Canadian comedians dish on their most memorable meals

Each week, Sarah Penton, host of CBC Radio One's Interior B.C. afternoon program, Radio West, asks a guest to share a story about their most memorable meal.

From a favourite childhood snack, to the dish that changed the course of a date, these are the meals that funny men Mark Critch, Darrell Dennis and Bruce McCulloch will never forget. 

Mark Critch

When Mark Critch, host of This Hour Has 22 Minutes got married last August in Bonavista Bay in Newfoundland, he decided to go fishing the morning of his wedding.

The small town of Trinity along the bay has always held a special place in Critch's heart, because he used to work there in 1993 for a theatre company that was trying to train fishermen who were out of work to be actors.

Photo by Nate and Nicole Photography

Many fishermen had lost their jobs after the cod fisheries were closed in 1992 to protect local stocks of fish. 

However, each year there is a recreation food fishery, where people are allowed to fish a set amount of cod — and Critch's wedding happened to fall on one of those days;. 

So, Critch and his friend, chef Jeremy Charles, went out and caught some cod. And when some other fishermen found out it was his wedding, they gave him their cod too.

That night, all of the guests at the wedding had the fish in a stew made by Charles as their midnight meal. 

"It was honest to God, it was probably the best thing I've ever had my life," said Critch.

"It was the loveliest meal I've ever had, because everything kind of came full circle in that moment: food, friends, family and the most important ingredient, love."

Listen to the full Memorable Meal here:

Darrell Dennis

Los Angeles based actor-comedian-writer Darryl Dennis, from the Secwepemc Nation in B.C.'s Interior, has hosted CBC's ReVision Quest, appeared on Just For Laughs, has had numerous roles on television, founded two First Nations comedy troupes, and is a series regular on APTN's Guilt Free Zone.

However, the meal that stands out to him is not something you'd look for on the menu of a fine dining restaurant.

Photo by Nate and Nicole Photography

When Dennis was young, his mom, who was a single mother after his father left when he was three, made sure he ate healthy food, even when she was a full-time student or working.

However, one day while they were living in Vancouver, on a particularly rainy and grey day, she made him cinnamon toast and hot chocolate to "chase away the gloomies."

"That was amazing, because I'd never seen that because this was the opposite of healthy," said Dennis.

Ever since then, whenever he's felt down, that's been his go-to meal. 

Ten years ago, when Dennis found out his father, with whom he wasn't close, had died, he had a panic attack and went to the hospital.

The next morning, after leaving the hospital, Dennis stopped at a diner to eat something he hadn't had in years.

"I said OK, give me cinnamon toast and hot chocolate, let's chase the gloomies away," he said.

"Everything felt good again."

Listen to the full Memorable Meal here:

Bruce McCulloch

When Bruce McCulloch, a former member of the sketch comedy group Kids In The Hall, and executive producer of CBC comedy show TallBoyz, went on his first date with his wife, it was a disaster.

Determined to make up for it on their second date, McCulloch took her to a restaurant he thought would impress her. However, when they arrived, it was closed.

"I was panicked that I was going to lose it with this woman," he said.


So he found a nearby French bistro that happened to be open and ordered steak and fettuccini.

His now-wife,Tracy, ordered french fries and when they arrived, he took one from her plate.

"I'm from Calgary and you're allowed to just take someone's french fries without asking, especially on a date because, aren't we sharing?" 

Turns out, she didn't feel the same way about sharing, so when McCulloch's steak arrived, she took his entire steak.

"[She] ate most of it right in front of me," he said.

In that moment, some of tension disappeared.

"That meal turned our relationship around and it began," he said. "When we got married in our backyard in Los Angeles we had — you know it — steak and fettuccine."

Listen to the full Memorable Meal here: