New College would like to thank Bonnie Stern (NEW ‘69) for hosting a fantastic event for the New College alumni community. On Tuesday, February 9th, College alumni participated in a virtual cooking event with the award-winning Canadian culinary personality, teacher and cookbook author. Over 100 guests joined to learn some new recipes, tips and to cook along with Bonnie.

The theme of the event was winter comfort food cooking, timely on a cold February evening. Bonnie put together a Middle Eastern inspired menu including a lentil soup with carrots and cumin, Moroccan fish tagine with harissa mayonnaise, confetti rice, and citrus fruit salad for dessert. The menu was inspired by Bonnie’s travels to Israel and the joy she finds in cooking for family and friends to provide comfort and care.

Event guests were invited to participate in a live cook along with Bonnie as she prepared the fish tagine from her own home kitchen. As Bonnie prepared the main dish, she shared tips, stories from her years of cooking and local shops and products in the city. Guests shared messages of things they learned, their own tips and how their dinners had turned out.

Principal Bonnie McElhinny, who hosted the event and fielded live questions during the cooking demonstration, shared the importance of food at New College. She highlighted work taking place in the College on food access and food sovereignty as well as how the Dining Hall has adapted and shifted throughout COVID.  She shared the comfort and care that accompanies sharing a meal together and her hopes that we will be together in person again soon. Alumni Ambassador Vidia Dhanraj also joined the event with greetings from the New College alumni community.

During this time from home, the virtual cooking event, as part of the New College Alumni Speaker Series, was an opportunity for members of the New College alumni community to connect and share in the joy of food. Guests signed in live not only locally, but from across Canada and different time zones. While it has been challenging to not meet in person, the adaptation of the Alumni Speaker Series into virtual formats has offered chances for alumni to participate and join from all over the world. The Alumni Speaker Series brings speakers and community members for across a range of disciplines to present to alumni and share their experiences.

Thank you again, Bonnie, for sharing your love and passion for food and providing comfort to our group through a warm and delicious meal.