Hey! I'm Cara
Lover of good food, good wine, good cocktails, and self-proclaimed bon vivant (more on that later). I also love sharing my kitchen creations with anyone who will eat them (whether they want to or not). This has led to many, many years of experimenting as a home chef, with food, ingredients, cooking techniques, and cocktails. I love nothing more than trying out something new, or experimenting in the kitchen. If you landed here, then you must be the same way (yay! best friends!).
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 (sous vide? what?) or even just something you've always been too intimidated to try - like shucking oysters. And then eating them (you will love it, I promise).
I'm a trained journalist and broadcaster who grew up on a farm in rural Ontario. Recently, my husband and I made the huge decision to move back to Western Canada, where he grew up. On top of that, we'll be travelling extensively, for business and pleasure. (COVID-19 update: No we won't, lolz).
Like all Millennials, I enjoy Netflix with a good glass of wine, or whiskey (and definitely a Manhattan). Sometimes my extended family (who all love cooking as much as I do) hold our own Iron Chef competitions at major holidays. Sometimes people end up in the hospital. 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 describe me as "cultivated" or "refined", so in respect to myself I'm using those words loosely. However, I do love all food and drink, and if I can spring for the dry-aged steak, the better bottle of wine, the $15 block of cheese, Ima do it. If I can invite a pile of friends and family to share in these things with me, so much the better.
Are You a Bon Vivant?
The fact that you're even still reading this tells me, that yes, indeed you are a bon vivant. Just in case you're still questioning, here's a (non-exhaustive) list that may help you determine whether or not this label applies to you.
You might be a bon vivant if:
- You've ever been to a farmer's market.
- You enthusiastically accost the waiters at every establishment you visit to find about more about the dishes they make, what wine pairing would go well with it, what farm the protein came from, and to ask about a personal tour of their rooftop garden.
- You unashamedly love freshly squeezed orange juice, preferably as part of a breakfast in bed situation.
- You've seriously considered travelling with your potato ricer (true story).
- Truffles are life.
- The prospect of trying something new, or a new flavour combination, is literally the most exciting thing in your life.
- You LOVE (love) entertaining. For anyone. At anytime. Especially fellow foodies and bon vivants.
- Nothing makes you happier then spending at least 10 minutes, crafting a cocktail that may involve egg whites, candied bacon, and a variety of terms you've never heard of before (dry shake? reverse shake?) and then seeing the receiver thoroughly enjoy and then ask for seconds.
Again, not an exhaustive list, but that should get you started. And even if you don't identify as a bon vivant, no problem. If you have even a little curiosity about food, and taking it up a notch, you're in the right place. So pull up a cocktail, and let's get to know each other over a plate of oysters and $15 cheese.