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,

Counter Culture

I remember my dad used to take me to a restaurant as a kid. It was unlike those you see today as you would sit at what was called a lunch counter, decorated with stainless steel backsplashes and vinyl covered stools that spun round and round. We would sit elbow to elbow with people we may or may not have known, but by the end of our meal we often came to know the stranger beside us as all walks of life would gather at the lunch counter.

My favourite memories of the lunch counter were spinning and twisting back and forth while I waited for my soda or malted shake. The soda tasted fresh and vibrant while the shakes had a velvety texture that I have not enjoyed since. Having the option to flavour your soda with a shot of syrup made for some serious flavour experiments which all ended the day I ordered a cherry soda and discovered what my life had been missing. It was sad day indeed when they tore out the lunch counter and replaced it with booth style seating because my cherry soda was tossed aside at the same time.

Thankfully the summer that the lunch counter disappeared a neighborhood gas bar started selling The Pop Shoppe line of gourmet sodas and I could sit curbside enjoying my Cherry Soda once again while listening to the “ding-ding” as cars pulled up for gas. Nothing like the sweet taste of nostalgia.

There are two basic categories that cherries fall into, sour or sweet. Sour cherries are typically cooked and served in pies, tarts or preserves while sweet cherries are consumed raw, juiced or dried. Ontario sweet cherry varieties include Hedelfingen , Vista, Viva, Vega, Vogue, Viscount, Van, Vandelay, Tehranivee and the Bing variety. Other than the Van cherry, all other cherry varieties that begin with the letter V or end with “vee” were developed for Ontario growing conditions at what is now the University of Guelph Research Station in Vineland, Ontario. The Rainier Cherry was developed at Washington State University and are named after Mount Rainier are often referred to as White Cherries as their flesh is creamy yellow which does not stain your fingers and the skin is yellowish-red blush once they’re ripe. Rainier cherries are a cross of the Bing and Van cultivars.

The Ontario cherry season begins in June when we see the arrival of sweet red and black cherries. In July we welcome in the Rainier cherry which will be followed by the smaller sour cherries.

Once picked cherries will not ripen any further, so choose cherries that are plump and firm with flexible green stems. Store them in the refrigerator uncovered in a shallow paper towel–lined container. Keep them dry and discard any crushed cherries as their juice can spoil the fruit around them.

The following recipe for Cherry Cola Cobbler can be made without the cola which can be replaced with milk or water.

 

Cherry Cola Cobbler

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. butter melted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup milk

¼ cup cola

3/4 cup white sugar

3 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

1 cup white sugar

 

Method:

Mix the 3/4 cup sugar, butter, flour, salt, baking powder, milk and cola together to form a dough. Place the cherries in the bottom of a 9 inch square pan. Evenly spread the dough over the cherries.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in boiling water and pour the mixture over the dough and place in a pre-heated oven and bake at 350° F for 45 minutes. Serve warm.

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