Books: Locally grown Ontario food delicious highlight of spectacular cookbook

Canadian Press
Tue Jun 14 2011


In every region of Canada, enjoying the abundance of our locally grown food has become extremely popular.

Whether it’s wild salmon from British Columbia, prize beef, grains and pulses from the western provinces, maple syrup from Quebec or lobster and fiddleheads from Atlantic Canada, this country is defining itself through its own homegrown products.

Not to be ignored, Ontario has been touting its magnificent hidden treasures with its enormous array of locally grown foodstuffs.

Now an ardent fan of all things local, Niagara food writer Lynn Ogryzlo has added a third book to her repertoire following two Niagara cookbook series. “The Ontario Table: Featuring the Best Food From Around the Province” (Epulum Books, $29.95, paperback) was a little more challenging to put together.

She and her photographer husband Jon Ogryzlo spent nearly three years travelling across the province seeking out farmers, foraging far and wide for the fruits, vegetables and other local products to showcase in their book. The result is a collection and guide to show consumers just how important the homegrown harvest is to everyone.

Lynn has also looked at the economic windfall that could result if Canadians would spend some of their food dollar on locally grown food.

“If every household in Ontario spends $10 of their weekly budget on local food, there would be a $2.4-billion influx into the province’s economy each year,” she says.

“The Ontario Table” is bound together with glorious photographs by Jon of everything from the vendors and their produce at farmers markets and rural crop scenes to his illustrations which accompany the original recipes created mainly by his wife.

“We visited many places across Ontario at different times as it would depend on when the harvest was taking place,” explains Lynn.

Many of their visits were assisted through culinary destination maps and other suggestions now available to consumers throughout the province.

The book talks about a rich agricultural region with an abundance of the very best food, farmers, farmers markets, on-farm markets, seductively delicious produce, farm-raised products and processed food such as pickles, jams and baked goods.

“We want to encourage consumers to meet their farmers, to travel to farms and farmers markets to buy,” says Lynn.

The book for the “farm to table movement” will be launched at Toronto’s farmers market in Nathan Phillips Square, Wednesday, June 22, from noon to 2 p.m.

To learn more about the cookbook and the Ogryzlos, visit


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