Latest Whitewater Cooks release a perfectly timed collection

The title of Shelley Adams’ latest cookbook would seem a carefully choreographed selection rather than the fortuitous assignation that it is.

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Whitewater Cooks: Together Again

Shelley Adams | Sandhill Book Marketing Ltd.

$36 | 184 pages

The title of Shelley Adams’ latest cookbook would seem a carefully choreographed selection rather than the fortuitous assignation that it is.

“I named it Together Again before we knew there was going to be a pandemic,” the Nelson-based chef and author recalls. “And then, it came out just as we kind of were allowed to be together again.

“So, the whole name thing was pretty accurate. And the timing was amazing.”


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Released in August, Whitewater Cooks: Together Again sees Adams share more than 70 flavourful recipes with fans of her bestselling Whitewater Cooks series, as well as with those who are new to her trademark dishes.

“I would describe my cookbooks as food I love that I know other people will love,” she says. “There’s no theme like vegan, or meat, or fancy, or simple. It’s all just recipes that I want to share with people out there. And that’s kind of how it all comes together.”

Trained at La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, Adams had a catering business in Vancouver working with the local film business, before she and her husband packed up and moved to Nelson in order to take over the Whitewater Ski Resort in the 1980s. It was on the mountain that she began to grow a fast following for her food.


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“It all started back when we owned Whitewater Ski Resort for 26 years. It was recipes from the cafe, so people knew the food there. They knew myself, and my husband and our kids,” Adams explains of the origin of the Whitewater Cooks books. The popularity of the resort’s dishes prompted Adams to create her first cookbook.

“What I thought with the first book would just be a souvenir that we would sell in the gift shop turned into my career for the past 12 years,” she says.

Adams recalled her husband confidently ordering 5,000 copies of her first cookbook to offer for sale. The plan, they joked, would be to use the unsold books as furniture in their office should they have to. Thankfully, that never turned out to be the case.

“They sold within two or three months,” Adams says of that first edition. “It’s a local community project that turned into kind of a big deal.”


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While she’s confident people will appreciate the new release — noting Together Again features her “best recipe content yet” — Adams wasn’t sure how well this book would sell given the pandemic and the summertime release.

“Of all the books that I’ve published, this is the first one that has come out in the summer,” Adams says. “So, I was really kind of apprehensive about the sales. But the sales have been higher than the Christmas books.”

Shelley Adams is the author of the bestselling Whitewater Cooks cookbook series.
Shelley Adams is the author of the bestselling Whitewater Cooks cookbook series. Photo by David R. Gluns

Adams attributes the general boost to the increased interest in exploring food preparation at home.

“People got so keen and used to cooking at home during the past year, that it turns out, they kind of like it,” she says, with a laugh. “I thought everybody, once we could start going to restaurants and grocery shopping more freely, I thought people would be kind of tired of the routine of cooking at home.


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“But, based on all the emails that I’m getting about my new book and just people’s keenness to cook at home — I think cooking at home is here to stay.”

It also helps that Adams has built a loyal following for her series of cookbooks, which includes six releases that have sold more than 250,000 copies to date.

“By now, everybody trusts my recipes. It’s years of proven recipes that are tested and that work and are filled with love and deliciousness,” Adams says of the familiarity factor.

The book, she says, took about two years to pull together. The delay, Adams admits, was due to some personal health setbacks.

But, in another positive twist of fate, Adams says the delays allowed her to have a very special assistant at home while she cooked amid the pandemic.


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“My son, Conner — who is not a chef but cooking is his favourite thing. He’s a scientist, actually — he had to come home from New York City for 4 1/2 months last summer, and he and I spent the entire spring until Aug. 15 testing recipes and cooking,” Adams says.

A data scientist, her son also helped to input all of the recipes for the latest Whitewater Cooks release into one easy file for Adams.

“I didn’t even have to type anything in,” Adams says, with a hint of glee.

With her book on shelves and already on the bestsellers list in B.C., Adams is looking ahead to her next addition to the Whitewater collection.

“My next book is going to be kind of a lifestyle book,” Adams says. “I’m going to evolve from just food, to how to make your life more beautiful.”


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Recipe: Grilled Spanish paella

16 large prawns, peeled and tails left on

2 tbsp (30 mL) smoked paprika

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into one-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper, for seasoning

4-6 dried or fresh Spanish chorizo sausages, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds

1-2 tbsp (15-30 mL) olive oil, as needed

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp (30 mL) paella spice

1 tsp (5 mL) saffron threads

2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced, or 1 14 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

2 cups (500 mL) Spanish bomba rice, or any medium-grain rice

1 tsp (5 mL) kosher or Maldon salt

4 cups (1,000 mL) chicken broth

16 mussels, scrubbed

2 tbsp (30 mL) Italian parsley, chopped


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2 medium lemons, cut into eight wedges for serving

Place prawns in a medium-size bowl. Add 1/4 tsp of the paprika, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Refrigerate.

Place chicken in a medium-sized bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat an outdoor grill to high, about 450-550 F, or your stovetop burner to medium-high heat. Place paella pan on the grill or burner, cover, and heat until hot, about 2 minutes.

Add chorizo to the pan, close the grill and cook, stirring occasionally, until chorizo is starting to brown and the fat is rendered. Remove chorizo to a large bowl and set aside. Add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. There should still be a thin layer of rendered fat in the pan.

Add the seasoned chicken to the pan in a single layer. Close the grill and sear, or put the lid on the pan and stir occasionally, until all sides of the chicken are golden brown. Rotate the pan occasionally on the grill to evenly distribute the heat. Remove chicken to the bowl with the chorizo and set aside.


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Add onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, close the grill and cook. Stir occasionally, until onions are softened but not brown. If using the stovetop, cook the onions until soft. Add remaining paprika, garlic, paella spice and saffron, and stir to combine. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and juices. Cook until the mixture has slightly darkened in colour, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the rice and 1 tsp salt. Stir to coat. Add broth and stir. Arrange rice mixture in an even layer. Place chorizo and chicken evenly over rice, adding any juices from the bowl. Don’t stir the rice from this point on.

Close the grill or cover with a lid and bring to a lively simmer. Maintain and check occasionally until the rice grains swell, most liquid has been absorbed and the rice begins to make a crackling sound, about 12 minutes.

Arrange the prawns and mussels (hinge-side down) on the rice, nestling them in slightly.

Close the grill or cover with a lid. Cook until the mussels have opened, the shrimp are just cooked through and the rice is tender, but still al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the pan from the grill or stovetop and sprinkle on the chopped parsley. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Serves 6-8.



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