Nov. 17, 2010 - Issue #787 : Margaret Atwood
Well-known critic Liane Faulder just fell into it
Faulder's background in journalism, as opposed to one in cooking, is an advantage. It allows her to translate the words of chefs and the nuances of cuisine into a language accessible to the reader. She prefers to take detailed notes when dining or conducting an interview, and later weaves these phrases into a cohesive narrative. "These details," she explains, "are needed to evoke a sense of place and experience."
Visiting and writing about restaurants are but one part of Faulder's work life. She updates her blog, Eat My Words, at least four times per week. She visits food-themed events. Her ongoing "celebrity chef" series features prominent public figures who share a deep love of dining and cooking but do not work in the food industry. Faulder marvels at the great diversity of styles and priorities inherent in each of her interviewees, from Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conductor Bill Eddins to Ruth Kelly, the driving force of Venture Publishing. This discovery of personal style is an ever-intriguing side of Faulder's job, and she states, "I like finding out what drives people to eat and cook the way they do. It's an insight into human behaviour."
Culina Mill Creek is one of Faulder's favourite haunts. Coincidentally, Culina Highlands was among her first stories as a food writer. For fancy dining, she prefers the venerable Madison's. Viphalay, which serves Thai and Laotian cuisine, ranks high among Asian restaurants and Faulder relishes the considerable diversity of small, family-run restaurants in this city. Bibo, a wine bar in the Mill Creek neighbourhood, is another favoured spot and Faulder notes that "It is as close to Paris as you can get without leaving the city."
Faulder does not consider herself a gourmet, but loves to cook at home. Omelettes and healthy soups are often on her personal menu, and she is a great believer in the "Sunday supper" of roast beef and potatoes. She cites her mother as a primary cooking influence, and also admires celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and David Adjey. The latter is known for his appearances on the television show Restaurant Makeover which, along with Chef at Home, is a favourite of Faulder's. Faulder holds Jamie Oliver in high regard for his vested interest in social justice and education, as well as for his culinary prowess.
Cooking fills a deeper, meditative need beyond the basic requirement for sustenance. "Cooking stills the mind and keeps it from roaring off in all directions," she says. Drawing on her multiplicity of experiences in the world of food, Faulder concludes that "Cooking is a very forgiving art. Anyone can do it. It is very democratic." With that, she ponders her next culinary investigation and subsequent story. Perhaps a deep-fried Mars Bar is in order. V
vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
Vue respects your privacy. We will not forward your personal information to any other organization except as required by law, and will use your e-mail address only to respond to your comments. We reserve the right to edit and remove comments for length, clarity and/or if they are illegal or inappropriate. Your email address is never shown to visitors to vueweekly.com. Read the whole policy at: http://vueweekly.com/privacy