Sunday, November 18, 2012

'Easy Elegance from Fabulous Fairholme' features recipes for breakfast, brunch, lunch

Book photo by John Archer of John Archer Photography

It's no surprise that innkeeper Sylvia Main has come out with a second cookbook. Her debut, Fabulous Fairholme: Breakfast & Brunches, was a Canadian bestseller. I edited the first one, and was more than happy to play a part in her follow-up book, Easy Elegance from Fabulous Fairholme. This go-round, I wrote the foreword along with selected editing, and I can't wait to jump in and start trying some of the recipes. 

The new book is a natural extension of the first. Easy Elegance from Fabulous Fairholme includes popular recipes for breakfast, brunch and lunch along with tips for easy entertaining -- something my friend Sylvia describes as "easy elegance." It's an apt description of the casual elegance of her 1885 Italianate-style manor inn, which features six rooms, all with clean lines and no frou-frou. Fairholme Manor is the perfect destination for couple getaways, a solo retreat or a special celebration. It's my favorite home away from home.

The French Country Garden Room. Photo by Sue Frause.
Sylvia does have a way of making things look effortless and elegant, but realizes that entertaining can be both intimidating and time consuming. "In the dozen years my husband Ross and I have welcomed guests from around the world, I've discovered ways to keep it fun, creative, easy and delicious," said Sylvia.

Easy. Elegant. Delicious. Those are the three words that sum up Sylvia's style and are at the heart of her cookbook. With Easy Elegance, her recipes have expanded to include what she calls "little gifts from the kitchen," as well as recipes from two celebrated chefs: Nora Pouillon, Sylvia's cousin and owner of Restaurant Nora in Washington, DC (the first certified organic restaurant in the US); and Seattle chef Chris Young, co-author of the widely acclaimed Modernist Cuisines: The Art and Science of Cooking. Young is a longtime fan of Fairholme Manor and held his wedding brunch at the inn. 

Creamy Crimini Mushroom Phyllo Cups. Photo by John Archer.

Easy Elegance from Fabulous Fairholme also includes special occasion menus, along with cocktails from one of my favorite Victoria restaurants, Brasserie L'Ecole (they make a killer French 75 and the Moules Frites are pefection). Each recipe is accompanied by color photographs and preparation tips. 

The cookbook is published by Whitecap Books and retails for $29.95 CAD. It's available at book stores and kitchen shops in Canada, at or, and through Fairholme Manor Inn.

Chicken Salad Nicoise. Photo by John Archer.