10 Questions with Lora Kirk (Ruby Watchco: Toronto, ON)
We asked Chef Lora Kirk from Ruby Watchco in Toronto 10 tasty questions to get to know her better:
1. What does “good food” mean to you?
Good food is is seasonal, fresh, and locally sourced.
2. What was the last meal you ate that you loved?
My family potluck bbq at the cottage last weekend, which included corn on the cob, new potato salad, heirloom tomato salad, chicken and ribs, and yellow beans from my aunt’s gardens.
3. What’s your favourite dish to share with friends and family?
I have a wood burning pizza oven in my backyard, which I have been known for having great make-your-own pizza parties!!
4. What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?
Heirloom Beets, yellow, red, candy cane , white…..and the greens as well.
5. If you could pick anyone to cook for, who would it be?
I would cook for Amelia Earhart.
6. What’s your most beloved food from childhood?
My babka’s fried ham and onion sandwich on brown butter toasted rye bread, with a side of pickle. My Babka must have made me 100’s of these sandwiches as a child: most kids get peanut butter and jelly, but I was spoiled with this sandwich. It wasn’t just a ham sandwich, it was the product she used and how she prepare it, that made it so special and not to mention those were her pickles made from the cucumbers and dill in her garden .
7. What’s your favourite song to listen to in the kitchen?
Anything by David Bowie.
8. What do you think needs to change in Canada’s food system?
We need to focus on building better food systems and healthy eating habits by teaching children to cook. To encourage school classrooms to plant gardens, harvest vegetables and teach basic cooking. We need to return to our roots by using fresh locally grown, raised & harvested ingredients and good food should be made accessible to everyone.
9. Why do chefs make great advocates for change?
Chefs are great advocates for change, because they are very passionate, inspire, and have a natural ability to educate and teach. They are hard working and strong believers of good food and sharing the knowledge. Chefs want to encourage people support locally produced ingredients.
10. Name and describe a person/organization that you believes does inspiring work in helping to build a fairer, healthier, and/or sustainable food system.
Fogo Island Fish, Shorefast Foundation. The bounty of these waters sustained us for centuries, until factory fishing was introduced in the 1960’s and changed our world forever. As native Fogo Islanders my family fished for two centuries using the traditional ‘jigging’ method where we hand-line cod one at a time using a simple hook & line. Our fathers showed us the special places to go to, including interpreting the wind and sea conditions to know how, when and where to catch fish. These are time honoured methods and traditions that, while diminished, are still practiced on Fogo Island. The goal with this project is to provide the very best, hand-lined cod and at the same time, significantly increasing the amount fishermen get paid for their catch. This is a win-win situation for everyone as fewer hands touch the fish from the water to the plate!