Lure is the latest project from Chef Ned Bell. He’s the founder of Chefs for Oceans, who, in 2014, cycled across Canada. He took time out from his post as executive chef of Vancouver’s Four Seasons to raise awareness for seafood sustainability. Since then he’s been even busier with a big career move. And spent a couple of years co-writing this book with Valerie Howes.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Lure is the most important cookbook of the year, if not the decade.
It’s a real winner.
Let me explain why.
Staying the course
Ned is teaching us all by his example. While most people in food and beverage would have been more than content with his lot, he was not. As executive chef of Vancouver’s Four Seasons Hotel, he was set. He had it made. I’m guessing that, given the resounding success of Yew Restaurant, he could have pretty well charted his own course, with a string of increasingly high profile postings. Instead, he decided to stick with his passion. That is, pure and simply, building awareness for seafood sustainability.
Bell says joining Ocean Wise almost 18 months ago, as executive chef, was “the best decision I ever made.”
At the time he asked himself:
“How can I continue to engage and advocate for what is, truthfully, the most important conversation in my world—healthy oceans?”
“I couldn’t be a more proud advocate for Ocean Wise. As the executive chef, I get to live my dream of championing healthy oceans,” he says.
Bell says he’s doing it for his family—for all our families—and for future generations to always have access to well managed fisheries and responsible aquaculture.
I could go on. But all you need do is go find yourself a copy and you’ll soon understand just how driven this guy is.
And how right he is.
So, why is Lure so important?
There are forests of cookbooks out there. Some are wickedly good, others not so much. We’ve become accustomed to the cookbook as an essential weapon in the ‘personality’ chef’s arsenal. You could argue there wouldn’t be much to Lure without Ned Bell. But this cookbook is the farthest thing from an ego trip. And it’s much more than a brand building exercise for Chefs for Oceans.
We’ve all seen those tomes with glossy pics and the recipes that take a day to figure out—and maybe a small mortgage to boot. Not this book.