Per food aficionado and critic Lesley Chesterman

She’s the food critic for Montreal’s leading English daily The Montreal Gazette and a gifted entertainer, cook and foodie. Moral of that story? Lesley Chesterman’s  following curated sites are not only well-recommended but especially enlightening this season if you’re planning  your own New Year’s bash. Enjoy …



An old-school favourite recipe website that started back in 1995 and today features over 33,000 recipes as well as videos, kitchen tips and other resources for the home chef. Most of the recipes here are from the Gourmet Magazine/Bon Appétit archives, including terrific vintage recipes as well as basics ranging from green goddess dressing to vichyssoise.


Food blogger Deb Perelman has built a loyal following and burgeoning empire thanks to her wonderful food blog/website that features, in her words, “fearless cooking from a tiny New York kitchen.” This is a great place to find all sorts of delicious recipes that Perelman writes about with great flair. Her photography is another draw and the reviews and step-by-step instructions provide plenty of hand holding for beginner cooks.



Planning a trip to Paris or Greece? Interested in making the world’s best almond cake? Need some tips on how to buy cheese, or make jam or garlic soup or even salted butter caramel ice cream? This is the place to turn. American-born and Paris-based food blogger David Lebovitz will take you along on all sorts of adventures from Brooklyn (where he now spends part of his year) to Provence, and seemingly everywhere in between. His recipes are excellent and his writing is good fun and so far removed from much more uppity French-centred food prose. A joy!



I’ve long been a fan of this New York-based website that features write-ups on America’s best restaurants as well as the latest foodie news and long reads about some of the most fascinating topics and challenges facing the food and restaurant scene today. I also turn to their Montreal page (http://montreal.eater.com) for up-to-the-minute news. Their 38 Essential Restaurants list for our city is pretty solid as well.



My absolute favourite site for out-of-the-ordinary recipes submitted by regular people who, it turns out, are often doing a better job cooking than a lot of pros. With their slogan, “Helping people become smarter, happier and better cooks,” Food 52 has created a huge online community where recipe sharing is the name of the game. There are also videos, pod casts, an online shop, and wonderful essays that usually lead up to extra-special recipes. It’s always a treat to spend time on Food 52.



This Canadian favourite may not be the sexiest of food sites, but you could argue that it is the best. Canadian Living’s strength is its test kitchen, which means the recipes they provide are guaranteed to work. And the sheer choice here — from everyday meals to elaborate feasts — is astounding.

By Jenn Campbell

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