City Guides » Hot Summer Guide

My summer: Mat Dunlap, designer, radio host

Designer, co-founder of Just Friends records, host of radio cookery show Let's Get Baked likes to get lost in the green streets of Halifax.

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Operating out of an office above Long & McQuade, Dunlap does design, web stuff and photography for local musicians. With Brent Randall and Dave Ewenson, he started the Just Friends collective/label in 2003. "We don't run it as a strict business, it's more just helping everybody out with whatever services we can," says Dunlap. The musicians include Laura Peek, The Just Barelys, The Stance, Their Majesties, BA Johnson and a recent addition, Mike Evin. Dunlap and Ewenson also host the radio program Let's Get Baked---syndicated in 26 cities across North America (and now international, with Taiwan recently added)---where they make vegetarian and vegan dishes in their kitchen with the help of musicians. A Let's Get Baked cookbook is coming soon.

The Coast: So, what are you doing right now?

Mat Dunlap: This morning I'm dumping some video footage for the band Acres and Acres. They recorded a pretty cool album in a church and I videotaped that. I was doing some David Myles website stuff, and I have to touch up some photos I did with Erin Costelo yesterday. I just finished doing all of the design and website work for the new Joel Plaskett project.

TC: Being such a foodie, where do you like to eat when you go out for food in town?

MD: Heartwood restaurant is number one. I pretty much live there. I also hit the Good Food Emporium pretty regularly. Local Source Market is pretty awesome. And Mary's Place on Robie has good food. I hit Jane's Next Door, they've got good stuff.

TC: What's the most fun you've had in summertime in Halifax?

MD: We got really into what we call "hitting dingers" out in the Common. We don't actually have enough people to play baseball games, so we just go out and hit dingers to each other. And some of the bands from the radio show, we end up going down and play with them. And in general just laying around in the good green spaces. It's so great to have so many trees, flowers and green space around. It's great to get lost in the neighborhoody streets under the canopy of trees.

TC: Do you have any specific plans for the summer '09?

MD: Me and Dave, we really want to work on the cookbook. We're going to be in the Let's Get Baked kitchen laboratories. We're doing a lot of stuff on-site at Evolve and Sappyfest. We're really hoping to have rough product ready for the fall. We've been working on it for so long. A lot of the standout bands that were really into food are eager to contribute stories. We want it to be the kind of cookbook you could read in the bathroom, full of facts. All the recipes are vegan converted so I can eat them, because I'm vegan.

TC: Any festivals you're looking forward to this summer?

MD: Sappyfest will be the summer's highlight for me I'm sure. The Multicultural fest is always a great place for food and good tunes. I hope I get to take in some of that deliciousness this year.

TC: Now that your Let's Get Baked empire is growing do you still have to deal with the idea that maybe it's a cookbook for stoners?

MD: It comes up often. We generally we keep the show squeaky clean. We play on the fact we're two hoser guys in the kitchen...and who knows what the bands did before they show up to our house. If they have the munchies, we'll feed them. The only thing we smoke is tofu and the only thing we roll are big fat burritos.

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