Jon studied Hotel and Food Administration at the University of Guelph and it was there that his interest in food began. After working in restaurants and wineries across Canada and France, Jon developed an appetite for writing about food and this led him to emerge as a food journalist.
Jon authored food and drink columns in a number of Canadian publications and later developed Deconstructing Dinner in 2006 – a weekly one-hour radio show and podcast based at Kootenay Co-op Radio CJLY in Nelson, British Columbia. Before it went off the air in late 2010, the show was being broadcast on 50 radio stations in Canada and the US and was ranked as the top Canadian food podcast by iTunes. In 2011, Jon was a finalist for a Jack Webster Award in Community Reporting following his work on an investigative story about local food fraud which appeared on Deconstructing Dinner.
In early 2011, Jon met James Beard Award winning filmmaker Declan O’Driscoll and the two transformed Deconstructing Dinner into a documentary television and multimedia series released in late 2013 thru 2014. Deconstructing Dinner: Reconstructing Our Food System was broadcast weekly (2013-2015) across Canada on ichannel and today is available on Gaia and on the Deconstructing Dinner web site. The series received the Best of Canada award at the 2015 Taste Awards.
Complementing his work as a journalist, Jon was a Board Director of the Kootenay Co-op between 2006-2016 and served as the Board President in his final two years. The community-owned grocery store in Nelson is the largest of its kind in Canada. Over those 10 years, Jon was involved in the Co-op’s development of Nelson Commons – a mixed-use development in Nelson’s downtown and the home for the Co-op’s new location (2016). Jon has also been involved as a researcher and steering committee member for many food system initiatives in the West Kootenay region like the Kootenay Grain CSA, GE Free Kootenays, the Nelson Flour Milling Co-op, and the report: Towards a Regional Food System Alliance Development Strategy for the West Kootenay. The report aided in the development of the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council and their annual Food & Farm Directory for the region. In 2012, Jon launched the annual Deconstructing Dinner Film Festival – a multi-day event held in Nelson and surrounding communities for which he curates and coordinates the showcasing of food documentaries from around the world. For his contributions to the Nelson community, Jon was presented with a Sustainability Leadership Award by the City of Nelson in 2014.
Jon is the author of the forthcoming book Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants (New Society Publishers, 2019).
Jon offers a number of timely and dynamic presentations that inspire communities, students and organizations to become active participants within our local and global food system.
Should your group be interested in booking Jon for your event, class or conference, please contact Deconstructing Dinner.