Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

What was old is new again

 With all of the global insecurities plaguing our society I think we need to take inventory of what’s truly important to our homes and families.  Long before we had investments, stock exchanges and retirement savings, planning for the future meant having the larder, pantry and root cellar stocked up  for the long Canadian winter ahead.

 Historically when times were lean home cooks usually women learned to make do or do without.  It is through this ingenuity of necessity, fuelled by hungry families that have resulted in a historically identifiable culinary regionalism or Canadian cuisine.

 The fool, slump, Betty, grunt, buckle and pandowdy are examples of the creative process of substitution. These desserts came into existence when everyone had to prepare and eat locally grown, seasonally available foods out of necessity. Such culturally rooted recipes have all but disappeared from the modern day cookbook in pursuit of the next great meal created by the next great chef, leaving some of our diverse national heritage in the dust.

 Preserving our foods for future use required a few simple processes like canning, smoking and pickling. The ingredients used in this process were found in nature like salt, sugar and vinegar. When rations were low these ingredients were adapted out of inevitability and gave way to new creations.

 Vinegar pie is the perfect example of this as it was created to satisfy ones cravings for something sweet and tangy during the winter months when fruits were scarce.  Its inception came about as a modified version of lemon meringue pie which at the time was a culinary luxury.

Creations like Vinegar Pie are often considered to be country or rustic preparations, which may hold true but this modest pie led the way for the Raisin Pie and the butter tart.  The following recipe is for vinegar pie with all of its required ingredients available from local sources. Give it a try for there is no pie like humble pie.

 

Vinegar Pie

Ingredients:

One 9-inch pie shell
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup milk
3 eggs yolks, well beaten
1 tbsp. butter

Preheat your oven to 425f degrees. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the rolled-out dough, then trim and flute the edges or substitute a frozen pie shell.

Sift the sugar and flour together into a non-reactive, heavy bottomed saucepan.  Whisk in the cider vinegar and then the milk.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Continue stirring while it boils for about a minute. Remove the pot from the stove.

 Temper the egg yolks by stirring about ¼ cup of the hot mixture into them. Then in turn, stir the warmed eggs back into the remaining hot mixture and finish by stirring in the butter.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and bake for 10 minutes at 425f degrees, then reduce heat to 350f degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes more. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely on a rack before serving.  Be aware that the pie filling will be quite fluid when it comes out of the oven, but it will firm up once it cools down.

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