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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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Bonnie Stern
About Bonnie

When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed. Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.

Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and writes weekly in the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.


July 2016

June was a busy month and it seemed to fly by. I hardly noticed the good weather until I got to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia where it was cold and rainy. They just say – that’s summer in Newfoundland. So be sure to enjoy the warm weather when we have it.

In June I was honoured to be the emcee, for a second time, for one of my favourite fundraising events. It was in support of Child Development Institute’s A Taste of Home program - a series of after school cooking classes for kids in shelters. It is a great program that nurtures kids whose lives have been uprooted and gives them life skills that they will have forever. The event is warm and homey, just like the program. Ten of Toronto's top chefs were cooking and they all made recipes based on ones their mother taught them or made for them. You can call Child Development Institute to be on their mailing list for future events. (And donate too if you see fit.)

Toronto Taste in support of Second Harvest was especially fantastic this year. The fifty-some chefs and thirty beverage providers involved went above and beyond to offer great tastes for all the guests. As one of the founding chairpersons I am so proud of how this event has grown and how much it benefits Second Harvest.

This French restaurant was the ultimate two week pop-up. Fred Morin (Joe Beef, Montreal) and John Bil (Honest Weight, Toronto) converted the control room at the Hearn Power Station during Luminato into one of the most fun and delicious food experiences the city has ever seen. Those of us lucky enough to be there are still in awe. What a treat!

I was so happy teaching two classes at Linda Stephen’s cooking school in Baltimore, Ontario. She taught at my school for many years and as she was just about to retire she invited me to teach two of her last classes. So much fun - I do miss teaching!

It was so rewarding to teach two corporate classes for former clients last month. I am happy to teach if someone calls and requests me, specifically, for a corporate group or a private party.

After meeting author Kevin Patterson I am especially looking forward to our August book club celebrating News From the Red Desert. The book is an eye-opening novel about the problems with war. And he should know as he worked in Afghanistan as a doctor with the Canadian Forces. See book club section below.

I was just at the Farmer's market in Liverpool, Nova Scotia and eating the sweetest cherry tomatoes I have ever tasted from Cindy Rubinfine's Pleasant Hill Farm. See you at the market in Toronto.

Delicious wishes,




Bonnie's Book Club
Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of the country's leading authors, discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!

*Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.


KEVIN PATTERSON: NEWS FROM THE RED DESERTBonnie is thrilled to kick off the thirteenth season of the book club with a powerful new novel from one of Canada’s most respected writers, Kevin Patterson, and his long-awaited new novel News From the Red Desert. This is the first literary work to explore the incredible toll taken by Canadian forces serving in Afghanistan.

The author of the award-winning The Water in Between and In a Country of Cold, and the contemporary classic Consumption, Kevin Patterson’s road to a writing career was an unusual one. Born in Manitoba, he joined the Canadian Forces in order to finance his way through medical school. Over the years, Patterson’s medical career has taken him around the world, from the Arctic to Afghanistan. Yet while practicing medicine, Patterson has also established a career for himself as a writer to watch, shifting effortlessly between non-fiction and fiction. It is Paterson’s personal experience in the Afghan conflict that gives the book its incredible depth and poignancy.

News From the Red Desert begins on the Kandahar Airfield in late 2001, when everyone believes the war has been won and the Taliban defeated. Then it leaps late in the severely escalated conflict - into the mess, and death, and confusion. At its heart are the men and women who have come to Afghanistan to seek purpose, adventure and danger, by engaging in the most bewitching and treacherous of human pursuits - making war.

It's the story of Deirdre O'Malley, an American war correspondent who has come to love the soldiers she covers so much that she's sliding toward feeling like a member of the mission herself. Embedded with Canadian infantry, she can't ignore the situation on the ground. Her loyalty toward her ex-lover, the American general who has taken command of the theatre, wavers as the war wavers, and the use of torture and the steady slaughter of civilians is brought to light. Fuelling the tension is a melancholy American supply sergeant who accidentally releases a trove of war porn online that sparks a furious hunt for the person who leaked it. Fearing arrest at any moment, he has stayed on too long in Kandahar for reasons he doesn't understand himself. Caught up in these currents are the Pakistanis who operate the Green Beans cafe on the base, led by optimist Rami Issay, who wants to lighten his customers' hearts by running film and chess clubs on the premises. But the war intrudes even into the lives of the well-intentioned. In a powerful climax that tests everyone's loyalty and faith, the essential chaos of violence asserts itself. Love and desire endure, but no one escapes unscathed.

Date: Monday August 22, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Tabule on Yonge Street
2009 Yonge Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of News From the Red Desert sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


CRAIG DAVIDSON: PRECIOUS CARGOBonnie is very happy to welcome back Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominee Craig Davidson to the Book Club as he shares his critically-acclaimed, national bestselling memoir Precious Cargo.

With the publication of his debut collection of short stories, Rust and Bone, in 2005, Canadian writer Craig Davidson attracted considerable attention from the international literary community. In 2007, he followed his debut success with the critically-acclaimed The Fighter, a hard-hitting exploration of the lives of two very different young men heading down the road of self-destruction.

In 2012, Davidson’s star soared even more with the release of celebrated French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of two of the stories featured in Rust and Bone. The film, Rust and Bone, starred Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard, was a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival and received rave reviews around the world.

In 2013, Davidson dazzled readers and critics with Cataract City, the powerful story of two lifelong friends haunted by memories of the past as they try to build lives for themselves. The National Post proclaimed the novel “A superb, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining novel...Davidson is a seriously talented writer…” while Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis called Cataract City “An astounding, accomplished book. I truly did not want to leave this world.”

Davidson’s novel went on to become a national bestseller and was shortlisted for the prestigious Scotibank Giller Prize. Davidson’s new book, Precious Cargo is a surprising and revelatory work of memoir that documents an incredible year in the author’s life, and the unexpected career shift that forever changed the way he saw himself and the rest of the world.

Before the great success of Cataract City and the film adaptation of Rust and Bone, Craig Davidson experienced a period of great doubt about his abilities as a writer and the possibility of making a living doing the thing he loved most. One morning in 2008, desperate, impoverished and living in a one-room basement apartment, Davidson plucked a flyer out of his mailbox that read, "Bus Drivers Wanted." That was the first step towards an unlikely new career: driving a school bus full of special-needs kids for a year.

Armed only with a sense of humour akin to that of his charges, a creative approach to the challenge of driving a large, awkward vehicle while corralling a rowdy gang of kids, and surprising but unsentimental reserves of empathy, Davidson takes us along for the ride. He shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the "precious cargo" in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society.

Don’t miss what promises to be a terrific evening of literature, food and conversation.

Date: Monday September 19, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Fat Pasha Patio
414 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Precious Cargo sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Julia Child’s great-nephew, and co-author of My Life in France, presents the enchanting story of her years as a TV personality and beloved cookbook writer.

Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, Alex Prud'homme, Child's great-nephew and My Life in France co-author, vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America's First Lady of French Food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, the book uncovers the Julia Child beyond her "French Chef" persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

Date: Thursday October 13, 2016 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: L'Avenue Bistro
1568 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The French Chef in America sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Locations
Tabule lamb
Tabule 7
Tabule 4
Tabule Yonge
Tabule on Yonge Street

Tabule on Yonge Street

Tabule is one of my favourite Toronto Restaurants for great Middle Eastern food. Always fun and so delicious.

2009 Yonge Street
416 483 3747

Fat Pasha
Fat Pasha2
Fat Pasha3
 Fat Pasha 6
Fat Pasha5
Fat Pasha Patio
Fat Pasha Patio x

Fat Pasha Patio

Everyone loves Chef Anthony Rose’s mash-up of Ashkenazi and Sephardi food that seems to explode with flavour.

414 Dupont Street
647 340 6142

L'Avenue 4
L'Avenue 5
L'Avenue Bistro x

L'Avenue Bistro

L’Avenue Bistro has become a favourite neighbourhood restaurant serving delicious modern bistro food. We are really excited to have our book club there again.

1568 Bayview Avenue
416 485 1568

Corporate Services

Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.

Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.

Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:

Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Market Tours
Recipe development
Private cooking classes
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810

Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)
Friday Night Dinners
Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback

Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking
Bonnie Stern's
Essentials of Home Cooking

Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback

This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.

News And Events
SUMMERLICIOUS<br/ >JULY 8 - 24, 2016Summerlicious celebrates Toronto’s restaurant industry and is the perfect opportunity for foodies to sample the best of the city’s eclectic cuisine. Take advantage of the prix fixe menus offered at more than 220 of Toronto’s dining establishments!

For more information, click Summerlicious 2016


We are very excited that the itinerary for our next culinary tour to Israel will be available next month. We will send out the itinerary and price as soon as it's available. Please email with your name, email and phone number to be on our trip info list (if you are not already on it).


Community Food Centres Canada ( provides resources and a proven approach to partner organizations across Canada to create Community Food Centres that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food.

There are very moving stories of how people's lives can improve when you make good food available. Here is one story: Cate's Story

Restaurant Recommendations and More
87 Harbord Street
647 748 7199
Chef/restaurateur Cory Vitello opened Flock – a rotisserie and fried chicken take-out counter - in downtown Toronto last year. Now he has opened a full service casual sit down restaurant on Harbord Street. Delicious salad bowls and side dishes accompany the rotisserie chicken (+ fried chicken, sandwiches, soup etc). There is also a take-out counter and patio.
Momofuku Daisho
Third Floor
190 University Avenue
647 253 6227
Torontonians love to go for brunch. Daisho’s brunch is a treat. You can make reservations. The room is beautiful. The service is friendly and professional. And the food is delicious. They have a bagel feast large format option (imitating their evening feasts) with platters of gravlax, scrambled eggs, sausages, salads and sides. My personal favourite is the everything bun – steamed buns filled with smoked whitefish salad, horseradish and friend capers. And blueberry pancakes are really great too.
3328 Yonge Street
(just north of Fairlawn)
416 488 9400
On the advice of my favourite food and beverage guy, Guy Rigby, we went to a new-ish sushi place in North Toronto. It was fantastic. The restaurant is stunning, long and narrow and very modern. Sit at the counter, watch the show and discuss the food with your chef. For our first visit we tried the most reasonable ($80) of four tasting menus and experienced delicious appetizers, soup, sushi and dessert. They have a great sake sampling too for $18. This was a real treat.
Featured Recipes
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle Tabasco or pureed canned chipotles or other hot sauce (or more), optional
  • 3 oz grated smoked Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 boiled eggs, cooked 9 to 10 minutes (cooled in cold water and shells removed), or 2 poached eggs cooked about 6 to 8 minutes, cooled (yolks should still be soft and a bit runny)
  • 4 slices good quality sandwich bread
  • 2 tbsp soft butter
  • SOUTHWESTERN STYLE POACHED EGG-ON-YOUR-FACE PANINI  In Montreal last month I had a delicious over-the-top version of a grilled cheese sandwich at Olive e Gourmando, a cute and very popular breakfast/lunch cafe in Old Montreal. I added my own smoky southwestern flavours and came up with this. It’s a perfect summer dinner with salad.



    1. Combine mayonnaise with chipotle. Add cheese and cilantro and combine well.

    2. Chop up boiled or poached eggs including soft yolk. Add to cheese mixture.

    3. Lightly butter both sides of bread and divide filling between two slices. Spread filling evenly. Top with remaining two slices.

    4. Cook 2 to 3 minutes in a hot panini press or 2 minutes per side in a heavy skillet until browned and cheese melts. Cool a few minutes and cut in half.

    makes 2 sandwiches 

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs soft or medium tofu (not silken), cut into slabs (about 1/2” to 3/4" thick)

  • sauce:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into thin sticks (approximately 1 tbsp)
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil (eg. Kadoya)
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • JENNY'S TOFU STEAKS WITH GINGERThis recipe is from Jenny-Cheng Burke, a talented designer, gardener and great cook. My husband even loved it. Jenny likes to make this with soft or medium tofu for a crisp outside and custardy centre. She says this sauce is also delicious on steamed fish and congee.


    1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick). Pat tofu dry and, in batches, cook 3 to 4 minutes per side until browned and crusty on the outside. Remove to a platter. Add remaining oil when necessary.

    2. Wipe out skillet. Add 1 tbsp oil and heat. Add ginger and cook gently a few minutes until fragrant. Add green onions, cook about 30 seconds and add soy sauce. Add cilantro and sesame oil. If mixture is too dry add a few teaspoons water.

    3. Spoon sauce over tofu.

    makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 strips pork back ribs (approximately 5 lbs/2.5kg), fascia (membrane) removed from underneath side of ribs
  • 1/4 cup basic bbq rub (eg 2 tbsp each salt & pepper, 1 tsp each cumin and paprika)

  • glaze:
  • 1/2 cup sour cherry concentrate
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon style mustard
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp pureed chipotle chilies or Chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce (eg Heinz or homemade equivalent)

  • topping:
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped (I used Picard’s Ontario peanuts)
  • SOUR CHERRY GLAZED SPARERIBSI was excited to be invited to participate in the Langdon Hall Canada Day BBQ series on July 1 with these talented chefs - Todd Perrin from Mallard Cottage in St. John’s NL, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Executive Chef Ned Bell, Dale MacKay from Ayden Kitchen and Bar in Saskatoon and Jason Bangerter, Executive Chef Langdon Hall.

    Each chef serves their favourite barbecue recipe and this was mine. I was lucky to have the wonderful team at Langdon Hall prepare them for me. Delicious food and wine, fireworks and music made the event so much fun.

    Although I always use Niagara’s Cherry Lane sour cherries, I was introduced to their sour cherry concentrate by Chef Matt Duffy from Cafe Boulud who loves using local products. You can mail order their cherries and/or concentrate at You can also make your own sour cherry concentrate by reducing 3 cups (750mL) tart cherry juice over medium high heat for approximately 30 to 40 minutes until you have 3/4 cup or you can substitute pomegranate molasses. If you like lots of sauce double the glaze and serve some separately with the ribs.


    1. Line one or two sheet pans with heavy duty aluminum foil. Cut strips of ribs in half crosswise so that they are easier to handle. Sprinkle both sides with rub. Arrange in a single layer on foil. Place another sheet of foil over the ribs and seal edges. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 1 to 2 hours or longer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

    2. For glaze combine 1/2 cup sour cherry concentrate with honey, vinegar, mustard, oil, chipotles and chili sauce.

    3. When ribs are tender brush with glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Barbecue on medium heat, brushing with glaze every few minutes for 10 to 15 minutes. If they start to burn transfer to a cooler side of the grill. (If you do not have a barbecue, brush with glaze and finish in the oven at 375F for 20 to 30 minutes brushing with glaze every 10 minutes.)

    4. Serve ribs sprinkled with peanuts if using. To slice ribs easily have the underneath side facing up so you can see where to slice.

    makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 lbs small Yukon Gold potatoes (halved if large)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme

  • dressing:
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon style mustard
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 big handfuls baby arugula or more
  • ROASTED POTATO SALAD WITH ARUGULAEveryone loves this roasted potato salad with a vinaigrette dressing – lighter than mayonnaise and a delicious change.


    1. Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary or thyme and spread in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast in a preheated 400F oven 40 to 45 minutes until browned and crispy. Stir after 25 minutes.

    2. For dressing, whisk vinegar with garlic and mustard, salt and pepper and whisk in oil. Toss with warm potatoes. Just before serving toss potatoes with arugula.

    makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1 jalapeno, cut into chunks (or less)
  • 4 cups whole strawberries, hulled
  • small handful chives, cut into 1" or 2" pieces
  • SPICY STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH CHIVESThis savory salad was inspired by a side dish served at a Graffigna Wine event at Big Crow BBQ in Toronto. Dinner centered around an Argentinian barbecue (asado) where large chunks of meat are grilled slowly for hours, empanadas are served as appetizers, a variety of salads accompany the main course and lots of Malbec wine is consumed. To create this salad, Big Crow's chef, Chris Sanderson, worked with Argentina's celebrity chef, Fernando Trocca from Buenos Aires. They used fiery finger chilies in the dressing but jalapeno chilies are hot enough for me. Here’s my version. 


    1. Whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, oil and salt. Add jalapeno pieces and let them sit in the dressing about one hour or longer. Strain, pressing down on the chilies.

    2. Toss strawberries with dressing and top with chives.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold cut into small cubes

  • filling:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • BUTTER TART SQUARES CANADA DAY 2016Butter tart tastings seems to be very popular this year. My version is a little different because it is in squares rather than tarts and uses maple syrup. But I love them like this. Let me know if you do too.


    1. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or food processor until butter is in tiny bits. Knead gently until dough just comes together. Pat into the bottom of a buttered 8"x8" baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper (with two sides overhanging for easy removal). Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned.

    2. Meanwhile prepare filling by creaming butter with sugar until light. Beat in maple syrup and then eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Whisk baking powder with flour and stir into filling.

    3. Spread filling evenly over pastry. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or longer until set in the centre. Cool and refrigerate for easy cutting. Cut into squares in the pan or lift out of pan using parchment paper to help and cut on a cutting board.

    makes 25 squares

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