Timothy Taylor Forks Foodie Culture
This summer the Vancouver Sun interviewed Timothy on his “Foodville” nonvella, some foodie personal history, and on the Nonvella platform itself.
Q: You mention your family background. How did that play in your own taste for food, for restaurants, for styles of cooking?
A: Well my mother was a Jewish-German refugee who washed up on the shores of Ecuador postwar. My father was more or less nomadic as a young man and had gone all the way around the world by the time the two of them met in Guayaquil. Together they fashioned a delicious home cuisine that is nevertheless about the weirdest I’ve ever encountered, sort of Germanic-Latin Fusion. Pickled herring, rouladen and spaetzle. The next night: ceviche, arroz con pollo. I think the nomad in me still pushes to try new things, to embrace bold and unfamiliar flavours (my father gave us each a tin of chocolate covered ants in our stockings one Christmas). On the other hand my refugee mother gave me a long memory and a craving for stable things. I still cook roulden and spaetzle and other old world things that the book explores.
Q: Foodville opens with the tragic story of restaurant critic Mike Kalina who was accused of taking bribes to write positive reviews. You argue that, nowadays, taking such bribes would not be so frowned upon. Why do you think this is?
A: Kalina was never found guilty of anything. But we’re forced to wonder if the threat to his reputation was enough, way back in 1992, to push him towards the edge. And that’s fascinating considering studies say up to 15 per cent of reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon today are paid for by restaurants and nobody seems to care…
For the full Q&A, click here.
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