Bonnie Stern Food News
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Bonnie's Book Clubs

Corporate Services

News and Events

Restaurant Recommendations +

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes


Contact
Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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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. As well as offering a wide variety of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. She is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.
 
September, 2014

I was excited to judge the first annual cook-off event during the Creemore Springs Brewery’s Copper Kettle Festival. This year, in addition to the antique car show, food stands, beer garden, and bag-pipers, Miriam Streiman, owner of Mad Maple Country Inn and a former recipe developer and food-stylist for Food Network Canada, organized a cook-off. The cook-off consisted of two teams who had to create a dish from local ingredients provided by farms in the area. The secret ingredient was Creemore Springs beer. Host, Kevin Brauch (The Thirsty Traveller and America’s Iron Chef), said the make-shift, tented kitchen, in the parking lot of Creemore Kitchen restaurant, looked just like the kitchen stadium on Iron Chef! Rodney Bowers, chef/owner of Toronto’s ‘Hey Meatball’, was captain of Team Kettle, which included Tanya Kelly (Blunt Roll Aprons) and Paul and Karen Van Staveren (Stayner Rental). Donna Dooher, chef/owner of Toronto’s ‘Mildred’s Temple’ headed Team Copper, with Alex Molitz (chef, farmer’s assistant and advisor at Meadow Sweet Farm), Gillian Flies (The New Farm) and her daughter Ella. Judges included Caesar Guinto (Creemore Kitchen), Wendy Jeffries (Clearview Stayner Food Bank), Bryan Egan (Creemore Springs Brewery) and me. Everyone ended up a winner – Team Kettle won the People’s Choice Award, Team Copper won the Judges Award and the Clearview Stayner Food Bank received donations from audience members who wanted a taste and chance to vote. Congratulations to all the organizers, sponsors and participants for a great event. (See a few of the recipes below and look for more in my column in the National Post on Saturdays.)

August was also the month my duck press had a chance to shine. I received my duck press, a very specialized piece of cooking equipment, when I first opened my cooking school from Ed Weil, the first person who imported 'gourmet' cooking equipment into Canada. The duck press is used in a traditional French recipe for ‘pressed duck’ made famous by one of the most celebrated restaurants in Paris, La Tour d’Agent. This is how you do it – first you need a special breed of duck, killed in a way that retains the blood. It is then partially roasted, the breasts are removed and the remaining carcass is put in the press and cranked until the bones are crushed and the juices and blood flow out the spout. The sauce is then made with a reduction of the juices, blood, red wine and Cognac and served over the duck breasts. When Tyler Shedden, the Executive Chef of Cafe Boulud, at the Four Seasons Hotel, needed a duck press for a special farm dinner they were organizing, I was happy to loan him mine. He cleaned it meticulously inside and out, and it made it’s culinary debut at a wonderful event that featured Bill Parke, owner of Blackview Farm, who supplied the duck, beef, veal and pork for the menu, Norm Hardie owner of Norman Hardie Winery, whose wines were paired with the meal and Mark Schatzker, author of ‘Steak’ and the soon to be published ‘The Dorrito Effect’ who was the guest speaker. All of the courses were delicious, but the duck really shone. And now so does my duck press!

New York is a popular and exciting destination for Canadians. If you are travelling there soon be sure to read about my latest restaurant finds and save the list for future trips. (See restaurant section below.)

And one more thing - this is the best time of year for fruits and vegetables so shop at your local farmer's market whenever possible and support local producers. See you there.

Delicious wishes and Happy New Year (to all who celebrate),
Bonnie
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.

SEPTEMBER

KIM THUY: MAN
KIM THUY: MANThe Fall season takes off in September with the return of a Book Club favourite. Bonnie is thrilled to welcome back Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominee Kim Thuy as she launches her eagerly-awaited new novel, Man.

Man has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Man a husband--a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal.

Thrown into a new world, Man discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears.

Man is a mystery--her name means "perfect fulfillment," yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Man discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair. Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Man is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.
Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Mengrai Thai
82 Ontario Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Man sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


OCTOBER

CAROLINE MOOREHEAD: VILLAGE OF SECRETS
CAROLINE MOOREHEAD: VILLAGE OF SECRETSIn 2011, Caroline Moorehead’s A Train In Winter, became an international publishing sensation. Extraordinarily powerful and moving, the book told the true story of an extraordinary group of women and their struggle for survival during the Second World War.

In October, Caroline Moorehead makes a rare trip to Canada from her home in the UK and will visit the Book Club to discuss her new book, Village of Secrets, the story of a French village that helped save thousands, including many Jewish children, who were pursued by the Gestapo during the Occupation.

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village of scattered houses high in the mountains of the Ardeche. Surrounded by pastures and thick forests of oak and pine, the plateau Vivarais lies in one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of Eastern France, cut off for long stretches of the winter by snow. During the Second World War, the inhabitants of the area saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, freemasons, communists, downed Allied airmen and above all Jews. Many of these were children and babies, whose parents had been deported to the death camps in Poland.

Just why and how Le Chambon and its outlying parishes came to save so many people has never been fully told. Caroline Moorehead’s new work, Village of Secrets, brings to life a story of outstanding courage and determination, and of what could be done when even a small group of people came together to oppose German rule. It is an extraordinary tale of silence and complicity. In a country infamous throughout the four years of occupation for the number of denunciations to the Gestapo of Jews, resisters and escaping prisoners of war, not one single inhabitant of Le Chambon ever broke silence. The story of Le Chambon is one of a village, bound together by a code of honour, born of centuries of religious oppression. And, though it took a conspiracy of silence by the entire population, it happened because of a small number of heroic individuals, many of them women, for whom saving those hunted by the Nazis became more important than their own lives.
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Pangaea Restaurant
1221 Bay Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Village of Secrets sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


NOVEMBER

LINDA HOLEMAN: THE DEVIL ON HER TONGUE
LINDA HOLEMAN: THE DEVIL ON HER TONGUEIn November, Bonnie is very excited to whisk the Book Club back to 18th century Portugal when internationally acclaimed novelist Linda Holeman visits to discuss her new book, The Devil on Her Tongue.

Linda Holeman is no stranger to bestseller lists. Her acclaimed historical fiction novels include The Lost Souls of Angelkov, The Linnet Bird, The Moonlit Cage, In a Far Country, and The Saffron Gate, as well as eight other works of fiction and short fiction. Her books have been published around the world and translated into twelve languages.

In The Devil on Her Tongue, Linda creates a spellbinding story of loss, romance and betrayal.

Diamantina is 13 when her father, a Dutch sailor who washed up on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, abandons her and her African-born mother and sets off for the New World. Unbaptized, tainted by her mother’s witchcraft and her foreign blood, the girl is an outcast who seems doomed in her struggle to survive. Diamantina refuses to accept her destiny and vows to escape her circumstances and forge a life of her own, no matter the cost. But as the price of her desires rises, can she live with the choices she has made? Diamantina’s odyssey to change her life is a sweeping narrative of starvation and plenty, cruelty and love, disaster and triumph.
Date: Monday, November 3, 2014
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Chiado
864 College Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Devil on Her Tongue sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

JANNA GUR: JEWISH SOUL FOOD
JANNA GUR: JEWISH SOUL FOODThe author of the acclaimed The Book of New Israeli Food returns with a cookbook devoted to the culinary masterpieces of Jewish grandmothers from Minsk to Marrakesh: recipes that have travelled across continents and cultural borders and are now brought to life for a new generation.

For more than two thousand years, Jews all over the world developed cuisines that were suited to their needs (kashruth, holidays, Shabbat) but that also reflected the influences of their neighbours and that carried memories from their past wanderings. These cuisines may now be on the verge of extinction however, because almost none of the Jewish communities in which they developed and thrived still exist. But they continue to be viable in Israel, where there are still cooks from the immigrant generations who know and love these dishes. Israel has become a living laboratory for these beloved and endangered Jewish foods.

The more than one hundred original, wide-ranging recipes in Jewish Soul Food—from Kubaneh, a surprising Yemenite version of a brioche, to Ushpa-lau, a hearty Bukharan pilaf—were chosen not by an editor or a chef but, rather, by what Janna Gur calls “natural selection”. These are the dishes that, though rooted in their original Diaspora provenance, have been embraced by Israelis and have become part of the country’s culinary landscape. The premise of Jewish Soul Food is that the only way to preserve traditional cuisine for future generations is to cook it, and Janna Gur gives us recipes that continue to charm with their practicality, relevance, and deliciousness. Here are the best of the best: recipes from a fascinatingly diverse food culture that will give you a chance to enrich your own cooking repertoire and to preserve a valuable element of the Jewish heritage and of its collective soul.

What better place to welcome Bonnie’s friend, Janna Gur, who is one of the most popular speakers on her culinary trips to Israel, is at Fat Pasha, Chef Anthony Rose’s irreverent ode to Jewish Ashkenazi and Sephardi cooking. His food is so delicious and fun that Fat Pasha is one of the hardest reservations to get in Toronto. If you came to Bonnie’s books clubs at Rose and Sons and Big Crow, you will love this restaurant too.
Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Fat Pasha
414 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Jewish Soul Food given out at the event)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


DECEMBER

TERRY FALLIS: NO RELATION
TERRY FALLIS: NO RELATIONOver the last ten years, Terry Fallis has attracted a legion of devoted readers across Canada. His debut novel, the mega-bestseller, The Best Laid Plans, was awarded the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, won CBC Radio’s “Canada Reads” in 2011, and was adapted into a critically acclaimed television series. Fallis followed up the success of The Best Laid Plans with the national bestsellers The High Road and Up and Down.

What better way to kick off the holiday season than to welcome one of Canada’s greatest comic writers to the Book Club. Bonnie is thrilled to welcome mega-Terry Fallis to the Book Club on December 1 as he presents his new novel No Relation.

What’s in a name? No Relation is a story about family, identity, fame, corporate espionage, and, oh yes, underwear. An aspiring writer struggles with writer’s block, his father’s expectations, an irrational fear of small dogs, and something he’ll never be able to shake: his own name.

Join us for an evening of fun, laughter and great food.
Date: Monday, December 1, 2014
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of No Relation sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Book Club Locations
 
Mengrai Thai 1
Mengrai Thai 2
Mengrai Thai 5
Mengrai Thai 4
Mengrai Thai 3
Mengrai Thai
Mengrai Thai

One of Bonnie’s favourite Southeast Asian restaurant - consistently high rating and great reviews combined to make Mengrai Thai one of the most popular in Toronto.

82 Ontario Street
Toronto
416 840 2759


www.mengraithai.com
Pangaea 1
Pangaea 2
Pangaea 3
Pangaea 5
Pangaea Restaurant
Pangaea Restaurant

Chef Martin Kroupie has always championed local, seasonal food and many of the ingredients he uses are only available to Pangaea. He is the author of Pangaea, Why It Tastes So Good, where he reveals the secrets of some of his most celebrated dishes.

1221 Bay Street
Toronto
416 920 2323

www.pangaearestaurant.com
Chiado 2
Chiado 4
Chiado
Chiado Restaurant

When Bonnie first met Chiado’s owner Albino Silva, he said he wanted to do for Portuguese food what Centro did for Italian food. And he has definitely put Portuguese food on the culinary map. Silva’s ‘progressive Portuguese’ cuisine has bold flavours, beautiful presentations and has been internationally acclaimed.

864 College Street
Toronto
416 538 1910


www.chiadorestaurant.com
Fat Pasha
Fat Pasha3
Fat Pasha2
Fat Pasha4
Fat Pasha Restaurant
Fat Pasha

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

“For a good time (and lots of food), head to Fat Pasha … Lesson one of Fat Pasha: There’s always room for Fat Pasha’s chopped chicken liver. Which isn’t so different from lessons two through 47, really. I could easily find room for anything Fat Pasha makes.”
Chris Nuttall-Smith, The Globe and Mail, June 27, 2014

414 Dupont Street
Toronto
647 340 6142


www.fatpasha.com
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
Personal chef training
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events 
and more...

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810
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

$29.95
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

$34.95
HeartSmart
HeartSmart
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.

$34.95
Cuisiner au goût du cœur
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages

$18.98 
HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends
HeartSmart Cooking
for Family and Friends
Featuring nine entertaining menus (over 200 recipes) with complete work plans, presentation ideas and wine suggestions, as well as complete nutritional analysis for each recipe, plus the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Food Choice Values. Colour photos and black and white instructional illustrations throughout.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$28.95
Recevoir au goût du cœur: recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis
Recevoir au gout du coeur:
recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis

Published by Trecarre, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$29.95
Appetizers
Appetizers
A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.

Published by Random House of Canada, 1990, 176 pages, paperback

$22.95
Desserts
Desserts
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

$21
Out of Print Cookbooks
Out of Print Cookbooks
Here is a list of Bonnie Stern classics that are out of print. Limited used copies are sometimes available on line.

Food Processor Cuisine

At My Table

Bonnie Stern’s
Cuisinart Cookbook

In the Kitchen
with Bonnie Stern

Cooking with Bonnie Stern

Simply HeartSmart Cooking

More HeartSmart Cooking






News And Events
MEXICAN FLAVORS BY HUGH CARPENTER
AND TERI SANDISON
MEXICAN FLAVORS BY HUGH CARPENTER AND TERI SANDISONFor all my students who took cooking classes over the years with one of our most popular guests, Hugh Carpenter, his new cookbook on Mexican flavors is finally here. It’s a hardcover book with 120 of Hugh’s original recipes from his cooking school in San Miguel de Allende and 130 of Teri’s great photos. In Canada, we recommend you buy the book through chapters.indigo.ca or amazon.ca. If you like Hugh’s many other cookbooks, you will love this one too.
ALIMENTARY IDEAS: A FESTIVAL OF FOOD AND WORDS
ALIMENTARY IDEAS: A FESTIVAL OF FOOD AND WORDSSaturday, September 13, 2014
9am to 4pm


We accidentally stumbled on this interesting event taking place this month in Nova Scotia and thought you might be interested in knowing about it. We wish we could attend! Alimentary Ideas is Canada's first-ever festival celebrating food and words. Join Rustik Magazine for a conversation with The New Yorker, Bon Appetit Magazine, Sir Kensington's, Acadian Maple Products, Raymond's Restaurant and The Blunt Roll. The day-long event at the charming Chester Playhouse is designed to be informative and interactive by giving audience members a chance to ask questions and share thoughts during each of the four sessions.

For more information, visit:
http://alimentaryideas.com/
EVERGREEN URBAN RODEO AND BBQ
EVERGREEN URBAN BBQ RODEO AND FUNDRAISER Saturday, September 27, 2014
6:30pm to midnight


We have always been a big supporter of Evergreen Brick Works and remember that their fall picnics were one of Toronto best food fundraisers. Here’s their new harvest celebration - an Evergreen Urban Rodeo and BBQ - a fundraiser in support of healthy, green cities.

There will be 10 food stations featuring delicious country classics made with Ontario farm-fresh food and prepared by over 40 of Canada’s top chefs. Each dish will be paired with Creemore Springs craft beer and Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers spirits. The list of participants is impressive.

For more information and tickets, visit:
http://www.evergreen.ca/rodeobbq?gclid=CLqf3sOS0MACFQwpaQodKF4AOQ
CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL
WITH RABBI ELYSE GOLDSTEIN AND BONNIE STERN
'FOOD FOR THOUGHT TOUR'
FOURTH CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL:</br>KOLEL AND BONNIE STERN FEBRUARY 2015

We are planning our next 'Food for Thought Culinary Tour' to Israel for February 2015. Please let us know if you are interested so we can contact you directly when we have all the details. The tour will be eight days of culinary and cultural adventures in and around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the south – market tours, cooking classes, restaurant meals and tastings.

To be on the mailing for future trips email: bonnie@bonniestern.com
Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO
Little Sister
2031 Yonge Street
Toronto
416 488 2031
One of our favourite Toronto restaurants, Quince, has opened a little sister restaurant, called ‘Little Sister’ just across the street. Specializing in small plates with Indonesian flavours, it’s a great addition to the neighbourhood. Exotic cocktails, delicious satays, Balinese and Rendang tacos, coconut curries and more.
Moderate
Montecito
299 Adelaide Street West
Toronto
416 599 0299
This two story, 300+ seat restaurant opened just in time for TIFF by California/New York Chef Jonathan Waxman and director Ivan Reitman. Probably best to go after TIFF is over and don’t miss the cocktails, pizzas, JW Chicken, kale salad and their signature Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Baked Alaska for dessert.
Moderate
Baker and Scone
693 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto
416 657 2663
Baker and Scone is the perfect place to go for breakfast before or after a visit to the farmers’ market at Wychwood Barns on Saturday morning. The choice of scones is exciting and coffee is delicious. Check menu for brunch and lunch scone-ish items.
Moderate
The Good Son
1096 Queen Street West
Toronto
416 551 0589
This large, comfortable space was really hopping even on a Tuesday night. Don’t miss the ash roasted eggplant (best ever eggplant); jerk shrimps and juicy, meaty spare ribs.
Moderate
Rock Lobster
110 Ossington Avenue
Toronto
416 533 1800
We had our book club here last month with Michael Crummey for his amazing new novel Sweetland. Everyone loved the lobster rolls, chicken and waffles, lobster cappuccino, grilled vegetable salad topped with lemon and Parm and the whale tail for dessert (suspiciously, and deliciously, like a beaver tail).
Moderate

Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery
93A Ossington Avenue
Toronto
416 274 1743

If you love ice cream this place is a must. You can have ice cream sandwiches (chose your ice cream flavour and your cookie type – whole or half); cream puffs filled with ice cream; macarons filled with ice cream but my favourite is just the ice cream! So many flavours and so delicious.
Moderate
CREEMORE, ONTARIO
Creemore Kitchen
134 Mill Street
Creemore
705 466 2900
The closing dinner for all the participants in the Creemore Springs Brewery’s Cook-Off was held at Creemore Kitchen. The food was simply prepared with local ingredients and just what we all needed. I can’t wait to go back for more of chef/owner Caesar Guinto’s food. Check out the recipe for his Berry Shortcake below in the recipe section.
Moderate
Creemore House Inn
201 Mill Street
Creemore
705 466 2001
Perfectly located, right in the centre of Creemore, we loved our stay at the Creemore House Inn. There is a beautiful swimming pool, delicious breakfast and it's very well organized - one of our best B&B experiences.
Moderate
Mad Maple Country Inn
793029 County Road 124
Creemore
705 466 6733
About 20 minutes outside of Creemore, Miriam Streiman and Neil Epstein have created an amazing environment for guests at their small country inn. Two suites are elegant yet country-style with antiques, art and private bathrooms. I especially love their kitchen – sit at the harvest table and enjoy Miriam’s seasonal recipes, from really fresh eggs (the chickens are just outside the door) to homemade bread and much more.
Moderate to Expensive
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Ivan Ramen
600 11th Avenue
New York
212 582 7942
I felt like I was in ramen heaven at Ivan Ramen. Not only was the ramen incredible, the appetizers were great, the service was warm and friendly and the restaurant itself was lovely! No ramen joint here.
Moderate
Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream
2 Rivington Street
New York
212 209 7684
This modern ice cream parlour has so many flavours that if you can’t make up your mind quickly, you may have a nervous breakdown here. Like me. After trying mine and all the flavours of my friends, I came away loving the peanut butter chocolate the best.
Moderate
The Clam
420 Hudson Street
New York
212 242 7420
You don’t have to like clams to eat here but the clams were delicious. Don’t miss the clam chowder, spaghetti with clams and fried rice with clams and pork. We had Cherries Jubilee for dessert which reminded me how delicious that classic dessert is.
Moderate
Estela
47 East Houston Street
New York
212 219 7693
One of our favourite meals – Italian with a touch of Danish modern. We loved the endive and walnut salad, burrata with salsa verde, scallops with peas and the lamb ribs with charmoula which were sensational.
Moderate
Baz Bagel and Restaurant
181 Grand Street
New York
212 335 0609
Good bagels are a New York trend and for a good bagel breakfast this is the place. Smoked whitefish salad was especially delicious.
Reasonable
Black Seed Bagels
170 Elizabeth Street
New York
212 730 1950
Owners of Mile End Deli (the Montreal deli that took New York by storm) recently opened Black Seed Bagels. The hand rolled bagels are wood fired and delicious with or without all the toppings.
Reasonable
Rose Bakery
Dover Street Market
160 Lexington Avenue
New York
646 837 7754
This London-based bakery has an off-shoot in New York, hidden in a corner of a clothing store, and it seems to be a secret. Delicious salads and quiche as well as pastries.
Moderate
Breads Bakery
18 E 16th Street
New York
212 633 2253
I always need a fix of my favourite Israeli treats at this popular bakery that originated in Tel Aviv. Don’t miss the almond croissants; cheese sticks; chocolate babka; cinnamon babka, chocolate rugalehs and so much more.
Moderate
The NoMad Bar
10 W 28th Street
New York
212 796 1500
Bar food never had it so good – everything great but don’t miss the hot dog (really), the burger (really), the carrot tartare, and scallops with yuzu. And the cocktails! (The NoMad Bar is part of the NoMad Hotel but the entrance is on the next street.)
Moderate
POCONTICO HILLS, NEW YORK
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
630 Bedford Road
Pocontico Hills
New York
914 366 9600
When my friend Mitchell Davis suggested we go to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, I jumped at the chance. What an experience - 24 (maybe even more) courses, orchestrated by Chef/Owner Dan Barber and enjoyed in four different settings around the property was quite an amazing (lengthy) and delicious lunch. If you want to experience one of the World’s 50 Best - type meals, and want a location closer to home than Denmark, Spain or Italy, this is the place. It would be hard to adequately describe the dishes but I will say that the food, beverages, service and surroundings were all spectacular.
Expensive
Featured Recipes
BUFFALO RICOTTA AND PESTO
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves (1 cup packed)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or more
  • 10 to 12 oz buffalo ricotta
  • cornbread or crusty bread etc.
  • BUFFALO RICOTTA AND PESTOThis is such a simple appetizer but everyone loves it. I love the taste and texture of Quality Cheese ricotta. It comes in a container with a strainer and can be unmolded for an attractive shape. Otherwise drain your ricotta. Serve with corn bread or crusty bread.

    Method:
    1. Using a food processor fitted with the steel blade, with the machine running, drop garlic through the feed tube. Save a few of the smallest sprigs of basil for garnish and add the rest (most of it), salt and pepper and chop finely. Add olive oil and process until mixture is combined. Add extra oil if necessary so that the pesto is spoonable.

    2. Mound ricotta in a serving bowl and spoon pesto on top so it drips down the sides. Any leftover pesto can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen. If it discolours on top just spoon it off - it will still taste good but doesn't look as bright green.

    3. Serve with bread, crackers or chips.

    makes 8 servings
    TEAM KETTLE’S COPPER KETTLE KEBABS
  • 1 cup crustless, diced sourdough bread
  • 1/2 cup beer (eg. Creemore Pilsner)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander and fennel (preferably roasted and ground)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch saffron
  • 2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley, mint and chives


  • sour cream sauce:
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp each maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch freshly ground black peppe
  • TEAM KETTLE’S COPPER KETTLE KEBABSAt the Copper Kettle Cook-off in Creemore, under the direction of chef Rodney Bowers (chef/owner of Hey Meatball), Team Kettle created this delicious Middle Eastern flavoured kebab. Note: After years of trying to stop bamboo skewers from burning on the barbecue (soaking skewers, wrapping the ends in foil etc), I now insert the skewers after cooking or use metal skewers.

    Method:
    1. Mix bread, beer and cream in a bowl until all the bread is moistened. This ‘panade’ is the secret to keeping ground meat tender. Let the mixture rest 15 to 20 minutes until bread dissolves and is sludgy. Beat egg lightly and stir into bread mixture.

    2. Place meat in a large bowl and gently knead in garlic, onion, jalapeno, salt, cumin, coriander, fennel, pepper, saffron and herbs. Knead in panade. Divide mixture into 24 sausage shaped patties about 3" long and 2oz each. Flatten slightly.

    3. Grill patties 2 to 3 minutes per side or until cooked through on a medium hot grill. Insert skewers.

    4. Combine sour cream with maple syrup, vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on kebabs.

    makes 4 to 6 servings
    BRAISED LAMB SHOULDER
  • 6 lb boneless lamb shoulder (approx.)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, broken into cloves, peeled but whole (about 12 cloves)
  • 1 large bunch rosemary
  • 2 lbs baby potatoes
  • 2 lbs carrots, whole or in large chunks
  • 2 lbs parsnips, in large chunks
  • fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • BRAISED LAMB SHOULDER

    I am happy to see that lamb shoulder is becoming popular. Lamb is my favourite meat but when I serve it, if I don't know that everyone is a fan, I usually make some roast chicken just in case. This recipe, inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe, is so easy - but it takes time to cook slowly so that it will be very succulent.



    Method:
    1. Rub lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place onions, half of garlic and half of rosemary in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Lay the lamb, fat side up, on top. Place remaining garlic and rosemary on lamb. Cover with parchment paper directly on the surface and top with a tight lid or aluminum foil.

    2. Place lamb in a preheated 500F oven. Lower heat immediately to 325F. Roast lamb for 4 to 5 hours, checking every hour that there are enough juices in the pan - should be around 1 to 2 cups. Add a little water if pan is dry. When lamb is ready you should be able to pull it apart with 2 forks. After 3 hours, Place potatoes, carrots and parsnips around the lamb.

    3. Remove lid (or foil) and parchment paper and if lamb has not browned on the top, return it to the oven (uncovered) for 15 minutes at 350F.

    4. Remove lamb and vegetables from pan and cover tightly with foil. Discard stems of rosemary. Discard fat that has risen to the top of juices. Scrape up any juices stuck to the bottom of the pan and pass through a strainer, pressing through the soft garlic. Season juices to taste.

    5. Slice lamb (it will break apart into chunks) or shred, pour juice over the top, arrange veggies around and top with fresh sprigs of rosemary.

    makes 8 to 10 servings
    LEMON BUTTERMILK SCONES
  • 1/2 cup butter very cold or frozen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar
  • LEMON BUTTERMILK SCONESHere’s my favourite recipe for light and fluffy scones. You can serve scones with butter, cream and jam but you can also use scones as a base for poached eggs and breakfast sandwiches (omit the lemon and sugar). Scones are easy to make and best fresh. (I find it difficult to grate frozen butter so I grate it cold and then freeze.)

    Method:
    1. Grate cold butter on the largest holes of a box grater, spread on a plate and freeze 5 to 10 minutes, or grate frozen butter (carefully). Or cut butter into tiny pieces.

    2. In a large bowl whisk flour with sugar, baking powder and salt for about one minute until thoroughly mixed. Add grated butter and mix in with your fingertips.

    3. Beat egg in a small bowl and add buttermilk and lemon peel. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add egg mixture, mixing quickly until a wet-ish dough is formed. Turn dough out on a lightly floured work surface, flour top lightly and gently flatten into a square about 3/4" thick. Fold dough in half and flatten again. Brush off any flour and fold and flatten two more times ending with a 3/4” thick square again. Cut into quarters and cut each quarter diagonally into two triangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

    4. Bake scones in upper third of a preheated 425F oven 12 to 14 minutes, until puffed and golden.

    makes 8 large
    CREEMORE KITCHEN'S BERRY SHORTCAKE
    cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream


  • berry sauce:
  • 4 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • CREEMORE KITCHEN'S BERRY SHORTCAKEThis berry shortcake, from Caesar Guinto, chef/owner of Creemore Kitchen, is delicious in every way. Both the cake and the sauce have become favourites.

    Method:
    1. In a large mixing bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine well.

    2. In another bowl combine vanilla, milk and melted butter. (Do not worry if melted butter solidifies a bit in cold milk.) And in another bowl beat egg whites, egg and cream with a whisk until bubbly.

    3. Stir butter ingredients into the flour and then slowly add the egg mixture. Combine well.

    4. Spoon batter into a 9"x13" buttered baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper or into 12 to 16 buttered muffin cups or ramekins. Bake in a preheated 325F oven 15 to 22 minutes or until cake springs bake when touched gently in the centre and has browned. Cool.

    5. If cake is in one piece, when cold, cut out rounds with a 2 1/2" cookie cutter as close as possible for maximum circles or cut into squares.

    6. Place berries, sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 5 to 10 minutes. It will look like a thin sauce.

    7. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Sweeten if desired with 2 tbsp sifted icing sugar or regular sugar but I like it unsweetened.

    8. Top each cake with sauce and spoon on some cream.

    makes 12 servings
    DECONSTRUCTED PEACH PIE
    pastry:
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 tbsp ice water or more
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp coarse sugar


  • peaches:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 cups sliced peaches (no need to peel), 8 peaches
  • 8 medium scoops vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
  • sprigs of fresh mint, optional
  • DECONSTRUCTED PEACH PIEThis is perfect for people who are afraid of making pastry - it doesn't matter what shape you roll out the dough. Just bake and cut into pieces for the top. (Pastry becomes tough if you reroll it – and the shape never gets better when you reroll it.) It is also great for those who don't like too much pastry and for those who don't like fruit pies with soggy bottoms. This idea came to me from an upside down peach cobbler at the Elmvale Diner in Ottawa. I did this with blueberries for the National Post. Apples would be great for a Rosh Hashanah dessert.

    Method:
    1. Grate butter carefully on the largest holes of a box grater. Spread butter on a plate and freeze about 15 minutes. (I find the butter too hard to grate when frozen.) Or, cut butter into tiny bits.

    2. In a large bowl whisk flour with salt. With your fingertips mix frozen butter into flour. Sprinkle 6 tbsp ice water over flour mixture and with your fingertips lightly gather dough together. If mixture is too dry add additional water by the tablespoon until you can gather dough together. Dough should form a ball but not be too wet. On a lightly floured surface roll dough out to about a about 10" x16" rectangle. Transfer dough to a parchment-paper lined 12"x18" sheet pan. Brush dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Prick pastry all over with a fork. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer until browned and crisp. Cool on a rack. Cut pastry into squares or rectangles (or wedges if you rolled the dough into a circle). Reserve.

    3. For peaches, combine butter with sugar and cinnamon in a large skillet and cook until bubbling. Add peaches and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes until peaches are just tender. Remove from heat and reserve.

    4. Spoon some peaches and juice into serving bowls. Top with a scoop of ice cream (or whipped cream) and wedge in 3 to 4 pieces of pastry.

    makes 8 to 10 servings
    © Copyright 2014, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.
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