7 July 2009

Canadian Chef Ned Bell's Bulgur Wheat Stuffed Peppers

Canadian Chef Ned Bells Bulgur Wheat Stuffed Peppers

If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know I have started a weekly feature to highlight Canadian Chefs a few months ago. Through your TV networks, or perhaps on other blogs, or even just right here on More Than Burnt Toast you may have heard of some of our Canadian chefs. For those of you who haven't, I hope you will find it interesting to see what our chefs are up to, a little about their history and how they came to love what they do. For the next few months I will continue to feature one of our Canadian chefs each week. There will be some chefs you have heard of and adore and some lesser known who are up and coming. As the tenth installment in my Canadian Chef series I introduce you to:

Ned Bell

Ned Bell is a hometown boy who has "done good" and is arguably one of Canada’s foremost culinary talents. Born here in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia’s Wine Country, Ned has always had a passion for cooking and is steadfast in his vision and drive to create new, imaginative dishes with fresh, local ingredients.

Ned began his career in Vancouver working under two local restaurant legends... first under the tutelage of Le Crocodile’s Michel Jacob and then as Sous Chef for Rob Feenie’s Lumiere restaurant.

In 1997 Bell set his sights eastward where he enjoyed successful stints as Executive Chef at Niagara on the Lake’s Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery, and at Toronto’s Accolade and Senses restaurants where he earned significant recognition by the city’s culinary cognoscenti. During his time in Toronto, Bell was a regular on Food Network Canada’s “Cook Like a Chef.”

Ready to make his mark on the up-and-coming Calgary restaurant scene, the new millennium saw Ned moving west to cook up a storm at Murrieta’s Grill in Calgary, where his list of accomplishments included winning Where Magazine’s Rising Star and Best Overall awards.
Wanting to get further engaged in the business side of restaurants, Bell joined the team at Vintage Chophouse and Red Water Grille as Corporate Chef where his passion, knowledge, creativity and focus turned the restaurants into two of Calgary’s most exciting culinary locales.

The vibrant, young chef is thrilled to return to his roots where he is excitedly living his dream of being both Executive Chef and an owner at Cabana Bar and Grille here in Kelowna, BC. We are excited to have him return!!!! It turns out that you can go home again (although I think he grew up in Penticton)!!!! "Ned Bell has been a Vancouver chef, a Toronto chef, a Calgary chef and a TV chef. But last year he heeded his Okanagan roots and the call to gather the artisanal bounty of the area in a mass-appeal package. The result is the first Cabana Grille, a slick spot on Kelowna’s lakeshore that has the energy of a hip, casually upscale room coupled with the deft touch of a master chef. If all goes according to plan, you may see a Cabana coming soon to a location near you."

Ned’s talent and charisma continue to propel him forward. Since opening Cabana Bar and Grille, Ned has begun filming “It’s Just Food” for CTV so watch for his show in the near future!!!! He has also been voted one of Western Living’s Top 40 Foodies Under 40. Ned is also lending his good taste to Vancouver Cooks 2 which is a coveted collection of recipes from Vancouver’s best chefs.

Ned has recently returned from meetings with Farm Folk/City Folk for this years Feast of Fields which I hope to attend in August at Valentines Farms in Summerland.

It was hard to choose one specific recipe to highlight Ned's passions with recipes such as Breakfast Salad with Goat Cheese, Lamb Roasted in Oiled Parchment with Pecorino ,or Potato Wrapped Deep Fried Prawns. I finally decided upon a vegetarian dish of bulgur stuffed sweet peppers with a slightly crunchy crust of Parmesan...so delicious!!!! Yes those are the tiniest tomatoes on the face of the earth. They have been growing in a hanging basket on my patio and are the size of my pinkie fingernail!!!! What they lack in their diminutive size they make up for with a burst of intense flavour!!!!

**Bulgar Wheat Stuffed Peppers**

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot Serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded, and, minced
4 large mushroom, minced
4 cup rich vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups bulgur wheat
1 cup walnuts, toasted, and, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, removed, from, sprigs
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, removed, from, sprigs
1/2 cup grated Leoni-Grana or Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Gouda or mozzarella cheese
2 large egg, beaten
6 large red, green, yellow or orange bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or 1 tbsp cold-pressed canola oil
extra grated cheese, for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat the oil with butter over a medium heat in a covered saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add the Serrano or jalapeno pepper and the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock and the soy sauce, pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer over a low heat, covered for 5 minutes. Add the bulgur wheat, walnuts and honey and give it a good stir. Cover the pot and reduce it to a simmer until the bulgur is tender, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool slightly. Stir in the fresh basil, fresh thyme, oregano, grated cheeses and beaten eggs.

Put the red pepper halves into an oiled baking dish and sprinkle with salt. Press some of the stuffing into each pepper and finish off the top with a drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. These sound delish. I've been wanting to make stuffed peppers for ages and this recipe looks like a winner.

    PS: Do you think Ned would, um, MARRY ME?

    Or just cook for me, either or.

  2. I love how he returned to his roots. Don't know how he stayed away from the beautiful Okanagan for so long!! I hear housing prices have dropped a bit, maybe that's what enticed him back!

  3. I always enjoyed it when he was on Cook Like a Chef, a show I wish was on with way more regularity than it is! I'd heard he'd returned to Kelowna, too, so you're really lucky!

  4. That's an interesting way of using bulgur! A great recipe!



  5. ned bell's bell peppers--it just seems right. :) i LOVE the filling here, and the finished product is gorgeous!

  6. I'm not a huge fan of bulgur, but I really liked the ingredients in this recipe. Also, this young chef seems wonderful and I love his approach - and this series!

  7. i wish my husband could cook like that!

  8. I really need to start cutting my peppers in half vertically and not horizontally when I stuff them. Yours look so much better!

  9. What a nice recipe! I love stuffed peppers!

  10. Lovely ingredients and beautifully executed, Val!!!Well done!!

  11. I love playing with stuffed peppers. This is a very creative idea. It goes a bit beyond my cous cous ones.

    Those tomatoes are adorable. I'm afraid the tomatoes on my patio aren't going to grow much bigger than this. At least I kow they'll taste good.

  12. Must be nice to have him back in your area. I love stuffed peppers. That recipe looks so tasty.

  13. A delicious new take on a classic stuffed pepper. I like the idea of burgar and nuts, sounds so healthy and delicious. Its on my list of must try recipes.

  14. It's very cool how you feature your local chefs. Wonderful idea!

    The stuffed peppers look amazing!

  15. That looks super amazing! Lovely peppers Val.

  16. This stuffed pepper is right up my alley (but you already know that right? lol) Looks awesome!

  17. Wow that pepper is packed full of flavors... nice summer dish.

  18. Those look fantastic Val! I have always made my stuffed peppers very Italian and saucy...I have to try this recipe for a change! They look delicious!

  19. This sounds delicious Val. I haven't had stuffed peppers for ages and your recipe sounds such a treat to try!

  20. Some of Ned's best dishes were on Cook Like a Chef and I'm glad they still air the show.

    This Greek-inspired dish with Bulgur sounds fab.

  21. I seriously love that guys name! And the peppers are beautiful Val.

  22. I know Ned Bell from Cook Like a Chef, but didn't know much else about him. Nice to know he has a new show coming out.
    I love these peppers, so summery and healthy.

  23. So interesting reading about your lovely Canadian Chefs!
    Lovely looking peppers too Valli, I'd not thought of stuffing with bulgur wheat before.

  24. So colorful and healthy.

  25. Love all those ingredients - peppers and cheese = double yum!
    They look great.

  26. It surely tastes great .. but your pictures are also fantastic!

  27. This look awesome Vall, really love stuffed peppers and this is so yummy! xxGloria

  28. Everytime I come here I just want to sit and look of those gorgeous landscape photo's of the coastline and flora.. I dream I am there!! :)

    I love stuffing peppers, this looks like such a yummy recipe!

  29. Thanks once more for the great info on Canadian chefs!
    These peppers look amazing, I've been on a pepper-stuffing craze lately, I think I'll try these ones next!

  30. I have been enjoying your series and I think that it is an excellent thing you are doing, showcasing the talent behind the cuisine in your country. A really good idea.

  31. My parents are heading to Kelowna in a couple of weeks. I am going to tell them about Cabana Bar & Grill. Great spotlight and recipe!

  32. Featuring Canadian chefs is a fantastic plan. As for this, I can't wait to give it a go. We're trying to save meat for weekends and stick closer to the source as much as possible. This is a fantastic addition to our dinner rotation. And may I say, simply beautiful!

  33. Stuffed peppers and tomatoes don't usually appeal to me but these look AMAZING! Yumm I think it's all that cheese on top. I love that there's bulgur in there! And I really want to steal that tomato mm.

  34. Yummy!! I love filled pepers! My mom used to prepare when I was a kid. It was always with ground beef, delicious!

  35. That is a wild pic! I love it. Thanks for a great post, Val.

  36. Nice! My peppers are starting to grow like a weed so pretty soon I will be looking for a bunch of way to prepare them. Stuffing them is one of my favorite ways and I am just starting to get into wheat so yeah! Going to have to try this.

  37. MMMMMMMM.... these look yummy!!


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