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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 wrote a weekly newspaper column for almost 30 years, first for the Toronto Star and then for the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking workshops and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.


March 2019

My apologies (I am Canadian and Canadians are well-known for apologizing), this newsletter is late - I am still jetlagged from a delicious trip to Israel but always happy to be home. I love spending time in Israel and through my culinary tours, part of my goal is to show a country where people work together, cook together and hope for peace rather than what is often portrayed on the news. We had another great group this year and the chefs, restauranteurs, cookbook authors, producers, cooking instructors and presenters all had compelling stories and delicious food to offer. I have lots of new ideas for ‘Eating Israel 2020’ so if you are interested in joining me and are not on my dedicated mailing list for trips, see news and events below.

We have two new book clubs to announce – so excited to welcome back Anthony De Sa in May and to meet Amy Jones in June. See details below. I hope to see you there.

I have included restaurant recommendations for a few of my old and new favourite places in Israel for people travelling now and will have more in our April newsletter. I noticed that it has become harder and harder to get reservations at popular restaurants, especially in Tel Aviv, so be sure to plan ahead! For all my recommendations from past visits click Restaurants in Israel.

Spring is coming – I have to believe it.

Delicious wishes


Kitchen Hack
CHOPPING DATESWhen recipes call for chopping dates, most people reach for their knife. But cutting them up with scissors makes the job so much easier and less of a mess. This works well for apricots, dried figs and other large dried fruits too. (I usually leave raisins, dried cherries and cranberries whole.)

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 Canada's leading authors (and some from farther away), 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. However, 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.


ANTHONY DE SA: CHILDREN OF THE MOONThis May, Bonnie is pleased to welcome back Book Club favourite Anthony De Sa as he launches his eagerly awaited new novel Children of the Moon.

Anthony De Sa’s debut collection of short stories, Barnacle Love, established him as one of the most exciting new voices on the Canadian literary landscape. A remarkable collection of linked stories that explore the quiet triumphs and heartbreaking disappointments of a family, Barnacle Love received tremendous reviews and was shortlisted for the prestigious Scotia bank Giller Prize. The Vancouver Sun called Barnacle Love “A book of exceptional balance. Tender and raw, morbid and surprisingly gentle, it is the palpable sadness of the Rebelo family that will stay with readers after the closing pages."

De Sa followed the great success of Barnacle Love with the national bestseller Kicking The Sky, a hauntingly beautiful novel that explores the profound impact that an infamous incident in Toronto history has upon a community trying to come to terms with its loss. “An impressive achievement…Kicking the Sky bridges its polarized worlds, staying true to the humanity in each. It’s one of the best things fiction can do,’ said the National Post.

In May, Anthony De Sa returns with Children of the Moon, a raw and compelling novel of love, war and the heartbreaking effects of memory.

"You must listen to my words. You must promise to tell my story the way I have shared it with you."

Tanzania, 1956. A Maasai woman gives birth to a child with albinism. The child is seen as a curse upon her tribe, and so begins Po's tumultuous story. As Po navigates the world, she must claim her life in the face of violence and ostracism.

Further south, in Portuguese-controlled Mozambique, Ezequiel struggles for acceptance too. Adopted by missionaries, he is not recognized by his Portuguese father's community, or by his Makonde mother's tribe. When civil war erupts, he must choose who to fight for and who to leave behind.

Po and Zeca come together in a time of momentous change. Love connects these two outsiders, forcing them to confront the shattering impact of colonialism and war. Children of the Moon is a stunning and unforgettable exploration of the love of two people at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control.

Date: Monday May 6, 2019
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Children of the Moon sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


AMY JONES: EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF MEAmy Jones earned rave reviews for her bestselling debut novel, We’re All in This Together. In June Bonnie is pleased to welcome Amy to the book club as she launches her new novel Every Little Piece of Me.

Ava Hart is the most reluctant cast member of a reality TV show based on her big city family's (mostly staged) efforts to run a B&B in small-town Nova Scotia. Every family has its problems, but Ava has grown up seeing her family's every up and down broadcast on national television, after the show becomes an unexpected success for reasons that will take a heavy toll on the Harts.

Mags Kovach is the charismatic lead singer of a struggling Halifax rock band hoping to be the Next Big Thing. For years she's managed to contain her demons and navigate the uglier aspects of being a woman in the music world, but after a devastating loss, she turns her anger on the only person she can: herself.

As their private tragedies continue to set social media and tabloid headlines on fire, their every move subjected to an endless stream of public commentary, it will be their unexpected friendship that will save them. They will push back against the roles they've been forced to play, and take back control of something they thought they'd lost forever - the right to their own stories.

Date: Monday June 3, 2019
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Every Little Piece of Me sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Locations
Fat Pasha Restaurant x

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.

414 Dupont Street
647 340 6142

Piano Piano Restaurant x

Piano Piano The Restaurant

An exciting location, we had the private room downstairs at Piano Piano (formerly Splendido). Chef/owner Victor Barry has switched up his elegant and innovative tasting menu for a more casual, but still innovative and delicious, approach.

88 Harbord Street
416 929 7788

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

Ku-Kum Kitchen x

Ku-Kum Kitchen

Toronto Life’s Mark Pupo says: “Ku-Kum is a restaurant with a philosophy of showcasing what (Chef Joseph) Shawana calls the “whole ingredient” by which he means using what’s readily available and respecting the source of our nourishment – Mother Nature. He’s a patron of foragers, and Indigenous fishers and hunters.” And “Shawana’s genious is to seamlessly weave his favourite Indigenous ingredients and recipes together with a classic French approach.”

581 Mt. Pleasant Road

416 519 2638

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

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

News And Events
NEW! BONNIE’S FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER 2.0Friday night dinners are an important tradition in Jewish culture to say goodbye to the work week and welcome Shabbat. Even those who are not observant often get together on Friday night to be with their families.

But is the traditional the traditional dinner, like the one I grew up with, a thing of the past? My family still gets together every Friday night but things have changed. My mom used to make the same thing every week but now my family wants to try new things as well as old favourites so we mix it up. Favourites now include some traditional Jewish dishes (like brisket) and some Israeli dishes too (like Moroccan fish tagine). My mom used to always serve a huge meal of appetizers, soup, main course and dessert and we would sit at the table for hours. My kids often invite their friends over and/or want to go out after dinner so we start dinner earlier and have less courses. My mom used to serve heaping plates to everyone but my family like to take what and how much themselves. Are there other issues you would like addressed in a course like this? Let me know.  Friday night dinner is a tradition worth keeping and if I have to modernize it a bit, so be it. Are you with me?

Please Note: As with all our classes and workshops, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group).

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Bonnie’s Friday Night Dinner 2.0 to and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread that is enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. However, now challah has risen way above Jewish cooking and is a favourite for French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, bread pudding and so much more.

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 challah 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.

This very popular workshop includes coffee and cinnamon buns, snacks, a delicious lunch or dinner, 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: As with all our classes and workshops, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group).

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Bonnie’s Challah Workshop to and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNERIsraeli food is so 'hot' now it is what everyone wants to eat. Come and learn the ingredients and flavours that make it so popular. Israel is an immigrant country and Israeli cuisine is a delicious mash-up of food and flavours from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Workshop includes appetizers on arrival, lunch or dinner, recipes and lots of fun.

Please Note: As with all our classes and workshops, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group).

Please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israeli Family Dinner to and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

"Bonnie: thank you once more for a wonderful evening of amazing food and inspiration. I was on a food high when I got home and could not get the thought of your incredible chicken out of my mind! Your recipes are the best."  Barbara Kerbel


We had a wonderful 9th culinary trip to Israel in February 2019. If you would like to be on our email list for our 10th anniversary tour and other future trips please send your name, email and phone number, with subject line: Trips, to (if you are not already on the list).

We are hoping to send out a sample itinerary, dates, prices and registration information soon.

"Thank you for the experience of a life time! It was truly wonderful! I can’t imagine ever being able to see and do all that we did without you!" Diana D’Amelio

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Derech Menachem Begin 23
(main floor of the Levenstein Tower)
Tel Aviv
+972 3 522 5005
One of the most popular restaurants in Tel Aviv, it exceeded my expectations. Many restaurants have a lunch deal, or what they call ‘business lunch’, where for the price of the main course you get an appetizer and sometimes an extra treat or dessert. Our dessert – a mango mousse in a chocolate sphere with sweet curry cream – was not included in this case but definitely worth it.
Rehov Mikveh Israel 1
South Tel Aviv
+972 3 501 5050
This is the Tel Aviv sister of the famous Jerusalem restaurant. And it is wonderful. Only open for lunch, it is a visual and flavour-filled treat. Look at the pots of food on the stove in the kitchen and choose.
10 Beit Ya'akov Street
+972 02 533 3442
This is the restaurant that changed the food scene in Jerusalem. And it is the hardest reservation to get in the country. Wild and crazy, so much fun and so delicious. Now they have a mini-empire of restaurants – Culinary Workshop, Talbiye, Yudale (tapas bar) and more in Jerusalem. In London they opened Palomar and The Barbary and took the British city by storm.
Featured Recipes
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour or GF flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle Tabasco or puree or other hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • sauteed greens:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cups baby spinach or baby kale or other greens
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • tahini sauce:
  • 1/4 cup raw tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste

    Tel Aviv is often called the vegan capital of the world or ‘Tel Avegan’ or even ‘vegan nation’. There are over 400 vegan restaurants and just about every restaurant has vegan dishes on the menu.  I had delicious lentil pancakes similar to these at a restaurant called Bread & Co and here's my version. Serve them savory like this or make them sweet-ish by omitting cumin and hot sauce and doubling the maple syrup, adding 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and serving them with coconut yogurt and fresh fruit.

    Oat Flour: Oat flour is still a little hard to find but you can always grind rolled oats in a food processor until fine for use in recipes.

    Red Lentils: Sometimes they are called pink or orange lentils.


    1. Rinse lentils and soak in cold water one hour at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

    2. Drain lentils well and place in a blender with almond milk, maple syrup and cider vinegar. Puree. Add oat flour, baking powder, flax seed, salt, cumin and hot sauce. Puree until very smooth.

    3. To cook, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a 9" non-stick pan and add 1/2 cup batter. Batter should spread to make about a 5 to 6" pancake. Cook on medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, flip and cook second side until cooked through. Place each pancake as it is ready on a sheet pan, cover loosely and keep warm in a low oven. You should have 5 to 6 pancakes.

    4. For the greens heat a 10" pan with 1 tbsp olive oil and garlic. Add cherry tomatoes and cook a few minutes until softened. Add spinach or/and kale and cook just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. (This can be made ahead and reheated but do not overcook.)

    5. Make tahini sauce by whisking tahini with lemon juice, cold water and salt. Do not worry if sauce siezes when adding liquid, just add a little more water to smooth out the sauce. (This can be made ahead.)

    6. To serve, top pancakes with sauteed greens and drizzle with tahini.

    Make 3 to 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup thick yogurt
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander seed, smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp aleppo pepper, freshly ground black pepper or other hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 lbs chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 2 lbs baking potatoes (3 or 4 large), washed, pierced and wrapped in foil
  • 1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into spears
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
  • kosher salt

  • yogurt garlic sauce:
  • 1/2 cup thick yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • one to 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp aleppo pepper, freshly ground black pepper or other hot sauce
  • TURKISH CHICKEN ON ROAST POTATOES WITH YOGURT SAUCEThis is my home-version of a Turkish dish I enjoyed at a restaurant in Tel Aviv. Use a whole chicken cut in quarters or eighths instead of just thighs - but chicken thighs are really the best - aren't they? If you use chicken breasts do not cook them as long as they dry out easily. Instead of broccoli you can roast cauliflower, squash or carrots or, serve with wilted spinach. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts or almonds if desired.


    1. For marinade, in a large bowl combine yogurt with cumin, coriander, paprika, pepper, salt, garlic, tomato paste and lemon juice. Add chicken thighs and stir to coat well. Cover and marinate an hour at cool room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

    2. Bake potatoes in a 400F oven 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Unwrap and on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving potatoes in their skins, open and mash roughly. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

    3. Wipe marinate off chicken and brown in a skillet with a little oil. Arrange chicken, skin side up, on roughly mashed potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a 425F oven 30 to 40 minutes. Reduce oven to 400F.

    4. Toss broccoli spears with olive oil and salt. Arrange around chicken and potatoes. Roast 15 minutes longer or until broccoli is cooked and chicken is browned and crisp.

    5. Make sauce by whisking yogurt with mayonnaise, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle sauce on chicken and vegetables and sprinkle with cilantro or parsley.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, cut up with scissors (12oz)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (preferably toasted)

  • cookie dough:
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour, sometimes called almond meal or ground almonds (or more all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • to shape and bake:
  • 1 egg for brushing
  • icing sugar

    Hamantaschen are the triangular shaped cookies specifically made at Purim. The holiday celebrates 'good' winning over 'evil' and the triangle is the shape of the hat that the evil Haman wore when he was in power in ancient Persia. He had secretly planned to kill all the Jews but his scheme was discovered in time.  Up until recently hamantaschen were usually filled with poppyseed, date or prune filling but a few years ago, Lehamim Bakery in Tel Aviv, started filling them with apples, chocolate and even savory fillings like beets, sweet potatoes and potatoes and cheese. It really caught on! No matter what filling, the technique is the same and the more you make them the better you get, the easier they are to shape and the neater they look. Usually a cookie dough is used for sweet hamantaschen and a pastry dough is used for savory ones but pastry dough can be used for both. Going back through time - here's a delicious date-walnut version that is delicious for snacks and/or dessert.

    Tips:. Do not use more than 1 tsp filling. It doesn't sound like enough but it will be enough. (It isn't just you - everyone wants to overstuff anything that is stuffed!)

    Brush the rounds of dough with egg, a few at a time, just before shaping so that the egg will stick the edges of dough together when shaping.

    Freeze the shaped hamantaschen before baking to help them keep their shape.


    1. For filling place dates, cinnamon, orange peel and water in a small saucepan and cook about 5 minutes until jammy and thick. Stir in walnuts. Cool. Oil hands lightly and shape into 1 tsp balls. Place in a single layer on a tray, cover and refrigerate.

    2. For dough combine butter and sugar in a mixer until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Whisk together flour, almond flour and salt. Add to butter mixture and combine until dough is formed. Add a bit of water if necessary. Divide dough in half, shaped into a flattened disc, wrap and refrigerate about 10 minutes. Roll out each disc on a floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8". Cut into 3" rounds with a cookie cutter. Gather up scraps of dough, roughly press together and reroll. Cut more circles - you should have between 30 and 40 rounds total.

    3. Beat egg (for brushing) with 1 tsp water and a pinch of kosher salt. (If you are obsessive like I am pass it through a little strainer.) I like to brush about 4 rounds of dough at a time so that the egg does not dry out while shaping the triangles. Place one ball of date filling on each egg-brushed round. Bring 1/3 of the dough up to the filling and then the second third up and pinch the two edges together. Then bring up the last third and pinch both sides together. (Dough can also be folded over.) Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (You will need two baking sheets.) Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. (This will help the dough to keep it's shape.) Brush the sides of the cookies with egg wash.

    4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Dust with icing sugar.

    Makes 30 to 40 depending on thickness of dough

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