Past Work

Other highlights of news, food and feature reporting

Past work

My writing runs the gamut. Here's a taste:

Grain to Glass – East Coast Living

Four years ago, Alan Stewart gazed over a field of healthy rye cover crops swaying in the breeze and had one of his crazy ideas. Over 23 years of selling organic beef, fruit, berries and vegetables at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market, he was always hunting for ways to keep his farm afloat.

To Eat On Art – Montecristo Magazine

It was early afternoon at California’s luxurious Villa Montalvo, and things weren’t going as planned. Towering piles of boxes filled with paper-wrapped, one-of-a-kind plates and utensils were being unpacked in the Mediterranean Revival mansion, and guests were set to arrive within the hour. A team of Michelin-starred chefs had prepped this $700 multi-course experimental meal for days, but as the untraditional dishware was laid out, they began threatening mutiny. Part of the problem? The cutlery didn’t look like cutlery at all.

Coffee Time – The Globe and Mail

First referenced in 1913, the word fika is reversed syllables, a form of slang, of the Swedish word for coffee, kaf-fe, and can be used as either a verb or a noun. Before King Gustav III banned coffee in Sweden in the 1700s, worried small gatherings would foment anti-monarchist rebels, it was originally sold only by pharmacies and only to men.

How Slaves Shaped American Cooking – National Geographic

Exploring the complicated relationship between foods claimed by the American South — including watermelon, okra, and beans — and the African slaves who brought those seeds to North America.

The Farm-to-Table Opportunity – BC Business (cover)

His days were long, 18 to 20 hours on average, and he spent most of them covered in blood.

Any Given Sundae – The Walrus

From new-age superpremium flavours to palm-oil-based confections, ice cream experts know that a cone is never just a cone.

Call of the wild – East Coast Living

Karen Pinchin chases game birds in New Brunswick with chefs Jesse Vergen and Todd Perrin.

The Wine Mavericks - Maclean's Wine in Canada

From the sandy soils of British Columbia’s interior to the rocky shores of Cape Breton’s coast, a growing group of independent-minded vineyard owners are eschewing the exorbitant price of grape-growing properties in mainstream regions in favour of other promising plots of land—albeit sometimes in the middle of nowhere.

Turkey Wars - Modern Farmer

With blue heads, bright red wattles and spectacular tiers of bronze, black and beige feathers, wild turkeys can be exceptionally beautiful creatures. Benjamin Franklin himself, in a letter to his daughter in 1784, wrote that the turkey, compared to the bald eagle, was “a much more respectable Bird.”

A Kick in the Aspic - The Globe and Mail Style Advisor

Done right, aspic can be revelatory, a shimmering magic trick of proteins and vegetables encased in a complementary broth that melts in the mouth. And it tests all of a chef’s abilities.

Talking Turkey - Maclean's

“If you have 20-lb. turkeys wandering around, and a number of sportsmen looking for something for the Thanksgiving table, those problems sort themselves out.”

A Softer, Gentler Blue Cheese - The Globe and Mail

In the basement of a converted bungalow in Halifax’s North End, Lyndell Findlay is making blue cheese for people who hate blue cheese.

The Case of the Drunken Pigs - Modern Farmer

Julie Shore’s pigs were very cheerful drunks. At least, that was true of the ones that could walk.

Why this little fish is on some of the biggest menus around - The Globe and Mail

In the dead of Maritime winter, under frozen bays and harbours, drifting schools of smelt are preparing for an epic journey.

Build a Better Sandwich – East Coast Living

Thanks to a new wave of chefs, bakers and devotees, there’s a bevy of creative, inspiring sandwiches hitting plates, picnic baskets and paper towels across our region. Made with local ingredients and paired with culinary techniques and flair, these thoughtful sandwiches are helping redefine fast food, one stack at a time.

Strange Brew - Atlantic Business Magazine

It wasn’t quite noon and Sean Dunbar was already trying to fix a flagpole near the front steps of Fredericton’s city hall, where he had just met with the city’s development planner.

Take the chill off winter with slow-cooked comfort food - The Globe and Mail

From North African tagine to French pot-au-feu (literally “pot on the fire”), few dishes make as much sense in winter as one that’s slowly cooked.

Blazing the Appellation Trail in Nova Scotia - Maclean's Wine in Canada

With a chilly climate, rocky soils and stiff ocean breezes wailing through its vineyards, Nova Scotia may seem an unlikely place for a rapidly expanding wine industry. But in Canada’s fourth-largest wine-producing province—after Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec—demand for local wine is booming.

How to Bake the Best Cake - East Coast Living

Baker Glynnis Kennedy remembers a time in Newfoundland when brides only had two options when it came to their wedding cake: light or dark fruitcake.

Mallard Cottage brings a 'new swagger' to the rustic East Coast - The Globe and Mail

St. John’s, once denigrated as a city of fish and chips and mediocre hamburgers, has recently experienced an incredible renaissance in its restaurant scene, fuelled by a booming oil and gas sector and a returning cadre of expats, entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

Retrospective celebrates the subversive vision of Mary Pratt - The Globe and Mail

In a stunning retrospective simply titled Mary Pratt, which recently opened in The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St. John’s, the artist’s gorgeous, brutal vision of the world is the best revenge against anyone who ever sought to define her.

Cattails move from marsh to menu - The Globe and Mail

Known in foraging circles as “nature’s supermarket,” nearly every part of the plant can be eaten, from the starchy roots that can be cooked like a potato or pounded into flour, to protein-rich pollen from its puffed flowering heads that can be used in scones and biscuits.

Forage and feast - Saltscapes Good Taste

I grew up foraging for mushrooms with my Polish grandfather. For him, there was nothing better than stumbling upon a stash of red-capped slippery jacks, or a glowing orange stand of chanterelles.

An Italian vegetarian cookbook ahead of its time - The Globe and Mail

It was intended as a manifesto, as proof one could live luxuriously as a vegetarian. But the 1930 recipe book by Sicilian Enrico Alliata, the Duke of Salaparuta, seemed destined to remain a used-bookstore curiosity.

Are Rabbits the New Super Meat? - Modern Farmer

While their reproductive prowess may be clichéd, California farmer Mark Pasternak and his wife Myriam can’t build rabbit barns fast enough to keep up with demand.

Brandon Baltzley: a chef poised between artistry and addiction - The Globe and Mail

In cooking, the line between a genius and out-of-control artist is a fine one. When it comes to Baltzley, diners, restaurant critics and even his closest friends suspect he might be both.

The Meat of the Matter - Maclean's

I’ll never forget the horrified look on my husband’s face as he stared down into the cardboard box I brought home from the butcher.

A Room for a Stew - Maclean's

Before the advent of home refrigeration, root cellars were the only way most Canadians could ensure a fresh food supply in winter and early spring, as produce stored outside quickly rotted once brought inside.

Why Farmers and Knitters are Fixated on Icelandic Sheep - Modern Farmer

Stuart Somerville wanted sheep that could defend themselves. After all, life in Endiang, Alberta, the heart of coyote country, isn’t easy for roly-poly animals with short legs and low IQ.

Getting Canadian Farmers to Kick their Foreign Seed Addiction - Modern Farmer

As the climate changes, newly adapted pests and diseases are parrying farmers’ every move while government-funded research programs are being slashed. Decades ago, farmers’ primary weapon was the amazing diversity of plants: if one kind of wheat failed, plant another; if a bug attacked your potatoes, switch varieties.

“’Tis home, you understand." - Telegraph-Journal (cover)

In an era before the telephone, many of Newfoundland’s outport homes had a ramshackle flagpole in their yard, an old clothesline or a stripped wooden pole, nestled among mossy scruff beside their saltbox homes. It’s an image that fascinates artist Jerry Ropson.

Final Sale - The Walrus

A few months ago, Arizona retail consultant Bobbie Hollowell arrived in Fredericton, ankle-length fur coat and all, to manage the liquidation of the city’s two Zellers stores and make way for Target’s “Project Bacon.”

From Blew to Green - Maclean's

It’s a chilly midwinter day in Lunenberg, N.S., and the furnace at the Windbag Company has stopped working.

Lest We Forget – The Walrus

“This is about the guys who gave their lives… if legions die, then remembrance will die.”

Money for sale – Unlimited Magazine

Payday loan stores are the pawn shops of the pay loan industry – and they’re doing big business among 18- to 35-year-olds. The risks and rewards of cashing in.

Good for business – Maclean's

A new generation of M.B.A. graduates sets out to better the world. Honestly.

Building a faster Internet - Newsweek

Engineers are developing a new type of Internet connection called a dynamic-circuit network that could carry so much data so quickly it might startle even Net surfers in Japan or South Korea.

In this class, everyone gets A+ - Maclean’s

At first glance, Denis Rancourt is a self-proclaimed anarchist with a history of causing trouble. But that’s not why Carleton University says it’s firing him.

Can I have your half-attention, please? – Maclean’s

Profs say laptops are creating culture of "constant partial distraction."