Duck Duck … Duck Proscuitto

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

2020 was all about self-improvement: getting in better shape, improving on current skills, and learning new ones. With all the closures and the stay at home measures in place, Megan and I suddenly found ourselves with more free time. To keep busy, we signed up for a bunch of online courses that we had always meant to try (Bee keeping 101, Hunter’s Education Course, and some pastry stuff). Hopefully the situation will begin to improve, but regardless we hope to continue to do this in the new year. Just before the shutdown, I was also fortunate enough to get the chance to have a one-on-one crash course in soppressata-making from a past member of Culinary Team Canada Juniors. His name is Robbie Aggarwal, and he owns his own charcuterie company in the Niagara Region called Beniamino Meats. With the success of my very first batch, I was excited to continue learning and to try out more recipes. I didn’t know it at the time, but this first experience would come in handy later this year.

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Dipping Chocolate

Story time! Every now and I then when I’m meeting new people in the pastry world, the question of how I got started often comes up. I worked in kitchens for many years before getting involved in pastry. It started almost 11 years ago when I was attending teacher’s college in 2019. I had recently gotten into sugar work, and when I went to a restaurant trade show I was asked if I’d be interested in participating in a chocolate competition. I said yes without any hesitation, not realizing that I would be competing at the National selection of World Chocolate Masters – the winner would get to represent Canada and compete for their country in Paris. Fake it till you make it, right? The thought of winning never crossed my mind, knowing that I lacked a few skills here and there.

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Butter Sauce

This year marks my tenth year teaching high school, and it has been a little different than most years for obvious reasons. I’m still doing in-school lessons, but now I’m also teaching some students completely online, which requires some adjustments. Prior to this new teaching model, I have always wanted to create more videos of our class recipes so that students can continue to refer to them, and create them at home with their families. I have finally started to make some progress on this. Every now and then I say to myself, why didn’t I do this sooner?? Perhaps I’m lazy, maybe because there always seems to be something else to do…But now, with the pandemic (and currently, lock-down), I figure I have no more excuses. I’m going to try to post more recipes, more frequently. At least for now, until we can go out and do things.

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White Chocolate Brownie

This recipe is based on a popular dessert from my days working at Moxie’s a lifetime ago. Still a crowd favourite!

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Chinese Bakery Buns

Backstory time: as we’ve mentioned in a few other posts lately, Megan and I have been making care packages for both sets of parents during the current pandemic. It has been a nice way for us to keep connected with family over the past few months. With Hong Kong-style cafes being closed right now my parents are unable to go out and enjoy their regular afternoon tea, so making Chinese bakery buns for our care packages was a no-brainer! We started to test recipes as early as March, and after a few iterations we can finally share this recipe with everyone.

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