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The gourmand: Off the clock with Sarah Lavoie

Sarah LavoieSarah Lavoie,
Administrative Assistant, Computer Science


Sarah has been with the University of Toronto (U of T) for just over two years.


What do you do off the clock?

I do lots of different things when I’m not in the office, but one of my biggest passions (besides traveling) is food! I would definitely call myself a ‘foodie’ because I love making food, as well as eating it, and I often seek out new things to try.

(Read more about Sarah’s food adventures)

I also love taking pictures of food and was recently asked by the National Post to participate in Gastropost — a two-page spread featuring photographs taken by food lovers.

Each week a mission is assigned and participants must complete it by Wednesday at 10 a.m. in order to be included on the National Post website and, for the select few, the Toronto edition of the Saturday newspaper.

One of my submissions was featured in the August 3 edition of Gastropost in the Taking Food Further section. The mission was to eat some corn and I made corn relish to top a BBQd burger.

(Get Sarah’s corn relish recipe and see the photo)

How did you first become interested in food and baking?

I think I’ve always been interested in food. I loved helping my mom with her baking during the holidays as a kid and I love watching shows on the Food Network.

One day, I just decided that I should learn how to do it myself. I’ve taken a few classes at George Brown including Baking Arts and Preserving & Canning. They were so much fun and I learned a lot. But mostly I was really proud with what I was able to produce.

If you want to learn how to do something, go for it! Take a class or watch a tutorial online. You might just be really good at it and it will be extremely rewarding.

Berries, berry compote, and berry pie with vanilla ice creamSummer is just coming to a close. That also means back to school and fall harvest. Is there a quick, nutritious snack you like that would be great for lunch or late night studying?

Nuts! Nuts are a great snack to munch on when you’re cramming for an exam or trying to get a paper done. They are full of vitamins, protein and essential fatty acids making them great brain food.

You can take 4 cups of nuts, mix them with 2 tbsp of honey, 2 tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp of salt, and 3/4 tsp of cayenne, and bake them in the oven at 325 F for 20 to 25 minutes and you have a really tasty snack!

Another favourite snack of mine (but not so nutritious) is something called a Compost Cookie. It’s jam packed with rolled oats, chocolate and butterscotch chips, mini pretzels, and potato chips! I’ve even made a version of it using leftover Halloween candy. It’s always big hit!

What fruit or vegetable are you looking forward to most this fall and why?

This fall I’m really looking forward to the apples. Ontario apples are really delicious, either to eat on their own or baked into a pie. And I’m also a big fan of drinking a warm apple cider on a crisp fall day.

What (or who) inspires or influences your work?

Making food for yourself is one thing, but when you can make your friends and loved ones happy with something you’ve made yourself…well, that’s pretty special.

Submitted by Sara Franca, senior communications and external relations officer, Department of Computer Science.