CLEMENT, Diane




Author Tags: Cookbook, Health

A sprinter on the 1956 Canadian Olympic Team and winner of a bronze medal in the 1958 Commonwealth Games, Clement is the author of numerous cookbooks including Chef On The Run and Chef and Doctor On The Run, the latter of which was co-authored with her husband Dr. Doug Clement. In 1991 she opened The Tomato Fresh Food Café and in 1995 she published Diane Clement at the Tomato (Raincoast). "Start Fresh" (Firefly, 2008) is the couple's latest collaboration and focuses on diet and exercise to combat chronic disease and stay healthy during the mid-life years.

Selected Bibliography:

Start Fresh! Your Complete Guide to Midlifestyle Food and Fitness (Firefly, 2008) $29.95 978-1-55285-919-3
Gourmet 8
Chef On The Run (Sunflower Books)
More Chef On The Run
Chef and Doctor On The Run
Fresh Chef on the Run
Zest for Life
Chef on the Run: Simply the Best

[BCBW 2008] "Cookbook" "Health"

Zest for Life: Classic Dishes for Family and Friends from the ‘50s to the ‘90s (Raincoast $36.95)
Review



A stack of paper towels ignited as Diane Clement mugged for the cameras on Margaret Trudeau’s 1982 TV show. Dripping lit Sterno (used to warm a chafing dish), she inadvertently presented a flaming spinach salad to the world.

It’s just one of the adventures recounted in her Zest for Life: Classic Dishes for Family and Friends from the ‘50s to the ‘90s (Raincoast $36.95), a cookbook-cum-memoir.

She opens with favourites of the ‘50s and ‘60s such as macaroni and cheese, rum balls, meat loaf and San Francisco’s famous Blum’s Coffee-Toffee Pie.

Happy hours, appetizers and “gourmet” cooking were all the rage in the ‘70s, back when Clement opened her cooking school in 1972. Seeking sophistication, she signed up for a week of classic French cooking at La Varenne, the fashionable Paris cooking school. James Beard, Jacques Pepin and Julia Child were the darlings of the decade, and quiche Lorraine and gateau au chocolat were on every menu.

Booze was big and cherry tomatoes—skewered, dunked in vodka and then salt—were a culinary hit.

In the ‘80s, less became the culinary buzzword. Less salt, less sugar, less fat.

This was brought home to Clement on a personal note when her sports-coach husband glanced at the butter, cream cheese, sour cream and mayo boxed up for a cooking class and remarked, “Who are we killing tonight?”

Clement immediately embraced a lighter, healthier approach to food, similar to the spa cuisine developing in California where fruit smoothies replaced a glass of wine and slim-downed soups and salads took on an international flair. Grains and fish were in, and high-fat desserts were out.

Comfort food returned in the ‘90s. Even meatloaf made an appearance at trendy restaurants, including Clement’s own Tomato Cafe in Vancouver where it’s still served with garlic mashed potatoes and canned cream corn.

These days Clement thinks we’ve come full circle, tempering both the excesses and taboos of earlier decades with sound nutrition and the camaraderie of an indulgent Sunday dinner. 1-55192-292-4

[BCBW WINTER 2001]