Canada has been in the news lately. On a brighter note, two creative Canadians have launched a company making the perfect gifts for foodies: Food on Your Shirt. I had fun talking with them on the phone and was happy to be hosted to experience it!
Food on Your Shirt is a specialty graphic design company that sells t-shirts, tea towels and Pierre Lamielle’s award-winning cookbook, Kitchen Scraps. Here’s the 411 on the partners:
Pierre Lamielle got his start in the culinary field as a food columnist, and is now the cooking instructor in Calgary, Alberta. Educated at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, Pierre is an illustrator, chef, instructor and an award-winning cookbook author. His first illustrated book, Kitchen Scraps, won the Gourmand Award for best illustrated cookbook in the world and recently, has co-written and illustrated Alice Eats, a cookbook and storybook mash-up with award winning Julie van Rosendaal which has become a national best seller. Pierre is also a food columnist for SWERVE Magazine and Avenue Magazine in Calgary, the owner and designer of Food On Your Shirt with co-chef Candace Bergman and this year, competed in Top Chef Canada Season 4 and competed and became a CHOPPED Canada champion.
Candace Bergman has dedicated her career to print with 20 years of ink-stained experience managing crews of techie pre=press for print and promotions, from web-offset and heat-set to digital, and large format printing. She is a globally accredited color expert that ensures every image at Food On Your Shirt is good enough to eat — a job she takes seriously. Along the way Candace has been a Food Tour Guide, Cheese Monger, Spice Merchant and a Professional Taste Tester.
As Co-chef, Candace blends her passion for print and design and love of food to bring the color and splash to Food On Your Shirt and her motto is “you eat with your eyes first”.
Pierre, how old were you when you got into food and art, respectively?
It was back when I was a little kid. My mom was a graphic design artist and she cooked at home. She got me more into art and graphic design than cooking. First I went to art school, then cooking school.
Both of you: who are your artistic inspirations and how do they differ from each other? I see everything from vintage ’50’s signage to R. Crumb in there.
Pierre indicated that he had an illustrator background, while Candace shared that she was influenced by fine artists like Van Gogh and Picasso. She also likes vintage ’70’s graphics.
Would you say that there’s a particular Canadian flavor to your designs?
[Candace] No. We don’t think of ourselves in terms of being Canadian. We do have a poutine design and “Beaver Balls”.
What collections do you have in the works?
[Pierre] We have about 200 (designs) in the works. They’re be more bacon. [Candace] We’re feeling a little guilty about the vegetarians, so there will be more vegetarian and vegan ones.