Bonnie's Book Clubs
News and Events
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.
For me, February was a month that I just wanted to stay indoors and cook. I used the cold weather as an excuse to warm up in the kitchen and test lots of recipes from my trip to Spain. Check the recipe section below for some of the delicious results.
Although I never really wanted to leave the house, I dragged myself out to discover two great new restaurants (Bar Buca and Carbon Bar) and a few Winterlicious spots that offered great menus. If you choose carefully, Winterlicious/Summerlicious can be a good way to find new favourite restaurants. Look for menus that really reflect either the style of restaurant or offer versions of their regular menu items.
Winterlicious/Summerlicious is a stressful time for chefs and servers so be nice to them (I know, I know, you are the customer and they should be nice to you but honestly it works both ways), order drinks or wine and leave good tips. I included Quince in my last newsletter and you can see how much we enjoyed dbar at the Four Seasons.
Check out our new book club on Wednesday, March 19th featuring Joshua Max Feldman with his new novel The Book of Jonah.
Keep warm and 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.
|JOSHUA MAX FELDMAN: THE BOOK OF JONAH (NEW!)|
An epic tale of love, failure and unexpected faith set in New York, Amsterdam, and Las Vegas.
The modern day Jonah at the center of Feldman's brilliantly conceived retelling of The Book of Jonah
is a young Manhattan lawyer named Jonah Jacobstein. He's a lucky man:
healthy and handsome, he has two beautiful women ready to spend the rest
of their lives with him, and an enormously successful career that gets
more promising by the minute.
Jonah is celebrating a deal that will surely
make him a partner when a bizarre, unexpected Biblical vision at a party
changes everything. Hard as he tries to forget what he saw, this
disturbing sign is only the first of many Jonah will witness, and before
long his life is unrecognizable. Though this perhaps divine
intervention will be responsible for more than one irreversible loss in
Jonah's life, it will also cross his path with that of Judith Bulbrook,
an intense, breathtakingly intelligent woman who's no stranger to loss
herself. As this funny and bold novel moves to Amsterdam and then Las
Vegas, Feldman examines the way we live now while asking an age-old
question: How do you know if you're chosen?
Join us for what promises to be a wonderful evening of prose, ideas and great food.
|Date: Wednesday, March 19, 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 The Book of Jonah sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|DINAW MENGESTU: ALL OUR NAMES|
|In April, Bonnie welcomes to the book club one of the most exciting new voices on the international literary landscape. Over the last seven years, Dinaw Mengestu has earned rave reviews for his novels The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears and How to Read the Air. His work has been published in a dozen languages and he has been hailed as one of the top 20 fiction writers under 40 by the New Yorker. Dinaw Mengestu is also the recipient of a prestigious genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation.|
Dinaw Mengestu visits the Book Club to discuss his eagerly-awaited new book All Our Names, a powerful novel about exile and the loneliness and fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories.
All Our Names is the story of a young man who comes of age during an African revolution, drawn from the hushed halls of his university into the intensifying clamour of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, and the path of revolution leads to almost certain destruction, he leaves behind his country and friends for America. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into the routines of small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom.
Subtle, intelligent, and quietly devastating, All Our Names is a novel about identity, about the names we are given and the names we earn. The emotional power of Mengestu's work is indelible.
|Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Universal Grill
1071 Shaw Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of All Our Names sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810.
|ALEXI ZENTNER: THE LOBSTER KINGS|
|In May, the book club welcomes an exciting new Canadian literary talent when Alexi Zentner presents his new novel The Lobster Kings.|
Alexi Zentner's fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including the Atlantic Monthly. His short story Touch was featured in the O. Henry Prize Stories 2008 where it was chosen by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. His debut novel, Touch, received critical acclaim when it was published in Canada, the United States and the U.K. In the future, the book will be published in Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Korea, Brazil, Denmark and Poland.
The Lobster Kings is a perfect read that will appeal to fans of John Irving and Pat Conroy. It takes place on fictional Loosewood Island, somewhere off Maine and the Maritimes. For generations it has been unofficially ruled by a family called the Kings, since the legendary Brumfitt Kings came over from Ireland with the bountiful lobsters "making a road with their backs." But modern times bring modern problems, and the waters off Loosewood Island are starting to be poached by James Harbor, a rival community. With the health of current patriarch Woody Kings fading, it's up to his daughter Cordelia to pick up the mantle. Zentner has crafted a truly Shakespearean plot filled with sibling rivalry, love lost and won, art history, and the sometimes deadly adventure that is lobster fishing off the windswept Atlantic coast.
|Date: Monday, May 5, 2014|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Lobster Kings sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|Book Club Locations|
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
416 920 2323
" A meal at Universal Grill feels like a dinner party at the home of your coolest friend, with vintage diner decor, excellent bistro food and low-key service.” Toronto Life, September 2013.
1071 Shaw Street
416 588 5928
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.
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
Private cooking classes
Personal chef training
Menu consulting for parties
For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810
|Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks|
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
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
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 gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages
|News And Events|
|EVERYDAY PASSOVER COOKING AND MORE|
WITH BONNIE STERN
|Bonnie's teaching a Passover cooking class in Vancouver for Congregation Beth Israel. Here's the info:|
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Place: JCC Wosk Auditorium
950 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver
Fee: $25 (members) $35 (non-members)
For tickets, call: 604 731 4161
|TERROIR SYMPOSIUM 2014|
|Terroir is a hospitality symposium that brings together the innovators of Canada’s hospitality industry including chefs, food writers, wine and food experts and business leaders. This symposium attracts people who are serious about the business of hospitality and who are looking to update their knowledge of the industry.|
Speakers this year include: Alessandro Porcelli, David Chang, Daniel Boulud, Albert Adria and many more.
Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Place: Arcadian Court
401 Bay Street, Toronto
For more information and tickets visit: www.terroirsymposium.com
|CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL|
WITH RABBI ELYSE GOLDSTEIN AND BONNIE STERN
"FOOD FOR THOUGHT TOUR"
We are just finalizing the itinerary and price for our next Food for Thought Culinary Tour to Israel – February 2015. So exciting. 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, tastings and an optional post trip excursion to Petra.
To be on the mailing for future trips email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Restaurant Recommendations and More|
75 Portland Street
416 599 2822
|This modern all day Italian cafe is even more stylish in person that in photos. Service is friendly, food is beautiful and what’s great about the menu is that it's different than all the other cafes or brunch spots. At brunch recently we tried the crespelle - an adorable mini pancake stack with ricotta and cannoli flavours, soft scrambled eggs topped with burrata and white truffles and a delicious sandwich on focaccia with porchetta, egg and mostarda.|
99 Queen Street East
416 947 7000
|Nota Bene’s idea of a casual BBQ restaurant is pretty fancy. A huge beautiful room, great service, good food and fun menu makes this a perfect place for people who want BBQ but like a bit of luxury. We had crispy chicken skins with sweet chili vinegar, hamachi tartare with clementine, pear and coriander and charred scallops with brisket espuma for appetizers. For mains we had blackened sea bass with yuca, lime and tomatillo chutney and the pit master’s platter (for 2) which included ribs, beef brisket, jalapeno sausage, pulled pork and smoked turkey which was enough for four. Don't miss the ‘hot mess’ - delicious mess of sweet potato, brisket, cheese curds and crema. Skip desserts.|
Moderate to Expensive
Four Seasons Hotel
60 Yorkville Avenue
416 964 0411
|Lunch at Cafe Boulud has moved to dbar on the main floor for a more casual approach. Elegant square tables were added to the stylish room to make lunch service more comfortable and the menu is less formal with burgers and sandwiches added to the more sophisticated Daniel Boulud classics. We accidentally went when Winterlicious was on and had the best meal for $25. Appetizers of calamari salad and Salad Lyonnaise (with a crispy fried duck egg on top and slab of smoky bacon) were amazing, mains of squash risotto and sea bass with romesco sauce were even better and then for dessert ice cream sundaes (especially the grapefruit sorbet with rose Turkish Delight and raspberry jellies) were the best ending.|
563 Bloor Street West
416 588 3907
|We love this place for brunch (don’t miss the barbequed home fries) but when I ended up here for a late lunch (during happy hour actually) I was surprised how much fun and delicious it was. The fish tacos and grilled salmon were both hits.|
|CURRIED LENTIL AND CARROT SOUP WTIH COCONUT|
|2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced1 lb carrots (3 to 4), diced2 tsp mild curry paste1 cup red lentils, rinsed5 cups water or vegetable stock1/2 cup coconut milk kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to tastechopped cilantro and/or toasted coconut||I love to serve this soup in shooter glasses or small cups to guests when they arrive especially on really cold nights. Soups with grains or legumes will thicken if made ahead so just thin with additional water when reheating and adjust seasoning if necessary. Freeze extra coconut milk.|
1. Cook leeks in olive oil in a large saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes until wilted. Add carrots and cook 5 minutes longer. Add curry paste and cook 2 minutes until fragrant.
2. Add lentils and water and bring to a boil. Cook 30 minutes until vegetables are very tender and lentils have dissolved. Puree. Mixture will be thick.
3. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. If soup is too thick, add more liquid. Season to taste. Garnish with cilantro and/or toasted coconut.
makes 6 to 8 servings
|CHORIZO AND MANCHEGO CROQUETTES|
|4 tbsp butter2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 small onion, chopped6 oz smoked chorizo (or smoked turkey, chicken or duck breast), trimmed and diced (about 3/4 cup)1/2 cup all-purpose flour1 1/2 cups milk, hot1/2 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste)1/4 tsp each freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese|
breading:1/2 cup all-purpose flour3 eggs, lightly beaten1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs extra virgin olive oil or unflavoured vegetable oil or a combination (about 4 cups)
|Croquettes are one of the most popular tapas and delicious in any cuisine. The base is a very thick bechamel sauce flavoured with cooked meat, fish, cheese or vegetables and then shaped and breaded. Make them in stages as described in the recipe. They taste best freshly cooked - either hot or room temperature. Traditionally they are cylinder shaped but I liked the modern look at Manzanilla in Malaga - round with a dab of aioli. In Mediterranean countries it is common (and considered healthy) to deep-fry in extra virgin olive oil. Not that deep-frying in any oil is ‘healthy’ but, as I understand it, extra virgin olive oil has natural antioxidants which help stabilize the oil.|
1. Make filling a few hours or a day ahead. Heat butter and olive oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add onions and cook gently about 5 minutes until tender and fragrant but not brown. Add chorizo and cook another few minutes.
2. Sprinkle flour over onions and chorizo and cook gently, stirring with a wooden spoon 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in hot milk all at once. Mixture will be very thick. Season. Cook 2 minutes stirring. Stir in cheese.
3. Spread mixture in a shallow bowl, cover and cool. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
4. Shape mixture into cylinders or flattened balls - you should have about 30. Refrigerate. To bread have flour in one shallow bowl, beaten eggs in another and breadcrumbs in another. Dip each croquette into flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs. It is important to do each step carefully so that the egg will coat them completely allowing the breadcrumbs to stick in every spot. If not cooking immediately, refrigerate, uncovered, on a rack, until ready to cook.
5. Heat oil in a deep 8" of 9" skillet or saucepan. Oil should reach 325F before frying. Add 5 or 6 croquettes at a time. Cook about 4 minutes, turning once until lightly browned. If oil is too hot, the croquettes could split open. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat until they are all cooked. Top with a dab of aioli. Serve hot.
makes about 30
|POTATOES BRAVAS WITH SPANISH TOMATO SAUCE AND AIOLI|
|2 lbs small Yukon Gold potatoes3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 tsp kosher salt|
spicy tomato sauce:2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 onion, diced2 cloves garlic, mincedpinch hot red chile flakes1/2 tsp smoked paprika1/4 tsp ground roasted cumin1 tsp kosher salt1 28oz/796mL tin plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)1 tbsp sherry vinegar
aioli:1 head garlic, roasted*1/2 cup mayonnaise1 tbsp lemon juice2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to tastefresh parsley leaves
|Every tapas bar we went to in Seville and Malaga had a version of patatas bravas on the menu. There will be more sauce than you need but you can freeze any extra tomato sauce and use the aioli on burgers, meatballs and the croquettes above. Serve warm or at room temperature as an appetizer or with a main course|
1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water, add 1 tbsp salt and bring to the boil. Cook ten minutes. Drain and cool under cold water. Pat dry. Cut potatoes in half and toss potatoes with oil and salt. Place baking sheet in the oven as it is preheating to 425F. Transfer potatoes onto the hot pan in a single layer. Roast 30 to 40 or until browned and crisp.
2. For tomato sauce heat olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add onions, garlic, hot pepper flakes, paprika, cumin and salt. Cook gently until onions are tender. Add tomatoes with juices. Break them up with a wooden spoon. Cook until thick about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and season to taste. Puree.
3. For aioli, squeeze cooled roasted garlic into a bowl and puree. Whisk in mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Place potatoes on a platter and drizzle with as much sauce as you like. Sprinkle with parsley.
*To roast garlic cut 1/4 off the top of the head of garlic, Wrap in aluminum foil and roast 45 to 60 minutes in a preheated 375F oven.
makes 6 to 8 servings
|TINA’S ROASTED CHICKEN WITH CHORIZO AND ORANGES|
|1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - divided2 onions, thinly sliced2 oranges, ends trimmed, quartered and sliced 3/4" thick3 lbs chicken thighs, trimmed2 lbs chorizo, either fresh or dried, sliced in 1" pieces2 tsp kosher salt1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary1/2 cup dry white wine1/4 cup marmalade||My friend Tina Scheftelowitz whose B&B we stayed at last month just outside of Malaga, made this dish for us with rabbit and kumquats. I make it for my family with chicken, oranges and stir some marmalade into the wine. Use seville oranges or marmalade if possible.|
1. Place 1 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a large shallow dish. Sprinkle most of onions and oranges over the bottom of the pan, reserving a little for the top.
2. Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on top. Arrange chorizo in and around chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Scatter remaining onions and oranges over top. Drizzle remaining 3 tbsp olive oil over the chicken. Stir wine with marmalade and pour over.
3. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake 15 minutes longer. If necessary, broil 3 to 5 minutes to brown and crisp chicken.
makes 4 to 6 servings
|MILK AND HONEY PANNA COTTA|
|1 tbsp unflavoured gelatin (1 envelope)1/4 cup cold water1 1/2 cups milk1 1/2 cups whipping cream1/4 cup honey1 tsp pure vanilla paste or extract2 cups pomegranate seeds or raspberries||Panna cotta is a sexy Italian dessert and yet very easy to make. Top it with berries, passion fruit pulp or pomegranate seeds. I used honey instead of sugar for a honey article I was doing for Valentine’s Day and loved the taste and texture. The recipe originally came from The Faculty Club at University of Toronto where the bee keeping students' club have hives on the rooftop.|
1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to soften a few minutes. Heat gently until dissolved.
2. Meanwhile, combine milk and cream in a small saucepan and heat gently. Stir in honey.
3. When gelatin softens whisk into hot milk mixture. Add vanilla. Cool 10 minutes and then slowly pour into two or three martini glasses or dessert cups. Chill a few hours until set.
4. Top chilled panna cotta with fruit.
Makes 6 servings
|INDIVIDUAL APPLE TARTS WITH ICE CREAM|
|2 cups all-purpose flour1/4 tsp kosher salt7/8 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces1/3 cup cold water or more6 apples (Honeycrisp, Spy or Golden Delicious), peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1/4" slices (about 2 lbs)1/2 cup sugar1 egg, lightly beaten2 tbsp coarse sugar||When we were in Banff at Christmas we had the best little apple pies at Crazyweed Kitchen, a great restaurant in Canmore (about 25 minutes from Banff). The pastry was thin and delicate and it was a great ending to one of our best meals of the trip. Serve with ice cream and/or caramel sauce.|
1. For pastry whisk flour with salt. Cut in butter until it is in tiny bits. Sprinkle with water (usually 1/3 to 1/2 cup or more if necessary but less if you are using a food processor). Gather dough together into a ball. Divide dough in two. Flatten, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
2. Place sugar in a large deep skillet. Cook, watching carefully until starting to brown. Add apples and cook 10 to 15 minutes, covered, until just tender but still holding their shape. Don't worry if sugar solidifies a bit, it will melt down. Cool completely.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling. Roll out each portion on a lightly floured work surface as thin as possible. Cut into 5" rounds. Reroll scraps of dough, pressing them together lightly. Cut more circles. You should have 16 circles. Place half on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Arrange 4 or 5 overlapping slices of apples on pastry on baking sheets, leaving a ¼” border, and brush edges with egg. Cover with remaining rounds of dough and pinch edges together. Prick a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
4. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer until pastry is golden brown.
makes 8 tarts
© Copyright 2014, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.