GFM Network News


I can’t resist eating pasta whenever I immerse myself in “The Godfather,” and carbonara is one of my favourites.

Food and ‘family’

First We Eat: Just like in one of my favourite movies — food plays an important role

Like most of us, Dave and I have been binge watching movies. High among my all-time favourites is “The Godfather” I, II and III. I particularly admire the attention that director Francis Ford Coppola pays to food, making it integral to many pivotal “family” scenes. We enter the tragedy at Connie Corleone’s wedding, rich with […] Read more



On days like that, the big kitchen is not warm unless I keep the fire bustling in the wood stove and have pots on all four burners of the gas stove, located at opposing ends of the kitchen.

Hot soup for a cold day

First We Eat: Try variations of this basic recipe to help get through the frigid weather

Before the polar vortex returned and the morning thermometer read -40 C, I spent some time splitting birch for the wood stove in the kitchen. We live in a house that’s over 100 years old, and my mom thinks that it was originally assembled from two grain bins bolted together; three steps lead down from […] Read more

Some of my bottles hold self-infused vinegars — my own fruits, berries and herbs stuffed into jars of cider or wine vinegars.

Back to basics: vinegar

First We Eat: Vinegar has come a long way from being a staple used to make pickles

I was thrilled to recently read about Alchemist Vinegar, artisanal vinegars made by Paul Poutanen, owner of Tippa, a distiller in Okotoks, Alberta. I promptly ordered a sampler and am awaiting its arrival. I love vinegar, and six open bottles occupy prime real estate on the butcher block beside my stove. They offer testament to […] Read more


Back to basics with salt

Back to basics with salt

First We Eat: It not only enhances food’s flavour but traditionally used to celebrate friendship and new homes

Let’s start over. Yes, we are still in the grip of a pandemic. But there’s hope, and food is part of it. To reboot, here’s the first in several parts on culinary essentials — the balancing act of salt, acid, heat and sweetness. Today, salt. Like many cooks, I keep an array of salts on […] Read more

The expertly cooked rib eye roast being carved.

You can’t buy me off with a great meal

Plenty have tried, but I am still a hard-nosed journalist, unless there is dessert

I certainly can’t remember every meal I’ve had over my lifetime, (I would have a serious problem if I did); however, as I was about to make beef liver and onions one late January Saturday night here in Calgary, it did cause me to think back about excellent food and hospitality that I’ve experienced over […] Read more


The 2021 Banff Pork Seminar offered a trove of valuable information for Canada’s hog producers.

Pandemic rewriting food fundamentals

Expert urges farmers to get in on direct-marketing wave

He’s known as the “food professor,” an educator in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and senior director of the university’s innovative Agri-Food Analytics Lab. Sylvain Charlebois spends his days on “predictive analytics,” looking at the future of food. Many will know him from frequent mainstream media appearances. He is also […] Read more

Pandemic cooking revival

Pandemic cooking revival

First We Eat: In unstable times there can be comfort in cooking

Food has always been essential, right up there with sleep, water and shelter. But it’s more than that: food is what we use to mark momentous occasions and events — brunch with the bunch, cake for a birthday, anniversary suppers, restaurant date nights, cookies with the kids after school. We’ve lost many of those occasions […] Read more


Salad rolls with dip.

How can you get your kids to care about food?

First We Eat: Try these tips to get them thinking and talking about what they eat

When my millennial kids were young, on the last Friday of each month I showed up at school early, having first made a trip to the recycling centre to return our household’s contributions. “Noon dismal,” my kids called it, that early discharge. We made it into a family ritual by going out for Vietnamese pho, […] Read more

Chicken, Lemon and Wild Rice Soup.

Helping kids learn to cook

First We Eat: By creating a fun and safe environment even a young child can help out in the kitchen

The knife was small, with a curved tip and serrated blade. As knives go, it looked safe. But that didn’t prevent my anxiety the first time I put it into my child’s hand. He was four, and stood on a sturdy chair. He used that knife to saw up carrots and celery, spuds, an apple. […] Read more