By: Agatha Podgorksi
Special Projects Coordinator
Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance

Last night The Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) had the pleasure of participating in a wonderful new series at the St. Lawrence Market Kitchen called ‘Relish Yo Mama‘.  The summer workshop series, called ‘Preserve to Conserve‘, is a hosted by the Compost Council of Canada in partnership with Bernardin and the City of Toronto.

It was the second workshop in the series and it had us learning to make authentic Korean Kimchi with world renowned Korean Chef, Jimmy Im.  Chef Jimmy used to cook for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and now runs a Korean cooking school in Toronto, as well as being heavily involved with Tokyo Sushi–a successful Toronto based chain of sushi joints.

The series of canning workshops is designed to teach the “how-to’s” and help get you started on your preserving journey.  Each class focuses on a specific harvest–be it strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, or last nights nappa cabbage extravaganza!  All fresh produce is sourced from local farmers.

As Chef Jimmy meticulously julienned ingredients for what would later be a feast of kimchi inspired dishes, he taught us a little about the benefits of kimchi.  Did you know that kimchi is thought to remove nicotine build up from the lungs?  Or that it is one of the few proven foods that not help prevent but also fight colon cancer?

The health benefits of fermentation (let alone all that spice!) are endless, and as Chef Jimmy was eager to remind us, even President Barrack Obama loves Kimchi!What makes Chef Jimmy’s kimchi so good?  His secret ingredient is a dash of Sprite soda! All in all, the event was chalked full of delicious goodies and helpful tips for even the most experienced home canner.

For those of you who like jam, join Yvonne Tremblay in the Market Kitchen this Saturday for the fourth installment of the series.  Thursday, September 8th proves to be exciting as well with Chef Emerie Brine (how appropriate!) hosting a cucumber and pickle making workshop in the same venue! Best of all, these workshops are FREE!  Simply call 416 535 0240 to register.

For more information and recipe for the nights workshop visit:

For more information on the Compost Council of Canada and all their wonderful local food endeavors, visit: