Food for Thought

Discover local food and farm books from our region:
Anita Stewart's Canada

By Anita Stewart

Anita was a cookbook author, founder of Food Day Canada, University of Guelph Food Laureate, member of the Order of Canada and local food champion extraordinaire. While she spent much time travelling and highlighting food destinations across Canada, she always championed local food businesses, farmers and food organizations in her home community of Elora and all of Wellington County. She has produced several culinary-related books.

The books are available online.

The Desert Rose Cookbook

Written by Resa Lent

A collection of vegetarian recipes and stories. It is not just recipes, but also photos, memories, and stories of the people who all became part of the Desert Rose Café family and a piece of Elora history.

Available directly from Desert Rose Catering

Earth to Table Every Day - Cooking with Good Ingredients Through the Seasons

Written by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann

Earth to Table Every Day is all about seeking out good ingredients for a delicious, seasonal approach to cooking. For chefs Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann, nothing is more satisfying than creating comforting meals that change with the seasons.

Available online or at the Bardo Restaurant Guelph.

Farm To Table: Celebrating Stratford Chefs School Alumni Recipes and Perth County Producers

By Andrew Coppolino

Andrew Coppolino, CBC radio food columnist and local food writer has been a long time supporter of the Waterloo and Wellington local food scene. In his latest book, Farm to Table, he pairs 25 alumnus chefs from the Stratford Chefs School with 25 of their favourite food producers and farmers for a culinary adventure through Perth-Huron County.

Available online at

Little Bites: Tastes from Isolation Collaborative Cookbook

Complied by Taste Detours

A cookbook that is serving up a way for food lovers to make some of their favourite dishes from restaurants, food businesses and farmers in Wellington County while staying home safely during the coronavirus pandemic. Beautifully illustrated by Jenna Kessler.

Virtual or print version available:

Natalina’s Kitchen: Bringing Homemade Back

By Natalina Bombino Campagnolo

Natalina’s Kitchen: Bringing Homemade Back is the story of homemade Italian food told through recipes developed with the traditions, techniques and love of generations of nonnas.

Available at local retailers such as Market Fresh and The Bookshelf or get it online at Amazon Canada.

Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking

By Emily Richards

Get inspired by easy Southern Italian home cooking, right in your home. Local chef Emily Richards loves sharing recipes and working with all aspects of food - from the farmers that grow it to the consumers who cook it and the chefs that inspire menus we want to dive into.

Available online and at local retailers

Rock What You’ve Got: Recipes for Preventing Food Waste 

Guelph Family Health Study (GFHS)

Canadian families waste hundreds of kilos of food a year, but now researchers from the Guelph Family Health Study (GFHS) have created a cookbook that promises to help. The Rock What You’ve Got: Recipes for Preventing Food Waste cookbook is filled with recipes aimed at helping families eat better and end food waste. It includes tips for organizing meal planning, for reusing leftovers and for finding ways to use up everything in the produce drawer.

Download the cookbook and watch instructional videos here.

Sweet Patti's Favourites

by Patti Bird

A cookbook of favourites. Patti Bird was the owner of Sweet Patti's Catering in Elora, Ontario. With more than 20 years in the food industry, it not only helped her perfect her craft, it encouraged her dream to one day fly-solo. Sweet Patti’s Catering was the culmination of hard work, a passion for making good food – real homemade food – and the joy of sharing her culinary creations with people who appreciate her efforts.

She spent her last few months working diligently alongside family and friends to create a cookbook filled with her favourite recipes. The book features her own recipes along with recipes from her mom, her sisters, her mother-in-law, friends, and other relatives. And yes, the cookbook includes her butter tart recipe! To know Patti was to know her cooking. She loved to entertain and bring people together over good food and everyone always looked forward to eating at Patti’s house.

Cookbooks are $20.00 each, and all profits will be donated to Groves Memorial Community Hospital - Oncology Unit as per her wishes. Copies can be ordered by email and picked up in either Fergus or Elora.

WineSense - The Three Keys to Understanding Wines

By Bob Desautels

WineSese cuts through the jargon and complexities wine can present. In this common-sense guide, Bob Desautels offers straightforward information on types of wine, tasting, wine history, grape varieties, approaches to winemaking, and more.

The book is available online at Friesen Press or pick up a copy at any of the Neighbourhood Group Restaurants (Borealis Grille and Bar, Miijidaa Café + Bistro, The Wooly Pub, or Park Eatery).

For Kids

The Girl Who loves Cheese

By Ava Desautels Barr and Bob Desautels

The Girl Who Loved Cheese is a fun adventure story for young readers—Anglophone and Francophone alike! It’s a great book for learning French as a second language.

The book is available online at Friesen Press or pick up a copy at any of the Neighbourhood Group Restaurants.

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