Eggs Benny science at Darlise Café

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The popular breakfast Eggs Benedict is a unique, sort of self-reflexive dish: it’s essentially eggs with an egg sauce. And it’s delicious and satisfying in its creamy richness with a hint of lemon.

A chef who makes the classic sauce that forms the centre of the dish – Hollandaise – is Darryl Howie of Darlise Café in downtown Kitchener.

Howie and his wife and business partner Liz Howie own and operate the breakfast and lunch restaurant across from the Walper Hotel on Queen Street – and have been doing so now for about four years. The pair previously owned and operated The Rum Runner pub, formerly downstairs at the Walper, for several years.

Once Janet Lynn Leslie’s apprentice

Howie attended George Brown College for his formal culinary education and would describe himself as trained in classic French cookery. Notably, he worked with the late Janet Lynn Leslie of Janet Lynn’s Bistro when it opened in the Market Village, now, of course, part of Belmont Village.

He’s also been an executive chef at Ali Baba Steakhouse and The Walper Hotel and has worked at Talisman Mountain Resort, Del Dente and the Charcoal Steak House.

Darryl Howie at Darlise Cafe (Photo/Andrew Coppolino).

Among other breakfast and lunch dishes, Darlise serves six Bennies ($10-$13), including all-day breakfast. Howie handles the distinguishing feature of Eggs Benedict with aplomb: Hollandaise, a French “Mother Sauce,” holds together not because of a binder such as flour, but because it is an egg-emulsified butter sauce.

You can thicken sauces by adding proteins and starches to them, or you can thicken them by filling their water molecules with fat. Sneaking one liquid into another is the emulsification.

Fluid mechanics

Howie is an expert at it; he will make four or five batches of Hollandaise for a busy Saturday breakfast service.

“I separate the eggs and add Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon juice and salt and pepper, and I cook it over an open flame. I then add the clarified butter and adjust with salt and pepper,” says Howie.

Other Hollandaise makers will use a double-boiler fashioned of a large bowl sitting on a smaller pot of gently boiling water, rather than on open flame. It’s actually remarkable to watch Howie make the sauce.

On Queen between Charles and King (Photo/Andrew Coppolino).

As for using clarified butter, whole butter is watery and thins the egg yolk and therefore takes more whisking. Clarifying the butter separates the milk solids and leaves you with butterfat, which, along with heat, thicken the Hollandaise.

Fluid mechanics aside, Eggs Benedict is a nice soft, runny poached egg cooked for about two-and-a-half minutes, so it oozes nicely and blends with the pea meal bacon, English muffin and the Hollandaise.

Gluten-free too

Add to that Howie’s potato pancake. He cooks the potatoes with skins on, cools and peels them. He then adds caramelized onions, salt and pepper, garlic, some sugar and parsley. “That is bound with chickpea flour and eggs, so they’re gluten-free,” he says. “It’s my own recipe.”

In a busy, busy restaurant, dishes that come together quickly are important; for veteran cook Howie that includes eggs with an egg sauce.

“Benedicts in general are really easy once the Hollandaise is made,” he says. “I like Bennies.”


Darlise Café 
33A Queen Street South 
Kitchener, ON    N2G 1V8 
(226) 647-9100

Reading Time: < 1 minute Yeah, then it’s time for pizza. That’s amore. Here are three of my favourites for just about everyone’s favourite pie […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute In 1860, in Napoli no less, “pizza cake,” as it was termed, was also described as an oddity. Apparently, the […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes In South Africa, don’t call it barbecue: it’s “braai.” It’s also the name of a Stratford restaurant that’s a unique […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute [Previously published] An update to something I’ve written about previously — the iconic (and delicious) Jamaican patty. Kevin Thomas of […]

Reading Time: 4 minutes At Ambrosia Pastry Co.,324 Frederick Street, Kitchener, ON N2H 2N8www.clementinecateringkw.com [Previously published]A serendipitous moment? Whatever the applicable cliche and however […]

Reading Time: 3 minutes Sugar RunQueen Street SouthKitchener, ON N2G 1V8(226) 747-3847 Sugar Run has recently started a collaboration with Swine and Vine, the […]

Reading Time: 1 minute With a “Black Friday” kick-off, THEMUSEUM is supporting local hospitality with its annual holiday membership promotion. That means that every […]

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bao Sandwich Bar#B-106 62 Balsam Street,Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3H2(519) 226-1226 [Previously published] It’s a hidden gem, if there ever were […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes I do enjoy a bowl of congee in cooler weather, and I enjoy as much exploring the different textures and […]

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ken Sushi HouseBlair House256 Phillip StreetWaterloo, ON N2L 6B6(519) 883-7272kensushihouse.ca My first visit to Ken Sushi House, ensconced in “Blair […]

Reading Time: 3 minutes Juniper Dining Co. 3 Elm Street   Paris, ON   N3L 2L6  (519) 302-2200  juniperdiningco.ca   Self-described as a bouchon, a Lyonnaise-style bistro, Juniper […]

Reading Time: 5 minutes Like you, I’m weary of what I call the “Covid Enclosure Movement.” I’ve anointed it with an historical name in […]

Reading Time: 7 minutes [Previously posted] Inside, it looks a bit like something you might see on a Bourdain episode as the cook-turned-culinary-celebrity traipses […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes Because it doesn’t use a bacterial culture or rennet (an enzyme), ricotta cheese is technically a “dairy product,” but it’s […]

Reading Time: 3 minutes [This article appeared previously in The Kitchener Post] There are two types of people in the world: those who like […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes Pho Tran Viet-Thai Restaurant 809 Victoria Street North Kitchener, ON  N2B 3C3 (519) 744-6066 www.photran.ca Open daily [This article appeared […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute Please check in here for news and information about walking tours in Waterloo Region and Perth County. A downtown Kitchener […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes I was tipped off to the existence of Madhu’s Caribbean cooking by a reliable source – local cook Shenelle (known […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute [Previously published]Among the first words you read on the popular restaurant’s website are “today’s fast paced world,” where “we are […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes Omni Palace247 King Street NorthWaterloo, ON   N2J 2Y8(519) 208-6288www.omni-palace.com Update:It is unfortunate because I (and others) like their food, but […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute Apostrophes: I’ve been collecting them from local markets and produce sections. Of course, I kid. A versatile and popular piece […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Garland double-deck oven, standing 170 centimetres and weighing 570 kilograms, sits imposingly in Reeghan Peister’s newly renovated basement kitchen. […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’ve been eating hot turkey sandwiches and so-called “hot hamburg plates” at area restaurants. (Now in the lockdown, that will […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes Waterloo Region’s annual beery festival Oktoberfest didn’t really happen this year (nor did it in Munich), but as October wanes, […]

Follow by Email