Always bakes cakes for kids’ birthdays



rick mcginnis/metro toronto files


Jamie Kennedy, at Jamie Kennedy At The Gardiner.


Jamie Kennedy, owner/executive chef of two of Toronto’s top restaurants. Kennedy first came to the attention of Torontonians as the owner/chef of the French restaurant Scaramouche. Kennedy’s latest venture is a restaurant at the Gardiner Museum.

Q: What is your fondest memory from your family kitchen?

A: The moment I discovered I was interested in food beyond the normal stuff that my mom cooked. Also, the time when I realized eating mushrooms wasn’t going to kill me.

Q: What aromas bring back memories?

A: My mom baking fresh bread. The butter and the sugar cooking, there’s a special smell that comes off of that.

Q: Who is your favourite cook?

A: Michael Stadtlander. We go back a long way. We have a friendship. I have the most respect for him as a chef. He is brilliant!

Q: How did the first meal you prepared turn out?

A: I watched the famous Julia Child and then made an omelette for my mother. It was the start of cooking for others.

Q: What kitchen gadget can’t you live without?

A: A little nutmeg grater.

Q: What rituals involving food do you partake in?

A: I always make a birthday cake for my kids. It is my way of letting them know that they are special.

Q: What dish do you prepare that you take to friends or family gatherings?

A: People love my mash potatoes. I always prepare the dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

Cream Puff with Vanilla Mousse and Chocolate Sauce

(Yields aprox. 2 lb.)


  • 1 recipe choux pastry

  • 1-1/4 cups of skim milk

  • 2/3 cup of unsalted butter

  • 3 cups of sifted pastry flour

  • 2-1/2 tsp of salt

  • 2 tbsp of sugar

  • 1/4 cup light rum

  • 6 whole eggs


  1. Place milk and butter in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add flour and remove from heat.

  2. Add salt and sugar, blend with a wooden spoon. Return pan to heat until dough forms a mass that pulls away from bottom and sides of pan.

  3. Place dough in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on slow speed, adding egg yolks one at a time and waiting until each one is fully absorbed before adding the next.

  4. Beat in rum.

  5. Cover dough and store in frig until ready to use. (Will keep one week.)


  • 1 vanilla bean

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 6 tbsp of sugar

  • 2 gelatin leaves soaked in cold water

  • 1-1/2 cups 35 per cent whipping cream


  • 6 tbsp grated semi sweet chocolate (SOMA chocolate in Toronto)

  • 6 tsp homogenized milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place a large star tip in a large piping bag.

  2. Fill the bag with the choux pastry. Line a baking sheet with silicone paper. Pipe 18 rosettes measuring one inch wide by 1 inch high onto the baking sheet.

  3. Bake until golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven to cool. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the resinous gum.

  4. Mix the egg yolks in a stainless-steel bowl with the vanilla and add the sugar. Whisk continuously in the same bowl over a simmering pan of water until the sabayon has lightened in texture and colour.

  5. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin leaves and add the gelatin to the warm sabayon.

  6. Mix well to melt the gelatin. Whip the cream into stiff peaks and fold into the vanilla sabayon.

  7. Transfer the mousse to a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip. Poke a hole in the bottom of each cream puff. Using the piping bag, fill the cream puffs with vanilla mousse.

  8. Place the grated chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate has melted, add the milk and stir to a sauce consistency.


  • Place 3 filled cream puffs on each of the 6 plates. Drizzle chocolate liberally over the cream puffs. Serve at once.