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 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 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 blue background with a white bowl filled with sliced peaches, tomatoes, red onions, basil, and chunks of bread.

Tomato and Peach Panzanella

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

Four salmon summer rolls on a metal sheet with a piece of scallion and a bowl of dipping sauce.

Salmon Summer Rolls

Swapping out traditional pork and shrimp with salmon makes for a simple, stunning, and super impressive upgrade to classic Vietnamese summer rolls.

A weathered wood table with a white plate, filled with 2 honey-soy covered trout, green beans, lime quarters, a pot of glaze and a large spoon.

Trout with Honey-Soy Glaze

Need a sign that you should be eating more fish? This is it. This roasted trout with a sweetly Asian-inspired glaze will make you see the light.

A cup of easy caramel sauce on a saucer with a spoon resting on top.

Easy Caramel Sauce

This simple caramel sauce was made for weeknight cravings that desperately demand scooping something sweet by the spoonful.

Three glasses of sweet tea cocktail on a wooden table.

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.

A carved wooden bowl filled with barbecue potato chips.

Barbecue Potato Chips

A cheater’s version of homemade barbecue potato chips that will have you hooked for life. Taste ’em and get back to us.

Two barbecue pork burgers with slaw and barbecue sauce stacked on top of each other.

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.

Two waffle cones filled with mango frozen yogurt propped up in a metal rack.

Mango Frozen Yogurt

Fro yo never tasted quite so sweet or seemed quite so simple as this lovely little rendition that calls for 3 ingredients and 10 minutes.