Better Together

2016 Better Together: Hands-On Cook-Off!


Last year I had the honour of being selected as a judge for the the Better Together Hands-On Cook-Off! It was a great opportunity to be able to see all the videos that people submitted, showing their creativity  and passion for food! It's that time again to submit a video:

If you’re a BC resident, you can submit your 3-minute long (or less) home video cooking show between April 20 and noon of May 20. Grab a friend or relative and show us your stuff!

Videos must include two or more people preparing a recipe together… and having fun!


Don’t forget to socialize! Share your video on social media, tagging @bettertogether #HandsonCookoff.

  • Now in its 7th year, the Hands-on Cook-off family foodie video contest goes national this year! Manitoba has adopted the contest.
  • The goal for the contest is to raise awareness around the significant benefits of cooking and eating together, inspiring families to have fun in the kitchen across Canada.
  • This year’s panel of judges represents all of these groups, and includes: Claire Newell, Jennifer Pallian, Ethan Adeland, Alex Gill, and Denise Marchessault. Every judge brings their own unique flavour to the ever-growing contest


Vote for the video you think is the best in each category!

  • The video with the most votes in the Multigenerational category will win the People's Choice award in this category and $300 cash.
  • Videos submitted in the Youth category have a chance to win a prize for their team and a prize for their school or youth program. The video with the most votes in the Youth category will win the People's Choice award in the Youth category and $150 cash for their team plus $150 cash for their school or youth program of their choice.

Here was a great video example form last year:

Global TV with Chef David Hawskworth


This morning Chef Hawksworth & I were on Global TV to talk about the Better Together #HandsonCookOff contest! Here were are with Brody setting up!

Almost ready to get cooking!

BehindScenes_global_April_2015We made a delicious dish, which you should try and make with your family at home!


Here's the recipe:

Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs with Potato Gnocchi, Wild Mushrooms & Chimmichurri          




  • 8 Bone in Skin on Chicken Thighs
  • 200g of Mixed Mushrooms ( we used king Oyster and Morels)
  • 360g of Potato Gnocchi
  • 180g of Chimmichurri
  • 60g of Asparagus Ribbons( peeled using veg peeler)
  • 4 TBSP of Veg oil
  • 60g of Butter
  • 150ml Chicken Stock
  • 40g of Copped Parsley
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • Tt Salt and Pepper

Potato Gnocchi

  • 5 Med Sized Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • a/p Flour to feel
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • Tt Salt


  • 2 Bunches Parsley
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Shallot Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Thai Chili
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • Salt t.t.


  • Stab potatoes with a knife or fork, and bake on a resting rack at 35oF for 2.5-3 hours, until knife tender.
  • Remove from oven peel potatoes of their skin and rice through fine ricer attachment.
  • In a large mixing bowl, season riced potato, add egg yolk and lightly dust in flour while kneading gently. DO NOT LET POTATOES COOL BEFORE DOUGH IS FINISHED. The dough will take on enough flour to stop adhering to the sides of the bow, and be soft and dry to the touch.
  • Transfer dough onto a clean table, and roll into snakes. Cut gnocchi with a pastry scraper in uniform pillow shaped 1xm x 1cm cubes.
  • Transfer onto a floured, parchment lined full tram spaces apart from each other. Do not overcrowd tray. Freeze, overnight.
  • Blanch in boiling salted water, and remove once gnocchi float. Transfer to pan or that, well oiled with EVOO. Refrigerate. Reserve until needed.


Chimmichurri is a sauce that is great for grilled meats. It originates form Argentina.

  • Add 3/4 of the herbs and the rest of the measured ingredients and blitz until almost smooth in a blender. (If you watched us this morning on Global, you will remember that I did it with a Mortar & Pestle).
  • Add the remaining herbs and pulse to achieve texture through the mix.
  • Season with Sherry Vinegar and Salt.


  • Make Gnocchi and Chimmichurri up to one day in advance.
  • Allow chicken thigh to sit at room temperature for 1hr before cooking, set oven to 375F.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, and heat a pan with vegetable oil on med/high heat.
  • Add chicken, skin side down and render on medium high heat, once you start to see golden brown around edge of chicken, place in oven to carry through, approx 25 mins.
  • Once chicken goes into oven, heat another pan with half of the amount of butter on med high heat.
  • When butter starts to foam add mushrooms on the side and using same pan, place other half of butter and bring back up to medium high.
  • Once again when butter is foaming add gnocchi and fry until golden. Combine mushrooms back in with gnocchi in one pan and add chicken stock, simmer down until glazed.  Finish with parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  • Remove chicken from the oven once cooked through and serve family style.
  • Garnish with Asparagus Ribbons and serve Chimmichurri on the side.


Thanks to Leigh Kjekstad at Global TV for having us on this morning!