Authors create homage to popular Granville Island Public Market in new cookbook
TORONTO — When Vancouver’s Granville Island Market Public Market opened in 1979, Judie Glick was one of the original vendors. Her love of food and writing about food culture inspired her to create a cookbook honouring the market.
Now, as a “market elder,” Glick said she wanted to update the book as a way to celebrate the popular destination and all that it has become.
Glick, who was co-owner of Fraser Valley Juice and Salad Bar, wrote the original book, published 27 years ago in 1985, with Fiona McLeod.
“My husband Fred and I did sell the juice bar that we had for a long while,” Glick said in a phone interview with Jensson from the market with seagulls calling overhead. “That was a couple of years ago, so I call this cookbook my farewell tour to my involvement with the market, but of course we’re down here all the time. This is where I shop and this is where my friends are now.”
The book is a snapshot of what’s available seasonally at the market, which is nestled in the city centre and is a huge tourist draw. It’s divided into the four seasons, with recipes for appetizers, soups and salads, entrees and fruits, sweets and baked goods under each.
They revamped some of the recipes from the original book — making them lighter, fresher and slimmed down, Jensson said — and added some new ones. Many were developed by the two authors or adapted from merchants in the market.
Sprinkled throughout the book are various tips, including how to grill meat and fish, store fruit and bring out the best flavour in cheese.
The two have seen a huge increase in the locally made cheese industry since the market started. At that time, Glick said they were just being introduced to big chunks of Parmesan. By the 1990s, the goat cheese industry, with plenty of products from the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, had become established.
Said Glick: “We’ve seen the local cheeses just grow like crazy.”
Granville Market, which was built on what was once industrial land, could open on Sundays when stores elsewhere in Vancouver were shuttered that day. “It was a huge boost to the businesses here at that time,” Glick said.
“People are now bringing their kids and grandkids and talking about ... what fun it was to come on Sundays and shop at the market.”
Glick, who’s studied and written about food culture since penning a column for an underground newspaper in the 1960s in Detroit, noted that there’s been a huge culinary evolution since the market opened.
“When we started there weren’t many ways to make a living with food, but what we’ve seen since then is that there’s a whole lot of ways to make a living involving food. It’s writing about food, it’s certainly all the traditional hard work of owning a restaurant or being caterers,” Glick said.
“But like Carol, who has a wonderful niche doing food styling for the film industry, those kinds of things weren’t available in the ‘80s, 30 years ago when we started in this business. So we’ve seen different ways of making a living in food that has grown since that time.”
Jensson said there has been an increase in the amount of time and energy people put into talking and learning about food. “People have just embraced this and love it and everybody wants to be knowledgeable about food and a part of food. We thought this book would be just perfect to show how things have moved on.”
The book contains a recipe for Sunday Chicken Dinner from local chef and food writer James Barber, who died in 2007 after taping more than 500 episodes of his TV show “The Urban Peasant.” Jensson worked with Barber on the show, which was screened in the 1980s.
“He was a huge proponent of the market. He was down at Granville Island all the time. He shopped here, he promoted it on all kinds of media,” she said.
“His idea was to demystify cooking, it was do the best you can with what you’ve got, and he had some great recipes that are really congruent with what the market is all about.
“So we really wanted to have a little homage to him.”