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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,

A midsummer night’s Grunt

A summer drive out into the country can easily take one on an unintended culinary journey with many a butter tart, curd or poutine to be had along the way. If you venture into a small town festival you may find yourself in the middle of a culinary showdown that would make even the greatest contenders of Top Chef whatever-ica flee their kitchen and plunge the other fouled mouthed celebrity chefs into a deafening muteness while the boss of cakes hangs up the magical cape of fondant for there is no greater rivalry than those found at a community bake sale.

Mention comfort food and many people talk about a variety of savoury mealtime preparations but often overlook the comfort we can take in home-style cooked desserts, especially in the height of fruit harvesting season. To understand the language of comfort food and its homey heritage we must first travel back in time.

Somewhere around 8000 BC the peasants of Europe would often leave a cauldron over the fire to simmer away often days at a time. As the days passed ingredients would be added to the pot while meals would be ladled out of it.  This ever evolving pot of soup consisted of mostly vegetables and grains and became the dietary mainstay for nearly 10 000 years and inspired a nursery rhyme known as Pease Porridge.

Those of higher class also ate pottage but theirs was more refined and would consist of finer ingredients such as meat or fish. The nobel class always having to be better than others soon employed ways to better their pottage and began to eat their thicken soups by combing a suet laden pastry into the pottage and then steaming or boiling them like a dumpling or pudding. This gave way to creating more exact recipes and saw these typically savoury mealtime recipes shift into sweet preparations as well. These now mainstay recipes include that are still mainstays in our recipe boxes todays and include steak and kidney pudding, Christmas pudding and Clootie dumplings.

When early settlers arrived in Canada they had to adapt their traditional recipes to match their available provisions and cookware. No longer were they combining dough into their pottages and steaming them but instead began to cover them with biscuits, crackers, dumplings or their dough and cooking them on a stove top. This new way of cooking spread like a prairie wildfire through church bazaars and community gatherings and was christened Cobbler. Regional availability of ingredients and cultural backgrounds lead to a variety of cobbler style recipes coming along which include Pandowdy, Betty, Grunts and Slumps.

The Crumble arrived on the culinary scene shortly after the Cobbler as it was a simple adaptation of recipes that were reproduced using oats in the making of the streusel like top crust. The Crumble gave way to the Crisp which also has a streusel like crust but does not contain oats.

However you top it the filling of all of these antiquated North American if not Canadian born desserts have a few common ingredients; fresh fruit, butter, sugar and grains, all of which are produced right here.

Although it is accredited to the Southern US for adding a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream to their freshly cooked and served still hot desserts, we can take pride in knowing that our locally produced ice creams taste best when served with our home-style local cuisine.

The following recipe is an easy one to follow, get out and go for a drive, tour some out of the way communities. Visit their markets and bake sales. Pick up some fresh baked desserts and a tub of locally made ice-cream and take comfort in our local community’s bounty and homegrown talents.

Photo Credit http://alstedefarms.com/farm-store-chester-nj/home-baked-pies/

Photo Credit http://alstedefarms.com/farm-store-chester-nj/home-baked-pies/

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