Helen Doberstein, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Helen Doberstein has tested.

Helen Doberstein, Leite's Culinaria Recipe Tester

Helen was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has lived in the “GTA” (Greater Toronto Area) all her life. Her earliest memories of food are 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 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 Smoked Salmon Pizza. 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 Churchill, Ontario, a quiet village an hour north of Toronto. They have three grown children, an 8-year-old granddaughter, 2-year-old grandson and a 4 legged furry rescue who had decided she is not a dog but a princess. Helen has worked for three of the major Canadian banks, as well as with her husband at his business in Toronto, and is currently an 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.”

A pork loin roast, tied and seasoned with salt and pepper, on a foil-lined sheet pan with a wire rack.

Pork Loin Roast

Just like what your grandma would put on the table for Sunday night dinner. (Don’t you love how food instantly transports you through time?!)

An Irish coffee mug filled with butterscotch beer with foam on top and a drizzle of butterscotch sauce.

Butterscotch Beer

If a trip to Hogsmeade isn’t in your future, you can whip up a sweet little batch of Butterscotch Beer to tide you over. It’s magical.

Three sweet and spicy tacos on a white plate with wedges of lime alongside.

Sweet and Spicy Tacos

Happy National Taco Day! Who needs those spice packets when you can make your own sassy, satisfying, and sophisticated tacos with a citrus zing?

A deep roasting pan filled with roast chicken and vegetables

Moroccan-Spiced Roast Chicken

What do we adore most about roast chicken? The fix-it-and-forget-about-it-ness of it. That and the countless ways to fancy it up. Here’s one of our fuss-free favorites.

A metal skillet filled with creamy pasta covered with shredded Parmesan and cracked pepper, with a large serving spoon. A bowl of Parmesan and a pepper mill sit beside it.

Cacio e Pepe

This crazy satisfying, ridiculously cheap, pantry-minded dinner consists of just pasta, cheese, oil, salt, pepper, and a nifty technique.

A metal sheet pan, covered with spread out tomato paste.

Homemade Tomato Paste

Never again tussle with that teensy tin can that always contains too much or too little paste for your recipe. Not with this mellow, caramelized homemade conserva.

frozen cubes of green herbs in olive oil on a cast iron pan.

How to Freeze Herbs

When life hands you an abundance of herbal loveliness, pull out your ice cube tray, add some olive oil, and save that loveliness for another day.