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About Bonnie

Bonnie Stern is the founder of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking in Toronto which she opened and operated from 1973 to 2011. She has studied and taught cooking around the world, authored 12 bestselling cookbooks, hosted three national cooking shows, and appears regularly on various television and radio shows across Canada.

For 17 years Bonnie wrote a weekly column for the National Post and her articles have appeared in numerous magazines. She has conducted popular workshops for the James Beard Foundation in New York City and leads culinary cultural trips to various delicious destinations. Bonnie is also the creator of a ground-breaking book club in which novelists are invited to discuss their work during thematic dinners.

Bonnie Stern is the recipient of many awards including ones from the Toronto Culinary Guild, the Ontario Hostelry Institute, Cuisine Canada and most notably she is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award. Bonnie Stern’s Essentials of Home Cooking won the coveted International Association of Culinary Professionals’ award.


May 2021

When I was growing up my mom loved rhubarb, and other foods like quince, pomegranates, beets, dates that most people didn’t like at that time. To make it worse, my sister and I were fussy eaters and my dad liked everything very plain so she never loved cooking, although she was a very good cook. When I decided to go to chef’s school after university (instead of finishing my plan of becoming a librarian) she was my biggest fan. What I wouldn't give to cook with her right now.

So yes, it's May and that means Mother's Day is around the corner. While I don't always like how every day seems to be a special day for something (that I inevitably miss!), I do think mothers of all types should be celebrated. Whether you’re someone’s mother, a puppy mother, love and/or miss your mother, or know mothers you love and who love you - happy Mother’s Day to everyone.

For Mother’s Day this year we’re planning to get take out to support restaurants and come together on Zoom. We’re trying Sunny’s Chinese for the first time and have heard rave reviews, and we also had a delicious meal at King’s Noodle if you’re looking for another Chinese food alternative. I would also love Thai food from Pai, Indian food from Pukka, Middle Eastern from Fat Fasha or Tabule, South African from Jack and Lil's, Italian from Seven Numbers or Maker Pizza or Mediterranean from Joso's, Bernhardt's and any of the other places I post in the restaurant (take-out) section below.

Our April
book club with Kim Echlin featuring her new book Speak, Silence was incredible. Deborah Dundas, books editor at the Toronto Star did an amazing interview and Kim was generous with her answers about how she turned her investigative reporting on the war in Sarajevo into a novel that you couldn't put down. And despite its tough content it was uplifting and positive. Our May book club is with Camilla Gibb, one of our very first guest authors, and her new book The Relatives - see below for more information.

In June we welcome Paula McLain (author of The Paris Wife), one of our favourite in person authors. Her new book is When the Stars Go Dark. See below for more information.

Happy Mother's Day. Be kind. Be patient. Stay safe.


Kitchen Tip
HOW TO PEEL A MANGOWhen your vegetable peeler will not peel a mango easily, that's when you know you need a new peeler. If your mango is overripe - forgive your vegetable peeler and try it again before you buy a new one. Actually, when I find a vegetable peeler (or any other reasonably priced smallish essential gadgets) that I like, I buy a few. It has been my experience many gadgets I like are discontinued!

Bonnie's Book and Dinner 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 Canada’s leading authors (and some from farther away), discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal.

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

The Book and Dinner Club comes with a delicious catered meal and wine from The Edible Story, delivered to your home the day of the event. A signed copy of our featured book will be sent out in advance so that you will have the opportunity to read it before the meeting.

MAY 2021

Camilla Gibb: The RelativesFrom the renowned author of Sweetness in the Belly, The Beauty of Humanity Movement and This Is Happy, comes a bold, urgent and richly imagined novel about what it means to be a family in our modern world.

Lila is on a long, painful journey toward motherhood. Tess and Emily are reeling after their ugly separation and fighting over ownership of the embryos that were supposed to grow their family together. And thousands of miles away, the unknown man who served as anonymous donor to them all is being held in captivity in Somalia. While his life remains in precarious balance, his genetic material is a source of both creation and conflict.

What does it mean to be a family in our rapidly shifting world? What are our responsibilities to each other with increasing options for how to create a family?

As these characters grapple with life-altering changes, they will find themselves interconnected in ways they cannot have imagined, and forced to redefine what family means to them.

Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 (Limited availability)
Time: 7:30 pm EST
Place: Virtual
Fee*: $175 + HST
(includes a catered meal from The Edible Story, wine, delivery, gratuity and an autographed copy of The Relatives sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Call Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Some geographical restrictions may apply.

* Small print:
All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Please mark your calendar with the date and time of the event.

Cancellations can be accepted until Tuesday May 11, 2021. A $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. However, you may have someone take your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to notify us regarding change of address for the meal delivery by Tuesday May 18, 2021.

JUNE 2021

PAULA McLAIN: WHEN THE STARS GO DARKThe final Book Club of this spring will feature a return visit from blockbuster New York Times bestselling author Paula McLain (The Paris Wife) as she launches When The Stars Go Dark an atmospheric novel of intertwined fate and heart-wrenching suspense.

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When unspeakable tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino. She spent summers there as a child with her beloved grandparents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her to heal. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. Anna is in no condition to become involved with the search, until a childhood friend, now the village sheriff, pleads for her help.

Then, just days later, a twelve-year-old girl is abducted from her home. The crimes feel frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna's childhood, when a string of unsolved murders touched Mendocino. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with these missing girls, she must learn that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together true crime, trauma theory and a hint of the metaphysical, this tense, affecting story is about fate, unlikely redemption and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives - and our faith in one another.

Date: Monday, June 21, 2021
Time: 7:30 pm EST
Place: Virtual
Fee*: $175 + HST
(includes a catered meal from The Edible Story, wine, delivery, gratuity and an autographed copy of When The Stars Go Dark sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Call Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Some geographical restrictions may apply.

* Small print:
All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Please mark your calendar with the date and time of the event.

Cancellations can be accepted until Monday June 7, 2021. A $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. However, you may have someone take your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to notify us regarding change of address for the meal delivery by Monday June 14, 2021.

The Edible Story
The Edible Story Box
The Edible Story box2

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.

Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

News And Events
COOKING CLASSESBonnie has been doing custom Zoom cooking events for fund-raisers, corporate classes and private groups. Contact for more information and rates. Subject line: Bonnie’s Cooking Events. Events can be personalized but some of the popular themes are:

Challah Workshop

Italian All the Time

Israeli Family Dinner

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTUREAt the beginning of 2020 we had a magical 10th anniversary Eating Israel Culinary Tour. For now, we are planning a tour for March 2022 and will let you know when we feel it's safe to travel.

If you are interested to be on our culinary tour mailing list (and not already on the list), email Bonnie at Subject line: Eating Israel.

For a small taste of my time in Israel check these videos filmed and produced by Mark Rupert:

A gorgeous February day in Israel

My favourite coffee shop in Tel Aviv

Everyday is a busy day at Port Said

FOGO ISLAND AND ST JOHN’S BOOK CLUBWe were in the middle of planning a book club and food tour at Fogo Island Inn with a stop in St. John’s when the lock down occurred. We have postponed the trip for now but continue to try to plan for the time it can take place. Fogo Island Inn is rated #3 in the Top Hotels in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine and Raymond's in St. John's is consistently rated one of Canada's top restaurants.

If you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland the combination of a few days in St. John’s, including dinner at Raymond's, and 3 days on Fogo Island, staying at Fogo Island Inn, will be a dream come true. We will also be hosting two or three book club events, tours, classes and wonderful meals.

If you are interested in receiving information, once it is available, email Bonnie at Subject line: Fogo Island. Everyone on our Food Tour list will receive information about any culinary tours and/or travelling book clubs as well.
Restaurant Recommendations and More
Maker Pizza
1537 Avenue Road
416 782 2000

Although they are famous for their tropical pizza, we LOVED their pepperoni one.
Defina Pizza
231 Roncesvalles Avenue
416 534 4414

The gluten free pizza was excellent and exceeded my expectation.
Tom's Dairy Freeze (Take-out)
630 The Queensway
416 259 1846

I love soft serve and Tom's is my fave. I am in big trouble now that it can be delivered all over the city. Check each delivery app for the one that goes to you!
King's Noodle
296 Spadina Avenue
(at Dundas)
416 598 1817
All our favourite dishes are delicious here - rice noodles with beef, har gow, chun fun, sauteed baby bok choy, sticky rice and much more. Also great bbq.
Pai Uptown
2335 Yonge Street
(just north of Eglinton)
416 901 4724

Our neighbourhood Thai restaurant can't be beat. Still so many dishes I want to try but we always order their amazing Pad Thai, red curry chicken, mango sticky rice for dessert
Featured Recipes
  • handful of arugula
  • 2 heads gem lettuce, trimmed and cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 2 Belgian endives, trimmed and sliced crosswise
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, trimmed and sliced into rounds
  • 30 peas in the pod, shelled (or about 3/4 cup frozen peas)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

  • dressing:
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • SPRING SALAD WITH FRESH PEASSpring is here and this salad will make you feel like it is. Add cooked asparagus, broccoli or broccolini or to make it into a meal, top with poached eggs, goat cheese, sliced chicken, roasted salmon, grilled meats or tofu.

    1. Combine arugula, lettuce, endive and cucumber in a shallow bowl.

    2. If you have fresh peas, place them in a mixing bowl and pour about 4 cups boiling water over them. Cover the bowl and let sit a few minutes. Drain and sprinkle over the lettuce. (If you are using frozen peas, cover with boiling water for one minute and drain. Sprinkle with tarragon.

    3. For the dressing whisk lemon juice, mustard, honey and salt. Whisk in oil. Drizzle over salad.

    Makes 2 to 4 servings
  • 1 lb extra large or jumbo shrimp (about 8), deveined with shells on
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
  • GRILLED SHRIMP WITH GARLIC AND BROCCOLINIThese are a real treat in every way - easy but impressive and delicious. I first had them at my friend, Irene Tam's house and have made them ever since - although not that often. The shrimp can be shelled but I think they tasted better and look more important cooked with the shells on. You can buy them deveined with or without the shells or you can do it yourself by cutting with a small knife (or snipping with scissors), through the shells on the top along the back and then cutting out the vein. Instead of shrimp you could use chicken strips, strips of extra firm tofu or strips of thick fish.

    1. Butterfly shrimp and flatten slightly so that they will barbecue evenly and quickly.

    2. In a large shallow pan combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn the shrimp over in the seasoned olive oil and rub the oil under the shells.  Add the broccolini and coat with the oil mixture also.

    3. Grill shrimp, pressing down on the the backs to flatten so they will cook evenly, about 3 minutes, turn over and cook until shells grill, another minute or two. At the same time spread the broccolini out over the rest of the grill and cook a few minutes, flip over and cook another few minutes until stalks are just tender.

    Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 to 3 as a main
  • 1 bunch small-ish beets (about 1 lb), greens trimmed off and reserved
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup labneh or plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • flaky salt
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped toasted almonds
  • ROASTED BEETS WITH THEIR GREENS OVER LABNEHThis recipe, adapted from 'Open Kitchen: Inspired Food for Casual Gatherings' by Susan Spungen, has become a family favourite. My mom would have loved it as much as we do.

    1. Preheat oven to 425F.

    2. Trim beet stems to about 1/2 inch. Scrub beets well to remove any grit and sand and then peel - clean well especially around the stem. Wash leaves well, tear into large pieces and set aside. Cut beets in half, quarters or even eighths, depending on size. Toss with 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil, some salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast 35 to 45 minutes turning from time to time, until evenly browned and tender. Toss greens with 1 tbsp olive oil and a little salt and add to the beets (I just put them on top), cook 3 to 5 minutes longer until wilted. Mix together.

    3. Spread labneh on a small platter and top with beets and greens. Drizzle with a few tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with flaky salt, pepper and almonds, if using. Just as delicious warm or room temperature.

    Make 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3" lengths (or however you like)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste (or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit open or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • ROASTED RHUBARB WITH MAPLE SYRUP AND VANILLAMy mom loved rhubarb. Inspired by the roasted rhubarb in "Sweet" by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh and by the vibrant instagram page @lainieskitchen, serve this as is, or over rice pudding, ice cream, meringues, pound cake or my favourite way, for breakfast with yogurt.

    1. Preheat oven to 425F.

    2. Place rhubarb in a 9"x13" baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar, drizzle with maple syrup and vanilla paste (add vanilla bean or drizzle with vanilla extract).

    3. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and the whole kitchen smells amazing!

    Makes about 8 servings as a topping

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