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About Bonnie

Bonnie Stern is the founder of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking in Toronto which she opened and operated from 1973 to 2011. She has studied and taught cooking around the world, authored 12 bestselling cookbooks, hosted three national cooking shows, and appears regularly on various television and radio shows across Canada.

For 17 years Bonnie wrote a weekly column for the National Post and her articles have appeared in numerous magazines. She has conducted popular workshops for the James Beard Foundation in New York City and leads culinary cultural trips to various delicious destinations. Bonnie is also the creator of a ground-breaking book club in which novelists are invited to discuss their work during thematic dinners.

Bonnie Stern is the recipient of many awards including ones from the Toronto Culinary Guild, the Ontario Hostelry Institute, Cuisine Canada and most notably she is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award. Bonnie Stern’s Essentials of Home Cooking won the coveted International Association of Culinary Professionals’ award. Bonnie was inducted into the Taste Canada Hall of Fame in 2021.


November 2022

Thanks to everyone for embracing our new cookbook Don't Worry, Just Cook: Delicious, Timeless Recipes for Comfort and Connection. Our trip to Calgary, where we participated in Wordfest, Canada's largest literary festival, was overwhelming from the welcome we received, to being with people again, and remembering how isolating the last few years really were. There were tears in my eyes (actually crying) many times. Although we were only there for the first two days of the festival, we attended the opening event with authors Lawrence Hill and Omar El Akkad (who have both been guests at my book club) hosted by Zain Velji. It was outstanding and set a high bar for the rest of the events. We made lots of new friends including the moderator of our talk, Julie Van Rosendaat, whom we bonded with immediately and quickly learned she was beloved by every Calgarian. And we agree. The restaurants she recommended were terrific (see our restaurant section below) and so was every place and everyone she introduced us to.

Our book clubs - this time featuring OUR new cookbook - turned into celebrations and thanks to everyone who turned out to join us.

We hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving. There's so much to be grateful for.

Delicious wishes,



Kitchen Tip
SAVE YOUR ZESTSBeautiful bright flavour of citrus fruits are wasted way too often. Anytime I pick up a lemon, lime or orange, even if I just need the juice, I zest the skin and freeze it in airtight containers.

Frozen zest keeps up to three months and you'll always have containers of gloriously bright flavor on hand for various recipes and to brighten up your cooking.

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.

Bonnie's book clubs is taking a break, we will resume in the spring.

Stay tuned.

Our New Cookbook
Don't Worry, Just Cook
Bonnie's new cookbook, written with her daughter Anna Rupert (who has, in fact, been in the kitchen cooking beside Bonnie her whole life!). Bonnie and Anna are here to help cooks of all experience foster comfort and connection through food.
Published by Appetite by Random House of Canada, 2022, 293 pages, hardcover


Kindle edition
Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

Bonnie's last 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.

Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

News And Events
Don't Worry, Just Cook at City ShulDate: Monday December 5, 2022
Time: 7 pm
Place: Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto

Dialogue and Demo with Bonnie Stern, Anna Rupert and Rabbi Elyse Goldstein. Proceeds go to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund for charitable projects.

Signed Copies of Don't Worry, Just Cook will be available for sale and will be signed at the event. This event has limited seating and will sell out - please book early!

For more information and purchase tickets click:
Don't Worry, Just Cook

Date: Sunday December 4, 2022
Place: 115 King Street, London, Ontario
Restaurant Recommendations and More
Ten Foot Henry
1209 1 Street SW
403 475 5537

We loved Ten Foot Henry, the casual favourite of so many people we met in Clagary. Big on vegetable dishes but we heard that the chicken and steak were also delicious. We had the beet salad with sesame crumble; fried potatoes with green goddess dressing; charred cabbage with walnut vinaigrette; spaghetti cacio e pepe; tuna crudo chimichurri and the amazing butterscotch caramel pudding with sponge toffee! Everything was delicious but looking at the menu the next day, we almost decided to go back and try everything we didn't order!
Foreign Concept
1011 1 Street SW
403 719 7288

Another terrific restaurant. We had their famous fish sauce caramel Brussels sprouts which were worthy of their fame; cumin lamb lollipops; and pork and shrimp imperial rolls in lettuce wraps. Everything was delicious.
Moderate to Expensive
110 8 Avenue SW
403 262 8100

This treasured Calgary restaurant specializes in Canadian ingredients from coast to coast. We had a delicious beet salad with boursin cheese, oat crumble and maple vinaigrette; braised Alberta lamb shoulder and black Angus striploin. All really delicious.
Moderate to Expensive
The Beltliner
243 12 Avenue
587 955 1555

If you are looking for large plates of elevated comfort food this is the place! Friendly servers are helpful and always available for coffee refills and to answer any questions you may have about this large menu of diner favourites.
Fire & Flora
227 11 Avenue SW
403 590 1779

At a lunch event organized by Wordfest, Anna, Julie and I had an amazing time having one of three courses at three different tables of attendees. Fire & Flora serves an upscale plant based cuisine and although they served a special menu for this lunch, reading through their regular menu online, there are many things I would want to try. When you walk into the restaurant there is an incredible display of mushrooms not to be missed!
Cochu Chocolatier
429 8 Avenue SE

Although many shops carry Cochu chocolates, it is very special place to visit. From the most playful (eg chocolate covered sponge toffee or candy bark) to the most sophisticated (tutto bene or macchiato), all the chocolates are made with amazing ingredients and very high standards. Well worth a visit if you love chocolate or looking for gifts.
Moderate to Expensive
Made by Marcus
1013 17 Avenue SW
403 452 1692

Not only are all the ingredients the best and the flavours original and enticing, they also have amazing soft serve! If you love ice cream (I really love ice cream), don't miss this. They have other locations but this is where all their ice cream is made.
Featured Recipes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp each soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce, optional
  • 1 lb ground beef (or ground chicken)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (eg panko) (3/4 cup if using ground chicken)

  • gravy:
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb brown (cremimi) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken or beef stock or water
  • 1 tbsp each soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • SALISBURY STEAK WITH MUSHROOM GRAVYI have published this before but Salisbury steak is such a perfect old-fashioned comfort food and we all need that now. It is essentially meatballs braised in onion mushroom gravy but the ground meat mixture is shaped into a round or oval patty to make it look more like steak. It was named after Dr. James Salisbury in the mid 1800's. He was sure that protein was necessary for the health of troops in battle and this recipe used ingredients that were inexpensive and easily available. My nephew, Charles Krangle, who was in the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan, told me they were often served ground meat dishes there too. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles. Perfect for Remembrance Day.

    1. Combine egg, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and sriracha. Add ground beef and breadcrumbs. Combine well. Shape mixture into four patties about 4" across and 1/2" thick.

    2. Heat oil in a large non stick skillet. Cook patties about 3 minutes per side until well-browned. Remove from pan. Discard all but 2 or 3 tbsp fat in the pan. Add onions and cook 10 to 15 minutes until browned. Add mushrooms and cook another 10 minutes or until mushrooms brown and any liquid has evaporated.

    3. Sprinkle mushrooms with flour and cook about a two minutes until browned. Add stock, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and cook a few minutes until well combined.

    4. Add patties back to pan, spooning sauce, onions and mushrooms over them. Cover and cook gently 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through. Season to taste. Serve 'steaks' with gravy, onions and mushrooms with mashed potatoes, noodles or rice. Sprinkle with parsley.

    Makes 4 servings
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water or sparkling water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or Cup4Cup gf flour)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • about 2 tbsp melted butter
  • CREPES WITH LEMON AND SUGARCrepes are very thin pancakes that can be eaten in so so many different ways. They can be stuffed, rolled up, or folded into quarters and served for appetizers, main courses or desserts. A few famous dishes made with crepes are Crepe Suzette (in an orange sauce and flambeed) and blintzes (stuffed with cheese or other filing). My new favourite way to serve them is a few piled on each plate and then sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and dusted with sifted icing sugar. Spoon on berries if you wish. Crepes are perfect for brunch or dessert.

    1. Blend together with a whisk, in a blender or a food processor, the eggs, milk, water, and oil. Blend in flour and salt. If you do this by hand it could be a bit lumpy (don't worry) but in a blender or food processor it will be smooth. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1/2 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator. The consistence of the rested batter should be like unwhipped whipping cream. Add more milk if necessary.

    2. To make crepes the traditional way, heat an 8" or 9" nonstick pan over medium heat. Brush bottom of pan with a bit of butter. Pour in 1/4 cup batter and immediately swirl it over the bottom of the pan. Cook until the bottom has browned, turn crepe over by running a long metal spatula under the middle and flip, and cook second side about a minute or until lightly browned. Turn out onto a plate. If the crepe is too thick, thin the batter with a little milk until the crepes turn out the way you like them. (But they will all be edible.)

    3. Or, do what my mother (Anna's grandmother) used to do when making blintzes - add 1/2 cup batter and quickly swish in the pan and also quickly pour any extra batter back into the bowl of batter. That way there is a little tag of crepe batter up one side that you can cut off and give the kids who are watching and waiting! Either way, continue until all batter is used - you can stack crepes on top of each other. They can also be frozen if wrapped well.

    Makes about 10 crepes
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries or chopped dried apricots, optional
  • coarse sugar, optional
  • ZALETTIThese wonderful Italian cookies, from pastry chef Nick Malgieri's classes at my cooking school, are still one of my favourite all time cookies. Not too sweet, perfect for dipping into tea, coffee or sweet wine, I hope they become one of your favourites too. (I have also made these perfectly with Cup4Cup gluten free flour.)*Notes: I usually use scissors when cutting up dried fruit.

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.

    3. In a food processor or in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat butter with sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Mix in dried fruit, if using.

    4. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (approximately). Shape each one into a log shape and roll to about 16 to 18" log. Pat each roll down slightly and sprinkle with coarse sugar if using. Slice each rope on the diagonal into about 10 to 12 cookies. Transfer to the baking pans (I use a thin metal spatula) and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and on the bottom.

    Makes about 48 cookies
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