Like a true Canadian this book is friendly and passionate, diverse and humble with every page, every story and every recipe in our Feast Cookbook review.
Lindsay Anderson and Dana Vanveller's road trip across Canada is a diverse snapshot of the the true north's cuisine published by Appetite by Random House. Like a true Canadian this book is friendly and passionate, patriotic, diverse and humble with every page, every story and every recipe. If we had to describe Feast in one word it would be goals.
Lindsay and Dana have done what every Canadian dreams of doing, exploring our country from coast to coast to coast, eating their way up and down the landscape and wandering all Canada has to offer. And we are honoured to shelve this book in our home and share our own journey through our Feast cookbook review.
Let's start with the cover. We love that they chose to encompass their book with Canadian art, honouring the landscape of our beautiful and diverse country. The dishes range from easy bannock to the luxuries of lobster and oysters to Canadian classics and back to the wild nature of boars, bison and elk. Their road trip is true to their travels and the recipes are not only theirs but includes special touches of restaurants and likeminded Canadians they met on their travels. And while we haven't yet cooked our way through this entire book, we're thrilled to share our own adventures of the Feast road trip and present you a few of our favourite recipes.
Raspberry Point Oysters | Feast Cookbook Review
What was it like cooking the recipe? The mignonettes were the most difficult part of this recipe and it took less than one minute to make (imagine the torture). Once the oysters were shucked, it was as easy as pouring a spoonful on each and serving over ice. If you're looking to impress guests or have a decadent meal within 5 minutes, these oysters are definitely worth trying.
What did the dish taste like? With one swift head tilt back and a slurp, these beauties are delicate and powerful all at the same time. The mignonette is flavourful and distinct, never overpowering the oysters, but electrifying them. The taste is very similar to an oyster ceviche that is a perfect amuse bouche or perfect as a satisfying summer dish.
Did the finished dish look like the pictures? Oysters in general are beautiful to style and photograph. Their shells are distinguished and tell the life stories of their time in the ocean. The red wine and raspberry mignonette's added a beautiful pop of colour you don't always see with oysters making our rendition just as beautiful as Lindsay and Dana's.
Would we make it again? We don't eat seafood very often as Phil has a few allergies and can't stomach much. These he could stomach and are now on our list of seafood must have's. They were unlike any oyster we've ever had before, and while we can appreciate a light squeeze of lemon on a fresh oyster, these were mesmerizing and memorable and will definitely be made again.
Dark Chocolate Dipped East Coast Oatcakes | Feast Cookbook Review
What was it like cooking the recipe? The same labour as any delicious cookie, these oatcakes were no different. More of a dough verses a battered cookie, these are great treats to make with children and best of all make shapes out of them. Aside from eating them, our favourite part was dipping the cookies in melted chocolate and waiting for them to cool (before we ate them, of course).
What did the dish taste like? I have a real good friend from the East Coast and on occasion she would always say she could go for an oatcake and a cup of tea. Nostalgic and comforting it now makes sense why she yearned for them. These oatcakes were just as Lindsay and Dana described, the perfect middle between sweet and savoury from Honeybeans' in New Brunswick. And when dipped in chocolate, oh my.
Did the finished dish look like the pictures? Another dish best served rustic, these oatcakes looked exactly like Lindsay and Dana's and the addition of dipped chocolate elevates them resembling an expensive cookie made by the best bakers. Don't forget to sprinkle sea salt atop the chocolate for heightened flavour and a prettier cookie.
Would we make it again? Definitely. It's the perfect road trip snack either in a sweet or savoury form. Plus, we love giving food as gifts. Tie a bow around these cookies or serve in a rustic tin as the ultimate goodie or hostess gift.
Prairie Cherry Galette | Feast Cookbook Review
What was it like cooking the recipe? Much like baking a pie, this is an easy recipe but does take some time from making the crust to letting it sit in the refrigerator to making the filling and baking. A true labour of love, this is a dish that is worth every moment of kitchen time.
What did the dish taste like? Is it too cliche to say heaven? This is the best galette both Phil and I have ever tasted. The addition of almond flour in the crust enhances the flakiness in every bite while remaining sturdy enough to pick up and eat. The cherry filling was the pie filling of our dreams. We used frozen cherries but they remained plump, juicy and flavourful without being soft. And together, each bite is pure perfection. After we made it we had a taste test before dinner, returned to it for dessert and finished the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.
Did the finished dish look like the pictures? We opted for a smaller sized galette perfect as an individual brunch item or a dessert for two. Our finished dish was just as rustic and homey as the Flour Shoppe's. We chose not to top it with whipped cream or ice-cream and instead went more simple with a few sprigs of thyme. This dish is elegant and nostalgic and takes pride in its rustic nature and is best served just that.
Would we make it again? We've made plenty of galettes in our time and this recipe has made it's way not just into our tummies but into our recipe repertoire (thanks Kimberly). While we added an addition of brown sugar parts to white, the crust is no brainer foundational recipe and is must for any pie dish or galette.
Bannock | Feast Cookbook Review
What was it like cooking the recipe? Greg's Bella Coola Bannock, like making a pancake the recipe was easy to follow and even easier to cook. Made in less than 20 minutes, we substituted whole milk for sheep's milk which didn't alter the taste (as far as we know). Assembled dough and fried, these bannock get their height and rise from baking powder not yeast making them an awesome addition to any morning spread or evening biscuit.
What did the dish taste like? We've never had bannock before but we're completely in awe of the final dish. Resembling a delicious biscuit, bannock is light, moist and flaky with a crispy outside. The addition of sugar added a subtle sweetness to this bread and when served with maple syrup and sea salt it's Canadian cuisine at its finest.
Did the finished dish look like the pictures? Our bannock came out a bit flatter than the photos in the book but we're positive the shape did not comprise the taste. We opted for a traditional breakfast, topping our bannock with avocado and a boiled egg to finish with chives.
Would we make it again? This recipe has become our new biscuit recipe. Flaky and soft, rich and butter, this is what biscuit dreams are made of. This recipe has also given us a wider appreciation for Canadian history and foods that early Canadians lived off of, recipes that were passed down and new traditions that were built. Bannock is dish we would add to chilli, camping in Algonquin, morning egg and bacon sandwiches and like we've done the modern avocado toast.
This is no ordinary cookbook but a travel diary with recipes from every adventure and an honour to the Canadian food landscape. What Lindsay and Dana have done is here the dream of any Canadian including ourselves, and seeing every inch and eating every inch of what Canada has to offer. Their collection of stories is just as entertaining as eating the recipes from their book and like Carey Polis mentioned... inspiring recipes are the crux of this cookbook, but the personal narratives are what make you want to read it cover to cover.
We're looking forward to meeting Lindsay and Dana one of these days and congratulating them not only on capturing these delicious recipes but meeting two individuals who have accomplished such an amazing story of travelling across Canada, eating their way up and down, left and right of our beautiful country... coast to coast to coast. A must for any Canadian bookshelf or kitchen.
Chef Sous Chef