TV host Christine Cushing will be on hand to field your cooking questions this weekend at Life Fest.


While most television celebrities are used to being stopped in public to sign autographs, Canadian chef Christine Cushing often receives a different sort of attention from her fans.

“People will stop me in the grocery store and say ’what can I do with this (food)?’” she chuckles. “And I’ll say, ’I’ll show you (on my program) tomorrow.’”

Those same enthusiastic fans have the chance to ask Cushing food and recipe questions in person this weekend at Life Fest, the fourth annual women’s show focusing on a range of subject matters including health, fitness, beauty and nutrition.

Cushing is just one of many guest speakers at the show, headlined by actress and activist Jane Fonda.

The outspoken Oscar-winner is expected to discuss her more than four decade-long career and her autobiography My Life So Far.

Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden was also scheduled to attend Life Fest as a second marquee speaker, but was forced to cancel her appearance due to a non-life threatening heart condition.

Other notable personalities set to take the stage to share their personal stories include actress and author Mag Ruffman, television journalist Wendy Mesley and radio personality Erin Davis.

“We try to pick people who have a broad appeal,” Life Fest manager Mary Nichols says of the choice of speakers for the three-day event expected to draw upwards of 30,000 visitors.

But for Cushing, merely appealing to attendees with some of her signature recipes isn’t good enough. She wants to promote a theme during her post-cooking demonstration talk that she feels is slowly gaining momentum in the nutrition field.

“I’d like to take the whole talk out of the chemistry of food because I think people get bogged down with the statistics,” the former host of Christine Cushing Live and the upcoming program Cook With Me, says.

“I think we live in a fix-all society where we sit on the couch and want to eat magic things that will make us look like Christie Turlington. It’s just not going to happen. I think the more we get bogged down with statistics and all that minutiae, it really takes away from the balance of (nutrition).”

  • Life Fest runs Friday through Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For more information, visit www.lifefest.ca.