At a recent lunch to celebrate the launch of Sunwing Café, Lynn Crawford’s new menu for the vacation airline, the chef was all smiles. Graciously, she greeted the assortment of journalists, food bloggers and fans assembled at her Toronto restaurant, Ruby Watchco.
As ebullient as always, you’d never know that at the time, Lynn Crawford had a three-week-old baby back at home, a newborn still in the parental demanding early days of life. Ask for the secret to her seemingly endless energy and the Chopped Canada judge doesn’t miss a beat: “Coffee.” But later, over the phone from her home in Toronto, she reveals another reason for her effusive smiles: Love.
“She’s beautiful,” says Chef Lynn about her daughter, Addie Pepper. “She’s absolutely perfect, and it’s amazing how a little one can change your life so much.”
Relative to her size, Chef Lynn’s newborn is playing a huge influence in the Food Network star’s life, impacting everything from her schedule to the foods and flavours she wants to try in 2017.
Foodie Resolution #1: Travel and Eat
“There’s a wonderful world of food out there, and Lora and I both being chefs, we really want to explore that world with Addie,” she says. “And as two chefs who love food as much as we do, a big part of it is certainly travelling.”
The family is planning a trip to Hawaii this spring, where Chef Lynn hopes to reconnect with the macadamia nut banana bread and fish tacos with pineapple caper salsa she enjoyed so much on her last trip to Maui.
She also hopes to revisit some of the tasty restaurants she’s explored on her own, and as a Great Canadian Cookbook host, like Tofino’s Wolf in the Fog, Calgary’s Charbar and Quidi Vidi’s Mallard Cottage.
Foodie Resolution #2: Pitchin’ in at Home
Despite the vacation plans, babies have a way of keeping their parents housebound, and for Chef Lynn, that’s meant getting reacquainted with her home kitchen.
“I’ve done more cooking in the last three weeks being at home than I have in such a long time,” she says without complaint. “It’s a fine line, commenting on how to parent a child in the wonderful world of food,” she admits, but still, Chef Lynn is excited to introduce little Addie to healthful, homemade, seasonal whole foods. “I’ve got Addie in one arm and I’m going around the kitchen and I cut into this Macintosh apple and Addie smells it — it doesn’t register yet, but it’s nice to get her senses excited about food!”
Foodie resolution #3: Ordering in
Although Chef Lynn has been spending more time than ever in her home kitchen, she’s also excited about all the new apps that allow diners to order in, and thinks she might try a delivery of her favourite Vietnamese comfort food next year. “I love a really good pho,” she says.