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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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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 2017

Happy Canada 150+. Last month Ray and I went to Halifax and ended up celebrating Canada Day a little early. We visited Pier 21, the Canadian Museum of Immigration which was an emotional experience for us both. Pier 21 was the spot where many immigrants arrived in Canada between 1928 and 1971. Guides explained the hardships that people experienced on their journey and some of the people in the group volunteered their own stories. We tried to imagine how difficult and frightening the trip to Canada must have been for Ray’s mother as a young woman almost 70 years ago and my grandparents over 100 years ago. But if they hadn’t had the nerve to come and persevere they most probably would have died in the Holocaust. There was also a poignant film showing where people came from more recently, why they had left their own country and what Canada meant to them. I have always considered myself lucky to be Canadian but I regret that I never thanked my grandparents enough for coming to Canada.

While we were in Halifax and considerably less emotional, we also enjoyed some wonderful meals – check out the Restaurant Recommendation section below and also the Featured Recipes section for a delicious Seafood Bake from Luckett Vineyards.

Our challah workshops have been very popular and are even more fun than we imagined. Guests are loving the process of making this delicious and traditional bread as well as the lunch and treats we include. Right now we are still only hosting groups of 10 - Perfect for a get-together of friends or family, a wedding shower, birthday party or just a fun and delicious time. See News and Events section below for more details.

Our books clubs for August and September are filling quickly and both authors – Linden Macintyre and Carol Off respectively have written amazing new books. We also have a new book club for October which is looking very exciting.

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.


LINDEN MACINTYE: THE ONLY CAFEBonnie is pleased to kick off the new season with one of the Book Club’s favourite authors.

Linden MacIntyre is one of Canada’s most recognizable broadcast journalists. For 24 years, he was the co-host of CBC’s award winning news magazine show, The Fifth Estate, and won ten Gemini awards for his work. He is also an acclaimed novelist. His books include the national bestsellers Why Men Lie and Punishment as well as The Bishop’s Man, which won the Scotiabank Giller prize, among numerous other honours. This August, Linden will visit the Book Club to launch his new book, The Only Cafe, a timely and gripping novel in which a son tries to solve the mystery of his father's death - a man who tried but could not forget a troubled past in his native Lebanon.

Pierre Cormier had secrets. Though he married twice, became a high-flying lawyer and a father, he didn't let anyone really know him. And he was especially silent about what had happened to him in Lebanon, the country he fled during civil war to come to Canada as a refugee. When, in the midst of a corporate scandal, he went missing after his boat exploded, his teenaged son Cyril didn't know how to mourn him. But five years later, a single bone and a distinctive gold chain are recovered, and Pierre is at last declared dead. Which changes everything.

At the reading of the will, it turns out that instead of a funeral, Pierre wanted a "roast" at a bar no one knew he frequented - The Only Cafe in Toronto's east end. He'd even left a guest list that included one mysterious name: Ari. Cyril, now working as an intern for a major national newsroom and assisting on reporting a story on homegrown terrorism, tracks down Ari at the bar, and finds out that he is an Israeli who knew his father in Lebanon in the 80s. Who is Ari? What can he reveal about what happened to Pierre in Lebanon? Is Pierre really dead? Can Ari even be trusted? Soon Cyril's personal investigation is entangled in the larger news story, all of it twining into a fabric of lies and deception that stretches from contemporary Toronto back to the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon in September 1982.

The Only Cafe is both a moving mystery and an illuminating exploration of how the traumatic past, if left unexamined, shadows every moment of the present.

Date: Tuesday August 22, 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Only Cafe sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


CAROL OFF: ALL WE LEAVE BEHINDAs the host of CBC Radio’s top rated flagship program As It Happens, Carol Off is a voice and personality that Canadians turn to every evening. Over the course of her incredible career, she has also reached a level of journalistic excellence that has been equaled by very few. Carol has covered conflicts in the Middle East, Haiti, the Balkans and the sub-continent, as well as events in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada. She reported the fallout from the 9/11 disasters with news features and documentaries from New York, Washington, London, Cairo and Afghanistan and has won numerous awards for her CBC television documentaries in Asia, Africa and Europe.

In September, Carol will visit the Book Club to discuss her eagerly-awaited new book that finds her at the centre of remarkable events. All We leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others tells the gripping story of a family’s desperate attempts to escape Afghan warlords, Taliban oppression and the persecutions of refugee life.

In 2002, Carol Off and a CBC TV crew encountered an Afghan man with a story to tell. Asad Aryubwal became a key figure in their documentary on the terrible power of thuggish warlords who were working arm in arm with Americans and NATO troops. When Asad publicly exposed the deeds of one of the warlords, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, it set off a chain of events from which there was no turning back. Asad, his wife, Mobina, and their five children had to flee their home.

The family faced an uncertain future. But their dilemma compelled a journalist to cross the lines of disinterested reporting and become deeply involved. Together, they navigated the Byzantine international bureaucracy and the decidedly unwelcoming policies of Stephen Harper's government until the family finally found a new home.

Carol Off's powerful account traces not only one family's journey and fraught attempts to immigrate to a safe place, it also illustrates what happens when a journalist becomes irrevocably caught up in the lives of the people in her story and finds herself unable to leave them behind.

Date: Monday September 18, 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of All We leave Behind sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


ALAN DOYLE: A NEWFOUNDLANDER IN CANADAIn October, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome one of Canada’s most beloved talents to the Book Club as singer/songwriter/producer/actor/writer Alan Doyle launches his new memoir A Newfoundlander in Canada.

As a founding member of Great Big Sea, Alan Doyle is widely recognized as one of contemporary music’s most gifted singer/songwriter. For over twenty years, Great Big Sea has taken its unique blend of rock, folk and Celtic music from the shores of Newfoundland to the far corners of the world. During that time, the band has amassed a string of gold and platinum albums, while its high-energy live shows have earned legions of devoted fans across Canada and around the globe. In the last few years, Doyle has also launched a successful solo musical career, and has acted in such films as Robin Hood and Winter’s Tale, both co-starring Russell Crowe, and had a recurring role on the acclaimed television drama The Republic of Doyle.

“I am from Newfoundland,” says Alan Doyle. “Therefore, I am a bit of a storyteller. The stories of Newfoundlanders are often confused with fairy tales and the stuff of fiction; the people, places and events in them seem exaggerated or outright weird….[but] truth really is stranger than fiction.” In 2014, Doyle added “writer” to his incredible resume with the publication of his memoir, the national bestselling Where I Belong: From Small Town to Great Big Sea. a nostalgic and revealing look back at the great adventure that was his childhood.

In October Alan Doyle returns with A Newfoundlander in Canada, a hilarious, heartwarming account of leaving Newfoundland and discovering Canada for the first time.

Armed with the same personable, candid style found in his first book, Alan Doyle turns his perspective outward from Petty Harbour toward mainland Canada, reflecting on what it was like to venture away from the comforts of home and the familiarity of the island.

Often in a van, sometimes in a bus, occasionally in a car with broken wipers "using Bob's belt and a rope found by Paddy's Pond" to pull them back and forth, Alan and his bandmates charted new territory, and he constantly measured what he saw of the vast country against what his forefathers once called the Daemon Canada. In a period punctuated by triumphant leaps forward for the band, deflating steps backward and everything in between—opening for Barney the Dinosaur at an outdoor music festival, being propositioned at a gas station mail-order bride service in Alberta, drinking moonshine with an elderly church-goer on a Sunday morning in PEI - Alan's few established notions about Canada were often debunked and his own identity as a Newfoundlander was constantly challenged. Touring the country, he also discovered how others view Newfoundlanders and how skewed these images can sometimes be. Asked to play in front of the Queen at a massive Canada Day festival on Parliament Hill, the concert organizers assured Alan and his bandmates that the best way to showcase Newfoundland culture was for them to be towed onto stage in a dory and introduced not as Newfoundlanders but as "Newfies." The boys were note amused.

Heartfelt, funny and always insightful, these stories tap into the complexities of community and Canadianness, forming the portrait of a young man from a tiny fishing village trying to define and hold on to his sense of home while navigating a vast and diverse and wonder-filled country.

Date: Tuesday October 17, 2017 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of A Newfoundlander in Canada sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Some of Our
Favourite Book Club Locations
Chiado x
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
416 538 1910
Beast Restaurantx

The Beast Restaurant

Scott Vivian and Rachelle Cadwell feature Ontario’s local producers and farmers at their restaurant Beast. They are well known for their Sunday brunch, special dinners and delicious food. Anthony Bourdain featured Beast in one of his shows and Scott took Anthony to some of his own favourite spots around Toronto. 

96 Tecumseth Street


647 352 6000

Rose and Sons 2 x
Rose and Sons

It isn’t just me that loves Rose and Sons. The line-ups have become legendary at Rose’s cozy hip diner on Dupont.

176 Dupont Street
647 748 3287
Big Crow x

Big Crow

We love the crazy deliciousness of Big Crow – Rose and Sons backyard bbq patio. It was so successful in the summer when it opened, they winterized it with walls, ceilings, heaters and blankets so it's now open all year.

176 Dupont Street

(in the back of Rose and Sons)
647 748 3287

L'Avenue Bistro x

L'Avenue Bistro

L’Avenue Bistro has become a favourite neighbourhood restaurant serving delicious modern bistro food.

1568 Bayview Avenue
416 485 1568

Momofuku Restaurant x


New York’s David Chang opened Momofuku Toronto in 2012 next to the Shangri-La Hotel. Momofuku is known for ramen, steamed buns, rice cakes and its irreverent and delicious mash-up of Asian food. In the stunning three-story Momofuku glass cube there is Noodle Bar on the main floor, Nikai, a bar and private event space on the second floor, Daisho and Shoto on the third floor and Milk Bar, Christina Tosi’s dessert shop on the second floor.

190 University Avenue

647 253 8000

Tabule on Yonge Street x

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

The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space is the perfect place for our themed book club. Owners/chefs Alanna Fleischer and Brian Cheng will create a menu to suit.

320 Richmond Street East #105

(north east corner of
Richmond and Sherbourne)

(entrance is on Sherbourne,
a few doors north of Richmond on the east side)
647 278 1819

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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
NEW FARM BBQ FOR SICKKIDSSaturday July 15, 2017

Chase Hospitality Group is hosting a summer BBQ at the New Farm. Chefs Jennifer Dewasha and Tyler Shedden are preparing a feast! The New Farm is infamous for hosting epic parties. 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to SickKids.

For more information click New Farm BBQ

SUMMERLICIOUSJuly 7 to 23, 2017

Summerlicious 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 200 of Toronto’s dining establishments!

For more information, click Summerlicious 2017

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread and enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. Now challah is enjoyed by many cultures and loved all week in dishes like French Toast, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and many other brunch favourites.

In this workshop Bonnie will show you everything you need to know to make the most delicious and beautiful braided challah. Everyone will have a chance to make their down dough, knead the dough and get to know the perfect texture at each stage. You will learn to make braids with 3, 4 and 6 strands and also round braided breads. You will learn about ingredients and all the tricks and tips you need for success.

Workshop includes coffee and cinnamon buns, a light meal, printed recipes, all ingredients and lots of fun. And best of all - you'll take home your own challah on Bonnie's favourite quarter sheet pan to bake for your family and friends.

PLEASE NOTE: Right now this workshop is for groups only but if you are interested in just one or two spots in an open registration class let me know and if I have enough people I will contact you.

For more information send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Challah Workshop to


The itinerary for Bonnie's 8th culinary tour to Israel is almost complete and will be available and sent out next month.

To be on our email list for the information when it's ready please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israel Trip to (if you are not already on the list)

Restaurant Recommendations and More
90 Avenue Road
416 367 4141
It was a trip down memory lane going to Estia, the new Mediterranean restaurant on Avenue Rd.  This was an iconic Toronto restaurant location first with Auberge Gavroche – one of Toronto’s first trendy restaurants in the 70’s. It was fancy and expensive downstairs and upstairs they opened Steak Frites which was more casual and very reasonable – I loved both. Then for many years it was Boba owned by Barbara Gordon and Bob Bermann and equally popular. And now everyone is loving Estia too. Especially the fish.
La Banane
227 Ossington Avenue
416 551 6263
French restaurants seem to be the trend now in Toronto and La Banane (from the Buca group) is one of the ones leading the way. Don’t miss the chicken liver mousse (so light and creamy) and their trademark fish in pastry (so perfectly cooked). Although the hand painted chocolate egg for dessert seems expensive, if there are four to six of you, it is worth it - it is a work of art filled with truffles and treats. If they don’t make a fuss about the egg when they serve it – make a fuss yourselves!
Moderate to Expensive
La Palma
849 Dundas Street West
416 368 4567
This new casual restaurant from Campagnolo, was an instant success. Open for breakfast serving coffee and Italian pastries and then an all-day menu for lunch and dinner. Don’t miss the 100-layer lasagna, king salmon salad, any one of the pizzas, roasted ratatouille and heirloom carrots.
Atlas Restaurant
18 Dupont Street
416 546 9050
This new restaurant from Chef Doug Penfold (Chabrol and Cava) is a tiny gem featuring Moroccan food. The eggplant zaalouk was smoky and delicious and the briouat – a fat phyllo cigar filled with mushrooms and served on green harissa was also great. We had the fish tagine for two and next time we’ll try the goat tagine – we had just seen the film Beatiz at Dinner, which was excellent but we couldn’t handle eating goat just then.  Our favourite dessert was the apricots in saffron and vanilla.
Chives Canadian Bistro
1537 Barrington Street
902 420 9526
This highly rated bistro serves local food in a casual setting with great service. Our server was so good and knowledgeable in fact that Ray asked how he knew so much about food. Turns out he is one of Nova Scotia’s best food journalists, Simon Thibault, and is the author of the new book on Acadian food, Pantry and Palate.
2053 Gottingen Street
902 431 5683
When Jane’s On the Common, one of Halifax’s most treasured restaurants, closed a few years ago, people were bereft. But shortly after, Jane’s daughter Jenna opened Edna’s and everything was good again. Jane is catering and Jenna has a lovely restaurant featuring local ingredients and delicious food. So good we went for dinner Saturday night and back again Sunday for brunch. They do not take reservations so be prepared to go early or wait in line.
The Bicycle Thief
1475 Lower Water Street
902 425 7903
For a restaurant on the waterfront, which is a touristy area that serves 270 people (including the heated patio) at a time, it’s amazing that it is so good and so beloved and popular with tourists and Haligonians alike. The service is friendly, the food is good with lots of choice, and the location is terrific.
Maritime Ale House
Stanfield International Airport
902 873 3744
I was at the airport early for a 10:30am flight and saw the Maritime Ale House where we had delicious chowder and lobster rolls last year for lunch. I asked whether they served the lobster rolls for breakfast but they said not until 11am. But could they make me one? I asked. And of course they could. Only in the Maritimes. Delicious.
The Dairy Bar
5688 Spring Garden Road
(behind the Stillwater Beer Garden, take-out window on South Park just down from Spring Garden Road)


On a hot tip from Simon Thibault (author of Pantry and Palate) we went to The Dairy Bar, a seasonal ice cream counter from Manual Food and Drink Co. Especially if you love soft serve do not miss this! I had a strawberry rhubarb Sundae with vanilla soft serve and homemade sauce. So delicious.
Halifax Seaport Farmers Market
1209 Marginal Road
902 492 4043
There’s a Saturday morning market just about everywhere you travel to and it is always worth checking out. The Halifax market has many breakfast places - we ate at Norbert’s Good Food. We loved our omelette pressed into a croissant and grilled. The market also features lots of local crafts. (The market is open every day but never as exciting as Saturday morning.)
Crush Pad Bistro
Luckett Vineyards
1295 Grand Pre Road
902 542 2600
Luckett Vineyards is owned by Pete Luckett who started Pete’s Frootique and is one of Nova Scotia’s most beloved entrepreneurs. We had lunch at the winery restaurant and Pete was the ultimate host. But get there early as it is a very busy place. (See the recipe section below for my version of their delicious Seafood Bake.) For the last few years, The Magic Winery Bus has brought many more tourists to the Nova Scotia wine region. The bus is like a crazy fun party and stops at 4 to 5 wineries. When we stopped at Pete’s – we just stayed there.
Andaz Hotel
Copper Spirits

(Rooftop Bar at the Hotel)
325 Dalhousie Street
613 321 1234


We loved our stay at the Andaz in Ottawa. The rooftop bar has an amazing view and cocktails are great.
Benny’s Bistro
(in the back of
The French Baker)
119 Murray Street
613 789 7941
Our friends recommended this great place for brunch and we loved it. They also recommended one dish – warm potato salad with house-made gravlax and a sunny-side up egg. I could not remember when four people at my table all ordered the same thing but we did. And cleaned our plates.
231 Elgin Street
613 505 4300
This popular oyster bar has amazing clam chowder, fish dishes and a delicious chocolate pudding (not like your mother made, they say on the menu) for dessert.
Featured Recipes
  • 8 oz burrata
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves
  • BURRATA WITH CHERRY TOMATO SALSA Burrata is a rich, buttery Italian fresh mozzarella cheese filled with cream. I like the Ontario-made Bella Casara Burrata from Quality Cheese. You could also use fresh mozzarella, ricotta or goat cheese. Serve with crusty bread.


    1. Drain burrata and reserve.

    2. Combine olive oil with balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and basil. Combine with cherry tomatoes.

    3. Arrange burrata on a serving plate. Cut into four pieces (drain again if necessary). Spoon tomato salsa around and on top of cheese. Sprinkle with chilies and a little sea salt. Garnish with basil leaves.

    serves 6

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups fish or vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb haddock, cod or halibut fillets, cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 green onions, sliced or 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or dill
  • FISH CHOWDER WITH BACON AND CORN Every restaurant we went to in Nova Scotia had a version of chowder. Here’s mine – a combination of many of them.


    1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add diced bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Reserve. Discard all but about 2 tbsp fat in pan.

    2. Add onions to pan. Cook gently about 5 minutes until tender. Add potatoes, stock and milk. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and cook gently 10 minutes. Add corn and cook about 5 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

    3. With an immersion blender, puree part of soup so that it thickens slightly but is still chunky.  Add cream and heat thoroughly. Season to taste.

    4. Add fish and cook gently a few minutes until fish starts to flake. Sprinkle each serving with cooked bacon and green onions.

    makes 5 to 6 servings

  • 2 lbs asparagus (about 20 fat spears)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved - optional
  • 1/2 cup black, pitted olives
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved if large
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil - optional
  • coarsely ground black pepper - optional
  • GRILLED ASPARAGUS PLATTER This beautiful platter makes a great appetizer or side dish but even just grilled asparagus is perfect with a steak.


    1. Trim stems of asparagus, if stalks are thick peel 2” up the stalks. If asparagus is thin, no need to peel. Toss with olive oil and salt. Barbecue one to three minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus, turning often until browned slightly.

    2. Arrange asparagus on a large platter. Scatter cheese, olives and tomatoes over the asparagus.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper.

    makes 6 servings

  • 1 2 lb bone-in rib steak, about 2" thick
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • RAY'S GRILLED BONE-IN RIB STEAK Here’s Ray’s no-so-secret-anymore technique for cooking a rib steak.


    1. Salt steak generously on all surfaces. Refrigerate a few hours, uncovered. Remove from refrigerator about 45 minutes before cooking. Rub with olive oil.

    2. Preheat barbecue on high until very hot. Turn off one side of grill.

    3. Cook steak on high (hot side), covered, for 3 minutes per side. Remove to off side of barbecue (leave the other side on creating an oven on your barbecue) and cook, covered, 6 to 7 minutes per side for rare or until an instant read meat thermometer reaches 125F when inserted into the centre of the thickest part of the meat. Return steak to hot side of grill for 30 seconds per side.

    4. Let steak rest 10 minutes before carving. To carve, cut meat from the bone and then slice perpendicular to the bone into thin or thick slices.

    makes 3 to 4 servings

  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold or baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
  • 3 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill or parsley

  • seafood:
  • 1 1/2 cups fish or vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or additional stock
  • 1 lb haddock, cod or halibut, cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 lb scallops, cut in half through the thickness
  • 1/2 lb shelled and cleaned shrimp, whole or cut through the thickness
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (defrosted and patted dry)

  • sauce:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • reserved cooking liquid from above
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill or parsley
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar, optional
  • SEAFOOD BAKE We had a delicious lunch at Crush Pad Bistro at Luckett Vineyards in the Gaspereau Valley, just outside of Wolfville. The winery is owned by Pete Luckett of Pete's Fine Foods which was sold to Sobeys a few years ago. It was a pleasure to see Pete in action – welcoming customers and making everyone feel like friends. This recipe is based on their seafood bake. The recipe is a little fussy but not at all hard – and well worth the time  to make it (not to mention the price of the fish).


    1. Cook potatoes in a large pot of water with 1 tbsp salt for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Mash until smooth with 3 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup milk. Season to taste with salt, pepper and herbs.

    2. Meanwhile bring stock and wine to a boil in a saucepan. Add haddock and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until just starting to flake. Carefully lift out of liquid, draining well. Cook scallops about 3 minutes or until opaque. Lift out and add to haddock. Cook shrimp a few minutes or until opaque. Add to scallops, draining any accumulated juices back into stock. Strain stock and reserve. You should have about 2 to 2 1/2 cups. Reserve peas with seafood.

    3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan. Cook onions and carrots gently until tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes without browning. Whisk in reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently about 5 minutes. Add cream, heat and season generously with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.

    4. Place seafood and peas in the bottom of a 2.5L buttered baking dish or 4 to 5 individual 2-cup baking dishes. Spoon sauce evenly over seafood. Swirl or pipe mashed potatoes over top. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cheese if using.

    5. Bake in a preheated 375F oven 25 to 35 minutes until browned and hot.  Serve with a wedge of lemon.

    makes 4 servings

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • berry sauce:
  • 8 cups strawberries, halved or quartered if large
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • Sliced or halved raw strawberries
  • Sprigs of fresh mint or lavender to garnish
  • STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE WITH COOKED BERRIES AND CREAM I usually serve individual strawberry shortcakes but love the idea of everyone sharing one big cake. This cake, based on one from Creemore Kitchen in Creemore Ontario, is more tender than the traditional biscuits and absorbs the strawberry sauce deliciously.


    1. In a large mixing bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt for approximately one minute to combine well.

    2. In another bowl whisk eggs lightly and add vanilla, milk and melted butter. (Do not worry if butter solidifies a bit - just whisk everything together.)

    3. Stir butter mixture into the flour mixture until just combined – batter will be thick.

    4. Spoon batter into a buttered 10" round or square cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until cake springs back when touched gently in the centre. Cool on a rack.

    5. Reserve some uncooked berries for the top of cake and place remaining berries, sugar and maple syrup in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook gently 5 to 10 minutes or until berries are just softened and lots of juice has formed. Cool.

    6. Whip cream to soft peaks.

    7. To serve, place cake on a serving platter with bottom-side of cake up. Spoon over about two thirds of the berries and juices. Top with half the cream and some uncooked berries. Arrange the sprigs of herbs on top. Serve with remaining sauce and cream.

    makes 10 to 12 servings

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