Chef John Horne Feeds Kids–Country Lunchbox

This Country Lunchbox is Chef John Horne’s recipe as part of this week’s Feeding Toronto’s Hungry Students to raise awareness and funds to fight student hunger.  Read more on that here 

Chef John Horne from Oliver & Bonacini’s Canoe

Country Lunchbox - PHOTO CREDIT - Alex DaPonteChef John Horne - PHOTO CREDIT - Garrison McArthur Photographers

Chef John Horne’s Recipe – Country Lunchbox –
Ham & Cheese on Buttermilk Biscuit with Apple Coleslaw & Crunchy Corn on the Cob

“This Country Lunchbox is similar to what my mom would make us for school. We always had some kind of fruit or vegetable that was in season, whether it was from our garden or the grocery store. This buttermilk biscuit recipe has been in my family for generations. I remember as a kid, having my grandmother’s or great grandmother’s buttermilk biscuits with ham and cheese. It was the perfect snack because it was quick and satisfying before I would run off and play.” Chef John Horne

Country Lunchbox - PHOTO CREDIT - Alex DaPonte

Ingredients for Apple Coleslaw
(Makes 1 to 2 servings):

  • 1 cup shaved green
  • cabbage (can buy precut)
  • ½ apple sliced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider
  • vinegar or any vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • touch of ground
  • cinnamon (optional)


Place all ingredients in a small container with a lid.
Give it a quick stir and place the lid on and shake it up.
Allow it to marinate.

Ingredients for Buttermilk Biscuits

(Makes 10 to 16 Biscuits):

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk


Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork or pastry cutter.
Add in buttermilk.
Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes in the fridge.
Roll out to ¾ inch thickness and use a large cookie cutter to cut rounds out of the dough.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 325˚F for 15 to 18 minutes.
Once cooled, cut open and layer with your favourite country ham and cheese

Ingredients for Crunchy Corn:

  • corn on the cob
  • honey, hummus, or any other preferred spread
  • salted corn nuts


Boil corn on the cob and cool in refrigerator.
Once chilled, brush corn with your desired spread.
Crush the corn nuts by blitzing them in a blender.
Roll the corn in crushed corn nuts to give it a crunchy outside

Note: I have not tested this recipe


This recipe provided as part of the the City of Toronto’s 8th annual Feeding Toronto’s Hungry Students Week (October 1-5, 2012). If you try this recipe, please consider making a donation to The Angel Foundation for Learning, a 25-year-old registered Canadian charity that’s dedicated to supporting the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s most vulnerable students.   Or to your favourite local hunger charity, they all feed a lot of kids!

All photos provided by The Angel Foundation for Learning

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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