We’re a pretty satisfied bunch, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t covetous. Sometimes we see things out there that we just must have. Cool Things We Want is an archive of those earthly desires.
As lovers of food and photography, we can’t think of a more inviting activity this season than to hunker down in the kitchen with the newly published, hyper-local Vancouver Island cookbook, Cedar and Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field and Sea. (Equally so, ogling and drooling over its pages while cozied up on a comfy chair.)
The recently published collection is a collaboration between Danielle Acken (Salt Spring Island-based food writer and photographer) and Emily Lycopolus ( olive-oil aficionado and recipe developer living in Victoria), with styling by Aurelia Louvet, so it’s only fair to assume that it’s as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to delve into. From the publisher, the Victoria-based TouchWood Editions:
Off the shore of Canada’s west coast lies a food lover’s island paradise. Vancouver Island’s temperate climate nurtures a bounty of wild foods, heritage grains, organic produce, sustainable meats and artisan-crafted edible delights. This thoughtfully curated, beautifully photographed cookbook brings Vancouver Island’s abundant food scene into the kitchens of home cooks everywhere.
While celebrating such treasures such as fresh blackberries, foraged chanterelles and fiddleheads, freshly harvested spot prawns or oysters, line-caught spring salmon, grass-fed beef, and cultivated foods like heritage red fife wheat, the book’s recipes highlight the most sought-after ingredients on the island and honour the producers and artisans dedicated to sustainable and ethical producing and harvesting.
Try recipes like Craft Beer–Braised Island Beef Brisket, Nettle and Chèvre Ravioli, and Beetroot and Black Walnut Cake featuring Denman Island Chocolate. Divided into four sections—forest, field, farm, and sea—Cedar and Salt puts the taste of Vancouver Island on a pedestal, and then brings it to your plate.
The recipes are split into the four titular categories, highlighting the region’s exceptional ingredients and producers, like Salt Spring Island sourdough bakery Francis Bread. The team spent half a decade lovingly labouring over this project and the result is obviously so much more than just a cookbook: it’s a pastoral anthology documenting one of the West Coast’s most naturally inspiring and delicious places.