I’m writing a book.
It takes a lot for me to say/type those words, especially in a place with such permanency as the Interwebs where many dreams/goals/intentions go to gently fade away. The number of blogs started and abandoned here is amazing – kind of like what I imagine the messy archive of @yahoo.com email addresses to be.
Truth: what I’m embarking on is more of a project that might end up something like a book. To hold myself to account so I finish the damn thing, I’ll be writing about the progress as I go; not on a new blog platform that can be more easily dismissed, but here – in a place that holds value to me.
The idea for this project came from a day I spent on the farm at Covert’s and has grown with each encounter thereafter. It’s been fed by this crazy underground crew of cool folks creating their own community food systems, and it continues to be fuelled by word-of-mouth introductions. How can I not meet Brent the Oyster Man?
This weekend I completed the first of what will be dozens of interviews – sometimes I’ll interview a subject more than once to get the full story. Hopefully that will be the case with many of these people because they’re totally rad.
The first rad people I spent time with were chef Chris Van Hooydonk and his wife Mikkel. Chef Chris will launch Artisan Culinary Concepts in June – a professional kitchen offering consulting/mentoring, education/classes, private chef services, catering, and unique dining experiences for smaller groups.
I met Chef Chris fairly recently, and we’ve chatted briefly at a few different events. We discovered a shared interest in several things, including how our communities can support themselves without being engulfed in the larger food systems. One thing led to another, and then he invited me to his kitchen. Rule #1: always say yes when that happens.
Chef Chris and Mikkel are the kind of people you want as friends and neighbours – kind, mindful, and who keep an eye on the horizon with every decision they make. I look forward to visiting them again as the kitchen nears completion and their story unfolds. Plus, they made a fresh apple turnover for my visit. They win.
This is just a glimpse at the type of stories I’ll collect this year. It’s somewhat unsettling to not have a larger plan in mind, but I’m okay with that. Besides – I know some great people will feed me along the way.