We remember James Barber

James Barber - Urban Peasant rememberedSimple, Easy, Satisfying. These are some of the words you can use to describe the cooking styles of James Barber. As I just finished cooking my Sunday dinner, I read on CBC that James Barber, the host of CBC’s The Urban Peasant cooking show passed away at 84. As I read some of the thoughts passed on by fellow readers, I see how many of us James touched during the
years of The Urban Peasant airing on CBC.

For anyone who watched James, his style was that of breaking down the barriers that many of us see in proper cooking. He was able to show that cooking can be fun; using simple ingredients and simple methods do in fact work in the kitchen! His goal was to create everyday food that was delicious. And for anyone that watched his show knew of the good stories that he could pass along while cooking. A great quote that really does sum up his styles: “it doesn’t matter, just use whatever you’ve got!”

Although the show has been off the air for years, the skills that James taught many of us will stick around. Reading through some of the comments online at CBC, it clearly shows that he taught many people about this lifelong skill of cooking. James was a great fan of shopping “the market” on Granville Island in Vancouver, a place that creates inspiration when it comes to cooking – and was a very special spot for him in the city.

James will certainly be missed around Vancouver and beyond.

Food critic, Dave Reimer lives, works and cooks in Vancouver, BC. He will be a periodic contributor to the CoffeeCrew blog until his blog is online