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Phone: 416 484 4810


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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. She is the 2024 recipient of the Junior League Toronto culinary Trailblazer Award.




July 2024

After an intense month-long cold/flu, there are so many things to catch up on. We had an amazing Book and Dinner Club Tour to Newfoundland, and when we got home we filled our days with a short trip to Prince Edward County, trying new restaurants in Toronto, cooking lots of old and new recipes, going to the farmers' markets and participating in the emotional Walk with Israel.

Be sure to follow me on instagram @bonniestern to keep up with these adventures and check all the information below for our book club, food news, restaurant recommendations and recipes.

Hope to see you at the market,




Kitchen Tip
HOW TO PIT CHERRIES <BR/ >USING A  MEAT POUNDERWhat a treat when local cherries are in season. Don't miss them! You do not need any special equipment to pit cherries although I do usually wear a black t-shirt just in case. I hold a cherry on a cutting board and gently press down with a meat pounder or even a flat bottomed mug. When it cracks open, pick out the pit.

USING A STAINLESS STEEL STRAWAnother way to pit cherries if you have a stainless steel straw, simply push it through the cherry from top to bottom or vice versa.

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.


katherena vermette: real ones
KATHERENA VERMETTE: REAL ONESBonnie is thrilled to kick off the 2024 fall season of the book club with one of Canada’s most accomplished and important writers. katherena vermette’s incredible work, including the bestselling and award-winning novels The Break, The Strangers and The Circle, have earned her a devoted readership across the country. This fall, she returns with real ones, a heartrending story of two Michif sisters who must face their past trauma when their mother is called out for false claims to Indigenous identity.

June and her sister, lyn, are NDNs - real ones.

lyn has her pottery artwork, her precocious kid, Willow, and the uncertain terrain of her midlife to keep her mind, heart and hands busy. June, a Metis Studies professor, yearns to uproot from Vancouver and move. With her loving partner, Sigh, and their faithful pup, June decides to buy a house in the last place on earth she imagined she’d end up: back home in Winnipeg with her family.

But then into lyn and June’s busy lives a bomb drops: their estranged and very white mother, Renee, is called out as a “pretendian.” Under the name (get this) Raven Bearclaw, Renee had topped the charts in the Canadian art world for winning awards and recognition for her Indigenous-style work.

The news is quickly picked up by the media and sparks an enraged online backlash. As the sisters are pulled into the painful tangle of lies their mother has told and the hurt she has caused, searing memories from their unresolved childhood trauma, which still manages to spill into their well curated adult worlds, come rippling to the surface.

In powerful prose filled with wit and heart, real ones pays homage to the long-fought, hard-won battles of Michif (Metis) people to regain ownership of their identity and the right to say who is and isn’t Metis.
Date: Friday September 20, 2024
Time: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Location: TBA
Fee: 195 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity, author talk and a copy of real one sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

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.

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

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
SUMMERLICIOUS 2024July 5 - 21, 2024

Savour every bite. Gather with friends and family and delight in delicious three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at more than 200 local restaurants.

Explore what Toronto has to offer with our rich and diverse culinary culture at a range of price points.

For more information click: Summerlicious 2024
FOGO ISLAND AND ST. JOHN’S FOOD TOUR & BOOK CLUBI just returned from leading my third 'Book and Dinner Club Tour' to Newfoundland and, of course, this was the best one yet! Check out my instagram posts for photos and videos from the trip!

See Restaurant Recommendations below for our favourite places.

If you are not already on our e-mail list for 'Book and Dinner Club Tour' please email your full name, phone number and email address. Subject line: Newfoundland Tour.

We will post dates when future tours are confirmed and send the itinerary, price and registration information when available.


Last November when Anna and I returned from being guest presenters at Christmas in November at Jasper Park Lodge we couldn't say enough good things about this event. It was so much fun even though we were working hard! Jasper is so beautiful and everyone has such an amazing time they return year after year. Many of you asked if we were doing it again this year - and we are! Hope to see you there.

For more information click Christmas in November 2024

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Bloor-Borden Farmers' Market
300 Borden Street
Wednesdays 3 pm-7 pm
I discovered this market because one of our guests on the Newfoundland tour started it eighteen years ago! I love the wild mushroom booth, the table covered in microgreens and of course Fisherfolk.

Eglinton Way
Farmers' Market

125 Burnaby Blvd.
Sundays 8 am-1 pm

(just behind Summerhill Market on Eglinton 1 1/2 blocks west of Avenue Road)

This small, local market is so close to my home I go every week. Best for fruits and vegetables and great baked goods from Gouter.

Terre Restaurant
125 Water Street
St. John's
(Located in Alt Hotel)
709 383 2136
We had our opening dinner at Terre and it was so delicious. They also have a cafe in the lobby which is great for breakfast, lunch or coffee and snacks.
Moderate to Expensive
128 Water Street
St. John's
709 552 1100
Don't miss this amazing restaurant from the chefs of Raymonds, which closed a few years ago, that originally put St. John's on the culinary map. Ross Larkin and Celeste Mah are terrific.
Moderate to Expensive
The Merchant Tavern
291 Water Street
St. John's
709 722 5050
This fun and casual restaurant is always a winner!
Duke of Duckworth
325 Duckworth Street
St. John's
709 739 6344
Best fish and chips anywhere! (And the chowder is delicious too.)
Fogo Island Inn
210 Main Road
Joe Batt’s Arm
Fogo Island
709 658 3444
Fogo Island Inn, located at one of the four corners of the earth, is a very special place. Although the dining room is for the guests of the hotel, it doesn't hurt to check if they have a table available if you are staying nearby. The food is delicious and the dining room is fantastic.
The Storehouse
159 Main Road
Joe Batt's Arm
Fogo Island
709 658 701
Open Thursdays to Saturdays (check online). A casual restaurant with delicious local food, managed by Fogo Island Inn. Seafood chowder, fish cakes, burgers and fish and chips are always a good bet.

Growlers Ice Cream Shop
125 Main Road
Joe Batt’s Arm
Fogo Island
709 266 7982

Open Wednesday to Sunday (check online). Do not miss this wonderful ice cream shop with flavours you will not see anywhere else eg. partridge berry jam tart! Yum!
Bangbelly Bistro
41–43 Main Street
Fogo Island
709 266 2020
Bangbelly has evolved from a great coffee shop into a great casual bistro. Open Thursday to Monday for supper and brunch Saturday and Sunday - check days and times online. Open from Mother's Day to Canadian Thanksgiving.
Stella's Eatery
2470 County Road 8
Prince Edward County
613 476 4666
This lovely country style restaurant was perfect for our first lunch in the county. We loved the food, service and atmosphere. Most entrees came in bowls with salads or vegetables and we had duck leg confit, smoked trout fritters and a few other delicious things. And don't miss getting some of the delicious butter tarts next door at 'Waupoos Tarts'.
252 Picton Main Street
613 476 2208
This very busy restaurant was opened by Stuart Cameron, one of Toronto's most talented chefs. There are so many things to try and everything is delicious. If you want a main course or a paella go easy on the charcuterie and tapas. And whatever you do - do not miss sharing the banoffee style banana ice cream dessert (even just for the photos).
Moderate to Expensive
7 Elizabeth Street
437 429 6497
Only open Thursday to Sunday, this tiny restaurant is a local treasure. Local diners and local food make it very special.
The Royal Hotel
247 Picton Main Street
613 961 2600
This beautiful hotel just keeps getting better. We had Sunday brunch on the patio and it was so lovely and the food was delicious. Ingredients are seasonal and local (from their farm nearby) and cooked Italian style by the wonderful Albert Ponzo. Breads and desserts by the terrific baker Sarah Villamere and there is a bakery counter where you can buy her sour dough bread and treats to take home.
Moderate to Expensive
Churrasco Villa
254 Eglinton Avenue E.
416 487 7070
Alert: If you loved the Portuguese chicken resto on Eglinton at Mt. Pleasant as much as we did you will be happy to know it is reopening. Yay. But they say they are opening slowly and so far dine in and pick up orders only.
319A Oakwood Avenue
416 653 6474
We have been wanting to go to the 'lasagna' restaurant even before Toronto Life named it one of Toronto's best 20 new restaurants 2024. And it was terrific. Go early and/or Wednesday or Thursday to avoid line-ups.
Featured Recipes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/4 to 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 oz grated Gruyere cheese or Cheddar (or other wonderful semi hard cheese, grated), about 1 1/2 cups pressed down
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • GOUGERESGougeres are the savory version of the classic French pastry used to make cream puffs and eclairs (pate a choux). They are easy to make, very versatile and so delicious. Serve them on their own or filled with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, goat cheese or Brie, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, etc. Serve little ones for appetizers (or snacks) or larger ones for brunch or lunch (or snacks).

    Anna is gluten-free and Raymond is lactose free (he can tolerate butter because of the small amount of milk content) so I tried this with Cup4Cup gf flour and lactose free Cheddar and it worked beautifully.

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. Place water and butter in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. When it bubbles, remove from heat and stir in flour all at once. Keep stirring and dough will come away from sides of pan and form a ball. Return pan to medium low heat and stirring constantly, smearing the dough on the bottom and sides of the pan, cook 2 to 3 minutes until a thin film forms on the bottom. Transfer dough to a bowl and cool 5 to 10 minutes.

    3. With a wooden spoon, (or in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer), add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition, until dough comes together again - dough will squish and slide around but don't worry - it will come together. Repeat until all 4 eggs are added.  Add salt and pepper and most of the cheese - reserve about 1/2 cup for the tops.

    4. Drop dough by spoonfuls (I used a 2 tbsp ice cream scoop) on parchment paper lined sheet pans. They double in size so give them room. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, reduce heat to 375F and bake 10 minutes longer until puffed and browned. (I baked both baking sheets at the same time on two racks and both came out great.)

    Makes about 30 to 36 gougeres (using a 1oz/2 tbsp ice cream scoop)
  • 1 or 2 ripe avocadoes
  • 1 to 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt + more where necessary
  • 2 pieces bread for toast
  • butter, optional
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz feta cheese or goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp (or more) chopped fresh cilantro or dill
  • chili crisp (any kind), to taste
  • pickled red onion, optional
  • AVOCADO TOASTAvocado toast is nothing new but we loved the way they made it at The Merchant Tavern in St. John's, NL. The eggs can be fried, poached or scrambled - everyone remembers it a different way.

    There are so many different fancy toasters that Ray finally settled on a cast iron skillet on top of the stove - cook a minute or two per side or until toasted.

    *Safe method to open avocadoes: cut the avocado (to the pit), in half crosswise and lengthwise. Remove the 4 sections and discard the peel and pit (or you can grow a tree from the pit - look it up).

    1. *Remove avocado flesh from the pit using my safe method described above. Place in a bowl and mash coarsely or smoothly (your choice) with lime juice and salt. Cover surface directly with a damp paper towel.

    2. Toast bread and butter lightly if you wish.

    3. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, break in eggs and cook a few minutes until whites turn opaque and yolks are jammy.

    4. Spoon as much avocado as you wish over the toast. Top with one egg. Sprinkle with cheese, scatter on herbs and pickled red onion, if using. Drizzle with chili crisp.

    Makes 2 toasts
  • 1 lb fresh sweet cherries
  • 1 jalapeno, cut into thin rings, seeds removed if very hot
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • LALI CHERRY AND CILANTRO SALADThis surprising and delicious salad, from Hila (Lali) Alpert, was made famous in Tel Aviv by the wonderful restaurant, HaBasta, just near the Carmel Market.

    I adapted the recipe for the milder tastes of my family from the one in the new cookbook, 'The Jewish Holiday Table' by the Jewish Food Society and Naama Shefi.

    1. Pit cherries by holding them steady on a cutting board and tapping them gently with a meat pounder or bottom of a flat mug until it cracks open. Remove the pit. Leave small cherries whole and break large ones in half. Place in a medium sized salad bowl.

    2. Add jalapenos, lime juice, olive oil, salt and cilantro. Stir together gently but well.

    3. Adjust seasoning to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold.

    Makes about 6 servings
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups strawberries, approx the same size, stems removed and thickly sliced or cut in half like a heart*

  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • STRAWBERRY UPSIDE DOWN CAKEI love upside down cakes and making them with our local strawberries is very special.

    *if you don’t have buttermilk you can use yogurt or sour cream or make your own sour milk - place 2 tsp plain vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 cup measure and fill with milk to the 3/4 cup line. Let sit 10 minutes. Don’t worry if it curdles.

    *I made this with Cup4Cup gluten-free flour and it turned out perfect.

    *To make the heart shape berries, remove the stem of the berries in a V shape and cut across the V to halve.

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter a 9" square baking pan and line with parchment paper.

    2. Place melted butter in the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Pat gently and arrange strawberry halves with the cut side down in a pattern (or not). If there are strawberries leftover, just sprinkle some over the pattern or eat them.

    3. For the cake, beat 1/2 cup butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

    4. In another bowl whisk flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.

    5. Stir flour mixture into butter alternately with buttermilk in 3 or 4 additions beginning and ending with flour.

    6. Spread evenly over strawberries and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the centre springs back when gently pressed or an instant read thermometer registers 185F - 195F.

    7. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge. Place serving plate on top and turn over. Be brave - it can always be a trifle.

    Makes 9 to 12 servings
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