One of Prince Rupert’s most popular restaurants is publishing a cookbook of some its most-requested recipes.
Aptly titled No More Secrets, the book is a collection of 97 recipes from Cow Bay Café.
“This book has been in the works for 16 years,” says Adrienne Johnston, owner of Cow Bay Café. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to own a restaurant. And ever since I’ve owned a restaurant, I’ve wanted to write a cookbook.”
No More Secrets includes recipes for many of the lunch plates, dinner specials and desserts Cow Bay Café is famous for. It also features many photographs of the dishes, sometimes seconds after the food was cooked and just before it made its way to a customer’s table.
“I wanted to have lots of mouth-watering photographs, but I didn’t want them to look staged,” says Johnston. “I wanted them to look like what my customers see when they order something at the café.”
In a unique twist, the first recipes in the book are what people typically eat at the end of a meal: desserts. Johnston explains she had given a lot of thought on how to group the recipes – by season, by type of food – but in the end she decided to organize it by how she prepares meals at the café.
“I start each morning baking desserts for lunch and dinner, so it made sense to organize the cookbook in the same way,” says Johnston. “After all, life is short, so start with dessert!”
While most foodies will no doubt dive into the pages to find out how Johnston creates her delicious dishes, the cookbook goes beyond the typical format of listing ingredients beside a step-by-step method. No More Secrets also includes cooking tips from an experienced chef, as well as stories about Johnston’s life experiences, and how they shaped her recipes.
“The stories really show people how my love of cooking has developed over my life, and how they influenced my work in the kitchen,” says Johnston. “I hope people enjoy reading them, and I hope they make people think how their experiences can enhance their own dishes.”
No More Secrets also includes some hidden treasures buried in the nooks and crannies of the book. But Johnston is staying mum on that part of the book – after all, she says, she has to keep some things secret.
The book will be available in Prince Rupert on November 12 at Cow Bay Café. Johnston will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day to sign copies. If you would like to reserve a copy, please visit the book’s website, here.
~Written by Chris Armstrong