A Pair Of Gourmands

by - Story: 13877

She says:

Buy local and keep jobs local too...

I remember craft fairs very fondly from my childhood (can you tell I turned 40 last week? I keep harping on things from days gone by!) Anyway, when I was a kid the fairs were in old barns or warehouses and the people there were mostly hippie-types who sold macramé plant hangers, ceramics and hand-blown glass pieces. The food was organic homemade squares and apple cider and the music was very folky.

We took part in the Food Fair this past weekend, held in conjunction with the Craft Extravanganza at Prospera Place. It was a lot of fun, and we met all kinds of great people (our neighbours were the wonderful folks from Tickleberrys and Brainy Bee.) There was folky music, and great local specialty foods, and some lovely crafts. I was pleased to see so many people still interested in supporting all those little cottage businesses. It was also interesting to note though, that most of those businesses were run by older folks!

I guess the younger generation is more interested in corporate careers or entrepreneurial ventures that reap larger gains than are usually possible from the home garage. I hope that doesn’t mean we are nearing the end of an era. I would miss the funky atmosphere of a craft fair and its people, just the way I would miss the farmer’s markets and roadside stands.

So, this week I raise a glass of homemade mulled apple cider to those people who put the spirit not only in the Christmas season, but in an ordinary weekend. If you didn’t make it to this past craft fair, check out one of those coming up – buy a pot warmer or a dish cloth, sample some homemade pepper jelly or tayberry jam, and you won’t be sorry. You may even find yourself humming a carol or two!

He says:

This Food Festival Fair was my first one with my company and I had a blast. I got to meet with lots of people, mostly women who are looking for cooking classes and I am very glad that I connected with many potential customers. From the sound of things, the coming year will be busy for The Chef in Stead.

I am already planning for next year, I think I will cook something, we’ll see!

These Christmas Fairs are the BEST way to support Canadian companies and/or at the very least support our small non-Walmart local shops. I tasted many flavours this past weekend, but my favorite was Creamy Ginger Honey from “Brainy Bee”, it was really nice.

See you next year!

Chef Martin’s Tip 37 - Keeping inventory

In most professional kitchens, the production flow is often created by good inventory control.

Keeping an inventory of staple items is necessary to be able to cook good meals. I strongly suggest that you keep a “To Buy” list by your cupboard and use it.

Once you take a can of coconut milk out of the cupboard, you need to write it down ASAP so it can be replaced for the next time you get inspired for a curry dish. Spices, oils, vinegars, tomato sauces, baking powder, flours, sugars etc… all the items that you use on a regular basis, and the ones you use not so often too should be on your list.

If you divided your pantry space into theme areas, it would also help you keep your stocks up to par. Something like a baking shelf, an Asian shelf, an Italian shelf etc…

Anyway, people ask me all the time how can I be so fast to cook dinner - a well organized kitchen is a must!

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

The Chef in Stead - Website For Previous Chef Tips For comments or questions, you can reach Martin at 250-712-4440 or Email.

These are the stores where I shop, go visit them and tell them I sent you...

Hooked on Seafood, 1951 Harvey Ave, Kelowna 860-2541
Discover Wines, 2080 C Springfield Rd, Kelowna 868-3990
Matterhorn Bakery, 103 - 3640 Gosset Rd, Westbank 768-3302
L&D Meat, 103 - 2365 Gordon St, Kelowna 717-1997
Quality Greens, 3717 A Old Okanagan, Westbank 707-1420
Valoroso Italian Market, 1467 Sutherland Rd, Kelowna 860-3631
Kitchen Niche, Orchard Park mall, Kelowna 860-3637

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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