February 04, 2013

Fuel your passion, feed your mind....

Chef Elaina Ravo in the library at Liaison Kitchener

The library at Liaison Kitchener feeds the mind and fuels the imagination; a sanctuary from the hustle of the kitchen and the intensity of the classroom.

Racks of neatly stacked magazines – Fine Cooking, Saveur, Cook’s Illustrated - flank a cast of characters, standing side by side like soldiers at role call: Brits Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver are next to the new-world influence of the Barefood Contessa, Emeril Lagasse, and our own Ontario local-food champion Lynn Ogryzlo.

The bold, primary colours of the Culinaria Series defy political boundaries: Germany and France rub shoulders with Greece, while Spain and Italy get acquainted. Across the room, the complex layering of spices from Lebanon, Morocco, Jerusalem and Turkey share the shelves with fast and fiery Vietnamese. There are cookbooks in Arabic too, for a truly authentic reflection of the flavours of the Middle East.

From the textbooks Professional Cooking for Canadian Chefs and Garde Manger, to the lay cook’s Culinary Landmarks: A Bibliography of Canadian Cookbooks – 1825 to 1949, these tomes reflect the provenance and care of foods we turn to for comfort and celebration.

 Classroom theory, knife skills, food safety and classic technique will make professionals out of Liaison’s students. It is this library, though, with its combined passion of generations of chefs from around the world, that will help them forge a culinary identity for themselves and for this country.
All photos by Terry Asma, 2020studios.com