The inaugural issue of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants was so well received that we decided to expand our offering. So, the restaurant ranking issue will continue to be published annually in March, and each fall we will publish the Cooking Issue.
The Cooking Issue is a logical outgrowth of our restaurant issue. For, as we see it, our mandate is to celebrate the very best of Canadian cooking. And no one cooks better than the chefs at Canada’s best restaurants, whose recipes we have compiled here.
That said, what we didn’t want to do was to ask the chefs from Canada’s best restaurants to send us their latest, most complicated recipes from the line; recipes designed to impress their peers—and confound the home cook. We wanted Canada’s best chefs to send us recipes of personal significance. Recipes that were accessible, and that also revealed a good deal about what makes these great chefs tick.
So, we asked the chefs whose restaurants figured amongst the top 50 of our first annual ranking—as well as some of the elite chef-judges whose expertise helped put them there—to send us recipes that told an important story about them and their development as chefs.
We suggested that these could be recipes that their mothers, or grandmothers, or some other mentor taught them. The recipes that first got them interested in cooking. Or, the recipe could be the first dish that a chef ever put on a menu that got noticed—and praised—by a restaurant critic. Or it could be something they brought back from a first eyeopening trip abroad to Europe or Asia that dazzled them, and later served as inspiration for a dish that they made their own. And then we asked the chefs to tell us the stories that made it so.
What we were aiming to create was a magazine that was not merely a compilation of great Canadian recipes. We wanted it to also be an anthology of the stories of the chefs behind them, to better understand what allows them do what they do. We hoped that taken together this would all add up to a unique and very personal culinary portrait of Canada.
So, after much nagging and cajoling, and an exhausting amount of recipe testing, here it is. We hope that you agree with us that the magazine is something special—and reflects an admirable serving of the great cooking that makes this country such a fantastic place in which to dine out.