If you’ve had the pleasure of following along with acclaimed Edmonton chef Steve Brochu on social media over the past year, you’ve likely noticed a steady stream of picturesque, plant-forward dishes with the occasional sprinkling of the MilkCrate chef himself holding one partiuclar cookbook along with his wife, Lourdes.
Always on the hunt for their next creative culinary endeavour, after receiving a copy of Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer’s Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebrations for Christmas in 2019, the Brochu’s set out on a yearlong quest to cook their way through the entire cookbook.
“I have absolutely loved watching our recipes come to life in chef Brochew’s kitchen. Seeing him cook his way through our entire cookbook was so incredibly touching," says Wesszer. "Can’t wait to get [our next book] in his hands–I hope he loves it just as much!”
Fraiche Food, Full Hearts features a collection of over 100 plant-forward recipes that range from butternut squash carbonara and vegan perogies to tomato fennel panzanella salad, smoked salmon cakes, French toast, and more. Harris and Wesszer explain that their goal in creating the cookbook was to help inspire readers to take time from our increasingly busy lives to create something healthy, delicious, and simple that can be enjoyed with loved ones–a mantra that closely coincides with that of chef Brochu.
"This was the most fun I have had in a kitchen. I found a love of cooking thanks to my husband and this cookbook," says Lourdes Brochu. "I was able to introduce him to more vegetarian options and together we ate and danced our way to the last page."
“This was so great and I am sad that it's over now. The recipes were simple and approachable, it was really nice allowing myself to follow someone else’s directions, I only had to make slight adjustments to some recipes," adds Steve Brochu. "I learned a lot about vegetarian flavour and techniques to use in the home kitchen. This was so much fun to cook with Lourdes and watch her grow as a home cook.”