I’m a huge food TV fan, especially during the Christmas season. I’ve enjoyed holiday specials starring Michael Smith and Michael Stadtlander and Jamie Oliver churned out a series of them recently. There’s something comforting, for me at least, watching chefs at home making recipes that have become traditions for their families and giving me some ideas too. (I credit Oliver for two standards at my house on Christmas Day: roasted vegetables and a killer gravy.)
Now MasterChef Canada‘s Michael Bonacini has jumped into the mix with his own Gusto special Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm, airing Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on the specialty channel. The hour-long celebration ticks all the boxes for me: snow, a fireplace, decorations and amazing recipes. Add to that an amiable, charismatic host in Bonacini and Christmas at the Farm is a truly enjoyable project.
Filmed on his sprawling property outside of Toronto, Bonacini’s traditional plates includes food celebrating his Italian last name and his mother’s Welsh background. Potato and leek soup garnished with smoked salmon is the first to be made, a scrumptious-looking bowl of warmth that is super-easy to create in your own home. Soup is followed by cheddar and bacon scones, gnocchi, roasted leg of lamb, maple roasted root vegetables, slow-roasted breast of veal and molten chocolate lava cake. (Though Bonacini doesn’t give any measurements or directions in the episode, viewers can get the recipes via the Gusto website after broadcast.)
But what sells Christmas at the Farm and sets it apart from other cooking specials is Bonacini. MasterChef Canada viewers get just a taste of his cooking knowledge and personality on CTV’s popular cooking competition. Here Bonacini is allowed to relax, show off his knife skills, discuss how he came to be a chef in the first place and how growing up on a Welsh farm impacted on his life.
Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm airs Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on Gusto.
Image courtesy of Bell Media.