WHO IS SHE?

Ksenija currently works as a freelance photographer and lives in Toronto. She grew up foraging and fishing in the mountains and rivers of Bosnia, and in her grandmothers' kitchens and gardens.  At 11, she fled her home due to the civil war.  Her family moved many times over the period of three years and lived in Berlin until settling in Toronto, Canada in 1995.  

Most recently in April 2018, Ksenija’s first cookbook (The Great Shellfish Cookbook) was released and published by Penguin Random House Canada (available online via Amazon internationally). This was her first cookbook and she was given both the role of the photographer and food stylist. It was the combination of having the creative space and preparing the food for the photography which she truly embraced and enjoyed. Ksenija is an enthusiastic gardener and cook and cherishes finding the connection to a dish, its ingredients and cook/chef/culture who made it.  Food is valuable nourishment to her and she highly regards it for its beauty, benefits and sustenance.

In Toronto, her involvement with food started at a specialty German deli in Rexdale for 7 years.  In 2011, she became a member of the Toronto Underground Food Market and for 3 years, worked as the in-house photographer & vendor manager of this innovative showcase for alternative culinary talent in the city at that time.  It was later on at the Depanneur that Ksenija was able to link her own experiences as a refugee with her sociology major, and share food as an important and effective tool to cross cultural gaps.  She hosted over 20 drop in dinners and supper clubs, as well as a Table Talk at the Depanneur during the 3 years of her involvement there.  Today, she supports the Newcomer Kitchen Project and occasionally cooks in various establishments.  From 2015 to 2017, she was the cook at the Raca Cafe and Bar in Parkdale, working with Chef Ivana Raca. 

She holds two honours bachelor degrees from York University.  Her previous career was in the mental health field.  She worked in various departments at CAMH for 11 years and gained educational, clinical, research, managerial as well as business development skills and experience. 

More about her work (published):

Her clients include Penguin Random House, the Drake Hotel, TIFF, Playboy, VISA Infinite Dining, RBC, Amazon, the STOP Community Centre and OCAD, as well as various chefs and restaurants in Toronto.  She also often covers fundraising & art/film/music/food related events in the city.

Ksenija's work has been published in print/online by the Globe & Mail, the National Post, NOW Magazine, Toronto Life, FORBES, Sharp Magazine, Chatelaine, Foodism, enRoute Canada, Men's Fashion, Montecristo Magazine, Bay St. Bull, CTV's The Social, CBC Canada, amongst others.

If you’d like to read a bit more about Ksenija’s journey, you can do so here:

 https://www.westendphoenix.com/november-2017-in-ksenijas-kitchen/

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dervis+goes+fishing

http://camhblog.com/2015/12/16/can-you-put-yourself-in-the-shoes-of-a-refugee-i-was-you/

http://thedepanneur.ca/2015/04/10/table-talk-ksenija-hotic/

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Photo credit: Rick O'Brien