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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 authors 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.


April 2024

March was a busy month. We were so excited to welcome Nita Prose back to our book club with her new book The Mystery Guest. We loved hosting her at The Edible Story, the food from these amazing caterers was better than ever and the author interview by Deborah Dundas was so informative and uplifting. Don't miss Nita's next book arriving for the Christmas holidays The Mistletoe Mystery: A Maid Novella.

Those of you who joined me at the Prosserman JCC event with Micah Siva had a wonderful time being educated and entertained by Micah. I learned a lot about plant based ingredients, substitutions, techniques and recipes. Even though I do eat meat, poultry and fish it's always good to know how to add more vegetables, legumes and grains to your diet and what to cook for people who are vegetarian or vegan. Micah's new book Nosh: Plant Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine has it all.

The most fun in March was our family weekend in Thornbury and area. Initially we were only going to celebrate Anna's birthday at The Gate, the new restaurant from our good friend and talented chef Jonathan Gushue, but it turned into a culinary tour of the area. We posted our adventure on my Instagram and have received close to 200,000 views, lots of recommendations for when we go back, and many requests to do other locations - which we are now planning! Be sure to check out our restaurant recommendation section below and follow my Instagram to see the places we visited.

Also, check the news and events section below to see how you can celebrate with me this month. I am so honoured to be the recipient of the 2024 Canadian Culinary Trailblazer Award from the Junior League of Toronto. I am looking forward to celebrating and you can join me at the Chef's Showcase at George Brown Culinary Institute, Thursday April 25th. See details below in news and events. In addition, Anna and I are excited to be hosting a Zoom Passover dessert class for The Nosher! See details below.

Delicious wishes,


Kitchen Tip
Citrus Juicer Update
Citrus Juicer UpdateLast month I showed you a number of citrus juicers and asked if you had any suggestions or to tell me your favourite one. People reported back that they loved the choices I gave them but no one gave me any new ones. On her instagram page, my friend @adeenasussman said a few people showed her this simple trick when she posted a similar review. See photo, no special equipment necessary!

Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks
Don't Worry, Just Cook
Bonnie's new cookbook, written with her daughter Anna Rupert, who, although has a healthcare related career of her own, 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
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.

News And Events
Time: 7:30 pm EST

Anna and I are so excited to be doing a Passover dessert cooking class online with The Nosher this month.

For more information and to purchase tickets click: Passover Desserts

TRAILBLAZER AWARDDate: Thursday April 25, 2024
Time: 6 pm

I am deeply honoured to be chosen by The Junior League of Toronto as the Canadian Culinary Trailblazer Award this year.

For more information, list of participating chefs and to purchase tickets click:
JLT Chef's Showcase 2024
FOGO ISLAND AND ST. JOHN’S FOOD TOUR & BOOK CLUBIf you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland this combination of delicious food, meeting some of Canada's favourite authors, and visiting the world famous Fogo Island Inn, can't be beat. Two nights in St. John's, one night in Gander and three nights at Fogo Island Inn is a dream come true. We will be hosting book clubs, meals at top restaurants, classes and so much more.

We do not have dates yet for the next trip to Newfoundland but if you are not already on our travel email list and would like more information once we have it, please email:
Subject line: Newfoundland Tour.

Please include full name, email address and phone number.
Restaurant Recommendations and More
The Gate
14 Sydenham Street
Flesherton, Ontario
519 924 1023
This new restaurant from Chef Jonathan Gushue is the talk of this county and so it should be. I have known Jonathan and loved his food since he was the head chef at Langdon Hall and then Fogo Island Inn. He is joined by food and beverage partners Chef Phillippe de Montburn and front of house Jennifer Belanger.

We loved it. The style is Mediterranean-ish and you could put together your own menu or do what we did - ordered sharing plates to the centre of the table. And the chocolate dessert with whipped cream cascading down over it was truly a dream.

They offer amazing cooking classes on Tuesdays!
Moderate to Expensive

Heart's Tavern and Bar
235334 Grey Road 13
Kimberley, Ontario
519 599 6768
We loved this busy, lively, popular restaurant with heartwarming soup, delicious roast chicken with vegetables (an evening special), the perfectly cooked trout and sticky ribs.
Goldsmith's Farm Market and Bakery
207600 ON-26
Thornbury, Ontario
If you love shopping at local markets rather than supermarkets, this is the place. The butter tarts were delicious and everyone raves about the pies - particularly the Thornbury pie made with a crumb topping and apples, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Good Grief Coffee Roasters
28 Bruce Street South
Thornbury, Ontario
We loved our coffee at Good Grief. They also had delicious muffins and great swag with the good grief name! Very, very popular especially in the morning!

Jessica's Books is located in the same building and definitely worth a visit - after all they carry our cookbook, Don't Worry Just Cook!
Thornbury Bakery Cafe
12 Bruce Street South
Thornbury, Ontario
Just about every food store sells cookies or squares or butter tarts or all of the above but locals agree that this cafe generally has the best baked goods.
The Cheese Gallery
11 Bruce Street South
Thornbury, Ontario
This sounds like a cheese shop but actually they have a lot more than just cheese!
Gibson & Company
93 Hurontario Street Unit 3
Collingwood, Ontario
705 293 3500
Off the main street, halfway down an alley, up the stairs this somewhat hidden place was perfect for lunch! My grilled cheese sandwich was delicious and everyone else was happy too.
Penny's Motel & Apres Snack Bar
141 King Street East
Thornbury, Ontario
519 599 3909
We loved staying at Penny's Motel! Modern motel chic and very welcoming with a popular snack bar in the early evenings. Rooms are pretty and practical and very comfortable.
Moderately expensive
Featured Recipes
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced into 3/4" pieces
  • 2 bulbs fennel, stalks and fonds removed, cut into wedges
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green part, cut into 3/4" rounds, soaked in cold water, lifted out & drained
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (approx), divided
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (Diamond brand or 3 tbsp any other salt), approx., divided
  • 1 spatchcock chicken, approx. 4 lbs (or whole chicken*)
  • 3 green onions, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • 6 artichoke hearts, halved (canned, defrosted or bottled)
  • 1 jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables

    I was so excited to receive The Jewish Holiday Table: a World of Recipes, Traditions & Stories to Celebrate All Year Long,the new beautiful cookbook from Naama Shefi, The Jewish Food Society and Devra Ferst. This delicious chicken recipe was inspired by the Passover chapter from the talented Tel Aviv chef, Rinat Tzadok,whose food I have always loved. I adapted her recipe because I wanted to make it right away and used ingredients I had on hand. If available, use 2 stalks green garlic instead of the green onions and clove of garlic for the herb paste.

    *If you are using a whole chicken roast one hour to 1 1/4 hours.

    1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the celery, fennel, leeks, garlic halves and lemons and toss with 3 tbsp of the olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Spread over the pan and roast about 15 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile sprinkle the chicken all over with about 2 tbsp salt. Let rest on a plate or baking sheet 15 to 30 minutes and then brush off the salt. In a food processor or blender, blend green onions, garlic, cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt and 3 tbsp olive oil into a paste. (or chop very finely by hand). After removing salt from chicken rub the paste under the skin of the chicken breast and thighs and smear the rest over the breast.

    3. Nestle chicken, skin side up, into vegetables (push them to the sides) and add artichokes, chiles, thyme and sage. Drizzle chicken stock over vegetables and drizzle chicken with 2 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh peas after 30 minutes and defrosted peas after 40 minutes. Roast chicken with vegetables 50 minutes to an hour or until a meat thermometer registers 175F when inserted into the thigh. Roast about 15 minutes longer if using a whole chicken. Serve with sprigs of fresh sage.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (either canned or cooked dried chickpeas)(540mL can)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond brand) or 1/2 tsp any other salt
  • suggested seasonings: 1 tbsp grated lemon peel or za'atar or dried oregano, or 1 tsp smoked paprika or grated fresh garlic or hot sauce
  • CRUNCHY CHICKPEA BREADCRUMBSI was so excited to discover crunchy chickpea breadcrumbs while looking for something else online - how have I missed this?  They are delicious, gluten free  and can be used for so many things: salad toppings,  breading for schnitzels (or breading anything) or in meatballs/meatloaf etc. You can make them plain or with seasonings but I always add extra virgin olive oil and salt as a basic.  I keep them in an airtight container or zipper-style bag in the freezer. And if you follow Sephardi Passover rules, you can have chickpeas.

    (I found a few different methods online but I couldn't find the first one I saw that inspired this recipe.)

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.

    2. Rinse chickpeas in cold water. Spread on a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a tea towel and pat dry. Discard any chickpea skins that rub off. (Do not become obsessive about removing all the skins!)

    3. Place chickpeas in a food processor with the main blade. Process on/off a few times until chick peas are coarsely chopped - don't worry if they aren't all the same size.

    4. Spread chopped chickpeas on the unlined baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and any topping.

    5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or longer until crunchy. Cool. Time depends on your oven, size of the chickpeas, how much liquid in the chickpeas, etc. - just bake them long enough to be crunchy. Keep checking after 40 minutes so they don't get too hard or burn.

    Makes about 1 1/4 cups
  • 1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ROASTED RHUBARBWhen Anna requested a rhubarb birthday cake last month (check the photo on my Instagram page @bonniestern) I didn't know where to begin. So I make candied rhubarb, rhubarb jam and this amazing roasted rhubarb. When Anna arrived I let her put the cake together (she is the artist among us) and we used all three but agreed we loved this best.

    I have it with yogurt (with or without bran buds) for breakfast or over vanilla ice cream for dessert.

    1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. Place rhubarb on the baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.

    3. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and the whole kitchen smells great!

    Makes about 1 - 1 1/2 cups
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