James Barber (author)

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James Barber
Born23 March 1923
Dover, Kent, U.K.
Died29 November 2007 (age 84)
OccupationTV presenter, chef, writer
Notable credit(s)
The Urban Peasant (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

James Barber (March 23, 1923 – November 29, 2007) was an English-born Canadian cookbook author and host of The Urban Peasant, a CBC cooking show.

Barber worked as an engineer before becoming a food critic for The Province. He immigrated to Canada in 1952. His lifelong interest in food and writing and his increased knowledge in these areas naturally led him to become a cookbook author. Following his retirement, he spent his remaining years on his farm in British Columbia's Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. An energetic and passionate man with a large personality, Barber strove to empower others to do things for themselves.

Barber was married twice and fathered five children; 3 sons and 2 daughters. Perhaps fittingly, Barber died peacefully on November 29, 2007, at his farm of natural causes while sitting at the dining room table reading a cookbook with a pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove.[1] He was 84 years old and is survived by his wife and five children.

TV appearances[edit]

Newspapers and magazines[edit]


  • Ginger Tea Makes Friends (Illustrated) (January 1977 ISBN 0-88894-169-2)
  • Fear of Frying (1978 Douglas & McIntyre ISBN 0-88894-281-8)
  • Ginger Tea Makes Friends (July 1982 Madrona Publishing ISBN 0-88894-148-X)
  • Flash in the Pan (July 1982 Douglas & McIntyre Ltd ISBN 0-88894-331-8)
  • James Barber Mushrooms Are Marvellous (1984 Douglas & McIntyre Ltd.; First edition ISBN 0-88894-444-6)
  • James Barber's Personal Guide to the Best Eating in Vancouver (October 1985 North Country Book Express ISBN 0-932722-10-5)
  • James Barber's Immodest but Honest Good Eating Cookbook (October 1986 Solstice Press ISBN 0-932722-12-1)
  • Urban Peasant (April 1991 Raincoast Book Dist Ltd ISBN 0-9694144-0-4)
  • Urban Peasant Quick & Simple Cookbook (June 16, 1993 Urban Peasant Productions ISBN 0-9697123-0-8)
  • The Urban Peasant: Recipes from the Popular Television Cooking Series (September 25, 1994 Hasting House Publishing ISBN 0-8038-9370-1)
  • Peasant's Choice (October 1, 1994 Urban Peasant Productions ISBN 0-9698398-2-0)
  • Peasant's Choice: More of the Best from the Urban Peasant Recipes from the Popular Television Cooking Series (March 1995 Hasting House Publishing ISBN 0-8038-9370-1)
  • Peasant's Alphabet: More of the best from the Urban Peasant (September 30, 1997 Urban Peasant Productions ISBN 0-9698398-4-7)
  • Cooking for Two: The Urban Peasant (January 1999 Macmillan Press ISBN 0-7715-7634-X)
  • Ginger Tea Makes Friends (August 2000 Raincoast Book Dist Ltd ISBN 1-55192-284-3)[2]
  • Flash in the Pan (August 2000 Raincoast Book Dist Ltd ISBN 1-55192-312-2)[2]
  • Fear of Frying (August 2000 Raincoast Book Dist Ltd ISBN 1-55192-310-6)[2]
  • Chef's Salad: Greens, Vegetables, Pasta, Bean, Seafood, Potato (April 1, 2003 ISBN 1-55285-419-1) James Barber (foreword)
  • One-Pot Wonders: James Barber Recipes for Land and Sea (July 10, 2006 Harbor ISBN 1-55017-378-2)


External links[edit]