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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,

Sunflower, you are my sunshine

The sunflower was first cultivated throughout the region of what is now known as Arizona and New Mexico some 3000 years ago and as such has caused much debate amongst archaeologists as to whether sunflowers were domesticated before corn.

Spanish explorers introduced the sunflower to Europe in the early 1500’s where it quickly became widespread and was celebrated as an exotic ornamental flower. By the 18th century the sunflower’s beauty was only surpassed by its newly discovered high concentration of oil that could be extracted for medicinal and culinary uses. This quickly changed the cultivation of sunflowers as its oil became a prized ingredient and was approved by various religious groups. This made the sunflower a highly marketable commodity and lead to Russia becoming the largest producer of sunflower seeds and oil in the world.


Harvesting sunflowers with kids is fun and easyHarvesting sunflowers with kids is fun and easy

The sunflower industry came to North America in the early 1900’s with the esteemed variety of sunflower known as the Mammoth Russian. Canada started the first official government sponsored sunflower breeding program in the world and licensed the Russian cultivar called Peredovik as this particular variety produced high yields of seed with one of the highest oil contents. This seed variety went through further hybridization to increase its yields as well as make it disease resistant.

Today the largest Canadian producer of sunflower seed snacks is Spitz available across the country in almost every corner store. Most of the Canadian harvest of sunflower seeds comes from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Late September and early October is when most sunflowers growing in our backyards are ready to harvest and roast the seeds for ourselves. Be sure that your flowers have matured with their sad hanging heads having turned brown and their petals have begun to fall; the seeds should be plump and striped black and white. Cut the stalk to create a handle to hold onto the flowers and vigorously rub the seeds out of the head with your free hand. Be cautious you’re your fingers do not get pinched by the tiny barbs found between the seeds and the flower head.

Once you have collected the seeds you can choose to remove the hulls and store the raw uncooked seeds for up to six months in your freezer or you can try the following recipe for your own sunflower snack.


Home roasted sunflower seeds

3-4 cups unshelled, raw sunflower seeds.

2 litres water

1/3 cup sea salt

In a large sauce pot combine the seeds, water and salt together and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the seeds simmer in the salt water for 2 hours. Drain the seeds and let them dry out on a paper towel lined surface.

Once dry, spread the seeds evenly over a baking sheet and roast the seeds at 300°f for about 30, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and allow the seeds to cool before shelling and eating. You can use this recipe for raw hulled sunflower seeds as well, except that after removing the seeds from the oven I would stir in a teaspoon of and further sprinkle some salt on them before eating.

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