Recipes and Culinary Tips From Canadian Celebrity Chef Ricardo Larrivée

Ricardo Recipes

This fresh Tuna Niçoise Salad also pairs well with Asian flavours, too. Photo: Jean-Michel Poirier

Over the past several decades, famed chef Ricardo Larrivée has been cooking up an empire, as a bestselling cookbook author, TV personality and the driving force behind the award-winning Ricardo magazine.

He’s been called the Martha Stewart of French Canada, but his culinary inspiration comes down to something as simple as a “heartfelt focus on family and the importance of cooking together,” he tells Zoomer.

To that end, the Quebec chef and recipient of the Order of Canada has launched a new initiative for busy home cooks by partnering with Sobey’s for a gourmet product line, available in Ontario. His Montreal-seasoned flap steak, for example, is marinated and ready to be fired up on the grill or stovetop, making a weeknight main a snap.


Photo: David de Stefano


Larrivée, whose recipes are known for their simplicity, affordability and big flavours, is all about keeping things easy in the kitchen, as well as showcasing ingredients from across Canada.

Here, we serve up some of hiss tasty recipes, but first some culinary wisdom from the gourmand himself.

Insider Tips: Can you share your favourite flavour boosters — and any other secret weapons?

Spices and herbs, especially in summertime with the barbecue. Using them will not only boost flavours but will also allow you to add less salt to your meal. The barbecue itself is also a secret weapon: no dishes to clean (or maybe just a few) and it gives an amazing taste to the food you grill on it.

Easy Entertaining: What is your go-to dish for cooking and entertaining without the stress?

Family-style Asian or Italian dishes, where everything is on the table and everyone can serve themselves. Everyone’s happy!

Must-Haves: What items/ingredients do you keep stocked in your pantry/fridge?

I always have olive oil, chicken broth, butter, Parmesan cheese, rice, pasta and legumes. In the freezer, I love having frozen peas, frozen fruit (harvested in season and at the same price as fresh fruit) and a piece of fish or meat that defrosts easily.

With all of these, you have everything you need to cook a meal. Yes, you can always go to the grocery store to pick up a missing ingredient, like protein and veggies, but being stocked up saves you valuable time and helps you stick to your budget.

Finding Comfort: What is your go-to comfort food dish?

I have a few! General Tao (tofu or chicken), ramen, risotto or red velvet cake.

Snack Attack: What is your favourite snack, healthy and otherwise?

Without hesitation: ketchup-flavoured chips! Otherwise, I enjoy snacking on hummus with vegetable sticks. Oh, and peanuts, I love salted peanuts.

This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity



Steaks With Grilled Corn and Cilantro

Ricardo Recipes
Photo: David de Stefano



3 ears corn, husks removed
3 radishes, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
¼ cup (10 g) cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
3 striploin steaks, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick


  1. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the corn for 5 minutes. Drain and lightly oil.
  2. Preheat the grill, setting the burners to high. Oil the grate.
  3. Grill the corn on all sides until nicely browned. Transfer to a work surface.
  4. Using a knife, cut the kernels off the cob. In a bowl, combine the corn kernels with the radishes, green onions, cilantro, oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper and brush with oil. Grill for 3 minutes on each side for rare or until the desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. On a work surface, slice the steaks. Arrange on a serving dish and garnish with the corn salad.


Fresh Tuna Niçoise Salad

Ricardo Recipes
Photo: Jean-Michel Poirier



Caper Dressing:
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 tsp capers, chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) whole-grain mustard
1 tsp tarragon, finely chopped, plus more for serving
1 lemon, zest finely grated

1 cup (120 g) green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 cup (140 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
6 kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely
1 piece fresh tuna, about 5 oz (140 g), 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
4 large Boston lettuce leaves, torn
Fleur de sel (optional)


Caper Dressing:
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Set aside.


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the green beans for 3 minutes or until al dente. Drain the beans and rinse quickly under cold water. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Add the beans, tomatoes and olives to the bowl of dressing. Toss to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Set aside.
  3. In a small non-stick skillet over high heat, sear the tuna in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned on the outside but still raw at the centre. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. On a work surface, cut the tuna into slices ½ inch (1 cm) thick. In a bowl or on a plate, arrange the lettuce leaves and top with the vegetable salad. Garnish with the tuna slices. Sprinkle with more tarragon and fleur de sel.


Grilled Pork Chops With Ramen Noodle and Grilled Asparagus Salad

Ricardo Recipes
Photo: David de Stefano


Pork and Dragon Sauce:
1/2 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) tamari
2 tbsp (30 ml) water
1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
1 garlic clove, halved
4 boneless pork chops, each 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick

1 1/2 lb (675 g) asparagus, trimmed
1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
1/3 lb (150 g) ramen noodles
1 green onion, chopped
1 green apple, cored and diced
1/4 cup (10 g) cilantro leaves
2 tbsp mint leaves, torn
1 lime, juice only
Lime wedges (optional)


Pork and Dragon Sauce:

  1. In a personal blender fitted with the grinding blade, or in a bowl with a hand blender, purée all of the ingredients, except for the pork, until smooth.
  2. Set aside one-third of the sauce and refrigerate the rest.
  3. In a large glass dish, brush the meat with the reserved third of the dragon sauce. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.


  1. On a plate, lightly oil the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the grill, setting the burners to high. Oil the grate.
  3. Grill the meat for 4 minutes on each side for rare or until the desired doneness. Set aside on a plate. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. At the same time, grill the asparagus until al dente. Let cool. On a work surface, cut the asparagus into rounds.
  4. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Lightly oil.
  5. In a bowl, combine the noodles, asparagus and green onion with half of the refrigerated dragon sauce.
  6. In another bowl, combine the apple, herbs and lime juice.
  7. On a work surface, slice the pork. Divide the pork and noodles among four plates. Cover with the remaining dragon sauce. Top with the apple mixture. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.



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