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Martin Picard

Mar 29, 2012
The enfant terrible of Canadian gastronomy is making his way from Montreal to Vancouver to promote his new self-published cookbook Sugar Shack. Join Martin Picard at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks today where the chef will be signing copies of his new book, as well as doling out decadent snacks and drinks laden with the ingredient of honor. Tickets to the event include a signed copy of the cookbook. 1740 W. 2nd Ave. 604-688-6755.

Five Perfect Cookbook Gifts

A regional focus inspires these five perfect gift ideas

By published Dec 1, 2009

Plenty Epicurean Pantry

Accept the cup of tea offered while you explore the array of local, regional, and organic products, expertly sourced by owner Trevor Walker. Find items like single-estate chocolates and teas, soaps from a Kandahar co-op, and bubble gum from a rainforest. Unusual tableware from salvaged wood, crafted into salad tongs or pepper mills. There are also breads from True Grain, preserves from Mountain Ash in Powell River, Salt Spring Island cheeses and pastries, and Victoria's own Bonnie Bea's organic oatcakes.

Haute Cuisine

A bit bigger than a breadbox, this Trounce Alley store crams in the kitchenware for the seasoned pro and serious home cook. Colourful Fiestaware and celebrity cookware of the Batali, Lawson, and Oliver variety compete with classic Le Creuset and Emile Henry. Find more unusual and serious cookbook titles, great gadget selection, and pro knives. Chef discounts.

South China Seas Trading Co.

Less a store than a curated culinary experience (visit and you’ll see what we mean), the beautifully designed Grant Street store is a destination for foodies seeking hard-to-source ingredients for African, Asian, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s also a place to find reasonably priced ground spices and rare produce like lobster mushrooms, wild chanterelles, or Thai eggplant. Don’t know what to do with such ingredients? A wall of cookbooks covering the world’s major culinary regions offer guidance—as do the pleasant, knowledgeable staff.