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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.



May 2024

I was so honoured to be the 2024 recipient of the Junior League Toronto culinary Trailblazer Award at their Chefs Showcase last week. The evening was so much delicious fun and the speeches had me in tears. It was held at George Brown College, where I graduated about 50 years ago (impossible!), before people were passionate about cooking (impossible!), and where there were 6 people in my class and now there are hundreds.

So many of the chefs were people I had worked with like Alanna and Brian from The Edible Story who are amazing caterers and where we hold many of our book clubs; Dufflet whose name is synonymous with pastry and who started the same time as I did; Emily Richards, a wonderful chef who worked with me at my cooking school and whom Anna and I reconnected with at Christmas in November at Jasper Park Lodge; Rosa and Vito from 7 Numbers - a restaurant that's like going home and Rosa is the Italian grandmother I always wished I had (even though she is younger than me) and there was Nuit and Jeff Regular from Pai and Kiin whose Thai food is considered (by so many and me too) Toronto's finest. It was also great to see Gurth Pretty, Shirley Lum and Vanessa Yeung again, and meet chefs Jennifer Brooker, Christine Ostiguy and Carly Chiasson, Michelle Pollack and Maggie Frith.

The videos from Anna and Michael Olson, Nik Manojlovich, Sara Waxman, Emily Richards and  Christine Cushing were so touching I cried again!

And thanks to everyone who participated and attended - it was a delicious night! Kudos to Theresa Kowell-Shipp and the Junior League Toronto for recognizing women in the culinary field as there are so many women who work so hard in our industry!

Farmers' Markets are opening outside this weekend - support your farmers!


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


News And Events
Time: 7:30 to 9 pm EDT
Place: Prosserman JCC

Naama Shefi is one of my favourite culinary innovators. She founded The Jewish Food Society in New York and ASIF: Culinary Institute of Israel in Tel Aviv. Her first cookbook, The Jewish Holiday Table, is a treasure! I am excited to tell you she is coming to the Prosserman JCC, with cookbook author and Top Chef Canada judge, Eden Grinshpan, for a talk and cooking demo. I hope to see you there!

For more information and/or tickets:
The Jewish Holiday Table Book Tour

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Rosales Diner
303 Dunburn Street South
no reservations
We loved our gooey grilled cheese sandwich and everything else we had for lunch and I heard breakfast is even better! (But then there are pies at lunch.)
MaiPai Tiki
631 Barton Street East
905 581 9030
Yes it is funny and fun having pizza in a tiki room but the pizza was so delicious and the service so friendly and lovely, you won't even think about it! Gluten free pizza crust was also delicious. (They even have a rum menu but that's not for the driver!)
One For All Coffee
241 King Street East
We loved our coffees (and their adorable cups) - lots of choice and the house specials sounded amazing. The peanut cloud looked especially awesome but I already had my cappuccino! Next time. Lots of impressive cookie choices too but the the corn cookie was my fave. The hazelnut croissants were all gone so go early!
Featured Recipes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 onions (about 1 lb), chopped + 2 onions (1/2 lb), thinly sliced or chopped
  • 3 cups boiling water, divided
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed in a strainer until the water runs clear and drained
  • 1 tsp kosher salt + more to taste in the end
  • 1/2 tsp baharat spice mix, optional
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup each toasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds or other nuts (like hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans etc)
  • 2 tbsp butter, optional
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • FESTIVE  RICE WITH NUTS, HERBS AND ONIONSThis recipe is based on one from Rinat Tzadok (one of my favourite Israeli chefs) in the new cookbook, The Jewish Holiday Table by Naama Shefi and The Jewish Food Society.

    Notes on Nuts: I usually buy whole, unroasted nuts (at Costco) because they seem fresh (lots of turnover) and are in sealed packages. I roast them on rimmed baking sheets at 350F for 15 to 25 minutes (time depends on how many nuts are on the pan at a time and your oven, etc.) and stir a few times, until golden inside when you cut one in half. When cool, I freeze them so I always have toasted nuts available when making a recipe. You can also buy nuts roasted or roast the amount of raw nuts as you need them before starting a recipe.

    Note: I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If using any other brand of salt - kosher, table or sea salt, use less and season to taste.

    1. In a 12" wide and 2.5 or 3" deep skillet or pan (I used a Le Creuset braiser) heat 3 tbsp oil and add the 4 chopped onions. Cook gently until very tender and lightly browned about 15 minutes.

    2. While onions are cooking, crush saffron in a small bowl and add about 2 tbsp boiling water. Allow to sit a few minutes and then mix into remaining boiling water.

    3. When onions are lightly browned, add rice and baharat, if using, and stir about 2 minutes to coat rice well with onions and oil. Add the 3 cups of saffron water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and cook 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Keep covered and let rest, off heat, about 15 minutes or until ready to serve.

    4. While rice is cooking, heat another 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and cook remaining 2 chopped or sliced onions until well browned. Reserve.

    5. Just before serving, mix about half the nuts and seeds into rice with the butter (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. I like to serve it in the pan but if not, transfer to a serving bowl at this point. Scatter remaining nuts, browned onions and parsley on top.

    Makes 8 servings
  • 8 oz smoked trout (or whitefish), bones and skin removed and flaked
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onions
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • pepper and maybe salt to taste (probably won't need salt especially if served on potato chips)
  • small-ish potato chips (one bite ones)
  • ANNA'S SMOKED TROUT SPREAD ON POTATO CHIPSThis Passover Anna's job was gefilte fish but because that isn't her favourite, she made this smoked trout dip instead and what a hit! (And afterall it makes sense - it is still chopped fish.) She served it on potato chips (Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips were our favourite), and the crunch and salt were amazing. Now why didn't I think of that?

    Based on my whitefish spread in Essentials of Home Cooking, this is so easy and a perfect spring and summer entertaining. We buy smoked trout fillets from Avenue Seafood in Toronto.

    1. Combine flaked fish in a mixing bowl with dill, chives or green onions and mayonnaise. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste. Mash as much as you like.

    2. Mound on potato chips (only enough for one bite).

    Makes lots - they go fast!
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