Tag Archives: Vikram Vij

The 2018 Taste Canada Award Winners

poster with all the 2018 Taste Canada award winners

This morning the official release from Taste Canada Awards / Les Lauréats des Saveurs du Canada came to announce the winners of the country’s only national, bilingual food writing awards.  October is National Cookbook Month with hashtags #LoveCookbooks #MoreThanRecipes and so this is the perfect way to wrap up the month long celebration of how tasteful Canadian food is, through the words and recipes of Canada’s best food writers and bloggers.
The full release follows and as a former Taste Canada winner, for A Spicy Touch with my mentor Noorbanu Nimji, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners and especially my friends Lindsay Anderson and Dana Van Veller of Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip and Vikram Vij, the most genuinely gifted hospitality person I know , for his book Vij: A Chef’s One-Way Ticket to Canada with Indian Spices in his Suitcase.

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A Food Loving 48 hour Visit to #Vancouver

Bar Snacks at Vij's Restaurant - photo - Karen Anderson

Bar Snacks at Vij’s Restaurant – photo – Karen Anderson

The first thing I do when I arrive in Vancouver is to make my way to Vij’s Restaurant. Vikram Vij is a food hero of mine. He runs one of the most hospitable food establishments ANYWHERE.

Vij’s and lots of bakeries, eateries, food trucks and energetic activities kept me and my son hustling and happy on a recent visit. Our weekend in this pearl of a city on Canada’s Pacific Rim seemed to sneak up and pass us like a rogue wave. Good thing it started hot and spicy.

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Savour food Savour life- Cool Thing no. 8 – this @IndianSummerCND festival video features @Vijs_restaurant

I love Indian food and culture so much I’m going to have to figure out how to get to Vancouver this summer to attend the Indian Summer Festival. It is an annual event celebrating arts, ideas and diversity and it connects Vancouver and South Asia via 10 days of music, literature, film, well-being, dance, cuisine & visual art.

I took a group to Kerala, India last year and will explore India’s Golden Triangle’s cuisine and culture this coming fall with the help of my business partner Indus Travels. As a student of Indian culture I’ll be waiting for this Vancouver festival to announce this year’s schedule of offerings. The more I can learn about India the better guide I can be for my guests. To be totally honest, I’d also like to go to Vij’s Restaurant for a much needed fix of his food and I could shop for the saree I need for the Diwali party I’m invited to on November 2 in New Dehli. This is what I love about being Canadian. I could potentially be dressed up in my cowgirl gear presenting at The Calgary Stampede Western Life Calgary Coop Showcase Kitchen one day in July and then be shopping for a saree in Surrey, B.C. the next day. Coincidentally or non-coincidentally The Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver is the exact same dates as our Calgary Stampede – the biggest outdoor show on earth – July 5 – 14, 2013.

I need to go to Vancouver for this fun, delicious and intellectually stimulating Indian Summer Festival. It will definitely help me savour food and savour life.

In case you doubt my sincerity, here’s a poem I was moved to write one morning when I was on my Kerala soujourn last fall. I have a lot more to write about India but this was a good way to start. Hope you agree.

Glorious India
By Karen Anderson (written in Kovalam, November 30, 2012)

We met in God’s own country Kerala
In you my heart opened wide to receive love poured forth
Nothing is hidden here
Angel’s Trumpets white and pink, blue morning glories, red puffs of calandria, orange marigolds, lush green forests; they all grow beside humanity’s debris.
The colours, the noise, the spectacle, the fragrance and your sheer numbers, they keep me focused on all that really exists
The here and the now
Your gift is the present
The present is your gift
A sea of earthen people remind me that we come from and go back to your body and the oneness within
The endless variation of faces and smiles remind me of infinite love and the universal power of creation
I sit at your feet and see it takes three oceans to wash them
Each wave of the Arabian caresses and massages your sensual body
Each wave is your breath; deep and regular and completely without effort
Each wave joins your body and my mind and takes my spirit to join a universal one
I am ready to allow what will be
You have opened me just as they said you would
You are mother, goddess of women and feminine energy divine
I have received you
I take you with me and all is well
Wherever I will be
We are forever one
Oh Glorious India

Lunch delivery Keralan backwaters Photo by Karen Anderson

Lunch delivery Keralan backwaters Photo by Karen Anderson

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