Chef Jamie Kennedy’s kitchen is an unadorned barn on his farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario. When I visited him, the only water source was outside and the oven was the heater. On one of his wooden counters, there was a bowl of sour cherries, raisins and currants that had been soaking in booze for three years. He was making Christmas cake. Not quite Sunday dinner, but in the same way that Sunday meals had their own tradition when he was growing up, these cakes bring back all kinds of memories for him. They’re the same cakes his mom used to make (the recipe came from a newspaper article exploring First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Christmas recipes), and, for Jamie, Christmas isn’t the same without them.
Jamie started his career in the restaurant business at the age of 20 as one of the head chefs at Scaramouche, a French restaurant in Toronto that revolutionized fine dining in Canada. He went on to open a number of his own restaurants, and became one of the most influential chefs in the country. He’s a longtime local food advocate and a member of the Order of Canada. He’s also known for his delicious french fries, and for his Summer Dinner Series- a weekly local food experience that takes place on Saturday nights from May until October on his farm. For more information about them, check out www.jamiekennedy.ca