As I write this, I'm waiting for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to emerge from self isolation to tell us what's next, what today brings for the COVID-19 pandemic. Our own office is practicing social distancing and working from home—and we all know the one things that is certain, is just how uncertain these times are.
So bring on the comfort food. As we all spend more time social distancing within our homes, the one thing we can control is how and what we eat. These recipes come from chefs across the West, and are all old family recipes that bring the kind of comfort we can all use right now: a warm hug from a loved one, in the form of a beautiful plate of food.
Chef Matt Batey, formerly of The Nash in Calgary and now with Vendome Cafe, shared his dad's favourite "breakfast for dinner" recipe. As his dad came home, his mom would be getting up for her shift as a nurse. Topped with a runny egg, it's "Proof that food really is the medium that joins us, be it friends or family or both," Batey told us.
Chef Jonathan Chovancek of Tableau Bar Bistro shares his grandmother's recipe. Anastasia immigrated to Canada with her husband, Anton, from the village of Tsekaniv in Western Ukraine. He's adapted it to include a spicy chorizo in the filling.
Chef Daniel Costa of Corso 32 and Bar Bricco shares his dad's recipe for the classic Italian dish, Spaghetti with Anchovy and Pangrattato. "This is one of the first dishes that my father taught me to make," he says. "I grew up on an acreage, and we had a lot of vegetables and work to do around the garden—I would pick the parsley, garlic and fresh pepperoncini for this dish and then I’d watch him prepare it. I remember eating this every summer with him as far back as I can remember—I would always get a cold glass of my father’s homemade white wine with a little 7Up in it. As I grew up, I started making this simple pasta as a late-night bite—and sometimes my father would smell the garlic frying and we would have a plate of pasta together at 2 a.m."