At the Tavola with... Emily Richards, Chef & Cook Book Author
Emily Richards is a Chef, Cookbook Author, Professional Home Economist and has been an active member of the Canadian Living Test Kitchen.
Tell us about a favourite food memory.
One of my favourite food memory is making bread with my grandmother, when I was little we often made bread together. She would give me a little bit of dough to play with and then I would mimic her kneading and braiding. I felt like I could be here and admired what she was showing me. That memory played out years later when I was working along side her to recreate and get recipes from her. I would stop and measure as she made things and then recreate the bread for her to try. One day she said, I think you made it better than me. I quickly looked at her and said no, that my dearest Nonna could never happen. Love her and miss her so much!
What makes a great host/hostess when entertaining?
Being a great hostess means you need to be relaxed and chill! How does one do that? Well, planning ahead and making it easy for yourself first off. Pick recipes that can be made ahead and have a casual feel for what you are celebrating or getting together for. It is totally okay to pick up things to help you out too or better yet if anyone says can I bring something say YES! You invite people over to hang out with them and enjoy their company so by having things out and ready for people to enjoy or easy to refill or add to, you can relax as well.
What’s kitchen tool/appliance/gadget you couldn’t live without?
There are so many kitchen gadgets and tools I enjoy using but I love my knife, I know simple but it really does do everything for me in preparation and relaxation of getting things done. I love when it’s sharp and ready to work, it makes prep time a breeze. Carving or slicing and dicing becomes effortless and I can be creative with different slices or chops. I have had my chef’s knife for a long time and feel like it’s made my work in the kitchen easier. I always recommend taking the time to check out a knife and hold it, feel it for weight and if the handle feels right in your hand. It will give you a long life if you love it and take care of it, it’s a great partner in the kitchen!
If you could have dinner with any notable Canadian - who would it be, why and what would be on the menu?
Within my career I have enjoyed meeting and eating with many awesome people, mainly Canadians across our great Country. There are some people in the past that I would love to hang out with or have a meal with. There are also many now that I would love to sit across from a table and enjoy a meal with. I think almost too many to mention-I would ask them the same questions. What is your favourite food? Do you like to cook? Within a table setting there are no walls, everyone comes to the table to enjoy a meal and can feel relaxed and open to enjoy delicious food and company. It doesn’t matter from where you are or what you do, we all eat and that can bring us together to enjoy each other’s company. I think any Canadian would be grateful for that.
Are you working on anything we should keep an eye out for?
I am excited to be a new team member of the Best of Bridge Family and having just put out the first cookbook with co-author Sylvia Kong called Weekday Suppers we are already looking forward to our next cookbook! We want to continue the legacy of these amazing women who shared easy recipes with family and friends and the country for decades. Getting people in the kitchen cooking is so important to share food but also culture and life skills with new generations. There is always something to learn when you go into the kitchen. There are tips and tricks and helpful hints and the outcome is always something delicious that you get to share! I hope you stay tuned…