Thursday, July 11, 2013

Staff Reminisces from Claire Tansey

     I worked at the store from sometime in 2003 until about 2005. I loved the busy days: Saturdays during the holidays when you could barely breathe for the books flying out the doors. The quiet days were a welcome rest – time to pore through the books. Oh but it made me SO hungry, like painfully hungry! This was before there was anything good to eat on Yonge Street and we lived on Esther’s lentil soup and club sandwiches from the Korean deli.

      Alison challenged us to a Christmas contest one year: who could sell the most Suzanne Somers cookbooks (the cover was her in a swimsuit I believe). I sold zero. Jennifer won, of course.

      I loved the gossip, the thrill of opening a box of fresh new beautiful books, the crazy people who would talk your ear off, the endless calls for Muffin Mania (this was before it was reprinted). I was there when we were the first in North America to have the elBulli cookbook and people would call from San Diego to have it shipped, not even flinching when we told them the cost. And then we had to schlep the heavy books to the post office!

      I stopped working at The Cookbook Store when I got a full-time job running the development kitchen at President’s Choice. I then went on to be the Food Editor at House & Home magazine and now I’m the Food Editor at Chatelaine. It’s an honour to be an alumnus of such a Toronto institution, even if my most important job there was getting Alison cans of “really cold” Coke, and not Diet Coke! 

Claire Tansey 
Cookbook Store employee 2003-2005
Currently Food Editor at Chatelaine magazine

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