Feenie's: Lunch, Brunch, Dinner


146 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-55365-135-2
DDC 641.5'09711'33






Reviewed by Joan A. Lovisek

Joan Lovisek, Ph.D., is a consulting anthropologist and ethnohistorian
in British Columbia.


Fans of Rob Feenie’s television cooking show will enjoy this book,
which beautifully serves up a particular style of comfort classic food
that Feenie calls “fond food memories.” Feenie, the owner and
executive chef of several restaurants in Vancouver, achieved fame for
being the first Canadian to win an Iron Chef competition. His winning
dishes included the rather-strange-sounding dessert made with Dungeness
crabs called Crab Panna Cotta with Creamy Lemon Sorbet.

Feenie’s forte is turning classic dishes into upscale casual or
urbane casual dishes. Classic Eggs Benedict becomes Lobster Eggs
Benedict, Souffléd Apple Pancakes becomes a new version of
old-fashioned Dutch Pancakes, old-fashioned granola is updated with
organic lavender honey, and ravioli isn’t ravioli until Feenie
drizzles Peking Duck broth over it. Since Feenie is enamoured with blue
cheese, it appears in his coleslaw and replaces the kidney in Steak and
Kidney Pie. Not averse to naming recipes after himself, he offers a
Fennie Burger (a jumped-up hamburger with Indonesian garlic sauce) and a
Feneie Weenie (a smoked sausage in sauerkraut on a bun; the sauerkraut
has been infused with a special spice sachet that includes star anise).
The book includes a short but useful section on kitchen basics (such as
how to make mayonnaise, various stocks, crиme fraоche, and pasta
dough) and preparation instructions—some of which seem a bit overdone
(like his use of a strainer for pancake or French toast batter, or his
reserving a pan exclusively for the making of omelettes and never
washing the pan) but will probably appeal to fans.

Usually there is only one recipe per page, but a few of the more
complicated dishes (like the rather-pretentious-sounding Honey Glazed
Duck with Orange Gnocchi Leek Fennel Fondant and Orange Rosemary Jus)
require additional space for the instructions. Feenie may call his
recipes “fond food memories,” but for his loyal following—among
whom classic cooking is either nostalgia or actually a new style of
cooking—it seems as though he is only putting new labels on old


Feenie, Rob., “Feenie's: Lunch, Brunch, Dinner,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16160.