Some people just don't need an introduction, but we're going to give Anna Olson one anyway. You may recognize her smiling face as the host of Bake with Anna Olson, Sugar and Fresh with Anna Olson on Food Network Canada. Aside from being a Canadian culinary personality, her shows have aired in 40 different countries, making her a bonafide superstar abroad, especially in Indonesia. How cool is that?
Between filming and travelling around the world, she's managed to author seven bestselling cookbooks including her most recent, Back to Baking. Two of these books were written with her husband Michael (a notable chef and culinary instructor) and together they have recently launched the Olson Recipe Generator app for iPad and mobile platforms that's taken off like wildfire, or perhaps more thematically, hot cakes.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Anna grew up in Toronto, but found her way back to the U.S. to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University and worked in Colorado and New Orleans. Originally trained in the world of savoury cooking, Anna is equally, if not more, recognized for her abilities in the pastry kitchen. Being a proponet of cooking with locally-sourced ingredients. she is proud to call Niagara home, and has lived and cooked here for 15 years.
Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, techniques and process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, she believes that cooking and baking should be fun.
"You might have expected me to select fine winery restaurants, or splashy bistros that overlook the Falls, living in Niagara," says Olson. "But when two chefs in one household want to go out, we tend to favour very casual and family-run places."
Green Acres Restaurant, Fort Erie: It's an old-style restaurant with fantastically kitschy décor and unassuming façade, but don’t be fooled — the slow-roasted beef sandwich is the best in the peninsula!
CC’s Dugout, Welland: Since we cook in fine-dining style at home, you may have picked up on the fact that we like to go very casual when we go out. This family-owned sports place is fun when you want to catch a game on the big screen. And, their wings are stupendous.