Yum Magazine |  Make the tomato as interesting as a dinosaur.

Yum Magazine | Make the tomato as interesting as a dinosaur.

It was on maternity leave that Anna Demay had the idea to launch yum, the first local youth magazine dedicated to food. A tool to introduce children to the culinary culture of Quebec and “make the tomato as interesting as a triceratops”.

But there was little that he was passionate about gastronomy. This gift is due to his mother, a great fan of cooking.

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

He was only 17 years old when his mother passed away. His enthusiasm for cauldrons later turned into an obsession with “the transmission of traditions”, he confesses to me before adding that he finally reproduces perfectly the bouillabaisse of December 24…

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

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

When the time came to direct her career, logically, Anna Demay undertook studies in tourism and hotel management, focusing on restoration. She worked in the domain before venturing into the world of wine. At 28, during her first maternity leave, she embarked on a master’s degree in food history.

(Obviously, she has the creative fourth trimester.)

It was when she became a mother that she realized that despite her food-oriented career, she lacked important basics. She wanted to supervise her son, but she didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle…

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

ana 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 each parent to initiate a return to earth?

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 talented children’s authors and illustrators… What if we put them through the magazine?

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

Together, they are now working on creating yumQuebec’s first youth nutrition magazine.

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

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

Each magazine will include an illustrated story in which the featured food will take on more or less importance. “It could be a great friendship story that ends up sharing a cone of fries,” says Anna Demay.

There will also be a playful comic strip: “A sweet potato and a baby potato fall in love… I don’t know!”. “, adventures the co-founder, between laughs.

Several sections will follow, including an accessible historical comic strip, a games page, and a food fact sheet with a botanical illustration. “We will explain to you how and where it grows, what the plant is like, everything interesting that there is 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 encourage family cooking. Simple dishes that will be the dinner routine a little less alienating…


Magazine yum

The annual subscription will cost around fifty dollars, as the team aims to produce a quality collectible. In the long term, however, he hopes to develop partnerships to offer free special editions in schools and equip the next generation of Quebecers, regardless of family means.

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

“I think it’s important for the community to tell us to continue,” says Anna. Parents write to me that they need such a magazine! »

I don’t find it hard to believe… But one question remains: how to make the potato as interesting as a dinosaur?

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

Anna Demay believes that a dynamic magazine can allow food to find a place in children’s imaginations.

“I see kids marveling at the specifics of an animal in a book and then sharing lots of stats about it… I wish my son was this excited to see a dandelion in the alley. Tell me: “Look, mom! Did you know that it is edible? You only have to…”

He pauses, as if suddenly aware of his overflowing passion.

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

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