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Cookbook Store mixes it up with new kitchen studio

Alison Fryer, owner of Toronto’s Cookbook Store, has found an inventive way to stir things up by adding a kitchen studio to her shop.

Home-renovation contractors Rosemill Development built a street-level showroom behind the store, which can be accessed via the Cookbook Store’s back office. The coolly modern kitchen, featuring an island counter, two deep sinks, a hidden refrigerator, and an induction cooktop, is available for use after-hours, or as a rental when needed.

Fryer, who says a studio has been a dream since the store opened in 1983, wants to use the space for author and media events, cooking classes, and a new book club she is starting up in January. “We’ll try everything and see what sticks,” she says. “You’re always having to reinvent yourself in this business.”

In October, the kitchen got a workout when the store hosted El Bulli Imitació, local cook Matt Kantor’s 22-course homage to Spanish chef Ferran Adrià. Diners, who sat at tables in the store, watched their food being prepared on a television hooked up to a camera in the kitchen.

Upcoming Cookbook Store events include a cheese tasting on Nov. 29 with U.K. expert Juliet Harbutt, author of World Cheese Book, and a cookie decorating demonstration on Dec. 5 with Anna Olson, who just released the 356-page tome Back to Baking (Whitecap).

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