What do you get when you mix a very passionate Italian/French/Canadian raised in a typical Italian kitchen? You get the most awesome Stefano Faita! If you haven’t heard of him you will soon enough. The darling of Quebec’s food show scene, Stefano is gaining popularity in the rest of Canada through his show on CBC. We thank la belle provence for sharing! He’s too good to be kept a secret! Faita’s personality is too awesome to hold back. (how many times will I say ‘awesome’ in this write up?)
Born and raised in an Italian family Stefano brings the best of traditional Italian cooking. His mother, Elena, is a well-known food personality in Quebec and the family operates the Mezza Luna Cooking School beside the family store.
Urbanmoms was invited to spend some time IN THE KITCHEN with Stefano at the recent CBC Holiday Set Crawl.
UrbanMoms: Are you on social media?
STEFANO: I do have a blog but I must admit that I’m not very good at Twitter. I am busy with the shows in Montreal and Toronto I have a young daughter so if have the time I prefer to spend quality time with her and my girlfriend (sorry ladies!). I also have the family shop, Dante’s, in Montreal, so life is full. I started a Twitter account a few years ago but had a hard time keeping it up but someone told me I have a lot of followers. I haven’t done anything there. Someday, someone will have to help me manage that but for now..people can follow the show at @CBCinthekitchen
UrbanMoms: Does you daughter like being in the kitchen?
STEFANO: Oh, she just LOVES helping me with everything in the kichen! I even take her to the market and she knows all the vendors and will pick out the freshest ingredients. It’s great to see her enjoy it as much as I do. She will touch and smell the ingredients. I think it’s so important to let your child into your kitchen. Being raised in an Italian family we always did our part in preparing our meals. I think it makes you appreciate what goes in the food you’re eating and that also exposes kids to different foods – it’s fun! It also teaches them to be independent when they get older. My mom taught me how to cook so when I moved out on my own as an adult I said “I can really do this”!
UrbanMoms: So, who cooks Christmas dinner?
STEFANO: On Christmas eve we always go to my uncle’s for the traditional fish dinner. But Christmas day it’s always my mother’s. She makes THE BEST LASAGNA ever!! She makes the pasta from scratch – right to the hundreds of tiny meatballs. I learned so much from her and I am so grateful. I don’t have traditional culinary training but my mom is the best teacher!
Here’s one of Stefano’s savoury good recipes, perfect for entertaining!
Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Flat Bread
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds cooking onion, finely sliced, about 5 onions
About 1 pound pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
Flour, for rolling out pizza dough
Olive oil, for brushing pizza dough
10 to 12 ounces blue cheese
About 2 tbsp. coursely chopped hazelnuts (that have been roasted whole, skin removed)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 handfuls baby arugula, for finishing
Extra virgin olive oil or hot pepper oil, for finishing (optional)
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan at the bottom over medium to medium-low heat. Add onions. Cook onions, stirring regularly until onions are dark golden brown and caramelized. If onions start to stick on the bottom of the pan, deglaze with a little water, and reduce heat.
Preheat griddle or grill to high and brush with oil.
Divide dough in half to make 2 pizzas.
Dust work surface with flour. Roll out each piece of dough into a rustic oval shape.
Brush dough with olive oil and place on griddle or grill. Cover. Cook until dough is grill marked on the bottom or golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pizza dough.
Sprinkle with caramelized onions, cheese and hazelnuts. Season each pizza with salt and pepper. Cover. Cook until pizza dough is crispy and golden and cheese melts.
Finish pizza with arugula, olive oil or hot pepper oil.
His new CBC series In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita, inspires viewers with making food from scratch with fresh, simple ingredients. He shares his special rustic recipes inspired by his family’s rich food histories and encourages viewers to get “in the kitchen” to enjoy food with friends and family.
The show is shot in front of a live audience and airs weekdays on CBC Television at 3:30 pm your local time. Check out the website CBC In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita for more recipes, his blog, and full episodes.
Keep your eye on this blog for another UrbanMoms holiday chat with CBC’s foodie Kary Osmond!