Spring Lecture Series – 2021

Date Session TopicPresenter
Wed. April 7, 2021 @ 1:30 pm Cooking with Cynthia – Session 1Cynthia Simpson via ZOOM
Wed. April 14, 2021 @ 1:30 pm Dialects and Identity:
a trip around North America
Jason Stroud via ZOOM
Wed. April 21, 2021 @ 1:30 pm Cooking with Cynthia – Session 2Cynthia Simpson via ZOOM
Sessions are recorded and links are provided below with each lecture description
Special notes:
  • These lectures will be delivered via the ZOOM meeting format. This requires that you have a computer/tablet/smartphone with a microphone and a camera. Zoom links and passwords (if needed) are given on this page
  • There will be no charge for these lectures. If you wish to make a personal donation to a food bank in your home community as a way of paying forward, that is totally up to you!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 – 1:30 pm

Cooking with Cynthia: Session 1

Presenter: Cynthia Simpson

In this first cooking demonstration, the following dishes will be prepared:

Appetizer: Savoury Pockets – mushroom duxelle or sweet seafood, folded into wonton wraps then poached in herbed broth.

Entrée: Egg Souffle – loaded with flavour then baked until airy, served with greens and delicious cold or hot.

Ingredients for Savoury Pockets
For Mushroom Pockets: 2 packs mushrooms (cremini is nice, but whatever you like) OR

Ingredients for Seafood Pockets:
– scallops, at least 10 (200 grams)
– shrimp, 21-25 large  or 26-30 small, about 200-300g
– soya sauce
– brown sugar
– rice vinegar (optional)

Ingredients for remainder of recipe for either mushroom or seafood:

  • 1 wonton wraps (I suggest small, but large is fine)
  • 1 onion or 1 box of shallots (about 4 shallots)
  • herbs of your choice (I suggest parsley, chives)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bottle of pomegranate juice (if you want to make a drizzle)
  • corn starch
  • garlic, fresh or minced jarred
  • white wine, small bottle for cooking, or large bottle if drinking  (suggest sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
  • salt, pepper
  • greens such as mixed medley/salad greens,  or bitters (arugula od radicchio or whatever you like),  as an accompaniment to the main dish
  • oil for sauteeing, (whatever you like, avocado, olive, canola, etc.)
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • rosemary (optional)
  • butter

Ingredients for Egg Souffle

  • 4 eggs (at least)
  • onion
  • basil
  • 250 ml 35% cream
  • red pepper
  • 1 slice prosciutto per egg souffle (optional)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 pkg of cream cheese
  • additional red pepper if you want to make the red pepper drizzle for the egg dish
  • 1 cup shredded dry cheese (such as sharp cheddar)


Chef Cynthia Simpson has provided the following preparation list for those who may want to cook along with her. (done in advance of the demonstration)

  • Have seafood thawed if making the seafood version.
  • All food & equipment accessible.
  • All produce washed. 
  • Eggs can be cracked
  • Cheese grated as needed.
  • Fine dice the shallots/onion and set aside.
  • Poaching pot (like a pasta pot) full of water that can come to a boil quickly.
  • 2 other small pots accessible: 1 for pepper trimmings, and 
  • If making pomegranate reduction, l bottle of pomegranate juice reduced in volume by 1/2. 

The ZOOM cooking session will have three parts:
1. Introduction and demo of making the appetizer:
2. Demo of the main entree
3. Questions, quick tips and tricks. 

NOTE: Session 1 has been recorded. To see it, click on the link below and use the passcode to access the recorded session.
Session 1 Recording Link Passcode: O7L5hdc. (note: include period)

For those who wish to cook along with Cynthia, pre-prep instructions will also be posted on this page, as soon as they are available. All recipes are for two servings.

Cynthia Simpson

Cynthia Simpson lives in beautiful Muskoka and loves to create food combinations  that blend continental cuisine with rustic deconstructive cuisine.

Her professional highlights include working with celebrity chefs, such as Chef Susur Lee and Chef Lynn Crawford at various elite functions. Another highlight was working as an onsite culinary stunt co-ordinator for actor/comedian Colin Mocherie.

Another passion that she truly delights in, is working with chefs-in-training, which she has the opportunity to do as a lecturer at Canadore College’s culinary programs. As well, she enjoys working with those who appreciate the simplicity and elegance of a really sexy red pepper!

Favourite  expression: “When in doubt, use more butter.”  This perspective is in homage to Julia Child, who famously said, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”

Wednesday, April 14 – 1:30 pm

Dialects and Identity: a trip around North America 

Presenter: Jason Stroud

As we grow up, we emulate the sounds and dialects around us.  This lecture will explore habitual speech and discuss how one trains to strengthen their awareness of slight variations in sounds in order to become a more effective communicator.

Jason Stroud

Jason  Stroud has a wealth of experience in casting, and has enjoyed various professional roles in and out of the casting studio for nearly a decade. He is known for his many collaborations with noted film directors and casting directors on hundreds of commercial, film/television and motion-capture projects, representing upwards of ten thousand auditions.

Jason holds an M.F.A. in Acting from The New School for Drama.  He is currently an associate Casting Director at Brian Levy Casting Inc. as well as an associate member of The Casting Directors Society of Canada.  He is most proud of on-going, global collaborations with companies and artists committed to diversifying the casting room in the pursuit of inclusive growth.

NOTE: Session 2 has been recorded. To see it, click on the link below and use the passcode to access the recorded session.


In his lecture, Jason referred to two websites:

https://www.dialectsarchive.com/ – IDEA (International Dialects of English Archive) This site features a primary source of recorded English language dialects as heard around the world.

https://tophonetics.com/ – Have an English text and want to see how to pronounce it? This online converter of English text to IPA phonetic transcription will translate your English text into its phonetic transcription using International Phonetic Alphabet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – 1:30 pm

Cooking with Cynthia: Session 2

Presenter: Cynthia Simpson

In this second cooking demonstration, the following dishes will be prepared:

Entrée: Whipped Feta and Chicken Tartelette featuring asparagus.

Tartelette Recipe link

Dessert: Chocolate Fool – easy, light, decadent and smooth; this frozen treat mimics ice cream but takes very little time.

Chocolate Fool Recipe Link

The ZOOM cooking session will have three parts:
1. Introduction and demo of making the entrée
2. Demo of the dessert
3. Questions, quick tips and tricks. 
ZOOM LINK FOR SESSION 3 Meeting ID: 969 4194 8874 Password: 791560