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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.


December 2018

Happy holidays! November was off to a great start when I led a conversation with Yotam Ottolenghi, one of the most well-known cookbook authors in the world, at George Brown College. Thanks to the 300+ guests for their rapt attention (Yotam really is amazing) and their excellent questions. Yotam is usually known for his multi-ingredient recipes, all of which are delicious but often time consuming. Therefore it was a nice surprise when his new cookbook, Simple, has a limit of 10 ingredients per recipe - and everything is still delicious. Yotam was also the special guest at two brunches at Fat Pasha where chef/owner Anthony Rose featured recipes from the new book. And during Yotam’s visit I was excited to be able to introduce him to one of my favourite Toronto restaurants, Joso’s, where the deliciousness hasn’t changed in the 40 years it's been open.

I loved teaching a Middle Eastern cooking class at Relish Cooking Studio in Kitchener/Waterloo. The school is very inviting and has a great selection of cooking equipment and gadgets. It also had a professional and helpful team to work with and a full house of attendees. It was a pleasure to teach there.

Also during this busy month, author and activist Michael Twitty was in Toronto speaking at an event arranged by Community Food Centres Canada. Twitty’s book The Cooking Gene won the Book of the Year at the James Beard Cookbook Awards 2018. Twitty is on the cutting edge of food culture, politics and social justice and his book is a must for people interested in food issues today.

Check my Instagram (@bonniestern) daily this month for my 2018 cookbook recommendations for holiday gifts - my cookbook advent calendar.

We have a new book club to announce for January and lots of delicious recipes for the holidays.

Wishing you all a delicious, happy, healthy and meaningful holiday season.


Kitchen Hack
HOW TO OPEN A POMEGRANATEThis is the perfect season to serve pomegranates. Whole, they make beautiful table accessories or Christmas tree decorations and the seeds are considered a powerful antioxidant and a superfood. A sprinkling of pomegranate seeds (or arils as they are botanically called), make any dish glamorous. My mom loved pomegranates. Every year around this time she would bring one home from the store and we would open it, eat the seeds and we would all be covered with the delicious red juice. Erring on the side of caution, I learned to wear black whenever I had to open a pomegranate. Over the years I learned many ways to open a pomegranate and release the seeds. My favourite way was to cut just through the skin (try not to break or cut any seeds) around the equator, place it in a big bowl of cold water, and underwater, pry it open and then also underwater break it into pieces and remove the seeds, all happening underwater. The pith will rise to the surface to be discarded and the seeds sink to the bottom. Pour it all through a sieve and you have your sparkling seeds.

Then, a few years ago I taught a cooking class at an alternative high school and was showing the teenagers this way of opening a pomegranate. Afterwards a young Arab woman told me she had a different way that her mom had taught her. She said her mom cut and pried it half the way I did but then held one half, broken side down in the palm of her hand, fingers apart, over a big bowl, and then tapped the skin side with a wooden spoon whereupon the seeds fell down into the bowl. I told her I had tried that method but it never worked for me and she should show me. Well – ‘tapping’ the skin side isn’t quite the right word. Gently but firmly ‘whacking’ the skin side describes it a bit better. Now this method is my favourite. Try it.

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.


IAN WILLIAMS: REPRODUCTIONBonnie is very excited to kick off the 2019 season with one of the most talked about debut novels in recent years. In January, the book club welcomes the remarkably talented Ian Williams as he launches Reproduction, a funny, surprising and poignant exploration into the nature of family: those that we are born into and those that we invent by love.

Felicia and Edgar meet as their mothers are dying. Felicia, a teen from an island nation, and Edgar, the lazy heir of a wealthy German family, come together only because their mothers share a hospital room. When Felicia's mother dies and Edgar's "Mutter" does not, Felicia drops out of high school and takes a job as Mutter's caregiver. While Felicia and Edgar don't quite understand each other, and Felicia recognizes that Edgar is selfish, arrogant, and often unkind, they form a bond built on grief (and proximity) that results in the birth of a son Felicia calls Armistice. Or Army, for short.

Some years later, Felicia and Army (now 14) are living in the basement of a home owned by Oliver, a divorced man of Portuguese descent who has two kids - the teenaged Heather and the odd little Hendrix. Along with Felicia and Army, they form an unconventional family, except that Army wants to sleep with Heather, and Oliver wants to kill Army. Then Army's fascination with his absent father - and his absent father's money - begins to grow as odd gifts from Edgar begin to show up. And Felicia feels Edgar's unwelcome shadow looming over them. A brutal assault, a mortal disease, a death, and a birth reshuffle this group of people again to form another version of the family.

Reproduction is a profoundly insightful exploration of the bizarre ways people become bonded that insists that family isn't a matter of blood.

We are so looking forward to seeing you as we celebrate the new year with a terrific evening of prose and food.

Date: Monday January 28, 2019
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East #105, Toronto (Entrance on Sherbourne)
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Reproduction sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Location
The edible story
The Edible Story3
The Edible Story1
The Edible Story2
The Edable Story5
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

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
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.

News And Events
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 our Israeli Family Dinner class, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

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 DINNERMiddle Eastern and Israeli food is what everyone wants to eat right now so 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 our Challah Workshop, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

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

WINTERLICIOUS 2019January 25 to February 7, 2019

Winterlicious 2019 is coming soon featuring a prix fixe promotion and culinary event series. Be sure Winterlicious menu reflects the regular menu of the restaurants you want to try.

Details, including participating restaurants and menus will be announced in mid-December.
Click Winterlicious 2019

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Bar Buca Eglinton
101 Eglinton Avenue E.
416 599 2822
A welcome addition to the area, Bar Buca is a few blocks east of Yonge on the south side of Eglinton. Modern, fresh with floor to ceiling windows, there’s great cocktails (I loved my carrot cocktail), and the braised short ribs, skewers and pumpkin pizza were delicious. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Il Covo
585 College Street
416 530 7585
This was my second visit and we loved it as much as the first.  You can make up your own tasting menu or share some of the plates – they are bigger than you think and you can always order more if you were cautious to begin with. The food is delicious and modern, the place is cozy and the service is professional and lovely. Feels like Italy.
Moderate to Expensive
Featured Recipes
  • 1 1/4 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 extra egg white
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • vegetable oil
  • MASHED POTATO PANCAKES (LATKES) (CREPES)I found these delicious little French pancakes in the new cookbook Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse by David McMillan, Frederic Morin and Meredith Erickson. In their book they are called 'Crepes Vonnassiennes' and can be used as a base for smoked salmon, caviar and other appetizers for any holiday but I think they also make delicious and different latkes for Hanukkah. I added chopped green onions and black pepper.


    1. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well and mash (preferably with a potato ricer, food mill or pressed through a coarse sieve. Season with salt.

    2. Mix 2 egg yolks with cream and stir into potatoes. Sprinkle in the flour and mix gently.

    3. Beat the 3 egg whites until slightly stiff. Fold into potato mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and green onions.

    4. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan and add 2 tbsp batter per pancake (a small ice cream scoop works well). Flatten slightly with the back of a slightly wet spoon. Cook a few minutes per side until nicely browned. Repeat until all batter is used.

    Makes about 20 pancakes

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved or 12 small cloves
  • 6 green onions, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 1/2" to 2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup Japanese sweet rice wine/seasoning
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves (or regular basil)
  • BONNIE'S THREE CUP CHICKENThis recipe is perfect during the holidays when you need a break from all the excess food and drink! It's one of my most requested recipes, and so delicious and easy, it has become one of my favourite quick dinners and will probably become one of yours too. Supposedly, it gets it's 'three cup' name from using one cup of each sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine but I have never seen a recipe for it with those proportions! Serve with steamed rice or noodles. I also usually add some more vegetables to this like chunks of carrots, squash, eggplant or broccoli stems – add to the ginger mixture in step #1 and cook 2 minutes. remove from pan and re-add after browning chicken.

    1. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. Add ginger, garlic and green onions. Cook, stirring constantly, one minute until fragrant. Remove from pan or push to the side.

    2. Add chicken pieces to the pan and brown on both sides.

    3. Combine rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sriracha and sesame oil. Add to chicken. (Add ginger/garlic/green onion mixture if you removed it.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thicker but still syrupy enough to spoon over rice. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Add spinach and cook about one minute longer until spinach is barely wilted. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

    Makes 4 servings

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat or Cup4Cup GF flour)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • SPICED OATMEAL COOKIES WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES'Spiced' here means cinnamon, ginger and allspice and all things nice. These are a perfect treat for the holiday season, they make great hostess or take-home gifts and freeze well. You can make them small, medium or large and can add 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds, or chopped nuts or chocolate. I found the best dried cranberries in Montreal and now I order them online from


    1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking powder and salt.

    2. In another bowl with a mixer or by hand beat butter with brown and white sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then oats and cranberries. Refrigerate batter one hour. (Or shape into balls now, place on baking sheets and refrigerate one hour.)

    3. Shape into 1/2 ounce or 1 ounce balls (or larger) and place on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly brown and hold their shape. Cool on wire racks.

    Makes about 40 small cookies or 20 large cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 8 oz (227g) cream cheese. cold cut into chunks*

  • filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup best quality apricot jam

  • glaze:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar

    Rugelach (sometimes known as rugalahs or rugalech) are one of the most delicious Jewish cookies and everyone who makes them has a slightly different recipe and technique. This is the recipe I have always used and the one I gave to Yotam Ottolenghi. He and Helen Goh added their special touch and included it in their wonderful cookbook Sweet. (Just sayin’.)

    Baked or unbaked cookies can be frozen. Freeze on sheet pans. When frozen transfer to zipper style plastic bags. If frozen bake from the frozen state a little longer than if they were not frozen.

    Note: Cream cheese here comes in 250g packages so just eat about ½ ounce and use the rest for the dough or weigh. The best scale right now is a digital scale that weighs in ounces, pounds and grams.


    1. Cut butter into flour until crumbly. This can be done in a food processor, stand mixer with the K-beater or with a pastry blender in a large bowl. Cut cream cheese into mixture until a dough comes together. Divide dough into 4 balls, flatten to approximately a 4" round, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

    2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Reserve.

    3. Remove dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling. Roll each ball to a 10" circle. Spread each with about 2 tbsp jam. Sprinkle each with 1/4 amount of brown sugar mix. Cut each circle into 12 (or 16 if you want them small) wedges. Roll up each wedges from the outside edge to the middle. Place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper.

    4. Brush each cookie with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until browned.

    Makes 48 cookies

  • 2 cups salted butter
  • 1 cup fruit sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • CLASSIC SHORTBREAD COOKIESIf you are making holiday gifts this year, these cookies are the best. Fruit sugar (sometimes called bar, instant dissolving or superfine sugar) is just finely ground granulated sugar – if you cannot find it simply process about 1 cup regular granulated sugar in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds and then re-measure.  Rice flour is available at supermarkets and health food stores.

    1. Cut butter into small chunks and place in a mixer. Beat until butter is very light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually and continue to beat until very creamy.

    2. Whisk all-purpose flour together with rice flour for about one minute. Add to butter mixture and stir in by hand or on low speed just until flour is incorporated.

    3. Shape dough into 1" balls. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down with a fork, bottom of a glass or cookie press. Bake in a preheated 300F oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until ever so lightly browned around the edges.

    Makes about 60 cookies
    souffle cake:
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup cocoa, sifted
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • cocoa for dusting

  • chocolate mousse filling:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, in discs or chopped
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • ganache glaze:
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, in discs or chopped
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • chocolate shavings: (optional)
  • 2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, in discs or chopped

  • decoration:
  • pomegranate seeds, berries, fresh mint, star fruit, kumquats , sifted icing sugar
  • CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE BUCHE DE NOEL Sometimes called a yule log, buche de noel or, simply a roulade, this naturally gluten-free cake is light as air with a deep chocolate flavour. It is one of my favourite recipes and I use it as a base for stripe cakes and trifles as well as roulades. For entertaining this month, including Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years, this works for any holiday you are celebrating. Don't worry - it will roll up. If it cracks or breaks badly it isn't a problem, it's a trifle. (If it breaks or cracks it is probably just overbaked - next time bake less or lower the temperature. Or, your pan could be too big resulting in a thinner, overbaked cake.)


    1. For the cake preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 10"x15" sheet pan and line with parchment paper.

    2. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer until very light and sugar has dissolved - about 3 minutes. Beat in cocoa, vanilla and salt. In a large clean bowl with clean beaters (preferably in a stand mixer) beat egg whites until frothy and opaque. Very slowly beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/4 whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it and then fold remaining whites with chocolate mixture lightly but thoroughly. Spread evenly over prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until centre of cake springs back when lightly touched, the way the outside parts do. Cool cake in pan about 15 minutes on a rack.

    3. While cake bakes -  or before - heat 1 cup cream for filling. Place 2 oz chocolate in a large bowl, cover with hot cream and let  stand one to two minutes. Stir until chocolate melts completely and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla and salt. Cool and then chill thoroughly. (Mixture must be really cold to whip properly.)

    4. When cake is cool dust with cocoa and invert onto a large sheet of parchment paper. Remove and discard paper that baked with the cake. Trim edges and eat them or wait and mix them with any leftover filling and then eat them.

    5. When chocolate moose filling is very cold, whip with an electric beater until lightly whipped (about 2 to 3 minutes). Be careful as it can be over-whipped easily. Spread evenly over cake.

    6. With the long side of the cake horizontally in front of you roll the cake up away from you using the parchment paper to help you. (Do not roll the parchment paper into the cake!) And don't worry - it will roll up. Roll the cake onto your long serving platter (or a charcuterie board works well too). Chill.

    7. For the ganache, heat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream to almost boiling. Place 4 oz chocolate in a mixing bowl or 2 cup glass measure and pour cream over top. Shake gently to be sure chocolate is covered. Let sit 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla and salt. Cool to room temperature but still liquid. Pour over top of cake and allow icing to drip down sides.

    8. To make shavings you can take a chunk of chocolate and grate it with a vegetable peeler. (Hold the chocolate in your hand to warm it up a bit and the shavings will be wider and thicker.) Or, melt the chocolate in the microwave and spread over a piece of parchment paper about 1/8" thick. Refrigerate until firm and while cold, cut into about 2" pieces. Don't worry if the chocolate breaks. Arrange over top of cake.

    9. Decorate as you wish. Chill and serve cold.

    Makes 8 servings

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