Eat, Read, Swim—Ms. McIntosh Does YVR

Culinary personality Barbara-jo McIntosh shares her favourite “free, cheap or worth it” things to see, do or buy in Vancouver.

Barbara-jo McIntoshThe owner of Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks, Barbara-jo McIntosh has served on the prestigious James Beard Awards cookbook selection committee and received a Vancouver magazine lifetime achievement award for her many contributions to the local culinary scene.  McIntosh reveals a softer side in her recently published third book, Cooking for Me and Sometimes You: A Parisienne Romance with Recipes. It’s a tale of  “cooking with tenderness in Paris,” says fellow food writer Mia Stainsby in The Vancouver Sun, who thinks its sweet words and delightful recipes will inspire readers to cook more mindfully—and with love.

Barbara-jo’s Five On A Dime

PICNIC in the park. My mother often took our family picnicking on a whim and I’ve continued the tradition with my friends. Go local or for a drive, but aim for a place where you can’t buy food. One of my favourite spots is George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island in Delta.

CHOW DOWN on hot dogs at The Galley Patio and Grill at Jericho Sailing Club on Jericho Beach. While the weenies aren’t the cheapest in town, the view from the deck overlooking the ocean, the downtown skyline and the North Shore Mountains is worth a million bucks.

SWIM anywhere. Besides being good exercise, it’s a refreshing way to start or end your workday. Vancouver Aquatic Centre and Kitsilano Pool are two stellar spots but several community centres have pools. I become a mermaid at Sutton Place, which has a $475 yearly club fee and the option to have a post-swim lunch brought to you on the fabulous patio.

STICKCHOP at Sawa. This sweet Japanese café has tasty organic food, an array of organic teas and a lovely gallery showcasing the work of local and emerging artists. You can get meat or tofu don bori or miso soup with salad for only $8. What I treasure most is the calming atmosphere. Sawa Tea Lounge and Gallery,1538 West 2nd Avenue, 604-733-7900.

READ French Cooking in Ten Minutes by Edouard de Pomiane. Written in 1930 for people who were entering modern times and didn’t have much time to cook anymore, this book has many smart recipes and tips that are as relevant today as they were in de Pomiane’s time. Available at Books to Cooks, 1740 West 2nd Avenue, 604-688-6755. —Interview by Belinda Bruce of

Photo: Barbara-jo McIntosh by C. Phaisalakani

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