Yum Magazine | Make the tomato as interesting as a dinosaur

It was on maternity leave that Anna Demay came up with the idea to launch yum, the first-ever local youth magazine devoted to food. A tool to introduce children to Quebec’s culinary culture and “make the tomato as interesting as a triceratops”…

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But it was little that she had the passion for gastronomy. She owes this gift to her mother, a great cooking enthusiast.

“Let’s just say his fun was very contagious,” Anna Demay recalls.

She was only 17 when her mother died. Her enthusiasm for cauldrons then turned into an obsession for “passing on traditions”, she confides to me before adding that she finally reproduces the December 24 bouillabaisse to perfection…

“I know it’s a funny dish for Christmas, but my father is French and my mother cooked this to comfort him. †

However, Anna has yet to make her famous lamb, artichoke and lemon dish. Soon, she hopes.

When it came time to orientate her career, Anna Demay logically pursued studies in tourism and hotel management, focusing on catering. She worked in the domain before branching out into the wine world. When she was 28, she started a master’s degree in food history during her first maternity leave.

(Of course she has the creative fourth quarter.)

Becoming a mother made her realize that despite her food-focused career, she was missing important basics. She wanted to supervise her child, but didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle…

For 20 years there has been an interest in gastronomy and a democratization of culinary culture, but our relationship with food, agriculture and the supply chain has been impoverished… We can eat poke bowls whenever you want and 50 years ago it would have been considered immense gastronomy ! But 50 years ago, children knew more about growing a potato.

Anna Demay

For the young mother, it became clear: the little ones must be exposed to food in all its forms. But how to achieve this without asking every parent to return to the country?

Anna found the answer a year and a half ago, when she had just given birth to her second baby: to equip children, we can challenge them with fascinating stories and images. That’s good, Quebec is full of very talented children’s authors and illustrators… What if we let them pass through the magazine?

His brother, Daniel Demay, believed in the idea. They became business partners. Several renowned artists are also charmed by the initiative, including Benoît Tardif, Elisabeth Cardin, Mélika Bazin and Julien Castanié.

Together they are now working on the realization of yumQuebec’s first youth nutrition magazine.

The plan is simple: each song will focus on the same food.

Four issues are planned per year, depending on what’s growing at the time of publication. In 2023, for example, children aged 5 to 12 could learn more about potatoes, chives, strawberries and apples.

Each magazine will feature an illustrated story in which the featured food will become more or less important. “It could be a great friendship story that ends with sharing a bowl of fries,” says Anna Demay.

There will also be a comic strip: “A sweet potato and a baby potato fall in love…I don’t know!” ‘ the co-founder ventures with a laugh.

Several sections follow, including an accessible historical comic, a games page and a food technical sheet with a botanical illustration. “We’ll explain how and where it grows, what the plant looks like, anything interesting to know… I want us to do with the potato what we do with the leopard in the animal books! †

There will also be removable illustrated recipes to promote family cooking. Simple dishes that make perhaps the dinner routine a tad less alienating…


The magazine yum

The annual subscription costs about fifty dollars, as the team plans to create a quality object to collect. In the long run, however, she hopes to develop partnerships to offer free special editions in schools and equip the next generation of Quebecers, regardless of family situation.

Meanwhile, Anna and Daniel Demay are leading a crowdfunding campaign to launch the project’s first year on a solid footing. The co-founders want to raise $20,000 in exchange for pre-subscriptions to the magazine.

“I think it’s important that the community tells us to keep going,” says Anna. Parents write to me that they need such a magazine! †

I have no problem believing it… But one question remains: how do you make the potato as interesting as a dinosaur?

“I think it shows kids that eating is more than eating and being told, ‘Eat your plate if you want dessert.’ You have to tell stories where you talk about everything that is implicit in food: sharing, traditions, self-sacrifice…”

In fact, Anna Demay believes that a dynamic magazine can help put food in children’s imaginations.

“I see children marvel at the characteristics of an animal in a book and then share a lot of statistics about it… I wish my child would be so excited to see a dandelion in the alley. Let him say to me: “Look, Mom! Did you know it’s edible? You just have to…”

She pauses, as if suddenly aware of her own overflowing passion.

A jewel left by her mother that she in turn will be able to pass on to her children. Better yet, for thousands of children.

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