Local writer showcases Winnipeg’s vibrant foodie culture with new book
Robin Summerfield’s job is to eat food. Not just any food, but recipes made by Winnipeg’s most talented chefs and restaurateurs.
Summerfield, a Winnipeg writer, has worked for the CBC, FlavoursWorld magazine, Ciao!, and pegcitygrub.com. And now, she is recently the author of a brand new cookbook called, Winnipeg Cooks. The 200-page book features recipes and profiles from more than 30 of Winnipeg’s most talented people in the food industry.
“Everybody needs to eat,” said Summerfield. “Chefs are artists. It is an art and a craft. They love food and making people happy with food.”
Winnipeg Cooks is part of a cookbook series across Canada with other cities like Calgary and Toronto being featured. Winnipeg Cooks showcases the best places and people to get food from. The book highlights the city’s evolving foodie community and showcases why its culture in Winnipeg is one to be reckoned with.
“The food culture is gaining more recognition,” said Summerfield. “In the past few years there are traits that Winnipeg is becoming defined by. Our food culture is climbing the ladder. We take more pride in food.”
In June 2015, Air Canada’s enRoute magazine called Winnipeg “Canada’s most overlooked food destination” and awarded French-American eatery Enoteca a spot on their list, “Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2015.”
The cookbook is different from other cities’ since shows how Winnipeg’s foodie community is its own thriving industry. Many of the recipes include local ingredients like bison, elk, rice and mustards.
“There’s an intimacy about it,” said Summerfield. “Because we’re a smaller city, chefs and restaurateurs have the potential to really get to know their population.”
Some members of the foodie culture agree with Summerfield.
“It’s a tight-knit community, “ said Christopher Atkinson, owner of Lilac Bakery and featured in Summerfield’s book. “ A lot of business comes from word-of-mouth.”
The cookbook has recipes ranging from gourmet tapas like Pizzeria Gusto’s Parmesan custard with pancetta, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, walnut and balsamic reduction, to desserts like Chocolatier Constance Popp’s extreme chocolate cake.
Summerfield is a chef herself who cooks from home. Not only is she a successful write, but she’s responsible for half of the cookbook’s recipes.
“Chefs are like magicians,” said Summerfield. “I’m the average home cook. It’s encouraging to know I can do it too. You can make your own magic.”