Bonnie Stern Food News
Bonnie Stern's Food NewsFollow Bonnie Stern on TwitterFriend Bonnie on Facebook


Kitchen Tip

Book Club

Bonnie's Cookbooks

News and Events


Featured Recipes



416 484 4810


Follow Bonnie:





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.


May 2023

April was a busy month. The holidays were filled with joy and happiness even though our celebration was small. We went to the best surprise birthday party in Haliburton - not just my first surprise party in three years but also my first party. (Maybe I am loosening up.) Anyway see Haliburton restaurant recommendations below plus a few in Toronto.

I hadn't been to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg in a long time and it has grown and changed a lot. It is so impressive and if you have never been or haven't been in a while, I urge you to visit.

We had an amazing book club event with Ann-Marie MacDonald discussing her spectacular fourth novel, Fayne. Thanks to Deborah Dundas for moderating, The Edible Story for the delicious meal and all of you who attended.

Anna and I taught a fun cooking class at Relish Cooking Studio in Kitchener featuring delicious (of course) recipes from our cookbook, Don't Worry Just Cook.

This month we are looking forward to our upcoming second book and dinner club tour to Newfoundland. We are going to St. John's, Gander and Fogo Island Inn to meet authors, have delicious food, and maybe even see the now infamous iceberg.  

Although I feel more comfortable getting out more, I still carry a mask, avoid crowded indoor spaces and just received my updated vaccine. And still worry. It can't hurt to be careful.

Delicious wishes,

Kitchen Tip
Grating Butter
Grating ButterIf you are making scones or pastry grating the butter (very carefully) helps give you very light and flaky results. I use a grater that I would use for Cheddar or Swiss cheese and have the butter very cold. Then I freeze it at least 30 minutes before using.

Grating also helps bring butter to room temperature for cakes and cookies etc. (Obviously do not freeze - unless you grate a big batch and keep frozen. If you do this weigh the amount you need for a recipe.)

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.

MARSHA LEDERMAN: KISS THE RED STAIRSBonnie is pleased to welcome one of Canada’s most respected journalists, Marsha Lederman of the Globe and Mail, as she discusses her powerful family memoir, Kiss the Red Stairs, which has become one of the acclaimed works of non-fiction of the year.

For readers of All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay and They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson, Kiss the Red Stairs is a compelling memoir by award-winning journalist Marsha Lederman that delves into her parents’ Holocaust stories in the wake of her own divorce, investigating how trauma migrates through generations with empathy, humour, and resilience.

Marsha was five when a simple question led to a horrifying answer. Sitting in her kitchen, she asked her mother why she didn’t have any grandparents. Her mother told her the truth: the Holocaust.

Decades later, her parents dead and herself a mother to a young son, Marsha begins to wonder how much history has shaped her own life. Reeling in the wake of a divorce, she craves her parents’ help. But in their absence, she is gripped by a need to understand the trauma they suffered, and she begins her own journey into the past to tell her family’s stories of loss and resilience.

Kiss the Red Stairs is a compelling memoir of Holocaust survival, intergenerational trauma, divorce, and discovery that will guide readers through several lifetimes of monumental change.
Date: Monday May 29, 2023 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm (Please arrive between 6 and 6:15pm)
Location: United Bakers Dairy Restaurant
Lawrence Plaza, 506 Lawrence Avenue West, Toronto
Fee: 175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Kiss The Red Stairs sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

TOM RACHMAN: THE IMPOSTERSWhat better way to wrap up this season with a long-awaited return visit by Book Club favourite Tom Rachman. Tom will be travelling from the UK to launch his brand new novel, the superb The Imposters.

From the author of the international bestseller The Imperfectionists, the story of a chameleonic writer, and the indelible characters in her orbit, in a novel about love, the power of art and what we leave behind.
Dora Frenhofer, a once successful but now aging and embittered novelist, knows her mind is going. She is determined, however, to finish her final book, and reverse her fortunes, before time runs out. Alone in her London home during the pandemic, she creates, and is in turn created by, the fascinating real characters from her own life.
Like a twenty-first-century Scheherazade, Dora spins stories to ward off her end. From New Delhi to New York, Copenhagen to Los Angeles, Australia to Syria to Paris, Dora's chapters trot the globe, inhabiting the perspectives of her missing brother, her estranged daughter, her erstwhile lover, and her last remaining friend, among others in her orbit. As her own life comes into ever sharper focus, so do the signal events that have made her who she is, leaving us in Dora's thrall until, with an unforeseen twist, she snaps the final piece of the puzzle into place.

The Imposters is Tom Rachman at his inimitable best. With his trademark style -at once "deliciously ironic and deeply affectionate" (The Washington Post) - he has delivered a novel whose formal ingenuity and flamboyant technique are matched only by its humanity and generosity.
Date: Monday June 26, 2023 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East #105, Toronto
Fee: 175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Imposters sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Location
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant 1
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant 2
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant 3
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant x
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant

This beloved Toronto restaurant is the perfect place for this book club. It's over 110 years old and still in the same family (Read the full story of this amazing restaurant in Toronto Life magazine here). My favourite things are the split pea soup, the blintzes, the smoked whitefish, actually everything.

Lawrence Plaza
506 Lawrence Avenue West
416 789 0519

The Edible Story2
The Edible Story 7
The edible story
The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space, owned by chefs Alanna Fleischer and Brian Cheng is the perfect place for our themed book clubs.

320 Richmond Street East #105

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks
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
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
COOKING CLASSESBonnie has been doing custom Zoom cooking events for fund-raisers, corporate classes and private groups. One of her favourite formats is to bring families together who are separated by distance to cook and enjoy dinner together.

Contact for more information and rates. Subject line: Bonnie’s Cooking Events. Events can be personalized but some of the popular themes are:

Italian All the Time

French Country Cooking

Israeli Family Dinner

Mediterranean Flavours


Indulge in an exquisite culinary experience and special concert featuring Sam Roberts. Savour signature dishes from more than 30 of Toronto's most exciting restaurants and chefs on a night of fine dining, music, and elegance all for a good cause.

For more information click: The Rescue Party


We are planning our 12th Eating Israel tour.

For a small taste of our time in Israel check our these videos filmed and produced by Mark Rupert:

A gorgeous February day in Israel

My favourite coffee shop in Tel Aviv

Everyday is a busy day at Port Said

If you would like information when available please email Bonnie at
Subject line: Israel Tour
Please include full name, email address and phone number.


If you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland the combination of a few days in St. John’s, and 3 days on Fogo Island, staying at Fogo Island Inn (a social enterprise that was ranked #3 hotel in the world in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards), will be a dream come true. We will be hosting two or three book club events, tours, classes and wonderful meals. This will be our 3rd tour.

If you would like information when available please email Bonnie at
Subject line: Newfoundland Tour
Please include full name, email address and phone number.

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Rhubarb Restaurant
9201 ON-118
1 705 489 4449
Ray says Rhubarb is a jewel in the rough! Casual, fine dining with well-prepared food, lovely atmosphere and friendly service.
The Mill Pond
15526 ON-35
1 705 489 3353
Best place for a delicious country breakfast and warm friendly service.
1235 Bay Street
416 922 2639
From the first time I went to Miznon when it opened in Tel Aviv (about 12 years ago) I was amazed by their extraordinary pita sandwiches - whole roasted cauliflower (it was a revelation even then and started the whole roasted cauliflower thing), their take on ratatouille, steak and eggs, and the different and so delicious pita. And now it's here in Toronto! I loved the pita (still different and delicious) with wild mushrooms, falafel burgers, brisket, ratatouille and their smooth as silk delicious hummus. Eat in (small and cozy) or take out. Expensive for pita sandwiches but not these pita sandwiches.
Moderate to Expensive
Fet Zun
252 Dupont Street
647 352 3337
We love all of Anthony Rose's restaurants and Anna and I had a delicious meal here a few weeks ago during that one week of nice weather when we sat outside on the front terrace. We had an assortment of spreads and dips (chirshi, labneh, baba ganoush), delicious braised lamb neck and halvah butterscotch sundae of my dreams.
798 Bloor Street West
416 628 3586
Wonderful new location for this Toronto favourite. I loved the duck and the short ribs for mains. Appetizers and salads were also delicious. Skip dessert and order more duck.
Featured Recipes
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup (4oz) grated Cheddar cheese
  • BUTTERMILK CORNMEAL WAFFLES (and variations)*If you don't have buttermilk  use 3/4 cup unflavoured yogurt with 3/4 cup milk.

    If you are gluten free use a gf flour like Cup4Cup.

    If you are lactose intolerant use a lactose free cheese or omit.

    If you do not have a waffle machine make pancakes using about 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a nonstick pan on medium heat and cook a few minutes on one side until surface loses its shine and bubbles appear, flip and cook second side about 2 minutes until browned and cooked through.

    Toppings: maple syrup, a fried egg, guacamole, bacon, sausages, hot sauce.

    Additions to the batter: 1 tbsp chipotle puree or chopped hot chiles, smoked Cheddar rather than plain, 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or dill and/or 1/2 cup corn niblets

    1. In one bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk and melted butter.

    2. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until just blended and stir in cheese.
     3. Preheat waffle machine and preheat oven to 200F. Using 1/2 cup batter per waffle, spoon onto hot waffle machine, close the lid (it usually spreads when you close the lid) and cook on medium high 4 to 5 minutes until browned. As waffles are ready place on a baking sheet, cover lightly with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven. Repeat until all batter is used.

    4. Serve with suggested toppings.

    Makes 5 to 6 large waffles
  • 1 1/2 lbs salmon filet, skin removed, in one piece
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary + additional sprigs for garnish
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • ROASTED SALMON WITH LEMON AND HERBSI always say that fish is the original fast food because it cooks so quickly. I prefer to roast the fish in one whole piece because it stays juicier and looks so impressive. but it is easier to serve if it is pre-cut into serving size pieces and takes a minute or two less time.  If you want to roast vegetables around the fish chose ones that take about the same amount of time to cook like broccolini, asparagus or cherry tomatoes or dice or thinly slice vegetables that take longer. The thicker the fish, the longer it will take to cook but it doesn't take long no matter how thick it is so be careful not to overcook it. This is delicious warm or at room temperature.

    1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange fish on the baking sheet with the skin side (or what was the skin side) down. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and grated lemon peel and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Turn fish over a few times to coat. Scatter rosemary on top of fish. Arrange lemon slices beside, around or on fish. Refrigerate if not cooking right away.

    2. Preheat oven to 425F. Cook fish 12 to 15 minutes or longer, depending on thickness, until fish is just cooked through. The thicker the fish, the longer it will take. Press the thickest part of fish with the back of a fork or spoon and if it just flakes it is cooked.

    3. Arrange sprigs of fresh rosemary and lemon slices on top.

    Makes 4 servings
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) very cold butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour - I use Cup4Cup gf flour)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or half plain yogurt and half milk ) + a few tbsp more only if necessary

  • topping: (optional)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • coarse sugar
  • MOTHERS' DAY SCONESLast week, when I posted these on instagram @bonniestern, these were called coronation scones as I make them the day of any royal celebration. They are in my cookbook Don't Worry, Just Cook that I wrote with my daughter Anna Rupert. Scones are best fresh so I make them as close to serving as possible. Toppings can be made or assembled ahead - whipped cream or creme fraiche, lemon curd (recipe in the cookbook) and roasted strawberries and rhubarb (below). In the cookbook there are lots of sweet and savory variation ideas but usually I make them as written below.

    For Mothers' Day (a name I regret along with Fathers' Day) - meaning make them for anyone who mothers you or you mother!


    1. Grate cold butter very carefully, on a 4-sided grater using the side you would use to grate Cheddar cheese (use a protective glove if possible). Freeze at least 15-30 minutes and use butter from frozen state. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. In a large-ish bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt about one minute. In another bowl beat egg with buttermilk.

    3. Add frozen butter to the flour and disperse it with your fingertips. Make a well in the centre and add egg mixture. Gently and quickly gather ingredients together to form a very rough dough with your fingertips or a wooden spoon. If dough is still dry and has not come together, add additional liquid about 1 tbsp at a time. Flour counter lightly and pat dough out to a square about 3/4" to 1" thick. Don't worry if it looks rough. Fold in half, dust off any flour on top and flatten again, fold again. Repeat once more. You should have about a 7" or 8" square about 1" thick. (Scones seem to rise more when you pat lightly with your hands rather than use a rolling pin.) Cut dough with a very sharp knife into quarters, cut in half on the diagonal to make 8 fairly large scones or you can cut it into 9 slightly squares or cut out circles. (If making circles, press scraps of extra dough together lightly - do not knead - and cut out again).

    4. Place scones on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Brush tops with egg and sprinkle with sugar, if using.

    5. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 12 to 14 minutes, turning pan around after about 8 minutes, until browned and puffed.

    Makes about 8 to 9 scones

  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved (or sliced if large)
  • 1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla paste/extract or a piece of vanilla bean cut open
  • ROASTED STRAWBERRIES AND RHUBARB WITH MAPLE SYRUP AND VANILLAYou know it is finally spring when there are local strawberries and rhubarb are in the markets.  Roasting fruit intensifies their flavour and they are so delicious to wake up to in yogurt for breakfast, with scones, over ice cream and even in cocktails.

    Note: If you use a vanilla bean, after cooking rinse and dry it and place in your sugar canister.

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

    2. Cut strawberries in half. If they are large cut into quarters or slice and if they are tiny, leave them whole. Combine with rhubarb (about 7 to 8 cups in total) and transfer them to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

    3. Drizzle fruit with maple syrup and sugar and toss. Drizzle with vanilla paste/extract or if using a vanilla bean, bury in the fruit.

    4. Roast 25 to 30 minutes or longer until fruit cooks and releases an intense syrup.

    Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
    © Copyright 2023, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.
    To unsubscribe from this newsletter please visit

    Please Note: Bonnie Stern does not sell, trade or share her email list.
    © Bonnie Stern. All Rights Reserved