Jul 18, 2022

Flash in the Pan(demic)

“This book is an ode to restaurants, not quite a love letter, but a thank you note.” Kai Samuel-Szablowski

What started as a way for a group of 11 high school students to earn volunteer hours during a lockdown blossomed into an e-cookbook celebrating culturally diverse culinary delights from restaurants across Toronto.

With vibrant photography that leaves you wanting to make and devour every recipe, Flash in the Pan(demic) tells a story of what restaurant owners, their staff and patrons endured as a result of the lockdowns.

Wanting to pay homage to the temporarily shuttered restaurants where they had once gathered with friends, original creators, Charles Debane and Finn Creeggan developed a plan to showcase the vast array of ethnic restaurants that help define Toronto’s distinct neighbourhoods.

As the project grew, the duo was joined by Moineau Shin Binon, Jadyn Cialini, Eloise Debane, Madeline Jones, Sidney Moore, Aria Ruscitti, Kolya Salter, Kai Samuel-Szablowski, and Haley Varone-Evans.

Together, they approached over 100 restaurants – in the end 35 answered their call. The students worked closely with each chef to select and prepare signature dishes, fine tune recipes and stage the striking pictures that appear throughout the cookbook.

Many of the co-authors, including Moineau, whose mother writes a food blog, attribute their love of food and interest in developing a cookbook to their parents. For Koyla, it was childhood memories of his father “When I would get home from school, my dad would always be in the kitchen trying out new recipes. As I got older, Kai and I would go to different restaurants around the city and then try to replicate our favourite meals at home.”

Working in back kitchens, where mountains of take-out boxes replaced plates and once crowded dinning areas suddenly stood empty, Charles witnessed the devastation the restaurant industry sustained as a result of the lockdowns. “We saw first-hand the number of servers and chefs that had lost their jobs. We knew that many of them would have to access social supports, like food banks, to survive, so we decided to donate 100 per cent of the proceeds from the cookbook to Daily Bread Food Bank.”

Food bank visits in the city continue to hit record numbers. By donating as little as $25, not only will you receive a copy of Flash in the Pandemic e-cookbook, but you will also help provide emergency food access to families and individuals who experience hunger.

Get your copy today at www.dailybread.ca/flashinthepandemic

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