Between the shelves at home with Joan and Marcel Richoz
This kicks off
in which we take a real-time peek inside the
refrigerators of Whistler residents — young and old, old and new —
and ask age-old questions like, what on Earth is that doing in there? Or, what
the heck do you do with blue corn meal, anyway? More to the point, it’s an
excuse to talk about the food people eat and why, and share a story or recipe
along the way.
By Glenda Bartosh
Long-time Whistler residents Joan and Marcel Richoz have lived
in the eclectic 16-sided house they built on the ridge above Drifter Way in
Alpine Meadows for 33 years. There they’ve raised their children, Noah, 27, who
is a day trader and digital video engineer in Vancouver, and Marika, 32, who is
a realtor in Whistler.
The Richoz’ refrigerator is a Kenmore that’s about three
years old. Perched against a cedar plank wall between the stove and the granite
countertops, it’s an inscrutable slab of stainless steel that would have a
beautiful view of Blackcomb and Whistler if only it could see.
I confess that the main reason I wanted to start with the
Richoz’ fridge in my cold-call investigations is that Joan and Marcel were the
first authentic vegetarians I’d ever met (notice the past tense — a bit
of fish has entered their diet). Most vegs I knew in California or Hawaii
cheated one way or another.
They’re also the only vegetarians I knew at the time who were
— and still are — happy and healthy. They certainly don’t
subsist like monks doing penance. I mean look at what’s in their fridge!
First off, it’s nearly full. They’ve just gotten back from
Mexico and had to re-stock, plus Joan is making a big dinner this weekend to
commemorate a friend who recently passed away.
Surprisingly, the first thing out of her mouth when she opens
the door is a slightly puzzled little “Oh!” Marika’s dog’s chew-toy is sitting
on top of the wheat germ. Best to keep moving, so what else is in there?
Organic quinoa, buckwheat flour, yellow corn flour and, yes, blue corn meal. So what the heck do you do with blue corn meal? Make two of Joan’s favourite dishes for company, both out of the rebar modernfoodcookbook from the terrific rebar restaurant in Victoria.