Food Network Canada’s Great Canadian Cookbook is a multi-platform project designed to celebrate and inspire with recipes reflecting this country’s diversity, and Noah Cappe knows exactly which family recipes he’d share with viewers.
“Growing up, my mom was famous for her chocolate chip mandel bread,” Cappe says during a break in filming Season 3 of Carnival Eats. “And for my dad, to this day I still think he makes the best French toast with McCutcheon’s maple syrup. Everybody has something in their family someone makes that transports you to growing up and those are it for me.”
Cappe and celebrity chef Lynn Crawford co-host Food’s ambitious Great Canadian Cookbook, part docu-series, part recipe source, part celebration of Canada. Launching Monday with four back-to-back episodes, the television segment of Cookbook finds the foodie duo hitting the East Coast, Ontario, Prairies and West Coast in search of tasty recipes, touching stories and interesting characters. You don’t get more interesting than Episode 1 in St. John’s, where Crawford experiences brunch at Mallard Cottage, a Jigg’s Dinner hosted by firemen and a music-infused house party fuelled by cod tongues and scrunchions. Cappe, meanwhile, visits Lunenburg and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, sampling lobster rolls, lobster-topped burgers and to-die-for homemade bacon.
“A show like this is as much about the people as it is about their recipes,” the Toronto-born actor says. “It’s really nice to see how each story is built through the landscape, the person, their story and then through the food.” He likens Cookbook to chef-author Anthony Bourdain’s CNN series Parts Unknown, that uses food as a stepping stone to learning about other cultures and peoples. Over 20 nationalities contribute to the four-part Cookbook.
The series serves as a path to FoodNetwork.ca, where recipes from the episodes are combined with extra video content of Crawford cooking with celebrities, making sausage in Saskatoon and foraging for mushrooms and Cappe icing cakes in Winnipeg and sampling Nanaimo bars in B.C.
Cappe spent two days in each locale, filming for the television show and website, eating, talking and gathering some of his favourite recipes to re-create at home, though he won’t be the one making them.
“I don’t cook, but I’ve given all of my favourite recipes to my dad, ” Cappe says. “He loves cooking and I love eating. It’s a win-win for me!”
All four episodes of Great Canadian Cookbook air Monday, Oct. 11, beginning at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT on Food Network Canada.