Cardamom, Carrot, Dried Apricot and Vanilla Scones

I have been in the south of France for a couple weeks now and the rain won’t seem to let up. Cats and dogs, pouring endlessly from the sky, the sun utterly unable to burst through and shine. The local Provençal people have taken to joking about how nobody should ever say it doesn’t rain in the south, which I guess also sort of means “get used to it.” All I want to do is cozy up with a good book in front of the fireplace in hopes of forgetting the chaotic climatic conditions outside.

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Leek and Swiss Chard Tart

One thing I like to be mindful of in the kitchen is food waste. How easily stems, stalks and scraps get tossed in the bin when they are often just as edible as the prized leaves or bulbs that have been picked from them. Trim from meat and vegetables for example can be easily saved in the freezer and made into a flavourful stock once you’ve accumulated enough of them. Most stems from herbs like cilantro and parsley, or from leafy vegetables like kale or Swiss chard, can also be eaten, we have just simply been taught to toss them because they aren’t the part of the plant that is considered the most “desirable”.

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Cooking with Cannabis

As a chef it is always interesting for me to discover and research a new ingredient. Cannabis, on the cusp of legalization in Canada, and in the context of its potential application in food is no exception. Still, when the initial request for the assignment came in from my editor I had to laugh. Far from an experienced user myself, and long having written off edibles (thanks to once snacking on a horrible-tasting, heavily dosed weed cookie), what would I be getting myself into?

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Pavlova with Roasted Mirabelle Plums and Honey Roast Hazelnuts

Crunchy on the outside yet chewy and marshmallowy on the inside, pavlova is the egg white dessert that dreams are made of. Don’t let the meringue aspect of this fancy-looking treat scare you away – it is easier to make than it may seem. Purportedly named after a Russian ballerina, pavlova, an icon of Australian and New Zealand cuisine, is an airy grand jeté of sweetness that pairs perfectly with a classic pas de deux of whipped cream and ripe in-season fruit.

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Melon, Nectarines, Speck and Citrus Vinaigrette

As summer slowly slips away into fall, the last thing I want to do is hole up in my kitchen and tuck into a complicated recipe. Instead, I take advantage of the seasonal abundance that late summer brings. I relish in the hard work of my favourite farmers at the market by making simple, classically inspired dishes that let the fresh plentitude of the season do the talking and that speak from the heart of where the food came from.

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Roasted Eggplant with Garlicky Granola and Strained Yogurt

It’s the end of August and the markets are bursting with sun-ripened food. I have been cooking in Naramata, B.C., for the past three weeks and the Penticton Farmer’s Market is hands down one of the most amazing places I’ve ever shopped for ingredients at. For starters, a two block stretch is devoted entirely to organically farmed produce. Not even the incredible 2.5-kilometre long Saturday market in Arles, one of the most beautiful and abundant I have ever been to in France, can boast that. Also the farmers are incredible – passionate and dedicated, each specializing in something a little different and ready to share what they know and love about the food they grow. It is heaven…

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Panisse, a Classic South of France Snack

If I could be anywhere in the summertime, I would chose the south of France. More specifically, Marseille. Sure, it gets crazy hot, and as a city, it gets a bad rap for being dangerous and dirty, but if you take the time to look just beneath its deceptively rough surface, you will find that France’s second largest city is also a charming and vibrant city full of colour, life and soul…

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Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Dip

This dip isn’t fussy, or at least it really shouldn’t be. In fact, it should be prepared in exactly the same way it is intended to be eaten – that is, in a leisurely fashion. Take your time roasting and chopping and mixing it all together and then promptly enjoy eating it, standing barefoot in your yard, feeling the grass tickle your toes beneath you…

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Fridge Sweep Pasta

I live on the fifth floor of an apartment that doesn’t have an elevator, and this might sound a little
lazy, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered to walk down (and then back up again) all those
stairs in order to buy supplies for making dinner...even if the closest shop is only right across the
street from our building. Good thing figuring out what to do with all the bits and bobs I tend to
have leftover is basically one of my favourite activities. Call me crazy, but some of my most
memorable meals have been born from simply cleaning out the fridge or rummaging through the
semi-abandoned contents of my crisper. Off the top of my head, some of the greatest hits in this
repertoire include the caramelized onion dip my friend Rebekah came up with, the spicy kimchi
fried rice I made for lunch yesterday and the warm lamb salad made from leftovers the day after
our wedding…

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Strawberries with Whipped Creme Fraiche, Rhubarb Sorbet and Gluten-Free Coconut Cookie Crumble

Fresh, sun-ripened, first of the season strawberries. There is nothing like it. Luckily, they appear
at the market just at that time of the year when I start to swear I may never again be able to
recall what a real strawberry actually tastes like. A bit dramatic? Perhaps, but greenhouse
strawberries in the middle of winter, imported from who knows where? Not for me, thanks! I’ll
hold out for them to be in season every time, because potentially forgetting, only to then
rediscover what a sun-ripened strawberry actually tastes like each year, is worth the wait in my
opinion…

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Grilled Sardines and Broccolini

Spring might just be the best season. Not only does it mean asparagus and strawberries (which taste oh so incredible after all the endless winter months of practically nothing but beets and celery root), but it also means that there is hope in terms of the weather. Trees everywhere start to blossom, the days get longer and the weather finally starts to get warmer. It also means that it is finally time to drag out the ole’ barbecue and get back to grilling!…

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In Praise of Fish Sauce

It was on a recent trip to Vietnam this past December, that I unexpectedly rediscovered salad. There, amidst steaming bowls of brothy noodle soup and giant plates of drool-worthy grilled meats, were these little unsuspecting produce-forward wonders. Salads bursting with flavours and textures beyond anything I had ever imagined. Each bite a new experience, we savoured every mouthful. Safe to say it completely blew my mind. This recipe pays homage to that experience while also highlighting all the beautiful spring greens the markets seem to be bursting with here these days…

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Radishes with Nettle Butter

Although no longer necessarily considered essential to survival, wild foraging for ingredients has renewed itself over the past ten years or so as a popular pastime. Due largely in part to the success of the local food movement, the resurgence of wild ingredients being served now more commonly in restaurants has also been a factor…

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Citrus Salad

Every year around this time I am reminded of the wonder I felt during my first winter in Paris, when I experienced the extensive varieties of citrusfruit available during this season. So in awe was I at the time, I lined up every single variety we had on hand in the restaurant where I worked before snapping a quick photo and throwing it up on my Instagram. Blood orange, Meyer lemon, bergamote, limette, volkamer lemon and yuzu, each one a tangy orb of liquid sunshine brightening up my workday. In the eyes of a cook, there is nothing more cheerful and inspiring…

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Herb-Infused Greek Feta in Oil

Real Greek feta is one of my favourite cheeses, so it's a pity that it isn't more popular here in France where I live. A brined cheese that is traditionally made from a combination of sheep and goat milks, feta is often seen used in salads and pastries. Sliced, cubed or crumbled, it is deliciously tangy and a simple way to add saltiness to any recipe that calls for cheese…

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