Our friend and Registered Holistic Nutritionist Lisa Kilgour says “food is love.” She reminds us of the importance of preparing a good meal that you are looking forward to sitting down to enjoy with people you care about.
In North America most people will say they didn’t enjoy their last meal. Compare this to the food culture of France where it takes longer to prepare and eat a meal, and people place a high value on enjoying it.
While we might fall short of our European or Eastern Canadian friends’ everyday culinary je ne sais quoi, the holiday season happens to bring out the best in us.
Harvest tables are set with grandmothers’ linens. The preserves born of our blood, sweat, and tears in the height of August’s heat are proudly presented to inquiring guests. Proper glassware, silverware, and china manage to find their way out of the sideboard and into our homes, if only for an evening.
That’s why we love this lively time of year. We salute the seasonal soirée because to gather is to bring together and take in from scattered places or sources. It is our time for connectedness.
From small local restaurants to large-scale hotel and resort operations, and now as head of Nature’s Fare Markets’ commissary kitchen, Chef Nick Johnston has a little of that je ne sais quoi we admire.
After cooking under a classically trained French chef in his early 20s, the subtle power of simplicity has been a central theme in his passion for food. Nick’s inspired by the gate to plate movement and seasonal integrity of modern French cuisine and charcuterie. For him, the most memorable holiday gatherings are the ones that sidestep consumptive fever or commercial celebration.
He thinks it is easy to go overboard during the holidays. “December tends to be an exaggeration of the little our guests need to enjoy themselves.”
So Nick suggests we try to keep it simple this holiday season. There’s no need for exhaustive preparations or inflatable lawn ornaments. Instead, he urges us to create a sacred container for guests through wholesome, eye-pleasing, and tasty food.
Serve a story
Jason Pleym with Two Rivers Specialty Meats says the story of the food we love to serve and eat also influences our experience.
“Local was a somewhat new buzzword when we started our distribution and processing company in 2008. We know our partners and farmers, so we know where the meat has come from and how it was raised.”
We’re thrilled Two Rivers has partnered with the lower mainland’s Rossdown Farms to bring farm-fresh and free-run chicken and turkey to our stores this winter. What better story to send your guests home with after the holidays than how good a happy turkey tasted.
Your company from near and far might also appreciate a carefully selected local cheese platter or something homegrown to sip on that’s light-bodied and red or amber and micro-brewed.
As British Columbians, we clearly comprehend the importance of supporting both local businesses and sustainable farming practices. According to the Canadian Organic Trade Association, 66 percent of us are buying organic groceries on a weekly basis.
Farm to fork, seed to table, and small and independent are wonderful reminders of the significance of mindful eating. We hope you and yours are invigorated by good food and story this holiday season. Bon appetit.