What does family mean to you?
To me, it means the warm and safety of my close friends and family; sitting down and eating together, sharing and preparing a meal – it symbolises intimacy. I knew from the start, as soon as I became a parent, that food and eating together would be a big part of my family dynamic. But family means so much than that. A family is not simply defined by blood. I have close friends that are equally important and loved.
As a reminder about that essential role, BC’s Hands-on Cook-off contest launched on April 18th and will run until May 18th. I had a chance to talk to contest judge Rebecca Coleman about the importance of this contest and why this partnership means so much to her.
Rebecca, who’s also a vegan, has published her first book: Aquafabulous! – A collection of recipes not only for vegans but also great for anyone who has an allergy to dairy and eggs.
VBB: Why is this contest important to you?
RC: I have many different reasons: Firstly. I have a son and research shows that when families cook and eat together, kids gain many valuable benefits, like independence and important life skills, just to name a few. I want my son to benefit from that.
Secondly, the purpose of this program is to bring together people. This year we’ve broadened the definition of family. It’s not necessarily defined by blood anymore. Family can be your community and your close friends.
VBB: Why do you think food plays such an important role in our upbringing?
RC: Food is such a universal language. It’s a bonding experience. If you look at every culture, they all have a food in common. This is a great way for people to share their food culture! Our cities are so multicultural. We are lucky to have such variety.
From April 18th until noon of May 18th, any BC resident can enter the Hands-on Cook-off Contest. Videos must include two or more people preparing a recipe together… and having fun! Videos must be no longer than three minutes in length and can be entered online here.
VBB: Do you have any tips for people entering the contest for the first time?
RC: Everyone should enter! As a judge, I’m not looking for professional quality videos. I’m looking for people having fun, being creative and being excited about making a meal together.
For the first time this year, people can also enter a shorter video in their Instagram category for a chance to win a $250 Amazon.ca gift card! Simply follow and tag @bettertogetherbc and include the hashtag #handsoncookoff. Videos must be one minute or less and feature two generations cooking together. One winner will be chosen by random draw. Full details, including contest rules and past videos, are available at www.bettertogetherbc.ca/contest.