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Bonnie Stern

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Bonnie Stern
About Bonnie

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

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

November 2015

October was pretty exciting. One night almost did me in - that night the Blue Jays made all of Canada proud and, on the same night we elected a new Prime Minister! No matter where you stand, who won or who lost - congratulations to all of us for everything. It was also exciting to see Kevin Newman, the author of All Out, our November book club, reporting the election results. We are looking forward to hearing the story of his relationship with his son and relationship with the media - see book clubs below for more information. That's going to be a great night too.

The itinerary for our trip 'London by Stage, Page and Plate' is ready. People are signing up so take a look. The link is in our News and Event section below. My co-host Scott Sellers (Vice President and Associate Publisher, Random House of Canada Limited) and I hope you are inspired to join us when you see everything we have planned.

I have tasted so many wonderful versions of traditional hummus: in Jerusalem (the city), in Abu Gosh and in Jaffa; in Toronto at Fat Pasha and Tabule; from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem (I made it from the cookbook); but I have to say I was really impressed with the one from Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia. No, I didn't go to Philly just to taste the hummus (although I was thinking about it), chef/owners Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook were in Toronto promoting their new cookbook Zahav (means gold in Hebrew) and cooked a fantastic feast here at Beast Restaurant. Of course they made their fabulous hummus - see the recipe section for what may be the best hummus. Let me know what you think.

If you are in New York mid November join me at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Sunday November 15 where I am participating on a panel about Eating Jewish in Canada with Chef Anthony Rose of Fat Pasha, Ruthie Ladovsky of United Bakers Dairy Restaurant and Michael Wex, author of Born to Kevtch. See news and events below for more details.

One more thing. November 11 is Remembrance Day. Please give all our soldiers, past and present, the respect they deserve.

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.



In November, Bonnie is pleased to welcome one of the country's most respected journalists as he discusses his poignant and important new family memoir.

Television viewers know Emmy Award and Gemini Award-winning Kevin Newman from his acclaimed work with ABC News, CBC TV, Global Television and as the host of CTV's flagship news program W5.

Kevin Newman wanted to be a family man in an era when fathers are expected to be more engaged than ever before; he also wanted to reach the top of a profession that demands 24/7 commitment. The higher he climbed, the more irreconcilable those aspirations seemed. Meanwhile, his artistic, solitary son, Alex, was wrestling with his own competing ambitions: to be the sporty, popular son his dad wanted, and to be true to himself. Paradoxically, their attempts to live up to expectations - their own, and each other's - were driving them apart. Then, two parallel identity crises forced a reckoning. Kevin reached the summit of American network television, becoming co-host of ABC TV's Good Morning America - where he was instructed to develop a "quarterback" persona and change his accent, mannerisms, personality, hairstyle and everything else that made him Kevin. At the same time, Alex was realizing he was gay but frantically trying to mask and change that fact. Both felt like failures and hungered for one another's approval, but didn't know how to bridge their differences.

Today, a decade later, father and son retrace their steps (and missteps) to reinventing their relationship and becoming one another's role models for what it means to be a man in our culture. All Out is a moving chronicle of all the ways that fathers and sons misunderstand and disappoint one another - and a powerful reminder that they can become closer not despite their differences, but because of them.

Date: Monday, November 16, 2015 (a few spots left)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Rose and Sons
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: $165 plus HST* (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of All Out sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


ELIZABETH HAY: HIS WHOLE LIFEBonnie’s Book Club kicks off 2016 with one of Canada’s most beloved authors. We are thrilled to welcome Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Elizabeth Hay as she discusses her latest book, His Whole Life.

Readers across the country have made Elizabeth Hay’s previous works Alone in the Classroom, A Student of Weather and the award-winning Late Nights on Air number one national bestsellers. In her new novel, the critically-acclaimed His Whole Life, Hay begins with a premise as simple as a boy who wants a dog and then takes us into a richly intimate world where everything that matters to him – family, nature, home – is at risk.

At the outset ten-year-old Jim and his Canadian mother and American father are on a journey from New York City to a lake in eastern Ontario during the last hot days of August. What unfolds is a completely enveloping story that spans a few pivotal years of his youth. Moving from city to country, summer to winter, well-being to illness, the novel charts the deepening bond between mother and son even as the family comes apart.

Set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec is on the verge of leaving Canada, this captivating novel is an unconventional coming of age story as only Elizabeth Hay could tell it. It draws readers in with its warmth, wisdom, its vivid sense of place, its searching honesty, and nuanced portrait of the lives of one family and those closest to it. Hay explores the mystery of how members of a family can hurt each other so deeply, and remember those hurts in such detail, yet find openings that shock them with love and forgiveness.

His Whole Life is Elizabeth Hay at the height of her narrative powers. Join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening of food and fiction.  

Date: Monday January 25, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $165 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of His Whole Life sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


YANN MARTEL: THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF PORTUGALWith the publication of his beloved novel, Life of Pi, Yann Martel became an international literary sensation. The book won the Man Booker Prize, sold millions of copies around the world, and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film by Ang Lee.

In February, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome Yann Martel to the Book Club with his eagerly-awaited new novel The High Mountains of Portugal. This suspenseful and mesmerizing story explores a great quest for meaning and is told in three intersecting narratives touching the lives of three different people and their families.

Beautiful, witty and engaging, Yann Martel's new novel offers us the same tender exploration of the impact and significance of great love and great loss, belief and unbelief, that has marked all his brilliant, unexpected novels.

Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Chiado
864 College Street, Toronto
Fee: $165 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The High Mountains of Portugal sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Some of our favourite Book Club Locations
Big Crow3
Rose and Sons 4
Rose and Sons 5
Rose and Sons
Rose and Sons 2 x
Rose and Sons 1
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. Toronto Life said “The eatery has an undeniably buzzy energy, with a bustling bar operating beside a semi-enclosed kitchen, which turns out the kind of elevated comfort food that Rose has become known for.”

176 Dupont Street
647 748 3287
L'Avenue Bistro x
L'Avenue Bistro
Luckee Restaurant x

Pangaea 2 x
Quince 1 x
Quince Bistro

Chiado 1
Chiado 2
Chiado 3
Chiado 4
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
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.

News And Events
WHAT'S ON THE TABLEA Benefit for The Stop Community Food Centre

Toronto's best chefs under one roof.

Date: Wednesday November 4, 2015
Place: Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto
Fee: $300.00 (includes $205 charitable tax receipt)

For more information click What's On The Table


An all-star lineup of celebrity chefs, including Lynn Crawford, Elizabeth Falkner, Ricardo, Marcus Samuelsson and Corbin Tomaszeski are recruiting foodies to compete on their team for the KitchenAid third annual Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown. This event gives culinary enthusiasts the opportunity to fundraise for a chance to cook alongside celebrity chefs in the type of team cooking challenge normally reserved for TV.

For more information, click Culinary Showdown

Eating Jewish in Canada
Sunday November 15, 2015

Anthony Rose of Toronto's Fat Pasha and Schmaltz Appetizing; Ruthie Ladovsky of United Bakers Dairy Restaurant; food writers Michael Wex and Bonnie Stern; moderated by Jayne Cohen, Jewish Holiday Cooking.

From schmaltz-fried rice to Nutella babka bread pudding with maple syrup to classic gefilte fish - the Jewish cuisine of Canada is white-hot. Join us for a discussion and tasting of Toronto's haimishe and hip.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click Eating Jewish in Canada

This program is funded through the generous support of the Feingold Family in memory of longtime Gallery Educator Marilyn Feingold.


Tuesday November 24, 2015

Join Rabbi Elyse Goldstein and me for a fun and informative demo on the "secrets" of challah making including the dough, braiding, glazing, baking, leftovers, spirituality, and stories.

Date: Tuesday November 24, 2015
7pm to 10pm
Place: Wolfond Centre
36 Harbord Street, Toronto

For more information and to purchase tickets click The Joy of Challah


April 1 to 6, 2016

Our culinary and literary trip to London is filled with food and literature with delicious meals, wonderful authors, an amazing play, fantastic restaurants, gallery and museum visits, cooking classes, book clubs and so much fun. Remember that everything is included that's outlined in the itinerary from morning to night.

If you have been to London recently you know it is quite expensive so please don't have a fright when you see the price in Canadian dollars (Land cost per person approximately GBP 3500).

For more information, click London By Stage, Page and Plate

Featured Recipes
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups tehina
  • 1 1/2 cups ice water (approximately)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • ZAHAV'S BASIC TEHINA SAUCEIn the new cookbook, Zahav, A World of Israeli Cooking, by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, chef/owners of Zahav Restaurant in Philadelphia, the authors say that people often come to Zahav just for the hummus. Tehina is the base for the Zahav hummus. This sauce keeps a week in the refrigerator and a month in the freezer and is used in many other recipes in the book (see Beets with Tehina below).

    Note: The word tehina can be confusing. It is the same as tahina and tahini and generally refers to the raw tehina in the jar without any added ingredients. If the ingredients on the jar include garlic, lemon, water, salt; it's the prepared tehina sauce and don't use it in this recipe.


    1. Break up head of garlic into cloves and place (unpeeled) in the blender. Add lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend on high a few seconds until you have a coarse puree. Let stand 10 minutes.

    2. Strain mixture into a large mixing bowl and press to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Add tehina, cumin and remaining salt.

    3. Whisk mixture until smooth (or use a food processor), adding ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin, lighten and smooth out the sauce. Do not worry if it seizes, just add a bit more water. It should be smooth and creamy.

    4. Add additional salt and cumin to taste.

    makes about 4 cups

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (small ones if available)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups basic tehina sauce (see recipe above)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • paprika
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • ZAHAV'S HUMMUS TEHINAI loved Zahav's hummus because it's creamy, very smooth, has a gentle garlic flavour and it's a little saltier than usual. Always serve hummus warm or at room temperature.

    Note: if you are using canned chickpeas, omit dried chickpeas and baking soda. Drain and rinse 2 1/2 cups canned chickpeas and begin recipe in step #3.


    1. Place chickpeas, 1 tsp baking soda and enough water to cover chickpeas generously in a large bowl. Soak overnight at room temperature. Drain chickpeas and rinse under cold water.

    2. Place soaked chick peas in a large pot with remaining 1 tsp baking soda and enough water to cover by 4". Bring to a boil and skim off any froth that rises to the surface. Simmer, covered, 30 to 60 minutes, or until chickpeas are very tender. And then simmer a little more. Don't worry if they are falling apart. Drain well.

    3. Place chickpeas, tehina sauce, salt and cumin in a food processor. Puree three to five minutes until very smooth and creamy. And then puree some more. It should be very smooth, light and creamy (add a little water if necessary).

    4. Spread hummus in a shallow bowl, dust with paprika, top with parsley and more tehina if you like, and a drizzle of olive oil.

    makes 3 1/2 cups

  • 2 lbs roasted, peeled beets, coarsely grated (about 8 medium)
  • 1/2 cup tehina sauce (see recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (plus some for topping)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • ZAHAV'S BEETS WITH TEHINAThis beet salad, adapted slightly from Zahav, by Michael Solonomov and Steven Cook, is another way to use the tehina sauce above.


    1. Place grated beets in a large bowl. Combine tehina, oil, lemon juice, dill, mint and salt and mix with beets. Sprinkle with dill.

    2. Serve at room temperature or cold.

    makes 4 cups

  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or almonds, lightly crushed
  • handful of pea shoots, optional

  • green tahini:
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste
  • 1/2 cup ice water (approximately)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH GREEN TAHINII love roasted cauliflower and often top it with tahini. When I saw a photo by Sami Tamimi (partner and head chef of Ottolenghi and co-author of Jerusalem and Ottolenghi cookbooks) of roasted cauliflower with green tahini, I upped my game and added herbs. So beautiful and so delicious.


    1. Combine cauliflower florets with olive oil and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in a preheated 425F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until browned.

    2. Make tahini sauce by whisking in a bowl or pureeing in a blender or food processor, sesame paste (tahini) with garlic, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce. Add enough water to turn sauce white and a drizzling consistency. Add parsley and cilantro and blend until bright green. If you are doing this by hand, chop the herbs very fine.

    3. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a serving plate and drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle with green onions, hazelnuts and pea shoots, if using. Serve at room temperature.

    makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" chunks (about 6 cups)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 leeks, white and light green part, well washed and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 3 oz baby spinach (about 3 cups)
  • 4 oz goat cheese, broken into chunks
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • baby arugula, optional
  • PUMPKIN AND SPINACH FRITTATA SLICEThis acts like a frittata but looks like a pizza. Use your favourite squash or use sweet potatoes. Leftovers are great cold in sandwiches or cut into squares for appetizers.


    1. Toss butternut squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and thyme leaves. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated 425F oven 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned.

    2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and cook leeks on medium until tender and lightly browned. Add sage and spinach and cook about one minute until spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. Line a 9"x13" baking dish or rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread roasted butternut, leeks and spinach over the bottom. Dot with cheese.

    4. Whisk eggs with milk or cream, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pour over vegetables.

    5. Bake in a preheated 375F oven 20 to 25 minutes until set and golden. Sprinkle with arugula.

    makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ANZAC COOKIES FOR REMEMBRANCE DAYWhen my nephew Chuck was in Afghanistan we sent cookies every few weeks. Brownies were the favourite. ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) biscuits were the cookies sent to the troops from Australia and New Zealand during WW1. They are delicious anytime and perfect for Remembrance Day.


    1. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt, oats, sugar and coconut.

    2. Melt butter with corn syrup and bring to a boil. Combine boiling water with baking soda and add to butter. Pour over flour mixture and mix together.

    3. Shape mixture into 1" balls and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press cookies flat.

    4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven 10 to 12 minutes until cookies brown but are not too crisp. Cool on baking sheets.

    makes 24 cookies

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