In Toronto, I was blessed to be able to work with
Vanipha Southalack and her family. She had free
reign to cook Thai and Laotion food at the Rivoli on
Queen Street. From her, I learned how to make
curries, noodle soups, meat salads called lap, and
all the amazing nuances of this food. I was very
fortunate to be able to go to Thailand and Laos with
her to eat at its source.
Working at the David Wood Food Shop was about as close to heaven
as imaginable at the time. A store filled with wonderful ingredients-especially
the cheese! -and carte blanche to fill the take-out case on a daily
basis. I came to learn about caviar and blinis, Salmon Wellington,
and the sweet glory of dessert wine. David is still inspiring me
now with his Salt Spring Island goat's and sheep's milk cheeses.