About Helen Doberstein

Helen Doberstein

Helen was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has lived in the “GTA” (Greater Toronto Area) all of her life. Her earliest memories of food were typical of the English/Irish cooking of the day, which in Helen’s words meant “gray vegetables, potatoes, and well-done meats, sometimes with a token salad.” Fancy wasn’t on the menu growing up. Helen’s mom had taught her the basics so she wouldn’t starve, but the kitchen was always her mother’s domain. Intruders were welcome—to do the dishes.

As newlyweds, Helen and her husband became involved in round-robin dinner parties, which encouraged Helen to expand her cooking skills. Her most memorable dinner party involved a chocolate fondue that had so much kirsch in it she had to make coffee as everyone waited for cabs so they could get home safely. No one was given a choice to drive home after that dessert. (Helen deemed the night a huge success.) Not long after that, she started watching Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. In terms of cooking,she was hooked. Around the same time, Helen started collecting cookbooks and trying more and more new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. Soon everything was fair game.

Fortunately, when it comes to food, Helen’s family and friends are happy to try most anything that she’s prepared. The Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Stuffed Squash wowed her husband. Helen’s mother is extremely fond of the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The guys at the curling club loved the Duck Prosciutto and Bacon Jam.  And Helen? She’ll tell you that her favorite recipe is the Braised Duck Legs with Leeks and Green Olives. No, it’s the Sunday Roast Beef. Hmmm, it’s probably the Chilaquiles. Actually, like most of us, she’s not able to choose just one.

Helen and her husband now live in Bradford, Ontario, which she will tell you, has the distinction of being the “Vegetable Capital of Canada”. They have three grown children, and one adorable granddaughter. Helen has worked for three of the major Canadian banks, as well as with her husband at his business in Toronto, and is currently office administrator for the Lisbon Group in Bradford. She’s also spent many years teaching ceramics in the evenings, practicing archery, and making jewelry. She previously tested recipes for America’s Test Kitchen, and when her tenure there was done, she discovered Leite’s. “I can’t imagine doing this for anyone else now,” she says. “I love the sense of community here and look forward to many more years of happy testing.”

About Helen Doberstein, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Helen Doberstein has tested.

Slow Roasted Carrots Recipe

Roasted Carrots

Honey and cayenne lend these carrots a sweet heat that’s perfectly lovely alongside just about anything.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 50 M
  • 2
Apricot Galette Recipe

Apricot Galette

This perfectly imperfect galette is unspeakably easier to make than pie. And yet to guests its equally impressive. Do the math.

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 2 H
  • 0
Zucchini Salad Recipe

Shaved Zucchini Salad

A jumble of raw shaved vegetables that comes together easily, tastes magnificent, and doesn’t even require you to turn on the stove. Sounds like a summer staple to us.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 20 M
  • 0
Sweet Tea Cocktail Recipe

Sweet Tea Cocktail

Sweet tea. Whiskey. Lemon juice. That’s all it takes to make a sassy summertime cocktail you’ll want to sip all afternoon long.

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 6
Hot Dog on a Baguette Recipe

Hot Dog on a Baguette

Made with crusty French bread in place of squishy hot dog buns, this dog is reminiscent of what you’ll find on the streets of Paris.

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 10 M
  • 14
Texas Brisket Recipe

Texas Brisket

No rub. No sauce. Just perfectly smoked bbq brisket exquisiteness. Here’s how to make it at home.

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 18 H, 30 M
  • 7
Best New York Deli Potato Salad Recipe

Best Potato Salad

Best potato salad ever. That’s what folks are saying about this easy and, dare we say, elegant spud salad.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H, 20 M
  • 29
Tomato-Peach Panzanella Recipe

Tomato and Peach Panzanella

Tomato and peach panzanella may sound unlikely but it’s gonna knock your socks off. Or, if you’re not wearing socks this time of year, then it’ll knock your flip-flops off. Guaranteed.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • 4
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Recipe

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This slightly sweet, subtly tangy, entirely apple-y vinaigrette recipe is going to come in far more handy than you can ever imagine.

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 6
Barbecued Pork Burgers with Slaw Recipe

Barbecue Pork Burgers

A weeknight-friendly riff on slow-roasted pulled pork that juxtaposes tangy bbq sauce, succulent pork, and old-fashioned slaw, all in a jiffy.

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 30 M
  • 26
Maple Bourbon Short Ribs Recipe

Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs

As sweet as candy yet with an undertone of savory, these maple bourbon braised short ribs are like dinner and dessert all at once.

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • 2