Maison des Mots - Schedule of Available Dates for 2020


The house will begin receiving guests Friday, May 15th, through to Wednesday, October 13th.

Dates the guest house is available for 2020 are as follows:


May 15th, May 29th, June 5th, June 19th, July 3rd, July 17th, July 31st, August 14th, August 28th, September 11th, September 25th, October 9th.


Minimum stay is Five nights.  You arrive Friday, depart on Wednesday.  Though, you are most welcome to stay longer.

My Garden, in my village, in France

Today, February 28th, 2018, marks one year that I shuttered my beloved bookshop.  The closing was emotional, exhausting, and beautiful.  I said farewell to twenty glorious years, years of interacting with wonderful folk from all over the world, who shared the desire to cook and eat well.  And reading, the joy of reading real books.  How I lament losing my superb collection of books!  It was truly a source of knowledge and comfort for me as well as a resource available to the community.  For all of you who miss my shop and library, I mourn with you.

But time and tide wait for no man or woman, especially one who doesn’t care to sit quietly. So, I took an enormous leap of faith and found myself in France, renovating an old house.  Many of us dream of moving to a village in Europe, old and storied, quaint and pretty.  What a delight to purchase a house with hundreds of years of history and memories.  The residue of other people’s lives clinging to the walls.  And a garden, a private garden.  I am still in disbelief that this house is actually mine. I am the owner of a house in France, with a desire to leave my notch in the annals of its existence. 

I did not set out to purchase a house in France.  Oh, I had an odd thought about it from time to time but I never seriously inspected the idea.  But one day, in this village, I was enjoying a glass of wine with friends and someone mentioned the house across the rue was for sale.  Madame had passed and her family was going to sell the house she had lived in for 50 years.  Someone else expressed the desire to see the house and I said I would tag along.  I walked through a dark house with many rooms and stairs.  We exited through the back door of the big house, into a courtyard which has a small house attached.  I saw two doors and one window.  One door opens to a well that is shared with another property.  The other door opens to a room containing a large old concrete sink and a door leading down to a large cave. The stairs to the top floor of this “atelier” are on the outside.  We climbed the stairs, turned left and continued along a short passage until we found a door that opens to a workshop.  This was where Madame’s husband had obviously spent many happy hours with a massive collection of tools and a well used work bench.  To the right of this workshop door are a few steps that take you into the garden.  At first glance, I noticed that the north side of the garden is protected with a very high wall.  The other side features a view of sloping roof tops that shelter houses along another rue.  At the back of the garden is a structure resembling a cloister and, to the far right, there is a gate to a back passage which leads to another rue. 

As I stood in the garden, I began to tremble.  A vision seared into my brain, swift and clear.  I had found a house, with a garden, that I believed I could renovate into a home for me, to share with others.  

One might think that when a cautious soul has made a decision to buy a home in a community, she would take the time to see what else was on offer in the neighbourhood.  Not moi.  I knew this was the house for me and I bought it.   Now, I find myself ensconced in the incredible adventure of renovating in a culture that is different from what I have understood, learning to speak the language that has reared this country, and wondering why it is so difficult for a tradesman to accept that I don’t want a closed door in my personal quarters between the chambre and the salle de bain! 

And as is wont to be, life is everywhere.  The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.  To date I have experienced much joy, some sorrow, and yes, I am exhausted!  But the vision is strong.  Spring is around the corner, and when the planting begins I envision a new life evolving for le jardin,  la maison, et moi.

I will keep you posted as the world according to this Madame, moves along.  And if I work my luck well, there will one day be an interesting old house, in a quaint town, ready for lively encounters with good folk who love to read, cook, eat, and think well.

Madame McIntosh


Madame McIntosh, en la Charite sur Loire


“Come away fair human child, with the fairy’s hand in hand.  For the world’s more worrying, than you can understand.”          

~ William Butler Yeats

I have decided that I know and love too many people. In the years I have been visiting this village, I have come to know and care for many. But it is nothing like the hundreds of you in Vancouver and other places. I think of you all often, with pleasure.

I have been in France for six weeks.  In many ways, the work and life I have been living and breathing these many years feels very far away. Even with the telephone, the internet, I am truly living in the moment of where I am.  Even with the globalization of our world at large, I am observing folk that feel and think very differently. And not just because they are French, but because they choose to.

Life in the village is quiet, yet there is so much to do. For instance, today I went to a stylish café, owned and operated by a former professional tennis player.  He teaches me French and I teach him English. He loves music - so much of the music I also love and played in my Vancouver flat and shop. One day he was playing Diana Krall, oh how he adores her. He was at one of her performances in Paris. Of course, I told him I had met her. He makes a beautiful chocolat chaud, and cappuccino. His chai rooibus latte is served in a delicate china cup, and all of his tisanes are first rate. Every visit with Francis in his salon du the is a long visit.  I always leave content.  

After today’s visit, I went to see Roger, the English bookseller. He has new teeth, and they are lovely.  Today, instead of drinking our café in his bookshop, or going to the bar tabac next door, he invited me up the stairs into his home for café.

After our visit I returned to la maison and prepared dejeuner.   Then, a friend called and came over for tea.    After he left, I sauntered down the Grand Rue to pick up a few items from the shops. When I returned to la maison, I made dinner.  Then, I went for a very long walk along the Loire, flaneuring through the lees of Linden trees, with a stir in my step.  The calm walk changes as I carry on the path, under the rookery, where the crows caw about their days doings while guarding their bairns from a long fall from the nest to the mossy path below.

So as you read, indeed, life in the village is quiet, but the days are full of intrigue and joy.   Other days there have been excursions into other villages for the brocantes.  Into Pouilly to taste and purchase wine, walks along the many footpaths, stopping into the many shops; book shops, art galleries, florists, chocolate, patisseries, boulangeries, butchers, wine,  hair salons, shoes, clothes, bars, real estate, wood turning, book making……  Sometimes I go to church on Sunday; the Cathedral is 800 years old.  It is big, it is cold and it is lovely to observe the village folk from here and other villages quietly take their pew and mark the passing week with a religious beginning to the next week.

As today is coming to a close, I hear the bird song turn into a whispering lullaby.  The village becomes still, the shutters begin to close, and soon the lights of the village will go dark.  

I will prepare to retire, change into the antique nightdress I purchased for 10 euro: off white linen, with embroidered red initials: MB.  As the French write the surname first, this dress to dream in was meant for me.

Bon nuit mes amies.

Madame McIntosh, en la Charite sur Loire




Vancouver author John Lekich's farewell to the shop, "A Chair in the Corner"


          After the passage of almost two decades, the memory has a way of playing tricks on you. Over the past twenty years, I have often tried to convince Barbara-jo – the much-beloved proprietress of the recently closed Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks – that I was her first actual customer.

          Barbara-jo remains unconvinced to this day. If she’s feeling especially playful, she’ll roll her eyes and ask me the title of the first book I ever bought from her. That’s when my argument begins to crumble like the cookie I can never get around to baking.

          You can’t play games with Barbara-jo when it comes to cookbooks. She remembers every last one of them. Selling a particular volume – she liked to call them “tomes” - was always a little like sending her first born off to college.  Necessary, to be sure. And often filled with a feeling of joy followed by a natural sense of accomplishment.  But there was always a private tug at the heart too. Every single time. 

          During the last days of the shop, she would gently extol the virtues of a book on Ukrainian cuisine or a leftover guide to brewing your own beer. The fine cherry-wood shelves were stripped almost bare. But there were still a few orphans. And she was determined to find them good homes. On the final day, there wasn’t a single cookbook left.

          Now, I find myself struggling to remember that first purchase. Truthfully, I can’t recall what it was. There have been dozens upon dozens over the years, including a few she’s written herself. Quite an extravagance, considering I can barely boil water.  Why would a man who can’t cook buy so many cookbooks?  Because when you fall in love - with a place or a person or even a state-of-mind - you do what you can in return.  

          I was there when Barbara-jo turned the key on the original Yaletown location for the first time. There were no shelves, no books, no stove or counter. Just four walls and a cement floor. “Don’t worry,” I said. “It’s going to be great.”

          She was borrowing the idea from a shop in London. A place that sold cookbooks and had a working kitchen for culinary classes and visiting chefs. But twenty years ago, Vancouver wasn’t London. So the idea was a genuine risk.

          Years later, when she relocated to the space just off 2nd and Burrard, I was there again. The place was in the middle of being renovated. I remember making a face at the crunch of plaster underfoot. “Don’t worry,” she said, taking my hand. “It’s going to be great.”

          And it was. Internationally acclaimed chefs came from all over the world, from Anthony Bourdain to Nigella Lawson. The shop developed a worldwide reputation for the kind of intimate hospitality that had its roots in simpler times.  And Barbara-jo became famous in the only way that truly matters. She made people happy.

          For all the celebrities that came to the shop, I liked the classes with the shop’s in-house chefs best. The warm, old school perfectionism of Adrienne O’Callaghan. Or the funny, endlessly knowledgeable Glenys Morgan, whose quick wit always reminded me of Dorothy Parker with a frying pan.  

          For many years, I was the only male in Barbara-jo’s Between the Leaves Book Club. An ongoing stationary feast that featured a culinary-themed book accompanied by a suitably glorious meal. I used to come early to watch Glenys prep. Taking my customary seat at the head of the long counter.  Often ending up happily perched in the corner as a stream of lovely, accomplished women took their seats.

          Nobody seemed to mind that I always sat in the same place. It was my spot. So that’s where I sat for the last event, on the last day, some twenty years after Barbara-jo started the business. CBC's Sheryl MacKay was in shop to interview Author Sarah Britton.  Instead of the usual offering of tea,  Marquis Wines had generously donated wine.  But this time, as I sat in the corner, things were different.

          There were so many people packed into the place that you barely noticed the books were gone. Everybody was hugging each other. After the interview was over, June Goldsmith played Over the Rainbow on the in-house piano and everyone sang along.

          A couple of days before the last class Barbara-jo was cleaning out all the stuff you accumulate over the decades. She said: “Look, I’d forgotten about this.” It was a note from Julia Child - written on one of those old manual typewriters - congratulating Barbara-jo on finishing her book. Certain letters seemed slightly off-kilter. Refusing to stay in a comfortably straight line, the way life does sometimes.

          I was thinking about that letter as people began to leave the shop for the last time. Somebody came up to me and said: “You haven’t budged all night.” She was gone by the time I finally said: “I like it right here.”

          Part of me thought, maybe if I stay put I won’t have to move at all. But it doesn’t work that way. We take our memories and line them up on some deeply personal shelf as straight as we can. If we’re lucky, there’s a certain time and place we can take down from that shelf whenever we choose. Like the pages of a book, the wonder of it all will be there just when we need it the most.

Books to Cooks says farewell...


After almost twenty years of selling books and offering classes, I have decided to close my beloved bookshop. The brick and mortar version of Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks will shut down at the end of February.

After a sabbatical to restore and refresh, I will be moving forward to explore a number of ideas related to what I have always done best, Cooking and Booking. Although the actual shop will be gone, the spirit behind it will continue to thrive in other ways. I will maintain this website as a way of keeping you posted on my future endeavors.
I am truly grateful for the continuing support of my culinary community as well as the many friends and patrons who have so warmly embraced the philosophy of the shop. Your contribution over the past two decades has helped to make Books to Cooks my true emotional home.

As of today, we begin our final book sale. 25% discount, with some stock discounted at 40%. I am also selling the shop piano, some tables, and whatever I find stashed away that I can no longer use.

This, of course, is a tough note to write. But, in the true spirit of the shop, I look forward to a future filled with new challenges and the continuing support of many cherished friends.

Now it is time to “coddiwomple.”  If you come into the shop before the end of February, and can tell me what that means, I’ll let you in on a little story.

Thank you all. I cry not for what has been but smile for what will be.  

Barbara-jo McIntosh
January 16th, 2017

Dear Cooks and Bottle washers...

Dear You,

The Pantry is bare, but the shelves are full of beautiful books, waiting to be purchased, wrapped and loved.

With the season beginning to swing, we shall take a break from our Wednesday weekly dinner recipes, and resume sharing them again come January.

Please note our hours, altered for the season:

Monday - Friday: 10:30 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm

Sunday: Noon - 5 pm

Here's to another holiday season, our 20th! Make merry, Read your books, Cook with pleasure, Eat and drink by measure.

Love, Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks


What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Poetry, Food for the Soul

 Emotional Truffle

Today, we present a little something different: instead of a weekly recipe, food for your soul.

I wrote this poem after I heard that Leonard Cohen had died. It is a kind of homage to him and was also inspired by the truffle dinner at CinCin last night. The poem is best when read out loud, in your best baritone voice. ~ Barbara-jo

I am

A fruity fungus




& Loud.


I am white, Italian, Tartufu of Alba

Come to me in Autumn


all over

Pasta-Risotto-Seafood & the Vegetable Roots.

EGGS find me weak with desire.



Leave me,

As Winter sets in.

Travel to Perigod, where my French, Black cousin – Truffe – waits for you.




Red meat-Game birds-Creamy Leeks.

EGGS are the love of my life.



I promise,

To leave you wanting-

Passionate for more-

of my earthy morsel.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Barbara-jo's Crab and Turnip Gratin

Barbara-jo's Crab and Turnip Gratin

This recipe comes from my little grey book: Cooking for Me and Sometimes You: A Parisienne Romance with Recipes. If you wish, you can replace the crabmeat with duck confit. This recipe serves me (with leftovers). ~ Barbara-jo


* 1 medium-size turnip (about 4 inches round)

* butter

* 2 tablespoons grated onion

* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/2 cup heavy cream

* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

* salt and pepper

* 1/2 cup fresh crabmeat



Peel the turnip and boil it whole for about 12 minutes. Cool before dicing into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.

In a medium-size pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the grated onion and ground cloves. Let the mixture bubble away for about 2 minutes.

Add the heavy cream; reduce slightly. Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Fold half of the cubed turnip into the creamy mixture. Top this first with 1/4 cup fresh crabmeat, the rest of the turnip, and another 1/4 cup crabmeat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese over all and cook in a hot oven, 375°F/ 190°C, for about 20 minutes until browned and bubbly.


Barbara-jo McIntosh is the proprietress of Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks. Her little grey book is now out of print, but with good luck, we will see another book from Barjo in 2017. (But it won't be grey!)

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Gordon Harris' Avocado Chicken

Gordon Harris' Avocado Chicken

This is a simplified version of an old Pierre Franey 60 Minute Gourmet recipe that I've been making for family and friends for decades. The original called for heavy cream and some cognac, but a lighter cream works just fine. This recipe serves four. ~ Gordon.


* 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

* a half dozen or so mushrooms

* 1 or 2 avocados

* 2 tablespoons of butter

* fresh ground pepper

* 1 heaping tablespoon of chopped shallots

* garlic clove, minced

* small carton of cream

* 1 cup of rice (cook according to package directions)

* 1 tablespoon curry powder



Cut the chicken into half-inch strips, slice the mushrooms, and cut the avocados into quarter-inch slices.

In a medium skillet (I use an old cast iron one) on high heat, melt the butter. Just before it turns brown, add the chicken and lots of fresh pepper. Brown the chicken for a few minutes, then remove and set aside.

Add the chopped shallots, garlic, and mushrooms into the skillet and cook for about three or four minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the cream and cook down over high heat. Reduce the heat, and add the avocados and chicken. Continue to cook until the chicken is done, another five minutes or so.

Serve on white or brown rice with a tablespoon of curry powder stirred in.


Gordon Harris is an urban planner and is leading the development of UniverCity, an award-winning model sustainable community being built on Burnaby Mountain.

Late Autumn Libations - Truffles, Cookies and Peruvian Cuisine

Our fall events are heating up! 


 A Celebration for Chef Andrew Richardson's new cookbook,

"CINCIN: Wood-Fired Cucina"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 6:30 - 10:00pm, CinCin Ristorante

In celebration of Executive Chef Andrew Richardson's debut cookbook, CINCIN: Wood-Fired Cucina, you're invited to join CinCin for a truly special truffle dinner experience. Coinciding with the restaurant's annual Mushroom & Truffle Festival, this book launch and dinner promises to be a spectacular Autumn tasting of flavours, flights, and funghetti.

On Tuesday, November 15th, Executive Chef Richardson and his award-winning brigade, will grill a bounty of the region's best from the newly launched cookbook and feature the season's bounty of ruffles to commemorate this auspicious occasion. This rustic, Italian-inspired dinner is paired with flights of vintage Carpineto wines and a complimentary copy of Executive Chef Richardson's cookbook.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 - CinCin Ristorante Five Course Truffle Dinner with Carpineto Wines. 6:30 p.m. reception - 7:00 p.m. Dinner - 9:15 p.m. Book Signing

Cost: $225 per person plus taxes, includes a copy of the signed cookbook.

Tickets can be purchased through Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks - 604.688.6755.


 Interpreting "Dorie's Cookies" into Gluten-Free with nextjen Peters & Hamid Saliman

Saturday, November 26, 2016 11:00am - 1:00pm, Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

Today we have chef's Jen Peters and Hamid Saliman in our kitchen to offer a cooking class with Dorie's Cookies, one of this seasons anticipated baking books. Jen and Hamid have created an excellent line of gluten-free flours, and today they will demonstrate and prepare the recipes from Dorie's Cookies with these flours.

Cost of this event is $115.00 and includes a copy of Dorie's Cookies.


 CENTRAL is in Peru, but CACAO is right here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 6:30 - 9:30pm, CACAO - Progressive Latin

CACAO is a new restaurant, in my neighbourhood. Chef Jefferson Alvarez has created a Modern Latin menu that will excite your palates. Crafted cocktails are superb. And you may have heard of a restaurant in PERU called CENTRAL which is the brainchild of Chef Virgilio Martinez. We would love to meet Virgilio one day, but until we do, we would love to offer you an opportunity to celebrate his new book with Jefferson Alvarez at CACAO.

Tonight Jefferson will prepare and serve a menu from CENTRAL. Please join us to experience the warmth of CACAO and the cuisine of Virgilio Martinez.

Cost of this evening is $150.00 and will include your meal, libation and a copy of CENTRAL.


Two sessions of our winter One Book Club are now on sale. Limited space is available for each session.


What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Christina Burridge's Roast Fish, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Olives

 Christina Burridge's Roast Fish, Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Olives

I love fish and potatoes in all their glorious variations. This one brings some Mediterranean cheer to a rainy evening for only a few minutes prep time. For two people, but easy to upsize for four. ~ Christina


* 2 medium potatoes, chunked (the smaller the chunks, the quicker they cook)

* olive oil

* 300g firm white fish fillets - halibut or ling cod work best, brushed with olive oil, salt, pepper

* 12 or so cherry tomatoes, on the stem, if possible

* 12 or so black olives

* parsley, chopped


Heat the oven to 450°F. Oil a small baking tray.

Parboil the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes and let them dry. Toss in olive oil and spread out on the tray. Cook for 30 minutes or so, turning occasionally so the chunks brown. You want them not quite cooked. Move to one side and add the fish.

Turn up the heat to 475°F and toss in the tomatoes and olives. Cook for 10 minutes or until fish is just barely done.

Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. BC Chardonnay would be a fine match.


Christina Burridge champions BC's wild seafood for a day job and writes about food and wine whenever she finds the time.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Ian Gill's Mother's Rabbit and Lemon Potatoes


Ian Gill's Mother's Rabbit and Lemon Potatoes

Ian Gill loves his mother's recipe for Rabbit and Lemon Potatoes. We love the hand-written copy.


 Ian Gill is a Vancouver-based journalist and author.

He will be hosting a dinner in the shop on November 24, 2016 to introduce his newest book,"No News is Bad News: Canada's Media Collapse - And What Comes Next." However, it is doubtful that our chef for the evening will be preparing these recipes.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Peter Cardew's Broccoli Pasta

Thanksgiving leftovers are all gone. Too much turkey anyways. So, how about just something green? Like

Peter Cardew's Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients for two, or one, with microwave lunch at work another day.


* 1 crown of broccoli (200-300g)

* olive oil

* 2 anchovy fillets, from glass jar (they last longer)

* 1 fresh Thai chili, seeded (depending on taste) and chopped fine

* 1 large clove garlic, chopped fine

* butter

* enough pasta for two, dried not fresh. (For this, I prefer fettuccine or spaghetti.)

* cheese, grated (I prefer Romano with this, but it's up to your personal taste.)

* salt (maybe)

* pepper, a mix of white and black in your pepper grinder


In a large pot, boil salted water for the pasta while you are cooking the "sauce." (Turn to low when the water boils.)

Steam the broccoli crown for 5-6 minutes and set aside. This can be done ahead of time. Cut the broccoli into florets (approximately thumb size). Don't discard the stalks, dice them fine.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the chopped anchovies and the chopped Thai chili. Watch them carefully and stir with a wooden spoon until the anchovies soften and "melt." You don't want to burn them, or you'll have to start again. Add the chopped garlic and stir for no more than a minute.

Add the steamed broccoli and stir with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Add a knob of butter for richness and keep warm on very low heat.

Add the pasta to the salted boiling water. Set the timer for two minutes less than specified on the package. Drain the pasta but keep back a few tablespoons of the pasta water.

Add the pasta to the sauce, still over low heat, and toss with tongs to thoroughly combine. If it's too wet, keep tossing over the heat. If it's too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. You want the result to be neither wet, nor dry; you want it to be slippery.

Add the cheese and pepper and mix well into the pasta. Taste for salt, but with anchovies and salted pasta water, it may not be necessary.


When he's not eating, Peter Cardew is designing buildings.

Meet the Cooks 🍴, Read their Books 📚

Authors, fresh and seasoned, join us for fall events. 

 Meet the Cooks 🍴, Read their Books 📚


Alex Prud'homme

The French Chef in America- Reception and Interview

 Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 6:30 - 7:30pm

The Vancouver Club


Andrew Richardson

"CINCIN:Wood Fired Cucina"

 Thursday, October 13, 2016,  6:00 - 10:00 pm

CinCin Ristorante


Kei Lum Chan & Diora Fong Chan 

CBC's Sheryl MacKay interviews Kei Lum Chan & Diora Fong Chan 

Sunday, October 16, 2016, 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks


Meeru Dhalwala

A Tasty afternoon with MEERU and Vij's Indian

Saturday, October 22, 2016 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks


Allyson Bobbitt & Sarah Bell

Bobbette and Belle - Tea and Pastry

Saturday, October 29, 2016, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks


Ian Gill

"No News is Bad News" - Dinner with Author Ian Gill

Thursday, November 24, 2016, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks


Denise Marchessault

British Columbia from Scratch - Autumn Soups in our Kitchen  Saturday, December 3, 2016, 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks



To reserve a seat, please call our shop 604-688-6755 Click HERE to see our full event listings.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Barbara-jo's Moody Salmon and Grain Bowl

Barbara-jo's Moody Salmon and Grain Bowl

I am fond of this simple preparation, and I call it moody as I can change it up with whatever grain I feel like cooking and eating at that moment. When I arrive home from the shop, I start cooking the grain, be it rice, quinoa, couscous or freekeh. Then I take a can of Wild Sockeye Salmon out of the cupboard and open it. that tinned Sockeye. With a fork, I scatter the fish in a shallow bowl. I add one carrot- sliced on the mandolin- one radish - sliced on the mandolin - 1/2 a white turnip - sliced on the mandolin - and one spring onion - sliced with a knife. I then use whichever leafy green I have in the ice box (flat leaf parsley, curly parsley, dandelion leaves, or watercress). This array looks so lovely and fresh in the bowl. I grind some black pepper over the mixture, flake some Maldon salt, and squeeze one half of a lemon over all. When the grain is ready, I place it on top and slowly mix everything together, being careful not to over mix. I then sit me-self down to a satisfying and nourishing meal.


Barbara-jo McIntosh is the proprietress of Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Tim Rurak's Meat Sauce with Indian Spices

Tim Rurak's Meat Sauce with Indian Spices

I came up with this recipe when I was by myself in New York City. I went shopping on a wet and rainy day and found some really great looking local, non-medicated lean ground beef. When I got home, I started thinking about what I could do with it and I came up with this recipe. I am a big believer of the medicinal benefits of Indian spices, ginger, and garlic. My wife, Dalia, likes this recipe too. ~Tim


* 1 tablespoon canola oil

* 1/3 onion, finely chopped

* 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

* 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced

* 1 teaspoon paprika

* 2 1/2 teaspoon cumin

* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

* 500g lean ground beef

* 300 mL beef stock

* 400g canned tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped (I pulse tomatoes in food processor, then pass through a sieve)

* 2 tablespoons tomato paste

* salt and pepper, to taste


In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and slightly translucent.

Add the garlic, ginger, and spices and give it a good stir. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the beef to the pan and break it up. Continue cooking until the meat is browned.

Add beef stock, tomatoes, and tomato paste to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced to a desired level. Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This sauce works well over rice, pasta, or potatoes (sweet or otherwise).


Tim Rurak is the owner of Ralph's Radio.

Join us for Fiery Feasts 🔥

 A Celebration for Chef Andrew Richardson's new cookbook, CINCIN:Wood Fired Cucina

Thursday, October 13, 2016, 6:00 - 10:00 pm

CinCin Ristorante

In celebration of Executive Chef Andrew Richardson's new cookbook, CinCin:Wood Fired Cucina, I invite you to join me for a Feast of the Fire dining experience.

On Thursday, October 13th, Executive Chef Andrew and his award-winning brigade, will set street fires directly in front of CinCin Ristorante, to grill a bounty of delicious treats, from the newly launched cookbook. The wood-fired spectacle sets the stage for the evening's five course Feast of the Fire dinner to be served on CinCin's intimate terrace. Our rustic Italian-inspired dinner will be paired with a selection of exceptional wines.

6:00 p.m. Street Fire Demo and tasting 6:30 p.m.

Reception 7:00 p.m.

Dinner 9:15 p.m. Book Signing.

$175.00 per person plus taxes and gratuity, includes a personalized copy of CinCin:Wood Fired Cucina


"No News is Bad News" - Dinner with Author Ian Gill

Thursday, November 24, 2016 6:30 - 9:00pm

You are correct, this is not a cookbook, but a delicious opportunity to dine with Ian Gill in our kitchen. Ian has written an informative book on Canada's Media Collapse-And What Comes Next.

Please join us for an inspired meal, intelligent conversation, and a first hand introduction to "No News is Bad News" with author Ian Gill.

Cost of this evening is $110.00 and includes your meal and a personalized copy of No News is Bad News.

Click HERE to see our other upcoming events.

Barbara-jo served on the committee for this year's BC Book Prizes online auction. Click on this link to view the auction items...

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Garth McAlister's Chakalaka

Garth McAlister's Chakalaka

This goes well with a protein, especially chicken, and with another South African dish we call "Pap" (Afrikaans for porridge made from cornmeal). Be careful with the spices. I like hot, spicy dishes and this one should be approached with caution. ~Garth


* 1/4 cup cooking oil

* 1 medium onion, diced

* 2 teaspoons garlic, minced

* 1-2 teaspoons curry powder

* 1/2 teaspoon thyme

* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

* 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or to taste)

* 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

* 1 - 2 tomatoes

* 3 - 4 cups of sliced cabbage

* 1 large carrot, coarsely grated or sliced thinly

* 1 medium green pepper, diced

* 1 medium red pepper, diced

* 1 - 14 ounce can of baked beans

* 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (optional)


In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne powder, and fresh ginger. Continue stirring for about a minute to let the flavours deepen.

Add the tomatoes, cabbage, carrot, and bell peppers and stir to combine. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the baked beans and bouillon powder (if using). Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and then adjust the seasoning. Serve warm.

This recipe is much better one or two days later. The flavours merge very well overnight in the fridge.

*This recipe is originally from It is one that Garth enjoys and has modified to his palate.


Garth McAlister was born and raised in South Africa. He now lives in Vancouver, where he works as a lawyer.