In 1988, I embarked on a search of new horizons, open spaces and new flavours, and landed in New York. That is a journey I have never regretted -- a North American love story where I have cooked along
In 1988, I embarked on a search of new horizons, open spaces and new flavours, and landed in New York. That is a journey I have never regretted -- a North American love story where I have cooked alongside cooks from every walk of life, in cities as vibrant as my curiosity.
I discovered that food in North America was tasty, exciting, culturally rich, and that deserts were delicious. . . I learned how entrenched baking was here, how centuries of immigrants from Holland, Germany, Italy and other distant places made this a land where I would learn and discover.
Many years later, I still get excited, learning new techniques and recipes. My kitchen is the heartbeat of my house. Let the sweet smells of baking create long-lasting memories!
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has worked at Le Louis XV (Monaco), Patina Restaurant in Los Angeles, and in the kitchens of Four Seasons hotels throughout North America. Currently he splits his time between being Executive Chef at the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine Washington, and a judge on CBC's Great Canadian Baking Show. Bruno Feldeisen lives in British Columbia.
Visit Bruno's web site at www.brunofeldeisen.com.
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HOW DID I GET THERE?
My first vivid memory of tasting something sweet is deeply interwoven with a sense of excitement and escape. I was about four years old and my mother and I were flying one evening from Clermont-Ferrand—our small hometown—to Paris. Back in the '60s, the airport terminal wasn?t more than a wooden shack. We were flying on an Air Inter Nord 42 propeller plane. We walked across the tarmac with our suitcases to board the plane. I remember the strong smell of jet fuel and the flash of brilliant, clear blue lights of the runway. On board, the seats were plush, the kind you could sink into. Then the flight attendant appeared before me with a basket filled with sucettes—or in English, lollipops. She handed me the biggest lollipop I had ever seen—I mean a foot-long lollipop—a most delicious pretty thing that I devoured as we were departing. The whole plane shook with the roar of the engines and the force of speed as we gained altitude. It was my first memory of something sweet and exciting. From that I recall, almost as a sensation, a burst of freedom.
From this well entrenched sweet memory, I have developed two life passions: creating anything sweet, and a life-long love of planes. My dream as a child was to be a pilot. One passion became a successful career. The other one takes me to airport runways where I am still mesmerized by how gracious planes appear as they take off or land.
Never forgetting that planes are still vessels of dreams, in 1988, I embarked on a search of new horizons, open spaces and new flavours, and landed in New York. That is a journey I have never regretted—a North American love story where I have cooked alongside cooks from every walk of life in cities as vibrant as my curiosity. I discovered that food in North America was tasty, exciting, culturally rich and that the desserts were delicious. The first cookbook I bought after arriving was An American Baker by Chef Jim Dodge. I learned how entrenched baking was here, how centuries of immigrants from Holland, Germany, Italy and other distant places made this a land where I would learn and discover. I fell in love, and, 30 years later, I still get excited, learning new techniques and recipes.
Here are a few of my favourite recipes, from my heart to yours, to enjoy at home among family and friends. The kitchen is the heartbeat of the house; let the sweet smells of baking create long-lasting memories.
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"I stopped acquiring cookbooks some years ago when, like many of us, I became an empty-nester. Besides, I feel that many new cook-book writers have begun to take home cooks for granted by publishing esoteric recipes and complicated procedures.
"Until now. Chef Bruno Feldeisen gives home bakers a gift with his new book, Baking with Bruno, A French Baker's North American Love Story. You may know him as a judge on the CBC Great Canadian Baking Show. And he has partnered with a renowned Canadian hotelier, Henry M. Wu, whose hobby is food photography, though the quality of his art is much more than that of a hobbyist.
"A good cup of coffee in hand, I make myself comfortable and begin to read Baking with Bruno, cover to cover. It is Bruno's ode to his journey, where a French baker from a world of very defined culinary rules, explores a new land where the food possibilities, techniques and tastes are boundless. I met Bruno on his arrival in Toronto about thirty years ago, and right from the start the food writing community recognized that we had a creative genius in our midst. His Introduction gives us an insight that answers his question, "How Did I Get There?" If baking is your hobby, you can seriously consider the list of items in Chef Bruno's Pantry as your next shopping list (most items are standard) and his Tools of the Trade exist in all our kitchens. From The Fundamentals through baked delicacies from the world over that we will recognize as part of our Canadian culinary playbook, I spend a few hours reading, imagining, and saying to myself, "I can make that."
"With a new-found enthusiasm, I enter Amazon in my laptop search bar and click on baking utensils. These lovely recipes deserve some shiny new baking pans.
— Dine Magazine
"It's a nifty book, and the photos by Henry Wu do a very good job of illustrating the finished plate, right down to a stray crumb or two."
— Dean Tudor, online food and wine book reviewer
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A 2021 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Finalists