Take Back the Tray

Take Back the Tray is a book by Joshna Maharaj.

Joshna Maharaj

Good food generally doesn't arrive on a tray: hospital food is famously ridiculed, chronic student hunger is deemed a rite of passage, and prison meals are considered part of the punishment. But Chef Joshna Maharaj knows that institutional kitchens have the ability to produce good, nourishing food, because she's been making it happen over the past 14 years. She's served meals to people who'd otherwise go hungry, baked fresh scones for maternity ward mothers, and dished out wholesome, scratch-made soups to stressed-out undergrads. She's determined to bring health, humanity, and hospitality back to institutional food while also building sustainability, supporting the local economy, and reinvigorating the work of frontline staff.

Take Back the Tray is part manifesto, part memoir from the trenches, and a blueprint for reclaiming control from corporations and brutal bottom lines. Maharaj reconnects food with health, wellness, education, and rehabilitation in a way that serves people, not just budgets, and proves change is possible with honest, sustained commitment on all levels, from government right down to the person sorting the trash. The need is clear, the time is now, and this revolution is delicious. (From ECW Press)

Maharaj is a chef, food expert and activist who has appeared on CBC and TVO. Take Back the Tray is her first book.

More from Joshna Maharaj

Is there a more unappetizing phrase than “hospital food?” For Toronto chef and food activist Joshna Maharaj, good food is much more than a luxury. It is a fundamental right, and essential to the dignity and well-being of the people in institutions like hospitals, long-term care homes and prisons. Her new book, Take Back The Tray: Revolutionizing Food in Hospitals, Schools, and Other Institutions, makes the case for from-scratch cooking and locally-sourced ingredients.
This coming Monday, the winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize will be announced — and Canada's own Joshna Maharaj is in the running.
Toronto chef Joshna Maharaj tells us how thinking differently about our lunches could help change our lives.


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