Canadian food celebrities share their cottage pantry staples

Lynn Crawford

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

Yes, they are just like us! This time of year, even food celebrities have to restock their cottage pantries. Since we’re too Canadian to send paparazzi to get the scoop, we just asked nicely: “What do you keep in your cupboard?”

Jane Rodmell, co-owner, All the Best Fine Foods

“Lots of small jars: kale pesto, bruschetta topping, capers, and Parmesan cream. And Spanish canned tuna—it’s streets ahead of others. I mix and match them on crackers, toss them into pasta or a salad dressing. I keep smoked oysters on hand, always; my husband is very fond of them.”

Lynn Crawford, judge on Chopped Canada

“Smoked paprika. This ingredient is small but mighty! It’s great sprinkled on scrambled eggs or over hot, grilled, and buttered corn with a squeeze of lime. So good!”

Mark McEwan, Toronto chef and head judge on Top Chef Canada

“Top-quality anchovies for rich background flavour, ground sumac for dry rubs, and local, dried morel mushrooms to add that beautiful earthy base to a dish.”

Jo Lusted, chef and author of Dish Do-Over

“Liquid smoke. Because no one has eight hours on a Friday night to smoke something before the guests show up. Also, powdered milk for baking and instant espresso powder for marinades, baking, and super-easy iced cappuccinos.”

Dale MacKay, Saskatoon chef and past winner of Top Chef Canada

“Canned chickpeas. You never know what your guests’ dietary restrictions are. You can make hummus or salads or fry them up and serve as crispy snacks.”