No More Secrets

Chef's new book creates flavour storm on West Coast

photo by david buston

When I traveled to B.C.’s Northwest Coast on my way to visit the Khutzeymateen a few years back, I happened upon the most amazing restaurant.

Perched on the misty Pacific shoreline and surrounded by giant cedars and soaring, screeching eagles – Prince Rupert’s Cow Bay Café was jammed with loyal locals.

After eating there myself, it was easy to see why this restaurant is such a hot spot. Chef Adrienne Johnston, born in India and a specialist in global cuisine, understands flavour.

I won’t ever forget the feast of tender salmon – fresh caught from the Skeena River and more flavourful than any fish I’ve ever tasted – that was set before my small party of four.

And so when I heard Chef Johnston just published her first cookbook (which is already selling like hotcakes), I confess my heart skipped a beat.

Tomato Lentil Soup. Duet of Fish in Papillote with oriental seasonings & ponzu sauce. Prawns in Chipotle Cream. These are just a few of the yummy recipes she offers up in No More Secrets (published by Muskeg Press.)

Her favourite of the bunch? Breakfast Delish – which I offer you here – because it reminds her of her Dad who inspired her love of food and good flavour.

It’s an easy one. And so tasty!

1 pound leanish bacon

4 tablespoons of water

1 big bunch green onions (cut into small pieces, green parts too)

2 big red tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded & diced

1 bunch cilantro (washed & finely chopped)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Cut bacon into thin cross-wise strips. Add bacon with water to skillet. When bacon has rendered its fat, pour off most of fat, then add jalapeno, tomatoes, and green onion. Cook until veggies are soft. Add salt and lashings of pepper. Add cilantro. Mix well.

According to Johnston “this makes the best topping for scrambled egg burritos, scrambled eggs on toast, huevos rancheros, or cheese toast.”

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  1. Leigh commented:

    It’s her killer raspberry pie with a cornmeal crust that I could eat every day for the rest of my life. Fortunately she was kind enough to give me the recipe. LOVE THAT RESTAURANT!!!!


  2. Linda Heinrich commented:

    From beginning to end Adrienne Johnston’s “No More Secrets” is a visual delight. It is beautifully presented with delicious recipes and wonderful photographic images of food, table settings, the “menu” blackboard and a view of Cow Bay beyond. The layout is fresh and spacious. There’s a lovely warmth to the book which is enhanced by the anecdotes Adrienne shares with us about herself, family and friends.

    My sister, Margaret, and I were born in “Rupert”. We celebrated our 65th birthday at the Cow Bay Cafe. We loved the ambiance and the food was delicious. The trip back “home’ was a gift from our children. How cool was that! And again, five years later I returned to Rupert and the Cafe to celebrate my 70th with my husband, children and grandchildren – another memorable evening.

    I wish Adrienne every success with her book. For those who love to cook, I heartily recommend it.



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