Food Network star begins cookbook compilation in Saskatchewan

Watch above: A Food Network television host curls her way to a prairie meal on the way to launch a new series. Wendy Winiewski finds out about the Great Canadian Cookbook.

SASKATOON – Canadian cuisine is as much a smorgasbord as the people who make up our great nation. In search of recipes that satisfy people from coast to coast, Chopped Canada and Food Network Canada star Lynn Crawford is on a mission beginning in Saskatchewan.

“I’m on this incredible journey exploring what are the recipes that really define Canadian cuisine,” said Crawford at the Granite Curling Club in Saskatoon.

“It’s going to change throughout the many different provinces.”

With curling being the official sport of Saskatchewan, Food Network Canada thought it only appropriate to begin the provincial cuisine sampling at the curling rink with a classic potluck.

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Merle Kopach, who won the 2012 master women’s Canadian championship, brought her “A” game to the ice and the kitchen. Kopach along with several other members of the curling club, taught Crawford how to throw a rock before delving into a hearty meal of cabbage rolls, meatballs, Saskatoon berry pie, borscht and lentil salad.

“It doesn’t look very physical but it requires a good chunk of energy to throw those rocks and to sweep so by the time you finish a game, you’re pretty hungry and you’re pretty thirsty,” said club member Diane Cohoon.

Cohoon is the mastermind behind the lentil salad, locally sourced and dressed in mustard vinaigrette.

The culinary journey will air on Food Network Canada in spring as a four-part docu-series exploring Canadian dishes in the homes and communities of people across the country.

The series will launch in conjunction with an online recipe submission to be compiled into “The Great Canadian Cookbook.” Dishes from the potluck could grace the pages of the collection. All Canadians are encouraged to contribute.

Day one of the cross country tour began at Saskmade Market, followed by lessons from Baba at Baba’s Homestyle Perogies and concluded at Lucky Bastard Distillery.

The second day includes a visit to Pineview Farms, Floating Gardens and ends with fellow Food Network Canada star Dale McKay at his award-winning restaurant, Ayden Kitchen and Bar.

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The next stop on the cookbook journey is the Maritimes.

Crawford admits she may not have a natural knack for curling.

“Having reviewed my performance on the ice today, I have no talent in the wonderful world of curling,” she said.

But she certainly is a natural when it comes to cooking and according to this top chef, the provincial food in Saskatchewan is right on the button.