A well known food celebrity in Toronto passed away this week from acute pancreatitis. Ken Kostick was creating healthy and delicious 30 minute meals with his partner in crime, Mary Jo Eustace on their show "What's For Dinner?" way before Rachel Ray ever stirred a pot (FYI Mary Jo is also known as the ex-wife of Dean McDermott whom he left for Tori Spelling). What I appreciated about his recipes was that most of them just worked. It wasn't fancy nor was it just slop. I remember meeting this diminutive cookbook author in person back in 1996 at a "What's For Dinner?" book signing at a local culinary book store. He cooked poached chicken breasts before the signing and fed the moderate crowd. The "What's For Dinner?" show ran for many seasons showing the television audience 30 minute recipes cooked in real time and it became a cult hit in Toronto.
In its early episodes you could tell how nervous Mr. Kostick was just through his body language. It looked as though he couldn't decide whether to look at the camera or look down at what he was dicing. Later on he started to relax and the on screen banter between himself and Mary Jo became as popular as the recipes. They started to dress up in weird outfits for certain occasions and themes i.e. halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. Mr. Kosticks costumes became more elaborate each season. He even had is own mother come in from Winnepeg to cook some of his boyhood favourites on the show.
After several seasons of this show, he continued to be a part of the food scene in the local media working in radio, creating a couple of new shows on television for Global and the Food Network and writing several cook books. Eventually he started a new show in 2008, "He Said, She Said" that saw him reunite with his old cooking partner Mary Jo Eustace. R.I.P. Mr. Kostick, you will truly be missed!
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