Welcome to the Gourmet Bon Vivant - where I help you make show-stopping meals at home.
I'm Cara Campbell, and I'm the recipe developer, food journalist and writer, photographer, and videographer around here.
My education is in journalism, but my passion has always been in food. I've been cooking for over 25 years and developing my own recipes for more than half that time. After earning my Bachelor of Arts and then Masters's degree in Journalism and being a professional writer and broadcaster for ten years, I decided to pour that skill and energy into what I really cared about: cooking, cocktails, and entertaining.
I began my career working for Canadian Brocast companies like CBC, CTV, and CityNews. There, I became an award-winning broadcaster and developed super-sharp writing, photography, and videography skills that I use every single day. These days, I'm writing about food for the Associated Press Newswire and working full-time on The Gourmet Bon Vivant.
Here, you'll find I pour every ounce of love and passion into the recipes I create. They have been tested over and over again, and not just by me, but by my discerning friends and family that I'm constantly entertaining for (trust me, they will give the hard feedback). You'll find recipes for incredible entrees, cozy comfort meals, delicious cocktails, how-tos for some trickier stuff you maybe haven't tried at home before, like lobster and oysters, and more than one guide on how to cook the perfect steak.
We all have our favorites, though - below are a few fan-tested and approved recipes that always hit the mark:
Still not sure where to start? Check out my recipe index, where everything's organized by meal type, season, and protein, and you can search for anything you're looking for!
At the Gourmet Bon Vivant, you can expect recipes that inspire and challenge you. It might be an ingredient you've never heard of, a new cooking technique, or even just something you've always been too intimidated to try - like shucking oysters. And then eating them (you will love them, I promise).
Like all Millennials, I enjoy Netflix with a good glass of wine or whiskey (and definitely a Manhattan). Sometimes, my extended family holds our own Iron Chef competitions on major holidays. Sometimes, people end up in the hospital. That is a story for another time. Otherwise, you can find me hiking, cooking, camping, hanging out with my dogs, Jasper and Rokeby, or creating new recipes (sometimes all at once!).
What is a Bon Vivant?
This lovely little phrase is obviously borrowed from French, and it means "a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes, especially with respect to food and drink."
I can tell you that no one, not one person, has ever described me as "cultivated" or "refined," so with respect to myself, I'm using those words loosely. However, I do love all food and drink, and I will absolutely eat anything and everything. Then I'll try to cook it at home. If I can invite a pile of friends and family to share in these things with me, so much the better. I'm so glad you're here to join this community.
You can also follow along on social media!