Mary Berg--winner of MasterChef Canada and star of Mary's Kitchen Crush--shares her most delicious, stress-free recipes, grand enough for special celebrations and easy enough for a regular Tuesday night.
Everyone knows that a good party always ends up in the kitchen, whether you're grabbing a drink, tasting a dish, or just chatting with the host and other guests. That's because the kitchen is the heart of every home, big or small. But sometimes entertaining (even casually) can feel daunting or overwhelming, with all the planning, shopping, cooking, and clean up. Enter Mary Berg . . .
In her first book, TV star and home cook Mary Berg is here to banish any anxiety about preparing food for the people you love. All of Mary's recipes are meant to be laid down on a table that is groaning under the weight of delicious food and relaxed elbows. Kitchen Party is filled with Mary's family-style favorites for brunches, dinners, and special occasions--along with some of her famous baked goods and desserts, of course. You'll find over 100 simple, straightforward and mouthwateringly-good recipes for dishes like Blueberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake with Apple Cinnamon Syrup; Ricotta, Roasted Grapes and Hazelnut Tartines; Flank Steak with Horseradish Cream; and Slablova (aka Pavlova for a Crowd). And with Mary's tips and suggested menu pairings for multiple occasions, from Mother's Day Brunch to a Low-Key Bridal Shower, you'll never find yourself short of ideas.
Whether you're cooking for a big crowd of friends or hosting a romantic dinner for two, Mary is here to guide you using the warmth and cooking skills that have already made her a beloved voice of encouragement for all types of home cooks.
About the author
MARY BERG is the winner of MasterChef Canada season 3, and the star of Mary's Kitchen Crush, as well as a cooking expert on CTV's Your Morning, The Social, and The Marilyn Denis Show. After degrees in history, English, and information studies, Mary detoured into a career in insurance for 5 years, before being convinced by her family to audition for MasterChef Canada and ultimately stealing the show! She has since launched her cooking career full time, and never looked back. Mary lives and cooks in Toronto. Her first word was "cheese."
Excerpt: Kitchen Party: Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion: A Cookbook (by (author) Mary Berg)
From the Introduction
I love food. That’s probably the most basic and universally agreed-upon statement you’ve ever heard, right? But as clichéd as it might sound, it’s true! I love everything about food—from planning and shopping, to cooking and eating. I love how food has the ability to bring people together, to transport a person from the stresses of their day, and to convey so much love in just a few bites.
The classic kindergarten mantra of “sharing is caring” is something I continue to live by, especially when it comes to food. Cooking, baking, and eating are some of the most social acts that I take part in every day, and I suspect the same might be true for you. Everyone has had days where the only thing that has pulled them out of a slump was baking and eating a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies but, most of the time, we cook for others. My husband, Aaron, often quips that when I’m left to cook only for myself, I eat like a raccoon, grabbing handfuls of pretzels, raw carrot sticks, and spoonfuls of whatever leftovers are hanging around the fridge. For me, half the fun of food is in preparing it for others, so why would I bother whipping up an exciting meal if I’m left to eat it all on my lonesome? In my house, any excuse I can think of is reason enough to invite friends over to share in a meal, grand or humble. Whenever I have people over, the festivities always revolve around the kitchen. No matter the occasion, during at least one point, every single person in attendance will be packed into my tiny scullery, chitchatting away, tasting things here and there, and dipping into the fridge for another drink. This is what I call a kitchen party.
For many Canadians, the term “kitchen party” is evocative of the East Coast. Renowned for their hospitality, good home cooking, and great music, East Coasters are arguably the chief experts in bringing friends and family together for informal parties centered on the heart of the home. In my family, this tradition has evolved from our East Coast roots but really, gathering around the comfort of a hearth of any description is something everyone can relate to. Kitchen parties should be overflowing with great company and good food—food that people want to eat, that might remind them of an old favorite. It should be the type of food that invites you to get your hands dirty, help yourself to a few more forkfuls, and nosh away for hours, surrounded by friends and family.
Kitchen Party: Cooking for Those You Love is here to banish any inflated pomp, circumstance, and anxiety surrounding the idea of inviting people into your home. This is a cookbook to complement parties that last for hours, allowing you to really catch up in the complete comfort of your own home. It’s filled to the brim with family-style dishes for brunches, cocktails, dinners, and special occasions—along with some baked goods and desserts, of course. They’re clear, simple, and straightforward recipes that are grand enough for company, yet easy enough to accomplish on a regular Tuesday night. They’re meant to be plunked down on a table that is groaning under the weight of delicious food and relaxed elbows. Each and every morsel has been put through the rigorous Myra Berg litmus test, meaning that if my wonderful and kitchen-inept mother can make it, anyone can! So go ahead—fill this book with sticky notes, dog-ear the pages, mark it up with pens and some kitchen mess, and try halving your favorite recipes if you’re cooking for smaller numbers.
From my kitchen to yours, Kitchen Party is here to make you look like the culinary wizard I know you are and to help you experience the same joy that I do when I’m cooking for and sharing food with those I love.
Welcome to the party!
“A collection of inspiring, yet totally doable recipes for those of us who love to feed people. Like Mary herself, Kitchen Party aims to make both cook and guests comfortable in the kitchen, no matter how many people you’ll have around the table.”
—The Globe & Mail
“Mary has the kind of magnetic energy and warmth that brings people together, especially around the dining room table. Any home cook will be charmedby this playful and unpretentious collection of recipes. From whipping up the perfect hollandaise to decorating a classic four-layer birthday cake, Mary’s culinary wizardry will inspire you any day of the week!”
—Chef Michael Bonacini
“There’s nothing like a good kitchen party to make you feel excited and at ease at the same time as you eat, and Mary is the definition of charming party host in this delectable book. You will revel in her stories and photos, which bring you right into the kitchen with her, feeling like you’re part of the party and ready to jump in and cook.”
“When you love what you do and you respect the ingredients, food becomes magic. That’s exactly what Mary has done in her first cookbook and that’s alsowhy she holds the title of Canada’s MasterChef!”
—Chef Claudio Aprile
“Playful fuel for relaxed entertaining.”
“Seriously, there’s something for everyone and every occasion.” —The Loop
“Filled with delicious and stress-free recipes for brunch, dinner, and of course, dessert, this baby definitely deserves a spot on your cookbook shelf.” —Blair Stutz