Kathleen is a home economist living in Toronto. Her love of food started in childhood with trips to the St. Lawrence Market, then came the teenaged kitchen experiments! Kathleen has a degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Ryerson University and holds Culinary Arts and Tour Guide certificates both from George Brown College.
In 2004 Kathleen opened Savour The Flavour Inc,™ a food consulting company. She has developed recipes for several of Canada’s large food corporations, edited recipes for cookbooks, conducted cooking demonstrations, and organized large scale food events. In her spare time, Kathleen is a member of the Association of Ontario Home Economists in Business (OHEIB) and organizes events for the Ontario Cheese Society. A whirl wind in the kitchen, Kathleen makes a mean fresh salsa and loads of dirty dishes!
A dedicated foodie, you can still find her chopping, crunching, munching, tasting or talking about food any chance she gets.
Matt is a West Coast boy, born and raised in Vancouver. With ocean to the West, mountains to the North, farmland and orchards to the East and, well, America to the South, Matt has enjoyed the varied melange of food that grows in and around British Columbia. Everything he knows about food he learned from his mom (who doesn’t?). In the name of good health, she instilled (pummeled) in Matt the importance of whole and natural foods, but he’s taken it one step further and jumped on the local eating bandwagon, truck, van, whatever local food arrives in.
After completing his degree in Literature, Matt decided an adventure was in order and up and moved to Toronto to discover the East. Impressed with how prominent the local food movement is in Toronto and surprised at how much comes out of the province of Ontario, Matt began seeking out some foodie peers. Lo and behold he stumbled upon Culinarium™! Alongside his passion for local eating is a passion for writing. While he plugs away on a novel (think science fiction meets farming), he also blogs about food, where it comes from, and what it’s good for. His approach to cooking is “improvise with what you’ve got”.
Feel free to challenge him with your what to make dilemmas. He’s a true believer that a well stocked pantry makes cooking easy and enjoyable, and recommends Culinarium’s array of staples, from red fife wheat flour, to apple cider vinegar, to soy oil.
He credits his initial love of food with his summer visits to his grandparents house in Penticton, BC their huge garden where his grandpa taught him much about growing fresh fruits and vegetables, while his nana taught him how to use those fruits and vegetables in making delicious meals and preserves. His parents were also integral in his foodie upbringing, teaching him the joys of gardening, home cooking, and baking delicious treats (thanks mom).
He has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for over 15 years, which has afforded him the opportunity to study a great, many things from furniture upholstery to art history. Eventually he narrowed his interests, discovering that his passion for the local food movement could be pursued in his academic life, just as in his personal life. While studying for his Masters at York University, he refined this interest and focused on discovering how cities are fed, how to bring agriculture back to cities, and how a more localized food system can lead to more sustainable cities.
In his personal life he’s an ardent home cook, in fact it is how he procrastinates. You can always tell if he has a paper due because his fridge and freezer will be full of his creations. Food is his passion, particularly if the ingredients are local, and his ultimate goal is to become a farmer, and take a more active role the local food movement. Until then, he spends his time choosing the best produce that our local farmers have to offer and brings them to you in our weekly Food Box.
Alisa is a student of George Brown’s Baking and Pastry Arts program, where she is learning the science behind a good bread, the technique involved in a stunning cake, and just about anything to do with flour. But her true passion is fresh produce. Whether she’s tending her own garden, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, or sprucing up Culinarium’s produce fridge, Alisa handles fruits and vegetables with the attention and care they really deserve.
Favourite Ontario Food: Ontario produce, especially peaches, strawberries, and garlic.
Guiltiest Non-provincial Pleasure: Citrus fruit, papayas, olives and olive oil.
Isabella is a grade twelve student whose interest for food developed at an early age. She cites her family’s European background as the source of her passion, taking trips to the Old Country, and big Friday night feasts at home. Working at Culinarium has allowed her to gain great competence surrounding healthy, natural, and environmentally friendly food, as well as afflict her with a substantial cheese addiction!
Favourite Ontario Food: Peanuts! Peanut butter. Any fresh produce.
Guiltiest Non-provincial Pleasure: Brownies, cupcakes, cookies. . .anything with sugar and chocolate.
Keidi is a student of Food & Nutrition at Ryerson. She is learning about the benefits of eating well, but is also appreciating the pleasures of taste. When she’s not at Culinarium she enjoys practicing yoga, reading biographies, and going on culinary adventures. Keidi believes in eating great quality food, and being connected to it through mindfulness about its origin and preparation. Through fellow colleagues at Culinarium, Keidi has discovered new flavours, food combinations, and how to engage her senses deeper into the art of eating. She seeks to continually gain a stronger intuitive sense when preparing, food and to further her understanding about how different ingredients come to be.
Favourite Ontario Food: Cheese!
Guiltiest Non-provincial pleasure: Avocado
Karen is one of Culinarium's in-house foodies. As a child she was raised to view cooking as a creative outlet and not a chore. As an adult, she is a gastronomic tourist, exploring local eats in other parts of the world, but also an expert on dining in Toronto. A loyal Culinarium customer to start, Karen loved our local food philosophy so much she joined us as a part time employee. And with a rich academic and corporate background, she also proves to be an invaluable source of business and marketing knowledge!
Favourite Ontario Food: Fresh, sweet, delectable Ontario strawberries...the first taste of summer.
Favourite Non-provincial pleasure: East Coast clawed lobster (not the spiny type): succulent meat with some butter and lemon!
Jennifer started eating local when she was growing up on her grandparents’ farm in Maryland. It was there that she learned how to pull weeds on early summer mornings, sow seeds in a straight line, and put up fruits and vegetables for the winter. Trained as an educator (French, Spanish, and yoga), she loves to talk to people in any language, about why strawberries taste better in June than they do in January, and how standing on one’s head for an hour a day and eating local Ontario food leads to immortality. Jennifer’s current passions are raising organically her two small children, adventuring around Ontario, and discovering Canada’s amazing microbrews. She has also taken on baking her own bread and making homemade soup out of whatever is left in the fridge.
Favorite Ontario food: cheese curds, butter tarts, and Kupecz Family Farm’s lamb sausage.
Guiltiest Non-provincial pleasure: Maryland crab cakes, Old Bay seasoning, and her grandmother’s black raspberry pie.
We are grateful to the advice and mentorship of Albert Plant, senior volunteer advisor at MaRS Discovery District, retail consultant and author.