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Cookbook Collective / Matthias Fong

Cookbook Collective / Matthias Fong

Matthias is formerly the executive chef of River Café & Deane House restaurants. During his tenure, River Café was ranked as high as 28th in Canada’s 100 best restaurants and was listed perennially in Avenue & Where magazines best of Calgary. He has represented Canadian cuisine twice at the James Beard Foundation through the University of Guelph Good Food Innovation Awards. He was also awarded a silver medal in the Gold Medal Plates Competition in 2017. His culinary passion is rooted in the contemporary exploration of Canadian ingredients that are seasonal, sustainable and ethically sourced.


Hands up if you are missing our newly added, delicious food program at our 5th Avenue location?! Because, I know we are! Matthias created the most thoughtful dishes that fit our menu so well, and we cannot wait to get back in the cafe and sample them again. But until then, pop on your favourite playlist on our Spotify channel, pour yourself a hopped cold brew, and dive into a big bowl of Matthias'  Parsnip, coffee & miso soup. And, just like that, Monogram at home. 

We asked Matthias some questions, and here is what he had to say: 


What is your coffee order?

Usually a simple drip coffee but sometimes a 4 shot latte.

What is your favourite meal, cuisine or snack? 


Who in your industry do you admire, and why?

I admire everyone in the food industry today making their way through these trying times. From struggling independent restaurant doing take out to groceries to groups providing food to vulnerable populations.

What does community mean to you? 

Community is the driving force for why restaurants exist. As shown by our current situation, it is essential that people are fed no question but it is also essential for people to have a sense of community as well. Even with our best physically distanced methods of socializing and community I am sure many of us can’t wait to be sitting in a cafe or restaurant again having a meal face to face.

What is the inspiration behind this recipe? 

This recipe is an extension of monogram’s principle of wonder + warmth through coffee. This recipe is meant to evoke a sense of comfort that a hot bowl of soup brings with the wonder of flavours not often associated. The kick of coffee doesn’t hurt either!




(parsnip, coffee & miso soup) 




  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (if not go to
  • Pressure cooker 6qt
  • Spatula
  • Blender
  • Peeler


    • 1 medium sized onion
    • 1/8th tsp ground star anise
    • 1/2 cup Highwood crossing canola oil
    • 750 g parsnips
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 cup brewed Monogram coffee of choice
    • 1 litre oat milk
    • 1 cup miso (your preference) 
    • 2 cups water
    • lemon juice or vinegar of choice
    • salt
    • optional: pumpkin seeds, lime zest, yogurt for topping


    1. Peel and slice onion
    2. Peel and trim parsnips then halve and slice thin
    3. Place sliced onions, pinch of salt, canola oil and star anise into the pressure cooker and sauté for 2-3 minutes
    4. Add the parsnips and baking soda. Stir and cover
    5. Bring up to full pressure and then immediately remove from heat (or shut off if using instant pot)
    6. Allow the pressure cooker to cool undisturbed until it depressurized
    7. Parsnips should be caramelized on the bottom and completely tender
    8. Carefully open the pressure cooker and add miso, brewed coffee, oat milk and water
    9. Bring the soup to a boil then allow to cool slightly before blending
    10. Add salt and lemon juice (or vinegar) to taste
    11. At Monogram coffee the soup is served with a scoop of vegan lime cashew yogurt, pumpkin seeds and a few drops of Highwood crossing canola oil

    *I’ve always thought of spring as the hardest time in Calgary to source locally grown produce. At this point everything is about to be in full bloom but there are only a few select ingredients that are actually ready to eat. This is also the time when many winter storage vegetables become scarce. This recipe is fairly adaptable to many hearty root vegetables like rutabaga & carrots. I am sure excited for spring vegetables like asparagus and radishes but until then I hope this recipe will get you through the next few weeks!*

     You can find Matthias at: 


    Keep your eyes peeled for more collaborations with Matthias in the future - we can't wait to see what he will do next! 









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