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Digby Pines chef and Halifax artist team up for cook book

Digby Pines chef Dale Nichols and the cookbook From Palette to Palate - Culinary Artworks from the Digby Pines Kitchen
Digby Pines chef Dale Nichols and the cookbook From Palette to Palate - Culinary Artworks from the Digby Pines Kitchen - Amanda Doucette

DIGBY, N.S- Chef Dale Nichols of the Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa, and Halifax artist Lynda Shalagan have teamed up to present some of the best recipes served at the Digby Pines.

“I never really had a desire to make a cookbook but when I was approached about this idea, I thought, well, why not,” Nichols said.

The book called From Palette to Palate – Culinary Artworks from the Digby Pines Kitchen, was just released. They have a calendar with select recipes available as well. They are for sale at the Digby Pines.

The project took the pair just over a year to complete.

For Nichols, the challenge was to narrow down the list of his favorite recipes. While keeping a variety of categories in the book at the same time.

The book includes seafood, main courses, salads, pastas, appetizers and desserts.

There are more than 150 easy to follow recipes illustrated by 50 water color images created by Shalagan.

“I wanted everything in there to be something household cooks can actually make themselves,” said Nichols.

Most recipes include a lot of local products from around the Digby area and Digby scallops are featured in the book twice.

In the book readers can find photographs of the actual dishes taken by Nichols in his kitchen and paintings inspired by the photos from Shalagan.

Shalagan usually does a lot of her art alone but she enjoyed working on the project with Nichols.

“It was a lot of fun working with someone else for a change,” she said.

Shalagan has been painting for over 40 years and this was the first cook book she has taken part in.

Lynda Shalagan.
Lynda Shalagan.

She started her art career doing still life paintings, so this project reminded her of the beginning of her career.

“I really enjoy doing still life paintings and I’m very happy with how it turned out.”

Shalagan will be in Digby this week displaying her art work at the Pines Golf Resort and Spa.

The paintings will be for sale at the Pines. 25 percent of all proceeds from her work will be donated to the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN).

Shalagan has work appearing both locally and nationally. She also teaches art part-time at the Sacred Heart School in Halifax.

One of the paintings in the book, the lobster risotto.
One of the paintings in the book, the lobster risotto.

Nichols has worked as a chef since 1981 and has been the head chef at the Pines since 2009. Before, he served as the executive chef for several Maritime hotels including the Algonquin Resort in New Brunswick and the Keltic Lodge.

Nichols also served as a Canadian culinary ambassador helping Canadian Airlines develop in-flight meals for first class passengers and representing the country in a cultural exchange with Taiwan.

Guests of Digby Pines can take in the entire experience this season with a special package celebrating the book’s release.

Chef Dale’s Culinary Escape Package:

  • One night’s accommodation with complimentary upgrade (based on availability at the time of booking)
  • Special in-room amenity including house made truffles, local craft beers on ice and an autographed copy of “From Palette to Palate”
  • Chef Dale Nichols’ Eight Course Tasting Menu with local wine pairings (reservations required)
  • Full Hot and Cold Buffet Breakfast with complimentary Mimosa
  • Rates start at $376.00 plus tax, based on double occupancy.
  • Additional plans include an overnight package including a painting lesson with Shalagan and lunch hosted by Chef Nichols.

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