Tag Archives: artisan

Cooking is not a Spectator Sport

08 Mar



Cooking is what makes us human. It can help us connect to ourselves, our community and our culture. Yet it feels like cooking has become a spectator sport. Cooking shows continue to draw ratings and we spend our free moments drooling over food photos on instagram. We embrace the idea of cooking yet shy away from the act. We innately understand the deeper value of a home baked loaf of sourdough slathered in locally made jam, yet the making of bread and jam seem more like hobbies than valuable life skills.


Best-selling Author Michael Pollan and Oscar winning director Alex Gibney have teamed up to bring us Cooked, a 4-part documentary on Netflix. Cooked champions the idea that cooking at home is a step towards a healthier food system. Over the years we have created a culture of convenience; we have outsourced cooking to free up time. This trade off has not served us well. Michael Pollan has written extensively on this subject in his books The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. In Cooked, rather than tell us what not to eat, he urges us to focus on enjoying the process of preparing food. Cooked asks us to slow down and get our hands dirty.





Fire, water, air and earth — Cooked shows us the surprising ways these elements can transform humble ingredients into nourishing food. Through the magic of big-budget film production, we circle the globe and visit a diverse cast of food advocates, scientists, makers and cooks; each one bringing something special to the table. One stand out character is a Benedictine nun/microbiologist with a passion for artisanal cheese making. It’s makers like her who have taken on the task of preserving and documenting traditional processes.


There are a number of reasons for the reluctance to fully embrace the kitchen; cooking takes focus, skill, planning and time. It’s not efficient and we have come to value efficiency. If we want to embrace cooking, we have to approach it from a different angle. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, instead it can be a creative collaborative event or a solo meditation. Cooking can be entertainment. Cooking can be fun


Photo Credit: Photography By Leah


Not convinced to step into the kitchen? That is okay! We don’t all have the time (or desire) to make our own chocolate, pasta or preserves. Fortunately, there are many wonderful artisans, bakeries, and restaurants dedicated producing high-quality food. Saul Good Gift Co. is committed to supporting these small-batch makers by including them in our locally sourced gift baskets. They may not be home cooked, but they are made with the same level of integrity and thoughtfulness. Your support allows these makers to serve their communities as conservators of traditional domestic arts.


There are many lessons to be learned from Cooked, but one major takeaway is that food—lovingly made by hand— feeds us in more ways than one.  




About the author


Jasmine is a professional sweet tooth who spends much of her time baking, eating, photographing and writing about treats.


She co-founded chocolatecodex.com to share her love of fine chocolate with the world. Follow Jasmine on instagram: @chocolatecodex

Artisanal entrepreneurship – a delicious plot twist

08 Jul

Trugs bc artisan

It was an unexpected plot twist when Catherine Anderson became an artisanal entrepreneur. It came about during motherhood, when she decided to shift gears. As a hard working lawyer and mother, the fast paced rhythm of entrepreneurship was something that she was ready for. The decision to transition into her new role was partially motivated by a desire to build something. She loves how every task she completes in her work day helps build the future of her business.


Catherine’s exciting new professional chapter began when she discovered that her children were not avid fans of vegetables. She decided to get creative and hide vegetables in foods that her kids couldn’t resist. This solution became a big success and Catherine gave life to Hidden Garden. These moist and delicious gluten free cookies contain servings of veggies. Kids and adults far and wide have become die hard fans of these innovative morsels.




Shifting from law to entrepreneurship requires a high tolerance for risk and uncertainty. It was a brave leap and Catherine has embraced this new chapter with focus and dedication. In addition to Hidden Garden, Catherine adopted an adorable line of artisan products called Trugs.


You may have tasted their delicious salsa that we feature in our Vancouver gift baskets or you may have met the folks of Trugs at the Whistler Farmer’s Market. Catherine has also been nominated for an award from the BC Food Processors Association and featured in Business in Vancouver.


We fell in love with Trugs salsa, because it is fresh and full of delicious tomato chunks. The ingredients are pure and simple (tomatoes, onions, vinegar and spices). It does not contain tomato paste or additives that you find in most commercial salsas.


Trugs bc artisan

The Trugs line of handmade products also include preserves, salad dressings, condiments and syrups. The salad dressing is a great addition to a dinner party. These vinaigrettes have a look and quality that is reminiscent of a high end bottle of wine. You can also use the salad dressings as an incredible marinade. We recommend marinating fresh BC seafood in the Limoncello Herb Vinaigrette.


We hope that this artisanal chapter will continue for many generations. It is local entrepreneurs like Catherine that inspire innovation in our local economy and keep BC fresh and delicious.