CBC K-W Sounds of the Season cookbook: Dishes on a budget from local chefs
Each year at CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's Sounds of the Season kickoff show, local chefs prepare dishes using items found in a food bank food hamper.
They often tell food columnist Andrew Coppolino personal stories about their relationship with food, and offer tips on how to transform very simple ingredients into something truly delicious.
The chefs also provide us with their recipes, and we've listed them below.
Panes con pavo by Denis Hernandez of Swine and Vine
For chef Denis Hernandez of Kitchener's Swine and Vine, this is a simple and delicious sandwich prepared for family gatherings and special moments.
The dish, though relatively simple, is a comfort-food favourite, Hernandez says.
"It goes across all provinces in El Salvador. In our family, this is something for Christmas, for birthdays, for any celebration. Once we know our aunt is making it, that's where we go," Hernandez said.
Roasted pepper and tomato soup by Aicha Smith of Esha's Eats Catering
Aicha Smith made this delicious, low-cost soup using easy-to-find ingredients.
Smith, who lives in Six Nations of the Grand River, says she started cooking to be with family in the kitchen and learn the latest gossip. Her dad is also a professional chef who let her watch him work when she was young.
"I've focused on Haudenosaunee-inspired menus with pre-contact ingredients. It's cooking with ingredients that we would have as Indigenous people," Smith said.
"I take those ingredients and develop recipes from there, thinking outside the normal construct of what those recipes would be."
Peas and rice by Kevin Thomas of Big Jerk BBQ
Kevin Thomas made this dish in 2018 and it is a dish he remembers his father making.
"It's an honour for me to continue his cooking. This is something that I've been doing since I was four-years-old, and it's nice to carry on dad's legacy now," he said.
"We say peas, but typically, we use beans. I'd have to ask my mom about this, but I think there was a shortage or gunga peas were too expensive, so they substituted red Mexican beans, and they just kept the name. You don't even use peas anymore."
Shepherd's pie by Jody O'Malley and Kirstie Herbstreit of The Culinary Studio
Jody O'Malley and Kirstie Herbstreit made this dish in 2017 and said it's a simple, but delicious and nutritious, meal.
"It's a classic dish, and you can put any sort of meat in it that you have on hand," O'Malley said. "We used ground beef, but it is traditionally made with lamb. You roast up the vegetables, and then anything topped with mash potatoes is going to be delicious."
Japanese breakfast salad by Jonathan Gushue of The Berlin
Chef Jonathan Gushue, who worked at The Berlin (now closed, replaced by the Rich Uncle Tavern), bought a few inexpensive ingredients to pair with items someone might receive from the food bank to create this dish to start your day in 2016.
Dirty rice by Aaron Clyne of B Hospitality
Dirty rice, explained chef Aaron Clyne in 2015, "is a Cajun and Creole dish made from white rice that gets a dirty colour from being cooked with small pieces of chicken or sausage, green bell pepper, celery, onion and Cajun spices."
The dish is made in under an hour with simple ingredients.