Cooking with Chef Andrea Nicholson


Chef Andrea Nicholson

Chef Andrea Nicholson (right) & Foodies Inked

As a birthday present to my sister, I decided to treat her to a cooking class with one of Canada’s most beloved Chef personalities, and celebrity Chef, Andrea Nicholson.
As a former Executive Chef and Director at Great Cooks, Chef Nicholson stands above many Toronto chefs thanks to her unique cooking technique, style and innovative approach to both cooking and seasoning. Chef Nicholson is the owner of the renowned Killer Condiments brand and a subject matter expert in teaching us Foodies, well…how to cook!
Having seen Andrea’s unique upbeat and tranquil personality in many Top Chef Canada season 1 episodes, I thought to myself what better way to celebrate my sister’s birthday than to have Chef Nicholson demonstrate us, through a hands-on class, the ways around the kitchen, knife and condiments!
Arriving at the Great Cooks location, we were promptly greeted by the host and welcomed to have some tea while the class started.
Chef Andrea Nicholson

Photo image courtesy of Great Cooks

The cooking area is not only welcoming, but well organized and with a great ambiance. On site, we were greeted by the Chef and walked through what the class would entail and how we would cook our way through Quail, Salad and Smoked Trout Pate. As I type, my mouth waters reminiscing such lovely meal.
Although I would not describe step by step how we made each meal, I will provide some of the highlights of each dish and welcome you to write me an email at, should you wish me to email you the recipes. 
The stuffed Quail was one of my favourite dishes to make and eat! We started off by seasoning the bird and learning a bit about its anatomy and preparation methods. 
Chef Andrea Nicholson

stuffing the Quails

With Chef Nicholson’s guidance, we made a pear stuffing which included, de-glazed pears with white wine, shallots and garlic; then mixed with grated parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and parsley. According to the Chef, all meats should be seasoned with Sea salt or Kosher salt and not table salt, which is refined and some say contains higher levels of sodium. A nice good-to-know for all us foodies. Accompanied with a Smoked Bacon and Maple Jus and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, the end result was a fantastic and tasty first course.


Chef Andrea Nicholson

Roasted Quail with Smoked Bacon and Maple Jus and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

The highlight on the Grilled Treviso Salad with Blue Cheese & Oyster Mushrooms was the fact that we learned how to make radicchio (aka Treviso) taste good.


Chef Andrea Nicholson

Grilled Treviso Salad with Blue Cheese & Oyster Mushrooms

Who knew grilling the radicchio was the key to it? The act of grilling the leaves before putting together all the ingredients in the salad, and also making our own dressing, made this salad our second most favourite dish and one easy and simple one to make at home. 
Last but not least, and my sister’s favourite from the class, the Smoked Trout Pate with Pickled Vegetables.
Chef Andrea Nicholson

Making Smoked Trout Pate

We had a ton of fun making this pate. Not only were we learning how to pickle vegetables but we were also allowed to try most ingredients as we cooked! 


The smoking of the trout was the highlight for me. It’s simple made easy at its best. If I owned a big house, I would smoke my way through many meals, guaranteed!
Chef Andrea Nicholson

Smoked Trout Pate with Pickled Vegetables

The end result was a lovely pate fueled with hints of cream cheese, dill, sour cream and horseradish. Dipping some nice slices of toasted baguette drizzled with garlic and oil made this Smoked Trout Pate a delicacy and a great foodie discovery. If smoking is a concern, I would recommend trying the same pate by grilling the trout instead to a medium-rare state. You may not get the same smokiness taste, but the mission would definitely be accomplished.
All in all, I would rate my experience with Chef Nicholson superb and excellent. Not only did we have fun making food with her, but we learned in less than 2 hours everything from stuffing, to how to cook Quail, pickle vegetables and even use salt! Thanks Chef for making this a fantastic day for my sister and for the pleasure of meeting you. 
Until next time Foodies!
Buen Provecho,
Foodies Inked.


The theme: Sister’s Birthday treat to Great Cooks
The highlight: Chef Andrea Nicholson
The goodies: Quail with Roasted Pear stuffing, Grilled Treviso Salad with Blue Cheese & Oyster Mushrooms and Smoked Trout Pate with Pickled Vegetables.


One Response to Cooking with Chef Andrea Nicholson

  1. hotel Treviso Italy December 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    For sure, you made a great gift to your sister!


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