November 26, 2021

Five holiday-ready recipes from Mary Berg’s new cookbook, Well Seasoned

Home cook, TV sensation and bestselling author Mary Berg is known for her fun, millennial approach to fresh, seasonal cooking. “In my life, food has always satisfied something so much bigger than hunger, and I always try to capture that momentous effect in my kitchen and in my recipes,” she says.

Best known for winning season three of MasterChef Canada, her journey started with two degrees in liberal arts and a stint working in insurance. As it turned out, cooking was her destiny and the Canadian culinary scene is all the more delicious for it.

Aside from hosting her new show on CTV Life Channel, Mary Makes It Easy, the home cook recently released her second cookbook, Well Seasoned, a compilation of 100 seasonal recipes, as a follow-up to 2019’s Kitchen Party. “I feel so at ease when I sit in front of a meal that transports me back to childhood, or when I breathe in the warmth of a steaming bowl of hearty stew,” she says.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing, but Mary mixes traditional family recipes with new dishes. “Winter is the time to stay in and celebrate family and friends over a good home-cooked meal,” she says. “Bready biscuits and buns, succulent slow-cooked mains, holiday classics, potatoes galore and satisfying sweets are the name of the game when the chill of winter rolls around.”

For Mary, that can mean serving up an unconventional Banh Mi Beef Dip buffet or a weeknight supper of rich and satisfying Jalapeño Mac and Cheese. The velvety Burrata with Salty Things is a classic Mary appetizer — a self- described “salt-loving lady.” And she’s not afraid to buck a cooking taboo, spreading mayonnaise over her turkey instead of butter, or creating a delicious (and easy) cheesecake without the traditional graham cracker crust. And there’s one more thing that these simple, flavourful recipes have in common: according to Mary, they’ll make you look like an “absolute culinary wizard.”

Author: Recipes excerpted from Well Seasoned, by Mary Berg. ©2021 Mary Berg. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Lauren Vandenbrook


House & Home November 2021