Toronto Life Insider Chef's Pantry curated by Michael Hunter

The Toronto Life Insider Chef’s Pantry

The Toronto Life Insider Chef’s Pantry features recipes and ingredients curated by Toronto Life's Chef-In-Residence. Every month will feature curation by a different marquee chef in the City of Toronto. We hope you enjoy it.

This month's theme is Fall Comfort. From intimate gatherings to BBQ celebrations, the Toronto Life Insider Chef's Pantry has you covered.


Toronto Life Chef-In-Residence

Chef Michael Hunter

Twitter: @thehunterchef
Instagram: @thehunterchef

Michael Hunter is a professional chef, expert hunter, forager, and co-owner of the acclaimed restaurant Antler Kitchen & Bar. Having grown up in the great outdoors, Hunter is passionate about wild game and foraged foods. He has cooked around the world at culinary festivals in the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Russia, and Brazil.

The Hunter Chef Cookbook By Michael Hunter
Celebrating the resources of the wild, this book features a collection of over 100 recipes and butchery guides, and stunning food and landscape photography. The book includes recipes for cooking Large Game, Small Game, Fish and Forage, Wild Desserts and Foraged Cocktails. To learn more and to pre-order the book, visit

Exclusive Recipes by Chef Michael Hunter


Serves 4

In a food processor, pulse the egg and mustard to combine. With the processor running, very slowly pour the grapeseed oil, starting with a very thin stream, through the feed tube until all the oil is incorporated. You will see the oil start to emulsify with the egg, creating a thick mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice, capers, pickles, shallots, parsley, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pulse just to mix. (The tartar sauce can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.)

In a small pot, cover the potatoes with water and add salt. Boil over high heat until fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Slice the potatoes into ¼-inch (5 mm) rounds and set aside.

Score the pickerel skin with a sharp knife to prevent the fillet from curling when searing. Season both sides of the fillets with salt.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the grapeseed oil and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the butter. Place the pickerel skin side down in the pan and sear until crispy on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not move the fish; let the skin caramelize to prevent sticking to the pan. When the skin looks like it is starting to brown, carefully slide a thin metal spatula under the fillet without ripping the skin, turn the fillet, and cook the flesh side for 30 to 60 seconds. Finish by squeezing the lemon
juice into the pan and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the emaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the potatoes, green beans, and a
pinch of salt, until the beans are fork-tender and the potatoes are warm, 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, divide the fish, potatoes, and beans among plates. Top the fish with a generous spoonful of tartar sauce and garnish with fresh oregano.

• 1 large egg
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Dijon mustard
• 1 cup (250 mL) grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
• Juice of 1 lemon
• ¼ cup (60 mL) minced drained capers
• ¼ cup (60 mL) minced gherkin pickles
• ¼ cup (60 mL) minced shallot
• ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced garlic
• Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

• 1 pound (450 g) mini potatoes
• 4 skin-on pickerel Fillets (about 6 ounces/170 g each)
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons (30 mL) unsalted butter, divided, for frying
• 1 lemon
• 1 pound (450 g) green beans, trimmed
• Fresh oregano, for garnish


To learn how to cook these amazing recipes, please join TL Insider for Chef Hunter's Virtual Masterclass on October 20 at 5:30pm. To sign-up simply provide your email and we'll send you the complimentary event details.



Looking for more items? Then explore Door2Door Fresh for more fresh meats, produce & pantry selections.