Bestselling Canadian cookbook author Jean Paré dies at 95

One of Canada’s most prolific and beloved cookbook authors, Jean Paré, passed away in Edmonton, Alberta this week at the age of 95. Beginning in 1981 with the publication of 150 Delicious Squares (Company’s Coming) through 2018, when she co-authored Instant One-Pot Cooking (New Original), Paré wrote 200 cookbooks.

Paré ran the three-generation publishing business called Company’s Coming. “My grandma loved to cook and it didn’t have to be fancy food, it was just good food. And she was always really good at catering to her specific guests,” her granddaughter, Amanda Lovig Hagg, told CBC News. Paré started her lifelong love of cooking as a young girl after she and her sister divvied up the household chores. She launched her food writing career after she had started a successful catering company following her first divorce.

After her catering gigs, people would ask her for the recipes. She dutifully handwrote the recipes until one day when her son said she needed to quit the catering business and start writing cookbooks instead. Paré started in 1981 and wrote a string of bestselling books for the next 40 years. She retired in 2011 (save for a reprise in 2018 as noted above), and it’s estimated that in that time over 30 million copies of her books were sold.

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  • averythingcooks  on  December 27, 2022

    Every single Canadian cook (serious or just casual) will recognize Jean Pare /Company’s Coming . So very sad to hear about the passing of a Canadian cookbook legend 💔

  • balabosta  on  December 28, 2022

    When I heard the news, it felt like the day Julia Child died. (and I’m not a Canadian.) I have lots of “gourmet” cookbooks, but I also have 40 Jean Pare cookbooks as well. “150 Delicious Squares” is a gem.

  • currentlycassie  on  December 28, 2022

    This is gutting. Pretty sure most Canadians have cooked from (or have a close relative who has cooked from) her books. The only cookbook my mom uses is her muffins and more one. What a loss.

  • tmjellicoe  on  December 28, 2022

    She was such an icon to Canadian cooking. I still use Muffins and more (many recipes); her marinara sauce and spaghetti bake from Pasta are a go-to; the sweet and sour chicken from mains; and various pancakes from Breakfast and Brunches. I even bought these books for the kids at a book sale to make at university because the recipes are easy and tasty.

  • trudys_person  on  January 1, 2023

    So sad – Jean Paré is a Canadian institution. Every family I know has more at least a few of her cookbooks. Her recipes are homey classics and approachable – they work for non-cooks and new cooks. In the early 90s I worked in “gourmet” cookware store, and we sold her books by the zillions. Someone once pointed out that Ms. Paré always matched her blouse in the back cover photo with the colour of the book cover – I always check, and she’s never failed me! 💚

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