Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Hack & Tips

Bonnie's Book Club

Corporate Services

News and Events

Restaurant Recommendations
& More

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes

Contact

Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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Website:
www.bonniestern.com

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.

 

August, 2018

Wow. I hope you all survived the July weather. For me July turned out to be ‘hot’ in so many ways.

Camp Kadimah Reunion
When I was a teenager I went to Camp Kadimah in Nova Scotia for four years. It was a life changing event for me and one of the highlights of my life. The camp was very basic compared to some of the better equipped camps in Ontario but the people and spirit of Kadimah was (and still is) unmatched. I have many friends from camp days but going to the reunion last week and seeing so many people I haven’t seen in years was truly emotional and I cried all night.

When I arrived in Halifax, my long-time friend, Myrna Yazer, picked me up at the airport and asked if I would help her and her sister make the vegetarian soup for the reunion. Although the reunion was very well organized (congratulations to the organizers and the committee!) the soup for the vegetarians had been overlooked. Of course I agreed and all of a sudden I remembered that when I was at camp, the food wasn't great and I used to plan menus as if I was camp cook. We had so much fun making that soup and in a funny way I felt I had come full circle.

Newfoundland
Maybe it is because of my Camp Kadimah days but I have a real love of our Atlantic Provinces and travel there every chance I have. On this trip I only had a few days but I was determined to show my friends Mitchell Davis and Nate Goldstein from New York as much as possible. We started in St John’s, eating our way through the city at Mallard Cottage and Raymonds and then drove to Farewell with a picnic lunch - a treat from The Merchant Tavern. We caught the ferry to Fogo Island and went straight to the magnificent Fogo Island to see our friends, chef Jonathan Gushue and pastry chef Sarah Villamere. But there’s lots to do on Fogo Island as well as staying at the magnificent Fogo Island Inn. There’s a terrific B&B run by Tom Earl called Tilting Harbour B&B and you can even book Tom to cook dinner one night. Don’t miss the Ketanja Boat Tour to Little Fogo Island and see whales, icebergs and puffins. This year it was cod fishing season and we all caught a cod! And on the boat trip, there was Seamus O’Reagan, now Minister of Veteran Affairs, whom I used to cook with on Canada AM. You meet the best people in Newfoundland.

Fogo Island Food Circle
It was an honour to participate in the first Fogo Island Food Circle sponsored by Shorefast featuring Mitchell Davis (James Beard Foundation), Jonathan Gushue (Executive Chef Fogo Island Inn), Steffen Jagenburg (artist in residence) and Zita Cobb (Founder and innkeeper of Fogo Island Inn). There was a wonderful turnout from the community and so many people participated. Mitchell asked the questions: If someone comes to visit from away and you could only make them one dish that represented who you were and where you are what would it be? And when you travel what food do you miss the most or what to have first when you return? (How would you answer those questions?)

Check @bonniestern on Instagram for photos. For restaurant recommendations for Fogo Island, St. John's and Halifax see restaurant recommendation section below.

Book Clubs

We have a great line-up of authors for this fall. Our August 27 book club with award-winning author Rawi Hage: Beirut Hellfire Society has a few spaces left.

I just finished reading Wayne Grady's Up From Freedom for our September book club and shaking my head once again at the horrors of slavery and how people treat each other then and now.

In October it is time to welcome Chef Anthony Rose as the author of his first cookbook, The Last Schmaltz. We have had many book clubs at Anthony’s delicious restaurants (Rose and Sons, Big Crow and Fat Pasha) and now it's time for Anthony to be the guest speaker. Nigella Lawson said if there was an award for the best cookbook title ever, this would win. Check the book club section below for more information.

I will be shopping at the farmer’s market for my berries, nectarines, peaches and plums – see you there.

Bonnie

Kitchen Hack and Tips
OVEN-COOKED BACON
OVEN-COOKED BACONEvery chef knows the hardest menu to get ready all at the same time is bacon, eggs and toast. Add this pro tip to your repertoire and take the bacon out of the equation – cook it ahead. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack on top. Arrange strips of bacon in a single layer on the rack (do not let any bacon hang over the edge). Roast in a preheated 400F oven 15 to 25 minutes. The timing will vary according to the thickness of bacon and how crisp you want it.


PURE VANILLA
PURE VANILLAIf you love vanilla you probably noticed that the price of pure vanilla extract has increased tremendously. Many artisanal ice cream companies have stopped making vanilla ice cream rather than using artificial flavour. Although real vanilla was always expensive there are many reasons for the recent price increase. It is hard to produce. When I visited a spice farm in India with Meena Patak about ten years ago, we learned that pollination must be done by hand as the flowers only open one day a year. The beans are hand picked nine months later and then it takes many more months to dry them which produces the deep colour and exquisite flavour. In the 1980’s when less expensive artificial vanilla became more popular, especially with large food companies, many vanilla farmers went out of business. Then when natural foods became trendy and everyone wanted real vanilla again, there was a shortage. Severe weather conditions damaged crops and the price kept escalating. Until the price stabilizes again, rather than using artificial vanilla (which has a different taste if you are used to the real thing) here are some of my suggestions for substitutes. Save your pure vanilla for recipes where the flavour really depends on it and remember that a substitute is just a substitute and results will vary according to individual recipes.

- If you use vanilla beans in custards, puddings, ice cream and syrups etc. do not discard them after using. Rinse and dry them and store them in your sugar canister. You can reuse the beans a few times. The sugar will take on the flavour of vanilla (the aroma is incredible) and then use that sugar in your baking. (I usually only have a few beans in my canister but now I can’t bear to throw them away.)

- Try using maple syrup. Use the very dark syrup which has the strongest in flavour. Use the same amount as vanilla.

- Try pure almond extract but use less as it can be very intense. Orange and lemon extracts can also be used.

- Grated orange or lemon peel can add a lot of flavour to cakes, cookies and pastries. Grate the peel finely (a microplane works well for this) and use about the same amount as vanilla.

- Try using 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of brandy, rum, Bourbon, Scotch, orange liqueur or Amaretto, depending on the recipe, instead of vanilla.

- Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger and allspice can also add flavour depending on the recipe.

- Rose water and orange blossom water can add an exotic flavour to things like rice pudding, mousse and sugar syrups for cakes but brands differ greatly so use it very carefully.

Let me know if you have any other tips.



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.


AUGUST

RAWI HAGE: BEIRUT HELLFIRE SOCIETY
RAWI HAGE: BEIRUT HELLFIRE SOCIETYIn August, Bonnie is thrilled to kick off the new season of the Book Club with one of Canada’s most dynamic and talked about writers. Rawi Hage has captured the attention of readers across the country with such acclaimed works as DeNiro’s Game (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; winner of the prestigious €100,000 Dublin IMPAC Fiction Prize), Cockroach (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize) and the national bestseller Carnival. This fall, Hage returns with Beirut Hellfire Society, a remarkable and mature work that takes readers back to Beirut of the 1970s during the Civil War and asks what, if anything, can be accomplished or preserved in the face of certain change and certain death.

The novel introduces us to Pavlov, the twenty-something son of an undertaker, who, after his father's death, is approached by a member of the mysterious Hellfire Society - an anti-religious sect that, among their many rebellious and often salacious activities, arrange secret burial for those who have been denied it because the deceased was homosexual, atheist, or otherwise an outcast and abandoned by their family, church, and state.

Pavlov agrees to take up his father's work for the Society, and over the course of the novel acts as survivor-chronicler of his torn and fading community, bearing witness to both its enduring rituals and its inevitable decline.

Combining comedy and tragedy, Beirut Hellfire Society is a brilliant and urgent meditation on what it is to live through war. In short, this is a spectacular and timely new work from one of our major writers.

Date: Monday August 27, 2018 (Limited seats available)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Souk Tabule
494 Front Street East, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Beirut Hellfire Society sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



SEPTEMBER

WAYNE GRADY: UP FROM FREEDOM
WAYNE GRADY: UP FROM FREEDOMIn September, Bonnie welcomes Wayne Grady, the acclaimed author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize-longlisted Emancipation Day as he launches his eagerly-awaited new novel Up from Freedom.

As a young man, Virgil Moody vowed he would never be like his father, he would never own slaves. When he moves from his father’s plantation in Savannah to New Orleans, he takes with him Annie, a tiny woman with sharp eyes and a sharper tongue, who he is sure would not survive life on the plantation. She’ll be much safer with him, away from his father’s cruelty. And when he discovers Annie’s pregnancy, already a few months along, he is all the more certain that he made the right decision.

As the years pass, the divide between Moody’s assumptions and Annie’s reality widens ever further. Moody even comes to think of Annie as his wife and Lucas as their son. Of course, they are not. As Annie reminds him, in moments of anger, she and Moody will never be equal. She and her son are enslaved. When their “family” breaks apart in the most brutal and tragic way, and Lucas flees the only life he’s ever known, Moody must ask himself whether he has become the man he never wanted to be—but is he willing to hear the answer?

Stretching from the war-torn banks of the Rio Brazos in Texas to the muddy waters of Freedom, Indiana, Moody travels through a country on the brink of civil war, relentlessly searching for Lucas and slowly reconciling his past sins with his hopes for the future. When he meets Tamsey, a former slave, and her family trying to escape the reach of the Fugitive Slave Act, Moody sees an opportunity for redemption.

Date: Tuesday September 25, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East, Unit 105 (Entrance on Sherbourne), Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Up from Freedom sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


OCTOBER

ANTHONY ROSE: THE LAST SCHMALTZ
ANTHONY ROSE: THE LAST SCHMALTZFor a number of years, Chef Anthony Rose has been an important part of the success of Bonnie’s Book Club. His incredible restaurants – Rose and Sons, Big Crow and Fat Pasha – have served as the perfect venues for truly memorable evenings of food and books. In October, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome Anthony as an author for the launch of his debut book The Last Schmaltz: A Very Serious Cookbook.

Whether you know him as Toronto's King of Comfort Food, the Don of Dupont, or the Sultan of Smoked Meat, a conversation about the food and restaurant scene in Toronto isn't complete without mention of Anthony Rose. From his famous Fat Pasha Cauliflower (which may or may not have caused the Great Cauliflower Shortage of 2016) and Rose and Sons Patty Melt to his Pork Belly Fried Rice and Nutella Babka Bread Pudding, Anthony's dishes have consistently made waves in the culinary community. Now, in his first cookbook, Anthony has teamed up with internationally-renowned food and travel writer Chris Johns to share his most famous recipes and stories.

Be amazed by the reactions Anthony received when he ingeniously invented a dish called the "All-Day Breakfast." Thrill at the wonder Anthony felt when, as a young Jewish kid, he tasted the illicit lusciousness of bacon for the first time. Or discover the secret ingredient to the perfect shore lunch on a camping trip (hint: it's foie gras).

Often funny, sometimes ridiculous, but always delicious, The Last Schmaltz is a peek into the mind of a much-loved chef at the top of his culinary game.

Date: Monday October 22, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Big Crow
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Last Schmaltz sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Book Club Locations
 
Souk Tabule1
Souk Tabule2
Souk Tabule3
Souk Tabule4
Souk Tabule7
Souk Tabule5
Souk Tabule

Souk Tabule

We have always loved Tabule on Yonge Street and Queen Street East. Their newest restaurant, Souk Tabule, located in Toronto’s canary district, is a beautiful space that features authentic Beirut street food and modern Middle Eastern cooking.

494 Front Street East
Toronto
416 583 5914

www.souktabule.com

The Edible Story1
The Edible Story2
The edible story
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
Toronto

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

www.theediblestory.com

Big Crow4
Big Crow6
Big Crow1
Big Crow x

Big Crow

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

176 Dupont Street
Toronto

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

www.roseandsonsbigcrow.com

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 Stern 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

$29.95

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

$34.95
Appetizers
Appetizers
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

$22.95
HeartSmart
HeartSmart
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.

$34.95
Cuisiner au goût du cœur
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages

$18.98 
Desserts
Desserts
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

$21
HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends
HeartSmart Cooking
for Family and Friends
Featuring nine entertaining menus (over 200 recipes) with complete work plans, presentation ideas and wine suggestions, as well as complete nutritional analysis for each recipe, plus the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Food Choice Values. Colour photos and black and white instructional illustrations throughout.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$28.95
Recevoir au goût du cœur: recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis
Recevoir au gout du coeur:
recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis

Published by Trecarre, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$29.95
News And Events
RESTAURANTS FOR CHANGE
RESTAURANT FOR CHANGE

October 17, 2018

One night, 19 cities, 90+ restaurants, one goal: supporting community food programmes across Canada. For more information, click: Restaurants for Change

NEWCOMER KITCHEN
NEWCOMER KITCHENAt the beginning of July, I had the pleasure of attending a Canada Day Brunch Workshop with the Syrian ladies from Newcomer Kitchen. Ever since Newcomer Kitchen catered one of my book clubs, Carol Off’s award-winning book All We Leave Behind, I have wanted to attend one of their classes at The Depanneur, where Newcomer Kitchen started. It was a lovely class with the three instructors explaining how their family makes each recipe their own way – some things are the same all over the world.

The Newcomer Kitchen is a social enterprise worth supporting. For information about their events, workshops, Wednesday take-away dinners and to read about them click Newcomer Kitchen

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOP
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 bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNER
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.

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 bonnie@bonniestern.com 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

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURE
EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURE February 24 to March 5, 2019

Thanks for the overwhelming response to the itinerary for my 9th culinary trip to Israel. I am so excited, once again, to share my delicious Israel with you. We visit markets, wineries, food producers, attend private cooking classes and meet chefs and food personalities with amazing stories.

If you would like to see the 2019 itinerary click: Eating Israel

If you would like to be on the dedicated mailing list for future trips please send your name, email and phone number, with subject line: Trips, to bonnie@bonniestern.com (if you are not already on the list).

"I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity to meet and travel with Bonnie. Everyday was jam-packed with newness, and delicious, sensual experiences. Memories I will cherish for a life time."
Jill Aberman, Montreal

"The trip exceeded our expectations and we know we want to return to Israel again. Learning more about Israel and the Jewish faith was a highlight for both of us. Meeting the leading chefs, food personalities, cookbook authors, speakers and bloggers of Israel was an opportunity we would never have had if we were travelling on our own."
Lynette Husum and Roger Delbaere, Edmonton

 

Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO
Momofuku Kojin
190 University Avenue
Toronto
647 253 8000
Momofuku’s new restaurant, Kojin, is named after the Japanese god of the hearth and many of the dishes seemed to be kissed by fire. Chef Paula Navarrete uses her Columbian heritage to channel the direction of the menu to Latin and South American tastes using our local ingredients. Don’t miss the corn flatbread with toppings – we had the tomato confit with feta and the spiced honey butter; the burger was sensational with both melty cheese and crispy cheese, the short rib broth and steak were delicious as were the side orders of mashed potatoes (Tita’s Mash), the coconut rice and fire roasted sweet potatoes. Don’t leave without the ice cream cake with peanut butter caramel and chocolate ganache glaze.
Moderate to Expensive
Cafe Polonez
195 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto
416 532 8432
For homestyle Polish and Eastern European food, you can’t miss at Cafe Polonez. I loved that many of the menu items were ‘stuffed’. A big potato pancake was filled with goulash; cabbage rolls were stuffed with pork; pierogis were filled with cheese and potatoes; and schnitzel was under a blanket of mushrooms and cheese.
Moderate
Il Covo
585 College Street
Toronto
416 530 7585
Four of us had dinner at Il Covo and agreed it was one of our favourite Toronto dining experiences. We felt like we could have been in Italy. The food was delicious – modern Italian and our server – Luca – explained everything beautifully. Cocktails were great and they have a terrific Italian wine list. Order small plates to make up your own tasting menu. Do not miss the porcini custard rich with mushroom flavour and runny cheese, tuna, linguine with seafood, roasted buffalo ricotta, lamb chop – actually try not to miss anything. We each ordered 4 small plates and then 2 desserts for the table. Perfect.
Moderate to expensive
Conspiracy Pizza
176 Wicksteed Avenue
East York
647 694 3327
Crazy big pizzas with eccentric toppings are lots of fun. They use smoky brisket on Conspiracy pizza, pulled pork and pork belly on their Bay of Pigs pizza all from their ‘neighbour’ Adamson Barbecue. (They also have smaller pizzas now in case you want to try lots of different ones. We did.)
Moderate
La Diperie
3264 Yonge Street
Toronto
647 461 8542

 

La Diperie – how has it taken me this long to find you? I love soft serve and this one is really great. No gimmicks just a plain swirl in a cup or a cone with a choice of about a million different dips, toppings and sprinkles (okay that’s a gimmick I guess). There are a few locations now but this is the newest to date. What a treat.
Reasonable
Cafe Boulud
Four Seasons Hotel
60 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto
416 963 6000

 

I usually hide out during Summerlicious and Winterlicious but I was invited out and anxious to try this popular Toronto restaurant festival again. If the restaurant is offering their regular menu as well as the Summerlicious one you can always add an extra appetizer or dessert for the table. The Summerlicious menu was great at Cafe Boulud (for me the chicken liver mousse, braised short ribs and apricot financier was the perfect choice) but it's hard to go there and not order the grapefruit givre, or the magical chocolate profiteroles.
Moderate (Summerlicious) to Expensive (regular menu)
Antler Kitchen & Bar
1454 Dundas Street West
Toronto
647 345 8300
I love going out for brunch when the restaurant offers something I don’t usually make at home such as dim sum at Dynasty, Thai brunch at Kiin or wild foods at Antler. Smoked pork belly, game burger, house smoked wild salmon, omelet with foraged mushrooms + caramelized onions + smoked cheese, and wild blueberry compote made this outing so worthwhile. And you can make reservations.
Moderate
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
Prince George Hotel
1725 Market Street
Halifax
902 425 1986
This has always been my favourite place to stay in Halifax. The rooms are lovely and comfortable and the restaurant is good. I was impressed with breakfast – there were many smart gluten-free and vegan options.
Moderate to expensive
Chicken Chop
(or CHKN CHOP Rotisserie)

6041 North Street
Halifax
902 406 0690
As fast casual restaurants go CHKN CHOP Rotisserie can’t be beat. It’s no wonder - it is from the people at Halifax’s top restaurant, Edna’s. This new take-out, eat-in rotisserie place is delicious, cute, quick and reasonably priced. The chicken is perfectly cooked (even the white meat is juicy and tender) and with vegetables like Brussels sprouts, green beans, potato wedges and sweet and sour coleslaw, if I lived in Halifax I would be there often. And don't miss the homemade cookies.
Reasonable
Edna’s
2053 Gottingen Street
Halifax
902 431 5683
I only had one dinner in Halifax and Edna’s is where I wanted to go. There are no reservations, but in my experience, if you are there by 6:30pm, you will probably get in. It is casual and friendly with no attitude and the food is delicious. The seafood chowder was creamy yet light, the pasta with peas was beautiful and luscious, the scallops were plump and perfectly cooked, the burger was loaded with crispy onions and desserts were homestyle and filled with summer fruit.
Moderate
ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND
The Inn by Mallard Cottage
1 & 5 Barrows Road
St. John’s
709 237 7314
My favourite place to stay in St. John’s is located in the 16th century fishing village of Quidi Vidi across the road from one of St. John’s most beloved restaurants, Mallard Cottage. It is only 10 minutes from downtown St. John’s, and with only eight rooms (in two houses), it’s a very special place to experience Newfoundland hospitality.
Moderate to Expensive
Mallard Cottage Restaurant
8 Barrows Road
St. John's
709 237 7314
An old wood cottage turned into a restaurant makes a very cozy place to eat. The menu always includes many Newfoundland favourites like fish cakes, (in Newfoundland fish = cod), cod tongues, lobster boil and they are known for using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. They also have a cake table at brunch that is a favourite – in real life and on Instagram. (I love eating at the bar.)
Moderate
Raymonds Restaurant
95 Water Street
St. John's
709 579 5800
Voted the best restaurant in Canada, Raymonds put St. John’s on the culinary map. Owned by head chef Jeremy Charles and manager and sommelier Jeremy Bonia and named after their respective grandfather and father, you really cannot go to St. John’s without trying it. If you are an adventurous eater try the tasting menu with wild foods you may never see elsewhere or may not normally order, or chose a 3 course, 5 course or 7 course menus. It will be a delicious and exciting adventure and a true show of Newfoundland hospitality.
Expensive 
The Merchant Tavern
291 Water Street
St. John's
709 722 5050
Opened by Raymonds a few years ago, this is their casual sister restaurant. Always busy at lunch and dinner with lots of fish and seafood choices. Don’t miss the vinegar pie for dessert as odd as it may sound.
Moderate
FOGO ISLAND, NEWFOUNDLAND
Fogo Island Inn
210 Main Road
Joe Batt’s Arm
Fogo Island
709 658 3444
The award-winning Fogo Island Inn has brought world-wide attention to both Newfoundland and Fogo Island. Not only is it a stunning world-class inn, it is a social enterprise run by Shorefast (a registered Canadian charity) with profits going back into the community. If you stay there don’t miss the community host tour of the island that is part of the room price. Be sure to eat Jonathan Gushue’s amazing food and Sarah Villamere's wonderful desserts in the dining room but also have a meal in the ‘shed’ where they have seasonal dinners with storytelling – a Newfoundland tradition. (I was there for a crab boil.) Newfoundlanders are known for their hospitality and it doesn’t get better than on Fogo Island.
Expensive
Scoff Restaurant
159 Main Road
Joe Batt’s Arm
Fogo Island
709 658 3663
A long-time favourite restaurant on the island, Nicole’s, was taken over this year by Bryce Degner and Celina Parfitt. The menu was updated and features local foods like salt cod pierogis, pickled herring on toast and hot smoked salmon and shrimp but there are also favourites like fish and chips and burgers. Everything we had was delicious including a large variety of pies for dessert.
Moderate
Bangbelly Cafe & Eatery
Town of Fogo
41–43 Main Street
Fogo Island
709 266 2020
Bangbelly is an exciting and welcome addition to the food scene on the island. It’s a place for the whole community to gather and enjoy great coffee as well as delicious sandwiches and baked goods. Owned by Ian Sheridan, a former sous chef at the Inn and Caitlyn Terry, artist and business manager. We had delicious coffee and a great breakfast sandwich.
Reasonable
Featured Recipes
YEAST-RAISED CORNBREAD WAFFLES WITH TOPPINGS
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups milk (any kind)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp pureed chipotle chiles or sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup cooked corn
  • YEAST-RAISED CORNBREAD WAFFLES WITH TOPPINGSWhen we went to Momofuku Kojin we had a delicious corn flatbread which gave me the idea to do cornbread waffles for an appetizer (delicious for breakfast or brunch too). Guacamole would be amazing on top but here's my take on two of the many toppings Chef Paula Navarrete offered.

    If you don't have a waffle machine or would prefer, make pancakes. Pancakes or waffles can be made ahead and warmed in a 350F oven or served at room temperature.

    Maple Butter with Aleppo Pepper: Mound 1/2 cup softened butter on a small plate and make a well in the centre. Pour in about 1/4 cup maple syrup and dust the edge of the butter with 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper (it isn't very hot).

    Cherry Tomato Spread: Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. Add 1 clove minced garlic and 3 cups cherry tomatoes (red and yellow if possible). Cook gently about 10 minutes and when they soften, deflate them with the back of a spoon. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and 1 tsp good balsamic vinegar. Garnish with 2 tbsp shredded fresh basil.



    Method:

    1. Dissolve sugar in warm water in a 4-cup measure or bowl. Sprinkle with yeast. Stir. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes until doubled.

    2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt. In another bowl beat egg with milk and melted butter.

    3. When yeast has risen, stir down and mix with milk mixture. Make a well in the centre of the flour and stir in liquid. Cover and set aside for one hour or longer in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

    4. Stir chipotles, cilantro and corn into the batter. Make waffles according to directions with machine.

    Serves 4 to 6.

    CHICKEN THIGHS WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND SPICED RICE
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 tbsp barberries (or currants or cranberries)
  • 4 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 long cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil - divided
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped preserved lemons (skin only) or 1 tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 4 cups boiling water or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup each dill and cilantro leaves, chopped
  • CHICKEN THIGHS WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND SPICED RICEThis is adapted from one of my favourite Ottolenghi recipes. It is a family fave that we never tire of. Barberries are tart little dried berries available at Middle Eastern stores. If you are making this with currants or dried cranberries you won't need to soak them.

    Method:

    1. Dissolve sugar in water. Add barberries and let soak until ready to use.

    2. Place chicken in a large bowl with 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, about 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and half the olive oil. Toss together well.

    3. Heat a large Dutch oven or deep skillet (with a tight fitting lid) and brown chicken well, in batches with the spices about five minutes per side. Remove from pan.

    4. Return pan to the heat and add onions (and more oil if necessary). Cook onions, stirring often, 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Add rice, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp pepper (or more to taste), drained barberries and preserved lemon. Stir well. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Place chicken and spices in the rice, cover pan and cook on low 35 to 45 minutes until chicken is cooked (or transfer to a preheated 350F oven and bake for 45 minutes).

    5. Remove from heat, let rest for 10 minutes. Stir in the herbs gently. Season to taste.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    KOREAN MARINATED FLANK STEAK
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white or brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tbsp Asian sesame oil (dark)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • KOREAN MARINATED FLANK STEAKThis easy marinade is great for steak, Miami ribs, lamb chops and tofu steaks. Flank steak is quite lean but if it is grilled rare and then thinly sliced across the grain, it is very tender. It doesn't have much fat so nothing is wasted and two pounds will be enough for at least 6 people maybe more depending how much other food you are serving. This is also good with other alternative steaks like bavette, hanger, skirt and flatiron. Delicious hot or at room temperature. Leftovers make great salads or sandwiches.

    Method:

    1. Mix soy sauce with sugar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil until sugar dissolves. Add steak and turn to coat a few times. Marinate a few hours to overnight in the refrigerator or an hour at room temperature.

    2. Grill flank steak 3 to 5 minutes per side on a hot grill until a meat thermometer reaches 125 to 130F when inserted into the thickest part or until you press the centre with your finger and it feels like the relaxed muscle in your upper arm. (Flank steak becomes tough when overcooked or thickly sliced.)

    3. Slice thinly against the grain. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    FIRE ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH HERB BUTTER
  • 6 small sweet potatoes or 3 large ones


  • butter:
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh leaf herbs (packed), all or a combination of parsley, cilantro, basil, tarragon, mint, etc)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • FIRE ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH HERB BUTTERThis is my riff on a side dish we had at Momofuku Kojin. The sweet potatoes can simply be roasted in the oven but if you have the barbecue on, finish them for a smoky taste. This butter will make more than you need but it is good on everything from sweet potatoes to roast potatoes to grilled steaks, fish and tofu. It is a cute 'show' to bring the sweet potatoes to the table and grate the frozen butter over them but you could also slice the log of frozen butter and simply place a slice on each potato.

    Method:

    1. Rinse sweet potatoes and pierce in a few places with the tip of a pointed knife. Place in a preheated 400F oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours or until tender. If you are using your barbecue wrap them in foil and place in the barbecue until tender or if they are already cooked just put them on the cooler side of the grill for 10 to 15 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile place the garlic and herbs in a food processor and pulse until very fine. Add salt and butter, pulse until butter in soft and then puree everything together - it will be green. Shape into a log, wrap and freeze.

    3. When ready to serve place sweet potatoes on a platter and in front of guests (if you want) grate the frozen butter generously over the sweet potatoes. Or slice butter as described in the intro.

    Makes 6 servings

    WILD BLUEBERRY AND ORANGE MUFFINS
  • 1 medium-sized orange, cut into eight (ends and pits removed but peel and pith left on), about 8oz/250g after trimming
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or GF flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (any kind)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen wild blueberries
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar
  • WILD BLUEBERRY AND ORANGE MUFFINSI first had these muffins a few years ago at The Sugar Inn in Gros Morne when travelling up the west coast of Newfoundland with friends from Camp Kadimah. They made them with partridgeberries but blueberries work well too and are easier to find outside of the Atlantic Provinces. If using frozen berries use them from the frozen state or they will 'bleed' too much into the muffins. Sometimes I use whole wheat flour or half and half all-purpose and whole wheat. Everyone loves  them - especially the mini ones and they also freeze very well - either size. They work well with GF Cup4Cup flour.

    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray or line with muffin paper cups, - one 12-cup regular size muffin pan or one 24-cup mini size muffin pan.

    2. Place orange pieces, egg, oil and milk in a food processor or blender and pulse on/off until orange is in tiny bits.

    3. In a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until very well mixed - about one minute. Add to food processor and pulse on/off until flour is just blended in. Add blueberries and stir in with a wooden spoon or spatula.

    4. Scoop batter into prepared pans, sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake 14 to 16 minutes for mini muffins or 20 to 25 minutes for larger muffins or until puffed and browned and an instant read meat thermometer registers 185F when inserted into the largest one.  Cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes and remove muffins from pans to cool completely.

    Makes 10 to 12 large muffins or 20 to 24 mini muffins

    LOTS OF BLUEBERRIES CRUMB-CAKE
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or half whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (6oz) cold butter, cut into bits (or grated and frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste, optional or use 1/2 tsp almond extract or 2 tsp grated orange peel
  • 3 to 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (*see note in intro)
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar, optional
  • LOTS OF BLUEBERRIES CRUMB-CAKEI just can't seem to get enough of this easy blueberry crumb-cake laden with fresh blueberries. Serve with ice cream or unsweetened whipped cream and more blueberries scattered over the top.

    Note*: If you want a lighter cake use 3 cups blueberries. If using frozen blueberries use 3 cups and use them from the frozen state.



    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 9" round springform pan or square cake pan (my favourite).

    2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. Stir in bits of butter. With a pastry blender or your finger tips cut/rub butter into flour mixture until it is in tiny bits. (If butter is grated you can just add it and stir to combine.) Remove 1 1/2 cups of this crumb-like mixture to another bowl and stir in cinnamon. Reserve.

    3. Beat egg, milk and vanilla together. With a mixer or a wooden spoon add egg mixture to the flour mixture (the one without the cinnamon) and stir until combined.

    4. Spread the batter over the bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with blueberries and then sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle (I know - a lot of sprinkling) with coarse sugar if using.

    5. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until top has browned and centre is firm or until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the middle reads at least 185F.

    Makes 8 to 10 servings.                                                 

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