Dawn Woodward (The Baker):
Inspired by her mother, Dawn began cooking at a very young age. Following a degree in Philosophy from Bard University, she continued her interests in professional cooking and baking to positions as a Pastry Chef in New Orleans and Head Baker at artisan bakeries in New York and Toronto. Extensive travels expanded her repertoire by exposure to such cuisines as: Eastern Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese, Cambodian, Georgian, and Middle Eastern. Committed to using heritage grain varieties grown close by, Dawn sources from Ontario farmers and millers and is constantly experimenting in ways to incorporate them into the crackers. In addition to leading all production at Evelyn’s Crackers, she is a speaker an educator at the annual Kneading Conference in Maine/Seattle, can be found at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market and offers her expertise as a professional consultant.Edmund Rek (The Chef):
While growing up in a diplomatic family, Edmund experienced a wide array of foods and cultures. Drawn to the face-paced world of professional kitchens, he began his career cooking in small family style Italian restaurants. After culinary school in he established his cooking career in competitive 4-star luxury hotels and celebrity award-winning restaurants in Washington DC and as a sous chef for Iron Chef Morimoto in Philadelphia. After taking yearly food sabbaticals to California, New York City, Europe and Asia he opened a farm-to-table restaurant advocating organic and local food. After moving to Toronto he jumped at the chance to participate in the local farmers markets and has been instrumental in building Evelyn’s Crackers brand spearheading sales and marketing. He can be found in production, or on delivery and most Saturdays mornings at Wychwood Farmers Market. In addition Edmund offers small business consulting services and mentorships to food entrepreneurs.Our Beginning:
We discovered Red Fife wheat from a well known cookbook author and friend (Naomi Duguid). It’s a wheat that dates back to the 19th century settlement of Otonabee Township Ontario. This versatile and very flavorful grain, which helped settle the Canadian prairies, became the perfect muse for the crackers. We began thinking about how we could bring Red Fife products to farmers markets and began experimenting with crackers. Among the many people that sampled our crackers was Elizabeth Harris – Founder and former Manager of the Brickworks and Riverdale farmers’ markets. Elizabeth loved them and gave samples to Chefs Jamie Kennedy and Anthony Rose, of Rose and Sons – they were impressed! The next spring we were at the Brickworks Farmers Market and have been growing ever since!
We named the crackers after our daughter, Evelyn. She was 2 years old at the time and so intense in everything she did – walking, jumping, talking- so we approached the crackers in the same way. As she is getting older we realize we are creating a transparency in the food system that will offer her sustainable food choices in the years to come. We make the crackers with her in mind.
Being part of the Local and Slow Food Movements is key for us– educating, spreading the word and creating new products from these heritage grains in as many form as possible. With more cookies, granola, new cracker flavors we can help ensure agricultural diversity by keeping these ancient grains alive.