Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions. We have taken a few of the questions that seem to interest people and took some time with Anna to find the answers.
While I rotate and now archive the recipes I post on this website (and many of these have never been in print or on TV before) the recipes featured on my shows can be sourced at foodnetwork.ca or through the website of your local broadcast station.
Becoming a chef is truly a labour of love, and if it is your passion, you will find the ambition to succeed. Whether making a career switch or looking to study culinary arts coming out of high school, I do recommend taking a little time to work in a professional kitchen before you embark on your education. This will give you insight as to how a busy kitchen operates and the time commitment required to advance in your field.
In selecting a culinary school, I very much believe that you get out of it what you put into it. The fundamentals of cooking and safe food handling are taught at every school and programs are created based on provincial standards in Canada. Do visit any schools you are considering to assess that the scope of the program, the commitment of the faculty and the employment results that best suit your needs. Best of luck as you embark on your culinary adventure!
Now that I no longer have my retail bakery (to allow time for more recipe development and to travel to my viewers and fans so that I can share through demos and lectures more frequently) I do not have the means to cater or do wedding cakes.
Anna posts her appearance schedule on this website. Click here to find out where she will be coming up. Anna does not sell tickets or take reservations for her events - any details can be sourced through the event link provided.
While baking is certainly seen as a precise area of the cooking world, baking times are a bit of a variable. Ovens themselves vary dramatically, and the size of your oven, how it heats and how well it holds the temperature can greatly impact a recipe. Small ovens lose heat quickly once the oven door has opened, and other ovens can have an erratic airflow when more than one pan or tray is baking. Even my oven has "hot spots" that I have come to know over time. If baking with a convection oven, set the temperature to about 25°F less that the called-for temperature.
I recommend keeping a thermometer inside your oven and monitoring it. Setting the oven to 350°F does not always mean it stays or reaches 350°F (or it can go above). Any wide temperature fluctuations (25°F or more) can often be fixed by calling for a serviceperson to calibrate it. If you find that your cakes sink in the middle on a regular basis, this could be a sign that your oven temperature is fluctuating as your cakes bake - this often can be fixed with a calibration.
Many recipes, mine included, call for a temperature range because of this variability of ovens. When baking cakes, do follow the timing guidelines but also use a tester inserted into the centre of the cake to check for doneness, use colour/browning as your guide with cookies and squares and use the "jiggle" test to check cheesecakes and custards (they should still jiggle in the centre when gently moved).