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Linda Haynes and her husband Martin Connell founded ACE Bakery in Toronto in 1993 to support another of their initiatives, a foundation supporting micro-entrepreneurs. As the subtitle of their cookbook implies, the recipes here have a wider focus than baking and bread. In addition to recipes for the bakery's famed goodies, Haynes includes other preparations "conceived for dinners with family and friends, and still others inspired by our travels." The recipes are sequenced according to their place in the meal, from starters through main courses to desserts, along with additional chapters about breads themselves, about sandwiches and picnics, and about various and unlikely uses for bread and bread crumbs. There are some good things in fours: "Flavored Butters-Four Tastes"; "Burger Quartet"; "Mayonnaise-Four Types." None of the suggested dishes is much more difficult to cook than a carefully made burger, and--excepting the breads--none will take long to make. Happily, Haynes offers little hints to make cooking easier and more inviting. There are bits of advice in the recipe leads, at the bottom of pages ("cook's tips" set in sepia type), and in the hand-written notes that accompany many pages. Take this tone together with the competent and tasty recipes and you have an excellent beginner's cookbook that greatly respects the reader. What sets Haynes's book apart is love: of family, of eating together, of running a socially responsible business, of baking good bread to break around a table. --Ted Whittaker
Every Torontonian should buy [this book] out of gratitude to Haynes, who opened Ace in 1993 in a bread-bereft city. (M.J. CityBites (Toronto, ON) 2006-01-12)
This book will appeal to those who enjoy bistro- or café-style food. (Scene Magazine (London, ON) 2006-12-07)