Ottawa chef Sarah Farmer is known for her creative pastry work, supplying her desserts to Ministry of Coffee locations in the city, and was most recently chef de cuisine at O’Brien House in Chelsea, Que.

But a case of burnout and physical exhaustion led her to leave behind the demands of daily food service and enter another area of work: food styling and social media.

Farmer recently accepted a job with digital marketer The Transparent Kitchen, where she’ll be doing food photography and posting to social media platforms for restaurant partners. 

Sarah Farmer testing her rosewater bubble gum. (Sarah Farmer)

Before taking on that role, she helped create a five-course collaborative fundraising dinner at the the Canadian Mental Health Association’s wellness centre in Kelowna, B.C., for International Women’s Day.

She told CBC Radio’s All In A Day that the “Balanced for Better” theme of the fundraiser hit close to home.

“I wanted to take some time off [from the kitchen] to tak care of my body, because I wasn’t doing that. [I was] pushing myself a little too hard,” said Farmer.

“The reason this dinner is so important to me is that it highlights the balance for better health.”

Not surprisingly, Farmer was tasked with dessert duties, and she sent dinner guests home with something to chew on: her handmade rose water bubble gum.

Here’s her recipe.

Ottawa chef Sarah Farmer is off to Kelowna this weekend. She’s one of five chefs selected to prepare a special International Women’s Day feast. 12:04

Rose water bubble gum


  • ¼ cup gum base (can be ordered online)
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 2½ cups corn syrup
  • rose water flavouring to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. citric acid
  • burgundy gel colouring


  1. Place the gum base in a double boiler and melt.
  2. Let it cool, then add the icing sugar, syrup, citric acid, flavouring and colour.
  3. Knead the mixture for about 15 minutes until the dough is on the stiffer side.
  4. Dust with a small amount of sugar, divide how you desire, and wrap the pieces of gum in candy foil or parchment. 

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