“I grew up making homemade sausages and salami, with wines fermenting in our garage and cheeses aging in our root cellar. I didn’t learn about food from a TV show—I’ve lived it my entire life.”


Smart Serve certified
Medical Laboratory Technician, St. Lawrence College – Kingston


Q. What do you enjoy most about helping out at Savvy events?

Linda Quarin: I love seeing people blindly taste an award-winning cheese and end up discovering something they never thought they’d enjoy. I want people attending our events to go home with an ‘a ha’ moment of finding a great new wine, cheese or craft beer, which they can then share with others so they can experience it, too.

Q. Do you consider yourself to be a ‘foodie’?

LQ: Yes, but I’m not a big fan of the term. It gets my back up a bit, actually. It’s about living food, not just writing or talking about it. Do you prepare your own food? Do you know where it comes from? You might not know it from my last name but I’m Italian, so food and wine and cheese were all a big deal for me growing up. I’ve always been surrounded by wholesome, artisan food—it’s simply who I am. For the people taking pictures of their plates or wine bottles, I say put the camera away and just enjoy the experience—really savour and appreciate every mouthful.

Q. What’s the most amazing meal you’ve ever eaten?

LQ: When I was in Italy, I had what’s called lardo, which is cured lard sliced paper thin and served on a crostini. I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me beforehand, but it was honestly the most delicious thing I have ever eaten—peoples’ eyes were rolling up in the backs of their heads when they tasted it, it was that good. Oh, I also have to mention the seven-course Italian meal with three pasta dishes. When everybody else around the table was full, I said to keep bringing it on because I knew I would never experience something like that again.

Linda’s Food & Wine Tips

It’s not about the name on the label. It’s all about the taste.

There’s only one rule for what makes a good wine: your own personal preference.

When you cook with fresh ingredients, there’s not a lot you need to do to make them shine.