Christmas Morning Wife Saver, Classy Chicken and Hamburger Soup, if you’ve lived anywhere in Western Canada over the past few decades, you know these recipes well. They come from The Best of Bridge cookbooks, a mainstay in Canadian kitchens and part of the fabric of countless families’ weeknight meals and special celebrations. But 40 years on, the ladies of The Best of Bridge are winding down and heading towards retirement. That sucks, you think, but wait! Hope is not lost. There is another generation of Best of Bridge ladies waiting in the wings.

They’re back....The Best of Bridge next generation

I sure hope those aprons make a comeback!

Best of Bridge Cookbooks

Wanting their legacy to last, the original Bridge ladies reached out to well-known Canadian food writer and cookbook author, Julie Van Rosendaal to carry the torch. That’s right, more Best of Bridge recipes will reach a new generation with a new group of ladies. Since the essence of Bridge is a group of friends cooking together, joining Julie is Sue Duncan, co-author of Spilling the Beans (way better than that Quinoa cookbook) and Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, a feisty rock and roll editor with an enviable Pyrex cookware collection. The three became fast friends and agreed this was a project they were equally passionate about.

The old guard poses with the new at Rouge last week

As the culinary baton (or apron, as the case may be) is passed to three new Bridge friends, fans can expect to see Home Cooking, a new release in fall 2015. I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing a re-tweak of my old favourites (please lighten up Death to Dieters Lasagna) and new, dependable recipes to feed my family and friends.

Best of Bridge dinner

Last week I was invited to attend The Best of Bridge dinner party. It was a magical evening, held in the garden at Rouge, Calgary. Executive ChefJamie Harling recreated classic Bridge meals and put his own unique spin on them. We started with Christmas Morning Wife Saver before being seduced by an updated Classy Chicken, Schwarties potatoes and massive butter tarts for dessert.

salad and stuffing

It wasn’t the Christmas Morning Wife Saver I remember, but Rouge served up fine dinner party fare nonetheless.

Best of Bridge history

In 1975, at a weekend getaway, eight friends had an idea: since a consistent highlight of their decade-old bridge group was the food they prepared and enjoyed together, perhaps they should think about writing a cookbook. This spur-of-the-moment notion was the impetus for The Best of Bridge, which has gone to become one of the most successful brands in Canadian publishing. 

Best of bridge cookbook

My favourite Best of Bridge cookbook.

More than 40 years and 4 million copies later, The Best of Bridge remains a celebration of food and friendship. I’m so stoked the brand lives on and I can look forward to more delicious memories.

Do you have a favourite Best of Bridge recipe? Please share!