In the twenty-first century, food is media — it is not just on plates, but in literature and on screens, displayed in galleries, studios, and public places. Canadian Culinary Imaginations provokes new conversations about the food-related concepts, memories, emotions, cultures, practices, and tastes that make Canada unique. This collection brings together academics, writers, artists, journalists, and curators to discuss how food mediates our experiences of the nation and the world. Together, the contributors reveal that culinary imaginations reflect and produce the diverse bodies, contexts, places, communities, traditions, and environments that Canadians inhabit, as well as their personal and artistic sensibilities. Arranged in four thematic sections — Indigeneity and foodways; urban, suburban, and rural environments; cultural and national lineages; and subversions of categories — the essays in this collection indulge a growing appetite for conversations about creative engagements with food and the world at large. As the essays and images in Canadian Culinary Imaginations demonstrate, food is more than sustenance — as language and as visual and material culture, it holds the power to represent and remake the world in unexpected ways.
Shelley Boyd is a Canadian literature specialist in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and author of Garden Plots: Canadian Women Writers and Their Literary Gardens. Dorothy Barenscott is an art historian specializing in modern and contemporary art and visual culture in the Department of Fine Arts at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.