Eating & Drinking

ZenKitchen’s Caroline Ishii launches memoir & campaign

We’re inundated with food-focused crowd-sourcing pleas, but this campaign offers up both food for thought and some great recipes. Fans of ZenKitchen will remember Chef Caroline Ishii’s Chinatown restaurant (2009-2014) as pioneering — an institution that kickstarted Ottawa’s acceptance of vegan cuisine as a fine-dining option.

After laying low for a few years, Ishii is back in the spotlight with her first book. Part memoir, part cookbook, The Accidental Chef is a beautifully crafted chronicle of her life journey from rebellious Japanese-Canadian schoolgirl to celebrated vegan chef. Each chapter relates a pivotal moment in that voyage and ends with a recipe — a “taste memory” that serves as a touchstone Ishii identifies with a key mentor or major event from her past.


City Bites Hot Tip: A $25 contribution gets you dibs on the book, but superfans of ZenKitchen might want to check out the $350 option, which gets you and five friends a one-hour personal cooking lesson from Caroline (plus a few copies of the book and the chance to taste one of the memoir’s recipes). To contribute to the campaign, visit here.