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It’s been a rough year for the hospitality industry, but chefs across the country continue to feed people, support local producers, and act as educators and stewards of the land. We’ve asked rising culinary talent from each province and territory to share a dish that captures their own appetites and sense of place.

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A photo of chef Bashir Munye

Bashir Munye

Ontario

Bashir Munye’s cuisine is inspired by his nomadic past. Born in Somalia and raised in Italy, the 46-year-old has called Toronto home for the past 22 years. He is an academic researcher, culinary professor at George Brown College, food consultant, recipe developer and advocate for solutions that promote food security and sustainability.

Munye and his team have created digital resources as well as a supper club that explores Africa’s unique culinary regions and the African diaspora, part of his work to shine a spotlight on local farmers who grow the diverse ingredients representative of Toronto’s multicultural communities.

Orange platter, $60 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Bilbao linen napkin with fringe. $24/set at Zest.

Luul’s baamiye (okra salad)

Serves 4-6
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups okra, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup peanuts, toasted
  • 6-8 sprigs cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 sprigs of basil, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 sprigs mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 preserved lemons (outside skin only, finely minced), plus 2 tablespoons of the brine
  • 2 bird’s-eye chilies, finely minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Nasturtium flowers and arugula (optional) Injera crisp (optional)
Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Drizzle a few tablespoons of oil into a skillet or roasting pan, place the okra seeds-side down and roast for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining oil, tomatoes, onion, peanuts, cilantro, basil, mint, preserved lemons, chilies and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Cool the okra for 5 minutes and add to the remaining ingredients. Serve cold, at room temperature or warm, as a meal on its own, or a side dish, garnished with nasturtium flowers, arugula and an injera crisp.

A photo of chef Aman Dosanj

Aman Dosanj

British Columbia

Chef Aman Dosanj is known for her ability to educate, connect and tell stories through food, working with local growers and producers to create edible adventures in unexpected places. Since 2017, the former owner of Poppadoms in Kelowna, B.C., has raised more than $60,000 for local community initiatives through unique events across the Okanagan – pop-up dinners with live music on a mountaintop, foraging treasure hunts in urban centres and boreal forests and a courtyard meal served with personalized food poems on each plate are just some examples.

The 36-year-old’s latest project is a line of high-quality spices, imported from India and roasted, ground and blended in small batches in Kelowna, with a percentage of the proceeds going toward antiracism organizations.

Dinner plate, $45; side plate, $30 at The Ye11ow. Footed bowl, $40 through cylinderceramics.com. Blue ceramic bowl, $14 at Kokito.

Wild venison kebab

Serves 4 as an appetizer
Kebab
  • 1 lb. ground wild Canadian venison, with a bit of fat (or humanely raised Canadian lamb or beef)
  • 1 kidney, pureed or minced (for richness)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste (equal parts garlic and ginger pounded in a mortar and pestle with little water and a splash of oil)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4-6 cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • Small handful mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Fir, pine or spruce branches for skewers
  • Oil or rendered fat, for cooking
Wild apple raita
  • 1 cup plain BC yogurt (or homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cumin powder
  • 4 small wild apples, grated
  • Pinch or two of sugar
  • Salt, to taste
Directions

Combine the ground meat, kidney, garlic and ginger paste, 1 teaspoon salt (to start) and Kashmiri chili in a bowl. (Tip: Spices need just the right amount of salt for their superhero powers to kick in. With wild game or red meats, they can handle it. Remember, when it comes to chili and salt, you can always add but it’s harder to take away.) Sprinkle with the garam masala, followed by the mint and cilantro, and mix well with your hands. Cook a small tester and then taste, tweak and taste again.

When you’re happy, add some oil to your hands and mould around the end of the skewers, making a sausage-shape.

Heat up a cast-iron pan or grill, over medium-high heat, add oil, brown the meat on all sides, and continue to cook until cooked through. To make the raita, combine all the ingredients, adjusting the salt, sugar and cumin as needed. Serve the kebabs with the raita, for dipping.

A photo of chef JenniLee Vaneltsi

JenniLee Vaneltsi

Northwest Territories

It was a gig as cook at a highway maintenance and construction camp in the Northwest Territories that gave 37-year-old JenniLee Vaneltsi the culinary confidence to earn a spot on Food Network’s The Wall of Chefs earlier this year, where she had the opportunity to cook alongside chefs from across the country.

Back home in the hamlet of Fort McPherson, Vaneltsi cooks and caters for her community, sourcing many of her ingredients directly from the land, and practicing Tetlit Gwich’in food preparation techniques with guidance from elders and other mentors, including her jijuu (grandmother), Emma Kaye.

Pewter footed plate, $295; cake knife, $195; pewter salt shaker $95 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Side plate, $8 at Terra Florens (613-393-1993). Vase, stylist’s own. Florals provided by Buds Garden Services.

Nakal (cloudberry) pie

Makes 1 pie; serves 8
  • Pastry for a single crust pie
  • 2 cups nakals (cloudberries)
  • 1 small package (85 g) orange gelatin mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder (such as Bird’s)
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • Whipped cream or Cool Whip, for topping
Directions

On a lightly floured countertop, roll your pastry out slightly larger than your pie plate, transfer to the pie plate, trim the edge and crimp. Chill while you preheat the oven to 425 F. Poke the bottom of the shell a few times with a fork, line with a piece of foil or parchment, fill with pie weights, dry beans or rice, and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are starting to turn golden. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake for 5-10 more minutes, until golden.

In a large saucepan, bring the nakals to a boil, stirring occasionally; cook for about 5 minutes. Add the gelatine and sugar and bring to a boil; cook for another 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the custard and water. Add it to the berry mixture and return it to a simmer, cooking for about a minute.

Pour into the baked shell and let cool, then refrigerate for a few hours, until firm. Serve garnished with cream.

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A photo of chef Kunal Sawhney

Kunal Sawhney

Alberta

A graduate of the NAIT culinary arts program, Kunal Sawhney has cooked in kitchens across the country, including Misson Hill in Kelowna, the West Coast Fishing Lodge on Langara Island in Haida Gwaii, B.C., Hawksworth in Vancouver and Toque in Montreal. Back home in Edmonton, the 32-year-old was the chef at Revel Bistro, which closed just before the pandemic hit.

Known for his creativity and skill utilizing grown-in-Alberta ingredients, Sawhney has switched gears and launched a dumpling company, making hand-pinched perogies – a Prairie classic – stuffed with adventurous fillings, to supply restaurants and sell directly to locals who’d like to enjoy them at home.

Stamped pewter plate, $265; ebony knife, $65 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Grain handmade kitchen towel, $25 at Keep.

Pan-roasted duck breast with sea buckthorn and parsnip

Serves, 1, with enough jus and crumb for 8-10
Duck
  • 6 ounce duck breast
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Parsnip and beets
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 boiled baby beets
  • Sherry vinegar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
Chicken stock
  • Brown butter crumb
  • 1 cup skim milk powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
Sea buckthorn jus
  • 1 cup sea buckthorn berries
  • 1 cup browned butter, melted
  • 1 cup demi glace, warmed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sherry vinegar, to taste
Directions

Trim extra fat from the duck breast and score the skin in a crosshatched pattern.

Spread orange zest, salt and pepper on a baking sheet and place the duck breast on top, skin side up – this allows a slight cure of the protein and dries the skin for more crispness. Cure in a cooler for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove the breast from the cure and slowly sear in a medium-low cast-iron pan to remove excess fat from the breast. When about half the fat has rendered, transfer to the oven and roast for 6 minutes, or until medium-rare (about 135 F). Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

In a skillet set over medium heat, sear the whole parsnip until pale golden. Add butter, thyme and garlic. When the butter gets foamy, transfer the pan to the oven and roast until tender. Add the beets and allow to heat through. Add stock and emulsify, season with sherry and salt.

For the brown butter crumb, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the milk powder and stir until it turns golden. Remove from the heat, strain off excess butter (reserve for the sea buckthorn sauce) and cool on a sheet pan lined with paper towel.

To make the sea buckthorn jus, in a blender, combine the demi glace and sea buckthorn berries and puree on medium-high speed. Slowly pour in the melted browned butter to emulsify, then pass sauce through a fine sieve to remove any seeds.

Serve the sliced duck with beets and parsnip, drizzled with sea buckthorn jus and sprinkled with brown butter crumb.

A photo of chef Jeremy Senaris

Jeremy Senaris

Manitoba

It was chef Jeremy Senaris’s late mother, Marina, who taught him how to cook, adapting traditional Filipino dishes to incorporate ingredients that were readily available in Canada. Senaris, 39, made the switch to the kitchen from an engineering career after competing on the 2016 season of CTV’s MasterChef, and created Lasahan, meaning “to taste” in Tagalog.

The Winnipeg company specializes in events that revolve around food – private in-home dinners with customized menus and creatively staged semi-monthly pop-ups that showcase his unique spin on what he calls modern Filipino cuisine, and often benefiting local agencies and community initiatives.

Dinner plate, $45 at through cylinderceramics.com.

Bison tataki with chanterelle mushrooms

Serves 4
  • 1 bison tenderloin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 2 cups chanterelle mushrooms, in bite-sized pieces or whole
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lotus root, washed and peeled
Wasabi mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi paste
Tataki sauce
  • 1 cup katsuoboshi (bonito flakes)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • Arugula (or micro arugula), for garnish
Directions

Clean and trim your tenderloin to about 3 inches in diameter. Starting at one end, tie the tenderloin tight with butcher’s twine to keep its round shape, repeating every inch or two along the length of the tenderloin. Season liberally with salt and less liberally pepper.

Heat a cast-iron or heavy pan over high heat. When the pan starts to smoke a little, add a drizzle of oil and sear the tenderloin until brown on all sides. Remove from the heat and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and slice as thinly as possible. Set aside.

Over medium/high heat, add a bit more oil to the pan and sauté mushrooms, seasoning with salt and pepper. Finish with the butter, remove from heat and set aside.

Use a mandolin on the thinnest setting (or the thickness of your choice) to cut the lotus root into chips – store in water to reduce oxidation, and rinse a few times to remove excess starch. Pat dry and deep fry in oil at 325 F until crisp. Low and slow allows the chips to not burn on the edges. Once crisp, season with salt and pepper while still hot. Set aside.

Combine mayo and wasabi and put into a squeeze bottle.

For the tataki sauce, combine bonito flakes, soy sauce, mirin, sake and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and set aside.

To serve, arrange bison in a circular formation on your plate. Add dollops of wasabi mayo with the squeeze bottle, stand up lotus root chips for height (use the mushrooms as a stand), and spread out chanterelle mushrooms around the plate. Add some tataki sauce to each plate. Finish with micro or regular arugula.

A photo of chef Alexandra Blagdon

Alexandra Blagdon

Newfoundland and Labrador

Now 25, Alexandra Blagdon fell in love with cooking as a child, going on to Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, where she had access to 100 acres of organic farmland to learn hands-on harvesting and animal husbandry. After spending a few years in restaurant kitchens in Italy and other European locales, Blagdon returned to Newfoundland and opened the Alder Cottage.

It’s not a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, but an array of culinary experiences – an underground supper club, seasonal foraging expeditions along the East Coast Trail, and an online cookery school, an intensive eight-week program and individual classes covering subjects from pastries to pasta.

Dinner plate $45 through cylinderceramics.com. Voda glass for Minka, $65 through minka.house. Knife, stylist’s own.

Mushrooms on toast

Serves 1-4
Ricotta
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups coffee cream (18 per cent)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Fresh herbs (optional)
Mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 cups chanterelles or shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 thick slices sourdough, toasted or grilled
  • Fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)
Directions

Bring the milk and cream to just below the boiling point (200 F). Add the vinegar, stir once and let sit for 15 minutes. It should curdle, and your cheese will separate from the whey. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve and let it drain for at least 10 minutes. Season ricotta with salt and fresh herbs, if you like.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat; add 1 cup of the mushrooms and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a Mason jar. Add the olive oil and vinegar, set aside.

Heat the remaining canola oil along with the butter in the same skillet; add the shallot, garlic and remaining mushrooms. Season generously with salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes; drain off any excess liquid.

To assemble, spread the fresh ricotta about 1/2-inch thick on the toasted sourdough; top with sautéed mushrooms and a few pickled mushrooms, and garnish with fresh herbs.

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A photo of chef David Smart

David Smart

Nova Scotia

David Smart left a career in engineering to attend culinary school in 2010, and in 2018, he and his wife, Susan, opened the Bessie North House, a reservation-only, 12-seat farm-to-table restaurant named for the schoolteacher who was born in and lived in the 130-year-old home, in the Annapolis Valley. Now 51, Smart works with local farmers and harvests produce from the surrounding gardens to prepare seasonal seven-course fixed menus.

With a single seating – dinner is at 6 p.m. – every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from April to mid-December, visitors say the uniquely intimate fine-dining experience is like eating at the home of a friend – one who is an exceptional cook.

Green colour series platter, $110 through instagram.com/daviddrownpottery. Scottish horn spoon, $195/pair; clay colander, $295 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Moroccan terra cotta bowl, $16 at Keep.

Slow-roasted carrot salad

Serves 6-8
Carrots
  • 24 baby carrots (4-6 inches), trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Kale chips
  • 24-36 small kale leaves (or larger leaves torn into 2–3 inch pieces)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Pistachio granola
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (shelled)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Ras el Hanout (or mild curry powder)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Mustard emulsion
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch turmeric
Ginger vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa, cooled
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss carrots with olive oil to coat, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking sheet and roast for 30-45 minutes, until softened (when easily pierced with a knife), turning often to ensure even cooking. Set aside to cool. Toss kale leaves in olive oil to lightly coat and spread in a single layer on a sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 minutes, turn the leaves over and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until crisp. Cool completely.

To make the granola, combine pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and rolled oats in a food processor and process until coarsely and evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake until just dry to the touch (approximately 20-30 minutes), removing from oven at regular intervals to stir for even baking. Remove from oven and fully cool. Transfer to an airtight container.

For the mustard emulsion, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until fully emulsified. Transfer to a squeeze bottle.

For the ginger vinaigrette, combine the ginger, lemon juice and oil in a blender and process on until smooth. Add mustard and salt and process until emulsified. Strain through a fine strainer to remove ginger fibres.

Combine quinoa, shallots, basil and currants, dress with mustard emulsion and ginger vinaigrette. To serve, cut roasted carrots on a bias and transfer to mixing bowl. Dress with ginger vinaigrette. Place three small mounds of quinoa mixture on bottom of serving dish and arrange the dressed carrots (5-6 pieces per portion) over the quinoa. Top with pistachio granola and dots of mustard emulsion around the plate. Garnish with 4 to 5 kale chips and Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler. Serves 6-8 as an appetizer.

A photo of chef Catherine (Cat) McInroy

Catherine (Cat) McInroy

Yukon

Born and raised in Whitehorse, Catherine (Cat) McInroy grew up fishing, farming and foraging in the northern wilderness. After 20 years of service in the RCMP, she retired and headed to culinary school, and in 2018 transformed an old warehouse into the Well Bread Culinary Centre, the only cooking education centre in the north dedicated to teaching home cooks.

Now 49, McInroy is passionate about working with elders to learn and preserve traditional cooking techniques, and her classes range from gutting fish to tempering chocolate. She also teaches local youth, in after school sessions, to prepare a full-course dinner to bring home to their families. A note about this recipe: Klondike is the name of Cat’s sourdough starter, which has been alive since 1898; a portion lives in the Puratos Sourdough Library in Belgium.

Side plate, $30 at The Ye11ow. Orange tumbler, $6 at Terra Florens (613-393-1993). La Rochere Bee 9-ounce wine glass, $10.50 at Zest. Grain handmade kitchen towel, $25 at Keep. Pewter trophy vase, $95 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques.

Klondike sourdough doughnuts

Makes about 1 dozen doughnuts
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/4 cup water, at body temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cracked wheat
  • Canola or other neutral oil for frying
Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the warm milk, water, butter, sugar and salt, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the vanilla and test with your finger to ensure the mixture is not too hot for the starter.

Stir the sourdough starter into the liquid. Pour this mixture into the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer and add the egg, 2 cups of the flour, and the cracked wheat. Mix with the paddle attachment for several minutes, until the dough is smooth – it will be very sticky and resemble a very thick batter.

Switch to a dough hook. With the mixer on medium-high speed, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup flour bit by bit, waiting until the flour is absorbed before adding more. Once the dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, scrape and remove the dough hook. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature until doubled in size.

The dough can be refrigerated at this point for 3 days or more; as the dough sits in the fridge it will continue to ferment and the sour taste will intensify. (After five days it can become very sour.) Bring to room temperature before frying.

To fry, heat about 2 inches of oil to 375 F in a heavy, shallow pot or deep pan. Lightly oil your hands and pinch or cut small nuggets of dough (about the size of a golf ball) and flatten the balls with your fingers into rough disks about 1 cm thick. Alternatively, roll the dough out 1/2-inch thick and cut into the shape of traditional beignets or donuts, or shape larger disks the size of a pita – I call these gold pan size. No need to proof again, just go straight to frying. Keep the thickness under 1 cm or the inside will not expand as it should.

Fry the dough until golden and puffed, 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain on a baking rack and toss directly into sugar or cinnamon sugar, or generously sprinkle with powdered sugar once they’ve cooled slightly.

A photo of chef Chris Gibb

Chris Gibb

Prince Edward Island

Chris Gibb, 37, grew up washing dishes in his parents' restaurant in North Bay, Ont., working his way through various positions and developing a love of being in the kitchen along the way. After spending some time cooking across the country, he joined chef Michael Smith at the Inn at Bay Fortune, becoming chef de cuisine in 2018.

There he draws ingredients and inspiration directly from the Inn’s eight-acre organic farm, which with five greenhouses and a small orchard, produces more than 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs each season, to create their legendary nightly long-table dining experience.

Pewter plate, $195 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Antique cocktail fork, $9 at Zest. Flower plate, medium, $90 through minka.house. Wine glass, $8 at Terra Florens (613-393-1993).

Pan-roasted onion, cauliflower and 'Nduja

Serves 4
  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced into four 3/8-inch rounds (all rings together)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup butter, divided
  • 75 grams 'Nduja sausage, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 15 cauliflower florets (1 1/2 inches by 2 inches)
  • 2 teaspoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 4 reserved chive tips
Directions

Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season the onion rounds with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan and when it begins to get foamy, add the onion rounds. Set another, lighter pan or pot on top of the onions to hold them flat and prevent them from curling; watch the butter to tell you if the pan is too hot – it should not burn or smoke.

As the onions colour, begin to turn down the heat so they don’t burn, but can cook through without being turned over. Once the onions are a dark brown and slightly crispy, remove them from the pan and set aside face up to keep them crispy.

Drain the pan and wipe it out with a paper towel. Return to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons more butter to the pan. Once it’s foamy, add the cauliflower and season lightly with salt. Once the parts of the cauliflower that are in contact with the pan turn golden, flip and move the pieces around, adding more butter as necessary. Once nicely coloured, taste a piece for seasoning and doneness – it should be roasted and cooked but still somewhat crunchy. Set aside.

Wipe the pan out with a paper towel and set over medium-low heat. Add the 'Nduja pieces to the pan. They should begin to release fat and fry lightly. If they smoke, it’s too hot. Move them around to brown on all sides, and when a good amount of fat has accumulated, squish your 'Nduja pieces, return the onions to the pan and baste lightly with the fat.

To serve, plate onion rounds face up, topped with 1 teaspoon 'Nduja. Place 1/2 teaspoon crème fraîche beside the meat, on the onion. Put the remaining butter (about 2 teaspoons) into the pan, add the reserved cauliflower and toss in the melted butter, sprinkling with the chopped chives. Once warmed through, garnish the crème fraîche with 3 pieces of cauliflower and finish the plate with the chive tip.

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A photo of chef Norma Condo

Norma Condo

Quebec

Norma Condo developed a love of cooking at her grandmother’s side in Gesgapegiag, a Miꞌkmaq community on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula; the mother of 15 would make dinner every Sunday, and taught her granddaughter traditional ingredients and techniques. Condo now owns and runs Miqmak Catering and Café in Pierrefonds, a borough of Montreal, and has a food truck in the works to hit the road next spring. Her menus are built around Indigenous ingredients – instead of salt and pepper, she seasons her dishes with cedar and sage she grows herself – she does her own butchery and works to preserve the culinary traditions of her ancestors, honouring vital connections between people and the land.

In her recipe here, the three sisters refers to a trio of Indigenous agricultural crops: winter squash, maize (corn) and beans. The three are traditionally planted close together to share support, prevent weeds and improve soil health. At harvest time, they are often eaten together.

Hammered pewter server, $295; silver fork, $140/set; Harlander Bowl, $595 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Vase, stylist’s own. Florals provided by budsgardenservices.com.

Algonquin three sisters casserole

Serves 8
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry beans (such as pinto, black, kidney, marafat)
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the beans and simmer for 15 minutes, until almost tender. Drain.

Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1-inch cubes.

In a blender or food processor, puree the diced tomatoes.

Transfer to a shallow pot and bring to a simmer with the diced squash. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the corn and beans and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

A photo of chef Michel Savoie

Michel Savoie

New Brunswick

The chef/owner of Moncton’s Brumes du Coude (Stew on the fire) has spent most of his life cooking abroad; during a decade spent in France’s Loire Valley, he fell in love with the region’s welcoming, slow food-focused bistros. Back home in New Brunswick, he brings old-school French techniques to traditional Acadian cuisine, inspired by the seasons and terroir.

Savoie’s dishes are built around local seafood and farm vegetables, and he sources the best possible products, while also including lesser-known cuts and aesthetically imperfect produce, in order to support neighbouring farmers and fishermen.

Drostdy stoneware $295/set; footed pewter salt dish, $55 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Wine glass, $8 at Terra Florens (613-393-1993). Ceramic bread box, $30 through instagram.com/hannahmelnykmakes.

Hand-cut beef tenderloin tartare

Serves 2-4
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus extra as needed
  • 2-3 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 150 grams good-quality beef tenderloin
  • Tabasco, to season (optional)
  • Egg yolk, to garnish (optional)
  • Crusty bread or toasted croutons
Directions

Combine the garlic, capers, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, shallots, salt and cayenne in a Vitamix, vertical blender or food processor. Blend well until it turns into a paste, then start adding the olive oil to create an emulsion. Start with one cup of olive oil, blend, and add the parsley bit by bit, blending slowly until it blends into the paste. If necessary, add more olive oil to loosen – it should be barely runny. If you can keep it on a spoon upside down, you’re in the right direction. Taste it; it should be tangy, salty and hot enough to your preference. If you can, store it for a day in the fridge, or for up to a few weeks.

If you like, put the beef in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it easier to chop finely, otherwise use a very sharp knife to cut it into fine 1/4-inch cubes. Use a teaspoon of the emulsion to season the beef, or more to taste. Stir 20 cycles with a spoon to emulsify to meat. Add Tabasco for extra heat, or an egg yolk, if you like. Serve with crusty bread or a crouton.

A photo of chef Scott Dicks

Scott Dicks

Saskatchewan

Chef Scott Dicks, 36, has spent most of his culinary career on the Prairies, opening Odla, which means “to cultivate, or grow” in Swedish, last year in Saskatoon. A partnership with Farm One Forty owners Arlie and Brett LaRoche (Arlie comes from a family of Swedish farmers), it’s a true farm-to-table collaboration.

Dicks often cooks out at the farm for pop-up dinners and cooking classes, and the farm supplies the restaurant with produce, honey and ethically raised, free-range meat, all of which are also sold out of the market side of the space, where customers can pick up prepared meals and preserves from the Odla kitchen.

Hexagon dinner plate, $45 through cylinderceramics.com. Fork, stylist’s own. Antique linen napkin, $72/set at Kokito. Wine glass, $4 at Terra Florens (613-393-1993). Small Jug, $55 at The Ye11ow.

Farm 140 pork loin with rhubarb jus and new potatoes

Serves 6
Pork
  • 4 cups water
  • 50 grams salt
  • 2 lbs. pork loin
Honey beet romesco
  • 1/2 lb. roasted beets
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, finely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
Rhubarb pork jus
  • 5 lb. pork bones
  • 4 cups red wine
  • 1/2 lb. mirepoix (medium chopped onion, celery and carrot)
  • Canola or other vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 2 sprigs thyme and/or rosemary
  • Red wine vinegar, to taste
  • 1 cup thinly sliced rhubarb
  • 1 lb. new potatoes, halved if large
Directions

Bring the water and salt to a boil until the salt dissolves, cool completely and soak the pork in the brine for 12 hours. Drain and dry well. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a skillet over low heat, cook with the fat cap down until golden brown and the fat has rendered. Discard the excess fat, leaving 1 tablespoon in the pan. Increase the heat to medium and brown one side of the roast, flip and roast for 5 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

To make the beet romesco, combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.

Roast the pork bones in the oven until golden. Simmer the wine in a saucepan until it has reduced to 1/2 cup. Sauté the mirepoix in oil in a pot that will accommodate the bones until caramelized and soft. Add the bones to the pot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer, skimming any impurities. Gently simmer for 12 hours. Add herbs, let the mixture cool to room temperature, strain and let cool. Remove excess fat from the top and add the reduced wine.

Reduce the jus until thickened to about 1 litre, skimming frequently. Season with salt and red wine vinegar. Add sliced rhubarb and let cool. Cover the new potatoes in heavily salted cold water, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, simmer for 15 minutes, then let cool in the water.

To serve, spread some romesco onto your plate, top with potatoes, sliced pork and rhubarb pork jus.

A photo of chef Chadd Burrill

Chadd Burrill

Nunavut

The Slap Shot Canteen opened up in Rankin Inlet’s brand-new arena less than three months before restaurants around the world abruptly closed due to the pandemic. Soon after, a community member approached owner Chadd Burrill, offering to donate $500 to make pizzas for a local family in need of meals. Burrill matched her $500, enlisting his 11-year-old daughter, Destiny, to help in the kitchen. As the story spread, others began contributing funds to allow Burrill, 36, to continue to feed hundreds of his neighbours, including a full turkey dinner for 40 residents of the tiny community (population: around 3,000) before they were cleared to reopen.

Dinner plate, $45 The Ye11ow. Pewter salt shaker, $95 at Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Florals provided by Buds Garden Services. Antique linen grain sack, $80 at Kokito.

Maple citrus pan-fried Arctic char with rice pilaf and asparagus

Serves 2
Rice pilaf
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped red and green pepper
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
Char
  • 2 freshly caught Arctic char filets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 6-8 asparagus stalks, trimmed
  • Butter
  • Green onion, for garnish
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. To make the rice pilaf, heat a drizzle of oil in a medium saucepan and cook the peppers and onion for a few minutes, until soft. Add the rice to the pan, stir and cook for another minute, then add the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 18 minutes, or until the rice is just tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Season the char with salt and pepper while you heat an ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and place the char in the pan, skin side up.

Cook for a minute, until turning golden, then squeeze half a fresh orange overtop and flip the filets skin-side down. Add the orange zest and maple syrup to the pan. Thinly slice the remaining orange half and fan a couple slices over the top of each filet. Finish in the oven for 10 minutes. Toss the asparagus stalks in a drizzle of oil and slide into the oven alongside the char to cook for 3-7 minutes, depending on their thickness, until tender-crisp. Toss with a pat of butter.

To serve, spoon some rice pilaf into a small bowl and invert onto a plate. Set the char filet to one side, and arrange the asparagus overtop or on the side. Garnish with green onion curls, if you like.

Food photography: Liam Mogan. Food stylist: Ashley Denton/Judy Inc. Prop stylist: Alanna Davey. Chef photo credits: Michelle Doucette Photography (David Smart), Food Network Canada (JenniLee Vaneltsi). Editor: Maryam Siddiqi. Art director: Benjamin MacDonald. Interactive editor: Christopher Manza.

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