Maps, Markets and Matzo Ball Soup

The Inspiring Life of Chef Gail Hall

Soft cover, 248 pages, full colour. The book outlines the inspiring life of Chef Gail Hall from cooking for the family in Toronto to creating one of Canada’s largest catering companies, leading culinary tours around the world and operating a Loft Cooking school. Contains 30 recipes, family pictures and business insights.

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“If Dick Van Dyke and Julia Child had partnered in life, Gail Hall would be the result of that union. She had Child’s humility, devotion to food and a similar occasional, endearing awkwardness. She had Van Dyke’s enthusiasm, song and dance skills and, when needed, a quick-witted, deadpan delivery. The combination of those traits and decades of experience in front of the camera made Gail a welcome guest on TV and radio programs.

Co-hosts Kent Morrison and Kevin O’Connell looked forward to her appearances with them on Global Television’s Weekend Morning News. Her entry was predictable: she came into the studio smiling, chipper and chatty, with hugs for everyone. There was a comfortable camaraderie between the three with much of the fun taking place off-air during set up and commercials. The day Gail made black bean brownies was no exception.

During the setup, before the cameras rolled, Kevin brought up the topic of another type of brownie—the kind that contained a special ingredient and may have appeared a few decades back at house parties while “Stairway to Heaven” was playing on an 8- track. After some good-natured joking about those kinds of brownies at those kinds of parties, Gail assured her hosts the only special ingredient on this day were the black beans that she planned to use.

They went live and everything was fine until Kevin announced to the viewing audience that Gail was making brownies that featured a secret ingredient. She paused, looked at him over the frame of her glasses and said, “Your secret, or my secret?” The laughter that broke out of both Gail and Kevin was immediate, genuine and infectious, and if you find the video online and pause it at that exact moment, you will capture Gail at her most authentic self: humorous and happy in the company of food and friends."

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