A person's hand holding a spoon over a dish with pancakes and fruit
Photography, Maya Visnyei

How to plan a weekend brunch like a pro

Donna Dooher of Mildred's Temple Kitchen in Toronto shares three tips for throwing the perfect brunch.

Donna Dooher is Canada’s ambassador of brunch. Since opening Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in 1989, the lineups out the door have only continued to grow at the Toronto mainstay. Menu items such as her famous buttermilk pancakes, her savoury tarts and her biscuits, scones and pastries have become part of our brunching landscape. Once relegated to Sundays, brunch is now available all week long at Mildred’s, and any day of the week you’re inspired to make it at home.

Here, Donna shares of her go-to tips and recipes for a memorable brunch. All are inspired by her #1 rule: “Don’t get yourself stuck in the kitchen.” Make one or two great things and curate the rest with store-bought provisions. Rely on your own pantry items or those of local producers for jams, jellies, great butter, meats and cheeses. And, most importantly, keep it casual and relaxed as you gather with friends and family around the table.

1. Use Local Ingredients

A bluButter and various dishes and spoons of cream
Photography, Maya Visnyei

Whenever possible, use butter from local creameries. The quality you’ll get from creameries like St. Brigid’s Creamery in Ontario (they make organic, regenerative grass fed 84% Jersey butters) is undeniable in your cooking – especially your brunch spreads. Anything produced locally (we can’t get enough of the the clotted cream and kefir from Sheldon Creek Dairy in Loretto, Ont.) may provide a more authentic, richer flavour profile with a higher fat content, which will only lead to food that tastes even better. Plus – you’re supporting local.

2. Make Mini Buttermilk Pancake Stacks

A person's hand holding a spoon over a dish with pancakes and fruit
Photography, Maya Visnyei

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen’s iconic buttermilk pancakes have a reputation of their own – and now you can have them at home. Instead of toiling away in the kitchen, opt for Mildred’s ready-made dry buttermilk pancake mix. Put your own twist on them by making them mini-sized. Elevate them with a DIY smashed berry butter, made by gently crushing fresh berries into softened creamery butter.

3. Serve a Seacuterie Platter

A platter with seafood and vegetables
Photography, Maya Visnyei

Visit your favourite fishmonger for a selection of smoked, hot smoked and cured fish. Arrange on a platter with hard-boiled quail eggs, tins of premium seafood, lemon wedges, caper berries, pickled onions and tangy labneh dip for a beautiful self-serve spread.

Brunch recipes from Donna Dooher

Caprese Quiche With Asiago
Sweet and nutty Asiago pairs perfectly with eggs and ripe tomatoes.
Get the recipe
quiche on blue background

Fennel and Citrus Toss Up
Donna Dooher's recipe for a citrusy salad with fresh fennel and orange vinaigrette.
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A salad in a blue dish

Currant Scones
Donna Dooher's recipe for flaky, buttery currant scones with a hint of lemon cream.
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A yellow plate with a currant scone cut in half and spread with butter and jam

Best Buttermilk Biscuits
Donna Dooher's recipe for fluffy buttermilk biscuits, perfect for your brunch table.
Get the recipe
A blue dish with biscuits

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