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69BY JOHN HORNE, EXECUTIVE CHEF, CANOEor me, Canadian cooking is simply the cuisine of home.I spent a fair amount of time in the U.K. and other partsof Europe cooking traditional French food, and this helpedme understand more clearly what Canadian cooking meansto me. I also think that where you call home in Canada can makea big difference to your interpretation of Canadian food. Growingup in Port McNicoll, Ontario, and spending my summers in ParrySound, this meant local fare, fresh-from-scratch. Much of what weate came straight from the garden, forest or lake --and the verylast bit and bob was always put to good use. My community was surrounded by farmland, and in fact both ofmy parents were raised on farms. As a child, we always had avegetable garden, where one of my chores was to keep it weed-free. As much as I dreaded that job, looking back now I can seethat this really inspired me. I learned very early on to respect howdifficult it is to create those amazing garden-fresh ingredients. Iwas involved in the tilling, sowing and watering, and I enjoyedthose first incredible tastes straight out of the ground. I can also thank my mother and grandmother for teaching me thiskind of respect. Hardly a day would go by when I didn't wake upto the warm, yeasty scent of dough rising at either of their homes.There would always be fresh bread and buttermilk biscuits, andthat meant making the most of the incredible homemade jam thatwe had picked and preserved sometime before. I have a very clearmemory of a day when I picked blackberries in Parry Sound acrossthe road from my grandparent's house, as I watched theSnowbirds practice above me for hours. Good food was a top priority using the ingredients thatsurrounded us. I would go fishing all day to try to catch a pickerelfor my grandmother or mother to cook for breakfast the nextmorning. They would take the leftover boiled or baked potatoesfrom the farm and pan fry them in bacon fat with onions andpieces of leftover bread. The result was cast iron fried fish thatsat on top of the best hash browns I have ever tasted. With thesewonderful ladies, every last bit found its way into a dish, and theresults were delicious. Canadian cuisine evolved naturally from the ingredients thatsurrounded our homes. For me, this meant garden vegetables,wild game (moose, deer, duck, partridge, and rabbit), line-caughtfish, wild berries and forest mushrooms... and of course mother'sbuttermilk biscuits. At Canoe, I would say that our menu draws onfamily ingredients from all across Canada, like halibut and spotprawns from B.C., oysters and lobster from the East Coast, lentilsand oats and wheat berries from the Prairies, and those incrediblecheeses from Quebec --all regional gems that form the roots andfoundation of great Canadian cooking. What is Canadian cuisine? When food isdescribed as being French or Italian orJapanese, it conjures up a very distinctivetype of menu, but with Canadian fare,there seems to be a bit of a grey area.FCanadian Cuisine Defined

70My mom always made johnny cake for usin spring when the sap was running. It'sstill one of my favorite desserts after adinner of fresh wild ingredients likefiddleheads and morels. Actually it'sgreat anytime as long as you have a little maple syrup lying around. Serve itwith wild blueberry compote and baconice cream for a real taste of Canada.Ingredients for Johnny Cake1 cuppastry flour4 tspsbaking powder ½ tspsalt1/3 cupbrown sugar1 cupcorn meal3 eggs lightly beaten½ tspvanilla 10 tbspsmelted butter7/8 cupmilkMethod:In a Kitchen Aid or a stainless steel bowl with a handblender, mix all dry ingredients together. Drizzle the meltedbutter until incorporated. Add milk, vanilla and eggs and mixwell. Pour the mixture into a 8" x 8" pan that has been greased.Cook in a 400° F oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes untilgolden on top. Allow to cool slightly.Ingredients for Maple Candied BaconIce Cream5 strips thick-cut bacon light brown sugarvanilla ice creamMethod:Preheat oven to 400° F. Pat the strips of bacon in thebrown sugar. Line them up on a wire baking rack and place ona baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, checking frequently,until the bacon is a dark reddish brown color. Remove andtransfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain and cool. Crumblecandied bacon into a premium vanilla ice cream such as Soma. Ingredients for Wild BlueberryCompote1/2 cup water 1/2 cupsugar 2 strips fresh lemon zest (3" x ½") 2 cups blueberries (10 oz) 1½ tbspsfresh lemon juiceMethod:Boil water, sugar and zest in a 1-quart heavy saucepan,uncovered, for 5 minutes. Discard zest. Stir in blueberries andsimmer, stirring occasionally, until blueberries begin to burst,3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heatand stir in lemon juice. Serve warm orat room temperature. johnny cakewith wildblueberry compote andeasy maple candiedbacon ice creamFROM JOHN'S KITCHENJohn Horne, Chef de Cuisine, CanoeJohn has been Chef de Cuisine of Canoe since2010. For seven years, John was Senior SousChef at Auberge du Pommier, one of Toronto'smost celebrated French restaurants. He spentthree years cooking in Provence and London,after graduating from the Niagara CollegeCulinary Management program.www.oliverbonacini.com