the new restaurant may be found in The Montreal Gazette.