Official Liaison College Blog

Monday, December 19, 2011

Annual Christmas Cookie Bake

For the past few years we have been celebrating my mom's birthday (Dec 20th) with a group Christmas cookie baking event.  This year we topped out our class with 24 participants under the direction of Chef Elaina Ravo at the Liaison College in Kitchener. 

The class starts at 9:30 a.m. (under protest from some!) and the ladies are split into groups where a student chef assists them in baking various cookie recipes.  At lunch time we gather for a nice lunch - this year Chef Elaina prepared a wonderful German-style hot potatoe salad, schnitzel and roasted root vegetables.  I had a ton of inquiries about the potatoe salad recipe and will post this to a blog as soon as I get it!

Everyone brought some non-perishable food items as we sponsor three needy families each year with all the fixings for a Christmas dinner. 

After lunch there is nice social time and finally everyone gets their tin of assorted cookies.  A really great way to share a special birthday with friends.
Melt in Your Mouth Cookies


2 lbs shortening
2 cups icing sugar
2 egg yolks
½ cup almonds crushed
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla
5 cups flour


Cream icing sugar and shortening approximately 10 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks.  Blend until well incorporated.  Dissolve baking soda with lemon juice.  When it is frothy add to mixture & mix well.  Add vanilla.  Mix well.  Mix flour and almonds together.  Fold in flour and ground almond into batter.   Shape into an “S” shape.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Simple Holiday Appetizer a la Roothams Gourmet

My friend Marilyn Rootham (owner and chief product developer at Rootham's Gourmet) has a knack for making simple and delicious dishes.  Roothams offers a wide range of products, both savoury and spicy as well as sweet.  From marinades to dips and dressings and dessert toppings, there is a jar of heaven waiting for you at Roothams.
Every year, Marilyn and her staff host an open house where product is sold for charity and while you shop you can enjoy a glass of wine and taste some of the culinary creations featuring Rootham's products prepared by Chef Shawn Monaghan (a Liaison College graduate!).
With the festive season in full swing, you will likely need to prepare a quick appetizer or come up with a unique hostess gift.  I turn to Roothams.  Their products are guaranteed to be a pleaser and the recipes on their site are foolproof.
Here's what I'm making for our next holiday cocktail gathering:
Baked Brie with Tangy Red Pepper Jelly
You can't go wrong with Roothams!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nothing Blue about Blue Mountain ... Except the Skies

At a recent trip to The Blue Mountains we were blessed with some awesome weather:  clear blue skies, crisp, clean air and just enough snow to make the ground sparkle.  Simply beautiful.  Instantly made me think of the holidays and a hot cup of cocoa by the fire.

I snatched this simple recipe from Stephanie Jaworski

Hot Chocolate: Place the milk, semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and sugar (if using), in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk periodically until the mixture just reaches the boiling point. Remove from heat and if more foam is desired, use a wire whisk or hand held immersion blender to whip the hot chocolate.
Pour the hot chocolate into two cups and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder or grated chocolate, if desired. Preparation time 10 minutes.
Whipped Cream: In your mixing bowl, place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. If you have time, cover and chill the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. The whipped cream will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Note: To make hot or iced mocha simply replace 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk with your favorite brewed coffee. Proceed with the recipe and if you want it iced, let the mixture cool and then pour over ice cubes. Garnish with whipped cream and grated chocolate.
Note: Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Reheat.
Makes 2 - 8 ounce (240 ml) servings.

Hot Chocolate Recipe:

2 cups (480 ml) milk
3 ounces (90 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce (30 grams) milk chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar, or to taste (optional)
Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup (120 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
Grated chocolate or cocoa powder

Read more:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SouthCoast Serves up First Chef of the Day

The weather outside was frightful, but the lunch was sooooooo delightful!  The newest location in the Liaison College family located in the Belworth House Restaurant in Waterford, ON (also known as the SouthCoast) in Norfolk County hosted its first ever student Chef of the Day on Friday Dec 9th.  It was definitely worth the drive to Waterford! Ken was the student chef of the day and he created a menu that was simply mouth watering.

the Menu

1st Course

Puree of Local Sweet Potato Soup with hints of ginger
3 Onion Soup with a Cheesy Mushroom Crostini

Main Course

Coconut Curry Chicken/Toasted Garlic Rubbed Naan
With Sauteed Swiss Chard & Jasime Rice


Roasted Red Beet Salad with Manchego Cheese in a Red Wine Vinaigrette
Micro Greens topped with 2 Lamb Chops


House made Yogurt and Baked Tree Hugger Granola drizzled with  Local Honey Parfait


Deep Fried Banana Spring rolls with a chocolate Sambuca Dipping Sauce

I chose the Onion Soup:  This savoury and flavourful broth with small diced onions was the perfect choice for a chilly day, but it was the cheesy mushroom crostini that stole the show.  I was not able to squeak out the recipe, but Ken described the process and the work was definitely worth it!
Then I had the curry chicken.  This was a flavour cornucopia ... sweet, savoury, spicy an excellent blend of flavour and textures.  I forgot how swiss chard can enhance a dish!  And I should give a mention to the colours as well .... a vision of the fall colours.

The dessert was something of a conversation piece.  I would have selected the Chocolate dipped Banana, but that's what everyone before me chose and so the cupboard was bare.  And not being a huge fan of yogurt (even though when I ventured into the kitchen after lunch and saw the parfaits, I could have easily enjoyed the yogurt, too!) the chef offered us a slice of carrot cake.  This was not your average carrot cake.  The double layer of thick, moist, fruit laden cake was topped with the most decadent icing.  The recipe is a family secret tradition that was shared with Chef Tracy.  Awesome!  So inviting that I took a bite before taking the photo; imagine the piece bigger!

What a delightful lunch.  And when I was ready to pay the tab, I was informed that it was "on the house".  An unexpected treat.  And threw me off so that I forgot to tip the staff.  There is no telling what a full tummy and a pleasant surprise will do for your manners and protocol.  When I spoke to the Administrator, Jill, after the lunch and apologized for my oversight and omission she giggled.  I wondered to myself if Chef Tracy's magical food has caused other patrons to act in the same thoughtless way.  Yikes!

Here's the recipe for the Coconut Curry Chicken:
(yield 6 servings)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/4" fillets and pounded
2 limes zest and juice
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1 3/4 c coconut milk
1/2 tsp white sugar
1 c jasmine rice
1 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)
1 tbsp veg oil
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 sweet pepper diced
1 - 3 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 14.5 oz can stewed, diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 c toasted coconut
1/4 c slant green onions
1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
In a glass bowl, mix chicken breast cubes, with lime juice, lime zest, and grated ginger.  Let marinate for 20 min.
In a med saucepan, combine the coconut milk and sugar over med/high heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir in the jasmine rice, reduce heat to low and cook lightly covered for about 20 min or until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork; cover and keep warm.
Heat oils and curry powder in a large skillet over med/high heat for two minutes. Stir in onions, sweet peppers and garlic.  Cook 1 more minute.  Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry and oil. Reduce heat to med and cook for 7 - 10 min or until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear.  Pour coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar into the pan and stir to combine.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approx 30 - 40 min.

Bon appetit!

Puppy Love

We have a new puppy, Molly.  She is a Bouvier.  And she loves treats!  Since we love her, and training is a big thing right now, we encourage her with treats.

In no time she will be a 100lb furball, but in the mean time, she is all puppy.  Here are some treats that she can enjoy:

Puppy Love Cookies
2 cupsWhole Wheat Flour
1/2 cupCornmeal
1 teaspoonSalt
2 teaspoonsBone Meal
2 tablespoonsVegetable Oil
1/2 cupSmooth Peanut Butter
1/4 cupBeef Broth
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the eggs and beef broth together well. Add oil, peanut butter and egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir well. Knead the dough for 2 -3 minutes until it holds together well adding additional broth if the dough is too stiff. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Roll dough out to about 1/2" thick on a lightly floured surface.
Cut dough with heart shaped cookie cutter. Place pieces 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the oven and allow the biscuits to dry for 2 hours or overnight

Even Molly's horoscope says that she should have treats:

August 23 - September 22
Virgo dogs make clean, admiring pets who find joy in working with their owner.
Dogs born under the star sign of Virgo will want to take it nice and easy this November. These furry friends will love nothing more than lounging in the late afternoon sun by the window. Some homemade dog treats will be the perfect way to top off relaxing November days. Be sure to throw in a tug-of-war session every now and again to keep your Virgo dog from turning into a total couch potato.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Sweet & Salty Mash Up

Are you ready to settle down in front of the fire and watch some good, old fashioned holiday classics?  You will need this sweet and salty concoction to do just that.  This mash up is the best of both worlds for savoury and sweet ..... and soooooooooooooo easy!

2 cups mini pretzels
2 cups Chex cereal
1 lrg bag M & M peanuts or chocolates
1/2 lb (1 bag) White Chocolate chips

melt the white chocolate chips; drizzle over pretzels, chex and M & M's combined in a bowl; toss until all bits are covered (be gentle so you don't crush the goodies into crumbs) spread the covered bits onto a parchment lined baking sheet and chill until white chocolate hardens and cools - the effect is like snow covered snacks and the taste is addictive!  Enjoy

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Launch is a Tasty Event!

Last week Chef Mick and his brigade from Liaison College Downtown served their tasty treats in a very unconventional venue...... The Atlas Boxing Club!

This was the scene for the launch of the new book by Adrian Humphreys, a senior reporter for the National Post.  And Liaison College provided the tasty treats for the unlikely collection of "cops, crooks, lawyers and journalists" who gathered to unveil the new book by the best seller.

The Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton is where this tale of the mob unfolds) tells the story of the evening of the launch and gives a glimpse into the meat of the book.  The main character of the book, the Weasel (a mob gangster turned snitch) is in the boxing ring at the book launch to greet the crowd.

an interesting evening all around! well done!

Liaison College SouthCoast Heats up the Kitchen

Locals in the Norfolk County area enjoyed some culinary heat at their recent event to raise funds for area food banks.  Line ups to get into "the Aud" at the local fairgrounds were out the door as hungry guests waited for their soup.  Area chefs provided hearty servings of their super soups for a good cause.  Click for  more information about the fundraiser - well done Liaison College SouthCoast and Chef Tracy Winkworth.

here's the recipe for the Liaison College creation:

At the Soup Luncheon held at the Aud on Tuesday, November 22nd 2011, Liaison College South Coast prepared a Creamy Tomato Soup garnished with a Risotto Ball. Thousands of dollars were raised and all of the proceeds went to the Local Food Banks in Norfolk County! What a great cause, and correct me if I’m wrong but I believe Liaison College South Coast were the first ones sold out! They did amazing, and all of us at the college are very proud of the students!

Enjoy these delicious recipes!


Fresh Tomatoes can be grilled or roasted to add a smoky flavor.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

½ cup fennel (optional)

3 large red peppers roasted

2 tbsp. minced garlic

3 pounds tomatoes, Roasted, Peeled and Seeded

6 cups stock

½ cup parsley

2 tbsp. thyme

3 tbsp. fresh basil

2 tbsp. rosemary

1 bay leaf

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

½ cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add E.V.O.O to coat the bottom of pot.  Add onions, celery, fennel (optional), carrot, and garlic and cook until tender but not browned, about 10-15 minutes.  Add in the roasted peppers, tomatoes, and stock, simmer until the tomatoes peppers are very tender.  Puree the soup and return to the stock pot and stir in the herbs, cream, balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve hot or cold.



5 cups (1.25 L) chicken stock, approximately

2 tbsp. (25 mL) olive oil

2 tbsp. (25 mL) butter

½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion, ½ cup (125 mL) leeks

8 ounces Fresh mixed Mushrooms, chopped

1 ½ cups (375 mL) Arborio rice

1 bulb of garlic, broken down into cloves, cloves minced

½ cup (125 mL) white wine

1/3 cup (75 mL) Parmesan cheese

¼ cup butter

2 tbsp. (25 mL) chopped parsley

Fresh Herbs of choice

Season with Salt and freshly ground pepper

Breading Station

1/3 Cup Flour

4 Eggs

3 cups Panko

1. For risotto, bring stock to simmer on stove. Heat oil and 1 tbsp. (15 mL) butter in a heavy pot on medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Add rice and sauté until rice is coated in oil.

2. Pour in wine and cook until wine is absorbed. Stir in mushroom soaking liquid and dried mushrooms and cook, stirring until most of liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup (250 mL) stock, stirring until most of stock is absorbed. Continue to add stock in 1 cup (250 mL) quantities, stirring most of the time until rice is creamy with a slight bite in the centre, about 18 to 20 minutes. Reheat and stir in mushroom mixture a few minutes before rice is cooked.

3. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining butter and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

4. Shape tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Dip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place on a tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat oil in a large, shallow saucepan over medium heat. Cook balls, in batches, for 5 to 6 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a rack. Place in oven to keep warm. Serve arancini balls


Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Snacks

Over the holiday season we are always looking for ways to impress our guests, please a hostess with something edible or create a festive flare with ease.  Recently a guest brought a salmon pate to our festive gathering and it was a hit.  Everyone raved about the delicious pate and how it melted in on the crackers.  Would she share her secret recipe?  Absolutely.  And when we heard how simple it was we knew it would be a must do again  (and we also figured out why it "melted"):

Salmon Pate 

1/2 pound of Butter   (beat it )

1 cup of Mayo

2 tbs Lemon Juice

2 tbs Dijon Mustard

1 tbs Tarragon

one pkg of fresh Dill

Pepper to taste

2 small cans of Salmon....rinse well

2 small pkgs of smoked salmon

hand full green onions  chopped

handful of parsely

mix together   serve with crackers.....can be frozen for a few months....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

US Thanksgiving - Happy Holidays to our Neighbours!

With the US Thanksgiving happening tomorrow we have a few things to think about:
1)  Christmas Shopping - has anyone done all their shopping yet?  Black Friday is the traditional start to the shopping season in the US with Canadian retailers adding plenty of sales to encourage us to keep our holiday shopping bucks in Canada
2)  The turkey - whether you made one for our Thanksgiving or plan to make one for Christmas, before you do anything check out this handy video to help - I followed the method for this turkey preparation and my guests raved about the flavour and the juicy texture of the bird - best turkey they have ever had apparently -- be the kitchen hero in your family for the holidays and check out how to make a turkey on You Tube!
Bon Appetit!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Canada Cooks the Books - Student Culinary Competition

Every year Cuisine Canada, in conjunction with the University of Guelph, hosts the Culinary Book Awards at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.  To honour the authors, the awards organizers hold a student competition where student chefs are paired with culinary book authors and prepare a dish from the nominated book.  What a delicious combination:  student chef, culinary author, tested recipe and Voila!
This year on the weekend of November 4 - 6, 2011, student chef teams from culinary schools across Ontario competed.
We are so pleased to announce that a team from Liaison College placed third in the competition.
Bryan Kenny and Patricia Penkaukas represented Liaison College and cooked a dish from Sonia Day's nominated cookbook.  Well done!!  Bravo!!

The recipe they cooked follows:

Chard à la Aldona

From Incredible Edibles by Sonia Day

Sonia Day writes: This recipe comes from Aldona Satterwaite, former editor of Canadian Gardening. She loves to cook, but like me, never measures ingredients precisely.


             3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

             2 Tbsp | 25 mL canola oil

             Big bunch of Swiss chard

             Blue cheese – as much as you dare

             Grape tomatoes

             Salt to taste

             Freshly ground black pepper

             Pasta of choice


Prepare pasta. While pasta is cooking prepare the chard.

Finely chop the garlic. Sauté in canola oil until just tender. Do not brown.

Cut a big bunch of Swiss chard, rinse well, but do not whirl in a salad spinner. Trim off coarse ends and chop leaves and tender stems into smallish pieces  (about ½ inch | 1.25 cm). Add the chard to the pan, sauté on gentle heat, covered, until leaves are tender, stirring occasionally. About 10 minutes.

The chard leaves will yield up water, which is good, because next you will whomp in as much blue cheese as you dare. Stir it in until a yummy sauce forms and coats the garlic and chard leaves. Taste for salt.

Serve on cooked pasta with a generous grinding of black pepper and a handful of grape tomatoes and parsley (optional).

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Test Kitchen

The pumpkin flans were a hit.  I tried out the recipe on family and friends and it was an overall pleaser.  The recipe was easy to follow and it turned out well.  Better than I expected for sure.  The flavour combination of the pumpkin, gorgonzola and the walnuts was really clever. I would definitely recommend this as a recipe to try out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

From Paris with Love ... and Pumpkins

We can find recipes in interesting places if we are always on the look out.  The following great find came from my obsession with celebrity gossip and Hello Canada Magazine (the Oct 17 edition).  This yummy recipe is an excerpt from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  Who knew that a magazine devoted to lifestyles of the rich and famous would also be a source for recipes.  The other recipes from the book look equally delicous and worth a try.  But with Hallowe'en around the corner and pumpkins in tremendous supply, this seems like a good place to start.

I might experiement with the cheese as well .... gorgonzola sounds fantastic, but I'm going to ask the experts at Sam's cheese at the Hamilton Farmers market for some other options.  Some people are shy about their cheese and I think a less robust variety might work, too. 

Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
Greenspan likes serving these flans in their cups, but you can unmold them. While the French would garnish this flan with creme fraiche, Greenspan prefers a tiny drizzle of honey or maple syrup. The flans are best served the day they are made. Keep, lightly covered, at room temperature for about 6 hours before serving.
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 1/2 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled (generous 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped roasted walnuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter six custard cups or ramekins. Line the bottom of a roasting pan that’s large enough to hold the cups comfortably with a double layer of paper towels. Put the custard cups in the pan. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
Put the pumpkin, eggs, yolks and cream in a food processor or blender. Process to blend. Season with salt and pepper; pour the custard into cups. Divide the Gorgonzola among the flans, poking the cheese into the custard a little bit, just to distribute it. Sprinkle the tops of the flans with the walnuts. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups.
Bake until a knife inserted into a custard comes out almost clean, 35-40 minutes. Transfer the roasting pan to a rack; let the flans cool in the water bath to just warm or room temperature.

Stay tuned for reviews as I try this recipe on my unsuspecting friends tomorrow night. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Delicious Food Show - Oct 20 - 23

Calling all "foodies"!  The DELICIOUS FOOD SHOW is underway at the Better Living Centre at the Toronto Exhibition Place.  Visit hundreds of vendors dedicated to tempting your palate.  And while you take a rest, watch your favourite celebrity chefs on the Food Network Stage.  Liaison College is presenting along with LIFE EXPERIENCES.CA in booth number 724.

At the opening night for VIP's last night the samples were flowing.  Mark McEwen was signing his latest cookbook and the celebrity stage was cooking.  Everything from organic CSA farmers to decadent chocolates in the shape of designer shoes.  There is something there for everyone.  Get great ideas and recipes from the vendors with new sauces and dips.  Perfect for the holiday season just around the corner.

Come and visit us this weekend!

Here's Chef Tracy from our new SouthCoast Campus with Chef Lynn Crawford:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Food Spectacular

This time of year the bounty of the fall harvest gets even the most timid of foodies out of their shell to taste the delicious yield.  We are so fortunate to have access to the farms and fields who provide us with such good, tasty products.
Along with the fall harvest come the fall showcases of food.  Here are some of the events we are participating in (recent and upcoming) that might "tickle your food bone"!

Taste Local Taste Fresh
October 2011
Foodstock 2011
Delicious Food Show

There are so many great and tasty events to choose from ..... venture out before the snow flies!

brown sugar
unsalted butter
brown sugar
cream cheese
pumpkin puree
To Decorate
1/4  cup pecans chopped
2.5  tbsp Brown Sugar

In a food processor pulse to chop the gingersnap cookie and 1/3 cup pecans, set aside. Melt the 2 oz butter in a saucepan, add the cookie and nut crumbs with 1/4 cup Brown sugar. Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and place the cookie crumble onto base and flatten. Chop the 1/2 cup pecan to a fine dice, set aside. In a mixer with the paddle attachment cream together the cream cheese and brown sugar, add all spices and pumpkin puree, beat together for 2 min. Add one egg at a time and continue to beat until all 3 eggs are incorporated. Add in the chopped pecan and mix together, pour batter into lined mold  and bake at 350 F.  for 1 hr. or until firm on the top. 
To decorate, mix together the finely chopped pecans with the brown sugar and pour on top of the cheesecake

Monday, October 03, 2011

A "Follie" Good Time in Hamilton

On the evening October 1st the Hamilton Campus of Liaison College turned into a fabulous rock 'n' roll venue complete with live band Jacke de Keyzer (award winner!) and refreshments.  Oh, I mean, gourmet delights to tempt the most discerning palate!  Including upscale grilled cheese, pear and brie on crostini, potato puffs, mini beef wellingtons (to name a few!) and a dessert table to make even the crustiest heart melt.  What a feast.  Paired with local WINE and BEER for a total gourmet package.
The Chefs and students were working feverishly in the kitchen and the office staff were busy taking care of the front of the house.
Proceeds from the event will support the Hamilton area Geritol Follies which is a show not to be missed.

A wonderful evening .....

First Annual Baking & Sweets Show

The first annual Baking & Sweets Show was held Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2011 at the International Centre.  The show featured everything sweet ... from cupcakes, to chocolate, to icings, to shortbread ... there was no shortage of sugary delights. 
The entrance included access to the demonstation stage where celebrities and experts shared their secrets to baking.  Redpath Sugar was a major sponsor and their booth featured a photo opportunity where visitors could don a chef coat and pose holding a LARGE scale baking utensil (my friend Gail chose the rolling pin).  There was also a spooky cake competition and some of the entries were downright scary!

Most of the booths had samples galore (which was a bit of a challenge if you were counting calories) and there was a good steady crowd.  Perhaps you will see Liaison College there next year.

For more information about the Show check out the link.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Grand Re-Opening Event

On September 22 2011 the Liaison College location in Kitchener ON celebrated its grand re-opening in its new premises.  The new location at 50 Ottawa St S (at Charles) is a former factory now re-purposed to house several retail shops, a storage facility and several other businesses including Liaison College.  The soaring ceilings, original flooring (both hardwood and concrete) and exposed mechanisms are the only clues left to what this massive building once was.  The entire building (all 220,000 sq feet) has been retrofitted to a new purpose.  Liaison College has approximately 5,400 sq feet of space that includes a large commercial kitchen, theory classroom, dining room, reference room and office space.  The mayor of Kitchener, Carl Zehr, officially opened the new location with kind words about LC's 10 year plus history in the community while guests enjoyed a wide variety of gourmet treats served by students.  To add to the ambience of the occasion, a local violinist entertained.  Staff of the campus and alumni students were on hand to to show off the amazing space where future chefs will train.  The food, of course, was entirely delicious; and the special cake prepared by graduate Sana Thibeh was an amazing work of art!  Congratulations to Chef Elaina Ravo CCC, the Director of the campus, for her wonderful event showcasing the new premises.
For more information visit Liaison College Kitchener

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taste Local Taste Fresh!

Foodlink Waterloo presents an annual fundraising event featuring local foods paired with local chefs.  This year's event was held in St. Jacobs on Sunday Sept 18th.  Liaison College was partnered with Gillespies Garden and prepared a "Braised Pork and Corn Crepes" for the sold out crowd of 500.

If the constant line up was any indication or the front page coverage in the KW Record (local newspaper), the feedback was overwhelmingly good ....

If you would like to try for yourself, following is the recipe:

Braised Pork & Corn Crepes

15 Servings
  • Prep: 25 min. + chilling Cook: 20 min.
Ingredients -
2 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

·         ·  In a food processor or blender, cover and process corn until pureed. Add the flour, cream, eggs, butter, salt and pepper; pulse until blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

·         ·  Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet; pour 1/4 cup batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed. When cool, stack the crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.


Braised pork



  • 1 (about 3-4 pounds) bone-in fresh pork shoulder half (preferably picnic)
  • 2 garlic, cloves, slivered
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onion, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon harissa, or any hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup Riesling
  • 3 cups unfiltered apple cider
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • sprigs mint
  • sprigs fresh coriander
  • chopped fresh coriander for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Score pork in a crosshatch pattern.
  3. Make slits all over meat with a small sharp knife and insert a garlic sliver in each slit.
  4. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat oil in a 4 quart Dutch oven over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meat on all sides about 8 minutes
  6. Transfer pork to a plate.
  7. Add onions to pot and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  9. Stir in spices and harissa.
  10. Continue cooking onions for another 1-2 minutes.
  11. Deglaze pan with Riesling, simmering until liquid has almost evaporated.
  12. Stir in cider, stock and water and return pork to pot.
  13. Add herb sprigs.
  14. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and braise pork in middle of oven until very tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  15. Transfer pork to a serving dish.
  16. Boil juice in Dutch oven until reduced by 1/2 into a glaze, about 20 minutes.
  17. Season to taste.
  18. Shred pork and mix with the sauce