You’ve heard of the accidental tourist? I’m an accidental writer. While other people were out there building useful careers, I pursued my own passion: to cook, eat, travel, and cover expenses (barely) by writing about it.
At various times I’ve been a teacher, restaurant critic, food editor, travel editor, food columnist, lifestyle writer for magazines and a daily, The Edmonton Journal. Did lots of public speaking, taught short courses, that sort of thing.
Meanwhile I wrote books, often about food, or about the Canadian prairies, where I grew up in a series of small towns. I also wrote travel pieces from further afield, anyplace the Journal would send me: to Italy and France for cooking schools; the rest of Europe for other reasons. I went to China and Southeast Asia, Thailand and Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Something about China was special. My time there was seldom comfortable, often quite the opposite, yet those were life-changing experiences.
Several years ago, we built a small place on New Zealand’s North Island. From late November into March, that’s where we live and work. I explore the fascinating food culture of New Zealand, test recipes on a two-burner gas hob, keep things cold in the world's smallest fridge. And I write.
My last three books have been written there, including my first novel, Freddy’s War, published in 2011 by Brindle and Glass, winner of the 2012 Robert Kroetch award, City of Edmonton book prize. I also write food/travel columns from New Zealand for The Tomato, an Edmonton-based food magazine.
The rest of the time I live in Alberta, where I have a real stove, a full-size fridge, a garden, a regular date with two farmers markets, and an office with over 1,000 books about food.
Welcome to my web site. I admit it, I’m obsessed with food. If I had a personal motto, it would be Let's Eat.