A Cook Not What? An introduction to @acooknotmad

How we started our storytelling journey.

From the day Tim proposed years ago, promising to cook great meals for me and take me places, we have been eating our way through life.

Ghent, Belgium 2012

Soon after that day he would leave to attend culinary school and work in the Big Apple. Coming back home, Tim went to work at some of Ottawa’s best restaurants and built his reputation as a personal chef working for a number of foreign diplomats.

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Tim at work

It was this switch in his career that took us back to New York for five sleepless but exhilarating years where Tim was the Executive Chef to the Consul General of Canada. Being a chef means long hours, which, if you’re married to one, usually means a lot of alone time.

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Manhattan 2007

That has never been a problem for us. I worked at the consulate for a while and sometimes helped Tim with cocktail parties and dinners. I took a year off of work to advance my photography and put together my first show. Soon it was time to make a living again but the success of my photography inspired me to keep pushing myself and improve my skills.

Inversion, Vancouver, BC 2008

With the New York lifestyle wearing us down, it was time to move on, so in 2007 we decided to travel the world in search of delicious food and beautiful picture opportunities.

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Alpha Lake, BC 2007

We made it as far as the West Coast and somehow ended up opening a delicatessen in a residential section of the West End, blocks away from the ocean. Cardero Bottega brought us much joy but when the long hours became too much (13 hour days, 6 days a week), we sold it and continued on our journey. That’s when we decided to start the blog, simply to keep in touch with family, friends and former customers.

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Strasbourg, France 2011

The name, A Cook Not Mad, was taken from Canada’s first cookbook, published in 1831. It also plays on our crooked sense of humour and the insanity of the culinary world we love so much.

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On the Danube, Budapest, Hungary 2012

What we write about and what to expect from us here in the coming months:

Not long ago someone asked me what our blog was about. I (Nat) was stuck. Tim usually does the “elevator pitch” and after trying to explain for 10 minutes, I was close to giving up and so was my new friend. It was at that moment that he turned to me and said, “This is what you do. You are culinary storytellers, and you share stories of culture and food from your home and travels”. He was right, that’s exactly what we do. We have other interests as well, which is why once in a while we might talk about cars, fly fishing, bees or something else we fancy but at the end of the day, food, photography and travel are what we are passionate about and what keeps us going on this journey.

Here are some examples of our stories:

Recipes and Good Eats:

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Parmigiano factory, Parma, IT 2012

Destinations we Love:

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Pizza in Rome 2011

Videos from places we have visited:

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Prosciutto factory, Parma, IT 2012

For you, Michael’s Go, See, Write audience, we will share similar stories. Expect to read about a day foraging in Quebec, a visit to a local farm, and other food related (or not) stories.


Together for close to a quarter of a century, A Cook Not Mad‘s Tim and and Nat have indulged their passion for life and experience to the fullest, but they feel most alive when traveling, cooking and eating. An award winning chef, Tim has dedicated his life and career to cooking and the pursuit of honest food. As a professional photographer, Nat records their adventures with incredible pictures of everyday life and the extraordinary. They believe that everyone should get to know a culture by learning about the foods they eat and living like a local as much as they can.

14 thoughts on “A Cook Not What? An introduction to @acooknotmad

  1. We are looking forward to read your stories and to see your stunning pictures 🙂

  2. It’s funny how it can take an outsider to tell you what your niche is. I think it you start out with something too specific in mind you can get stuck in a rut. You’ve written about what you’re passionate about and it’s a great focus to have. Who doesn’t love food and great photography?!

  3. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff! Being married to a cook, I find that it’s quite compatible with blogging. Both professions lend themselves very well to having no social life 😉

  4. I love your photography! I’m happy to see that you will be including the culinary aspect as well, looking forward to reading more!

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