Passionate Foodie

Published: March 12th 2010

Lucy Waverman
Pic: WordsWorthBook

Lucy Waverman is a passionate advocate for good food, done well. As well as being the woman behind Weekend Menu in The Globe and Mail, she is also the food editor of the venerable Food and Drink magazine and the author of several books, including the award-winning A Matter of Taste (with James Chatto), Lucy’s Kitchen, and Home For Dinner. Her latest, A Year In Lucy’s Kitchen (Random House Canada) is a feast of seasonal eating and delicious ideas. Waverman’s trademark style – a mix of influences, all filtered through an easy-going approach – is on full, flavoursome display. With its bevy of beautiful photos, healthful approach, and even delicious wine pairings, A Year In Lucy’s Kitchen is sure to be a staple in every culinary fan’s kitchen.


The decision to structure the book seasonally, month by month, was something Waverman had intended from the beginning. “You can open a month and see, ‘Oh there’s an Easter menu – I can do that’ or, ‘I just saw rhubarb in market, and here it is in April.’ [Structuring by season] brings awareness, hopefully.”


That awareness extends itself to Waverman’s work in going to schools to educate students about healthy eating practices. She recounts the story of teaching ten-year-olds about food recently. Some of those classes included segments on whole grains. “I took a number of things kids liked and made them with whole grains, so we had sushi with quinoa, Rice Krispie squares with Kashi cereal – stuff like that. I made them oatmeal pancakes with steel cut oats, and I asked them what they learned at the end. They said, ‘We’ve learned that you can eat healthily and still eat yummily.' That’s part of the mandate of trying to get people into the kitchen, to have them understand you can eat well but you have to know how to cook it.”


Her approachable style to cooking is based on the belief that no matter where the food is grown, “it won’t matter if people aren’t prepared to get into a kitchen and cook sometimes. I think that’s something the city culture misses, because they go in a kitchen but there are masses of people who haven’t a clue and are intimidated.”


That intimidation is nowhere to be found with A Year In Lucy’s Kitchen. Geared toward home cooks, the book is chock-full of easy, delicious recipes that highlight the joy of the entire cooking process while emphasizing healthy, fresh choices. Along with ideas for casual entertaining, barbecuing, soups, and stews, Waverman’s book also includes special occasions, including tasty dishes for Passover and Hanukkah that many Jewish readers will find delightful.


For Passover, Waverman wanted to do “something Sephardic” because most recipes, she says, “always make Passover Ashkenaz." She includes a rich Moroccan Chicken With Prune and Figs, which she writes of as being one of her readers’ favourites. “I wanted to do something different,” she says, “because Passover recipe are actually really hard!” The chapter also includes an easy, tasty Broccoli Bisque with Gremolata and her award-winning Floating Chocolate Lemon Mousse Tart.


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