Couple of local events, where I am and am not, and tribute to Yotam Ottolenghi

February 20-22: Terroir: Identity & Seduction; Saskatoon
A conference about Terroir — in Saskatchewan. Why not? Some interesting speakers and entertainments planned, as the participants toss around ideas of sustainability, gastro-tourism, geographic indications (appelations), ecomuseums and rural development initiatives. I’m expecting some good music, eating & drinking too.

February 23-March 8: Fair Trade Fortnight; UK
In England, recent research finds that 70% of British consumers now recognise the Fairtrade Mark, and more than a third of people want to see more Fairtrade produce available in cafes, restaurants and pubs (34%, up from 25% last year). Fairtrade is more than a fair selling price and marketing scheme for goods; it’s a fully audited system of trade that assures that the workers who grow, harvest or work with those goods are fairly treated and that their communities – not just the business owners – reap a benefit (the ‘social premium‘) which goes towards improving health, education and living standards for all. Thousands of producers in poorer countries depend on the system for a fair price for their product, fair trading conditions and market access. Britain celebrates and promotes this work with Fairtrade Fortnight, which this year runs from February 23 through March 8th. Perhaps we smug North Americans could get on this bandwagon a bit more – if British supermarkets like Sainsbury’s can bow to consumer pressure and stock only fairly traded bananas, why do I never see any in Canada? (In Canada, the process is handled by Transfair)

Yesterday, at St Peter’s
And one more local event was aperitivo hour at the writers’ colony last night, which featured Yotam Ottolenghi‘s wonderful caramelised garlic tart. Here’s my picture of this food’s horizon of caramelised garlic, golden nugget squash (thanks Jim!) and goat’s cheese:

And here are some Scottish socks complaining in falsetto about Ottolenghi’s pics:


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