Being born and raised in Nova Scotia, Masterchef Canada winner Jennifer Crawford studied cooking the old fashion way. With no YouTube tutorials or Pininterest recipes, Crawford learned cooking by flipping pages of a cook book. Jennifer snatched the title of Masterchef Canada winner and is now a Toronto resident sharing their cooking with the world.
Here is our interview with the Masterchef Canada champion.
I’m sure everyone is asking, but how has life been since winning?
Winning is such a wild thing! The moment itself was an actual miracle. I’ve been sober since February of 2018, and really focused on healing my mental health, having done a 9-week treatment program for trauma last year. One of the greatest gifts of having been all the way down is that I can now better handle being all the way up without getting too swept up, or too hasty about what’s next!! I’ve just been focusing on building a nice life in this new direction, and maintaining my self-care, a day at a time! Nothing too wild so far, haha.
You rep the East Coast, what are three favourite parts of living/being from Nova Scotia?
Being of the East Coast is something that’s in your bones. The greatest gifts of my working class upbringing in rural NS are probably: 1. knowing there’s always people willing to help you; 2. you don’t have to have a lot of money to be truly rich; and 3. abundance is probably all around you, if you’re looking for it.
Why was it important to you for advocate equality with your call for use of proper pronouns?
Sometimes it’s an act of self-care to ask people to call you as you are, and other times, it’s an act of self-care to opt out of correcting folks (cause let’s be real, that stuff is EXHAUSTING!). My main point in being open about this stuff is that people always get to choose however they’d like to exist in the world, correcting folks or not, and the only qualification to entry is how you feel about yourself. I’m a gender creative person, and I’ve dated people all across and completely off the gender spectrum. Language is probably one of the most limiting things about expressing ourselves! In my dream world, we have a zillion different ways to have pronouns, because I kinda think there’s as many genders as there are people on earth. Even they/them feels limiting to me, but for now, it allows me a bit more freedom.
What’s been your favourite part about now living in Toronto?
Toronto was really where I had my queer coming-of-age. To be in a place with such an abundance of events & queer groups of literally all kinds.. hell, even a queer swing dancing club that I joined… Toronto & it’s beautiful people really held me through all kinds of changes. There are so many people here grinding & working so hard & making a nice life out of nothing — it’s so inspiring to be around every day. The hard-beating, creative heart of this heckin city! Such a treasure.
What is a great first dish to try cooking if you’re new to the kitchen?
If you’re new to cooking, pick things that you LOVE TO EAT, and learn how to make every single part of it the best you can!! It’ll be way more rewarding because you get to eat something you love at the end. Food literacy is such an important & powerful thing; knowing you are capable of changing non-edible and cheap ingredients (aka dry flour) into something like pasta or dough will make you feel like a goddamn wizard. Love pizza? Master a good dough. Then figure out how to nail the sauce. Love it with meat? Learn how to make your own sausage. And so on!
Let’s do some THIS or THAT?
► Burgers or tacos? tacos, because you can probably also make burger tacos.
► Roses or daisies? roses! beautiful with a literal edge.
► Pandas or whales? whales! heckin majestic ocean alien dinosaurs.
► McDonald’s or Burger King? double McDoubles forever.
► Books or magazines? the smell & feel of library books has my heart forever
► Ketchup or mustard? PUT A LIL MUSTARD ON IT
► Money or fame? oooooh. money. i have fantasies of having enough to just fill up every gofundme i see.
► Piercings or tattoos? I have more piercings than tattoos, but i like both!
► Puzzles or board games? NEITHER OMG PLZ DON’T MAKE ME DO THESE THINGS
► Living room or bedroom? bedroom <333
► Sandals or sneakers? CROXXX forever. best of both worlds.
► Apples or oranges? apples! i grew up next to the apple capital of Canada.
► Bagels or toast? toast & butter & tea
► Freedom or hope? freedom is hopeful <3
► Gold or silver? BOTH! MORE IS MORE! love that toonie aesthetic
► 50’s or 80’s music? 80s
► Summer or winter? That one day in between each season where my hair isn’t frizzy
► Theater or cinema? Can I say both again? Am I ruining this by liking everything?
► Love or money? LOVE! <333
Any last words you’d like to share??
I’m cooking up some fun snack stuff behind the scenes right now & can’t wait to share! And I’ll be hanging at a few events around Toronto this summer, I’d love it if folks came to say hi. Follow along at instagram.com/jennifer.e.crawford for updates!