Malcolm Jolley talks to Chef Michael Olson about Living High Off The Hog…

Chef Michael Olson at an appearance and demonstration in 2019. Photo: Instagram.

I don’t know how I missed it, but I missed it completely and I really wish I hadn’t. What I missed was the publication last fall of Chef Michael Olson’s porkilicious cookbook, Living High Off The Hog. And I wish I hadn’t missed it for a bunch of reasons. For one thing, I would have liked to have congratulated him for writing about a subject that strangely gets short shrift, given how much of it we eat: pork in all its manifestations from cold cuts to big roasts. It’s a big, diverse and comprehensive book, punctuated by interesting stories from the chef’s long career and wittily illustrated by the artist Gary Taxali. but I really wish I hadn’t missed it because it would have been really great to have had the book on hand this spring when we were locked down and cooking every meal at home, every day.

I found out about Living High Off The Hog when a copy arrived as part of a promotional package put together by Wine Country Ontario, who are set on reminding us to ’embrace the taste of home’ and enjoy our local VQA wines with our local foods, which might include the new line of Olson Hardware pickles that the chef is selling at Toronto’s Brick Works Farmers Market. That’s a message that it is particularly apt at Thanksgiving. In any event, once I’d seen the book I reached out to Michael Olson to apologize for having missed it and record the video interview below to find out how and why he wrote it.

Email versions of this post won’t display video. Please click here to see the video at GFR.