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  • Jennifer Heard

Learning from the BEST!

My time with Chef Michael Smith

On the set of Canadian Lentils Star of the Show with Chef Michael Smith

Let me start by saying wow, just WOW! To think merely two short months ago I was just an average dad, a working stiff with a dream of writing about food and making food videos.

Very shortly after the decision to start taking Food Blogging seriously a re-tweet appeared before my eyes that caught my attention. Canadian Lentils was looking for Food Bloggers to create unique and delicious recipes, using Canadian lentils of course, and develop a short food video for submission. The grand prize? Spend one full day with Chef Michael Smith in his test kitchen, learning the ins and outs of recipe development and food television making.

My winning dish: Firecracker Chicken with Lentils and Rice

Well, you’ve seen the picture above, so its no secret that I was one of those winners. Its been a few weeks since my time with Chef Michael and I am still reeling. It felt like a semester at the worlds finest chef school crammed into one very full day. He genuinely is a grand success for a reason!

When they first escorted me into the studio to meet Michael, butterflies fluttering in my tum-tum, I heard that tell tale voice of a great and powerful food wizard; “Hello Adam, nice to meet you.” He was as cordial as he is tall! From there I proceeded to hair and makeup to try and scrape some of the rust off of my old, ugly mugg!

The rest of the day, well, its a bit of a blur. Remember that Sunday morning in college when you were trying to piece together where you went last night, and how exactly you ended up fully clothed but wearing someone else’s pants? It’s a bit like that, but without the pounding headache and just a smidge more dignity. Quite frankly, all I remember is learning a $%&T ton of extremely valuable recipe creation, development and writing techniques, as well as ‘on air’ skills from literally the very best!

Chef Michael Smith watching over me!

In all seriousness, Chef Michael was a gem to learn from. He is patient and sincere, and at times stern and direct, just the way a good Jedi master should be! He took his time and went through my recipe with a fine toothed comb, much to my surprise he had all the time in the world to guide me to a perfect end result. His entire staff were equally patient, helpful and knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise.

It really was an experience of a lifetime and I am grateful to all of them. You can sure bet that when I publish a recipe to, it will be worthy!

The official Star of the Show launched June 1 and can be seen at as well as

I would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to all who were there to hold my hand, guide me, or keep shoving their hands up my shirt (Thor!): Thanks so much Ed, Robere, Doug, Kelly, Hunter, Rachel, Ethan, Rabecca, Jenna, Shannon,Thor and of course Chef Smith!

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