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Found 303 results

  1. I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman. To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai.
  2. It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita. My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite pasta dish for lunch was slipping further and further away. What a nightmare! How can this be? A local passing by must have noticed my frustration. "Signorina, è riposo. Tutto è chiuso!" Of course! How could I forget about the sacred Italian siesta? A siesta or riposo, as most Italians call it, is a time of rest. This time is usually around midday, or the hottest part of the day (very inconvenient if you're craving a bowl of pasta.) No one can really say where the tradition of the siesta originates, but many say it's all about food (no surprises there really). For many Italian families the main meal of the day is lunch. This heavy meal in the middle of the day is attributed to the standard Mediterranean diet: A minuscule breakfast of a coffee and pastry , a heavy lunch and an evening meal around 10 o'clock. The logic is that after such a heavy meal one would surely be drowsy and need to rest, no one can work efficiently on a full stomach! Post offices, car rentals, supermarkets and even coffee shops (in some smaller towns police stations too) all close their doors for a riposo. Everything comes to a standstill as every Italian goes home to kick of their shoes, enjoy a homemade lunch with family and bask in the Italian sunshine for three to four hours. This is serious business. One would not dare work for 8 hours straight. After their riposo most businesses open again around 4 o'clock and stay open till 7pm. Its the perfect balance between work and play and does wonders for your digestive system! "Grazie!" I thanked her for the reminder. The midday sun started to become unbearable. The streets had cleared with only a few tourists braving the midday heat still around. I thought about the strawberries I bought from the market earlier that week. Strawberries for lunch on my shaded balcony and maybe a nap afterwards sounded like my perfect riposo. The pasta will have to wait till 4.
  3. @Alleguede and I are in the lounge at Pearson awaiting our flight to Vegas for the IBIE (International Baking Industry Exhibition). I got the usually bomb sniffing swab done on my electronics - @Alleguede got the 3rd degree at customs. Anyone know what a carnet is? I believe I got that lecture the last time. Made myself a little cocktail, Maker's Mark, Grand Marnier, vintage port. I've had better! Not a lot of choices to eat since it's rather late (not that earlier would have helped) - they also have pasta salad, Italian Wedding soup, Cream of mushroom soup, corn chips and salsa. There appear to be some cookies there as well. I'm trying to low carb as much as possible so I'm avoiding most of it.
  4. I was thinking of doing a food blog of my recent trip through parts of New Zealand's south island. Most of the food we had was nothing spectacular, but the experiences and various scenery we had over the trip were amazing. Is there any interest in this?
  5. Hi everybody! I'm Jake, I'm 26 and from the United Kingdom. I've recently left a career in science teaching and I really hope to pursue my true passion, food writing by becoming either a recipe developer, a food journalist, or both! I've launched my website today so thought it was a good time to get active in some online forums and say hello! I look forward to meeting and interacting with you all ❤️
  6. Hello again from south of the equator! As you may or may not have heard (because the international news media isn't really giving the situation much coverage), Ecuador is in the grip of a major social protest movement. This started on October 1, when fuel subsidies in the country were abruptly struck causing the prices of gasoline and diesel to more than double overnight. Transport and heavy haulage unions immediately went on strike, and blocked the main roads of the cities with their vehicles in protest. The indigenous movements of the central Sierra, beginning in my province, Tungurahua, joined the strike on October 2, and the President quickly declared a State of Emergency that restricts movement, freedom of the press, and freedom association. The indigenous took over the road blockades on October 3, cutting the cities off from the world; Ambato became an island overnight. It is now October 8, one week into the blockades. Shortages in the fresh markets and supermarkets began on Sunday, as people realized that we were in for a long-haul of protest and possibly an overthrow of the sitting government. Ecuador's indigenous have a long history of deposing governments in this way, and it's not a fast process. I'll be blogging informally throughout the National Strike, to document how the inevitable food shortages affect the city and my own table. These first pictures are from Sunday, October 6. In the Mercado Mayorista, a place I've always taken you along to when I've blogged from Ambato, the cement floors of the naves are visible in places where they have never, in my experience, been exposed. The fresh corn nave is all but abandoned - this is because all of the corn in the city's stock has been sold. I'll remind you: a nave in this market is about a thousand square metres of space. This is also missing the big trucks that come to trade fresh grains in the parking lot, because they couldn't make it through the roadblocks. Most of the Mayorista is in the same situation - stocks are selling off fast. The supermarkets are even more dire. The meat coolers are completely empty, and the produce shelves are diminishing quickly.
  7. We love Japan ! I don’t know why it hasn’t been on my travel radar until recently. The people, the places, the culture and history, and especially the FOOD. There will be no Michelin stars in this report, nor will there be names of restaurants. We ate mainly at isakaya, (local restaurants where there were often only four or five seats), markets (including supermarkets) with a few larger restaurants for balance. There is food available anywhere and anytime if you know where to look. Rather than large meals we tended to snack our way through the day. Some of the best things we ate at “standing bars” no chairs provided. Karaage chicken with salad and miso was first up. The window displays are amazing, you can walk many city blocks underground through various shopping malls, handy when it rained our first day. At a local place. Chicken teriyaki, grilled peppers, potato salad, pickles. Charcoal hibachi. Grew to love sake.
  8. After ... ... I headed to the airport and flew Nanning, China to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. The meal on board the plane is here. We landed two hours later and after the usual immigration nonsense I was met by an old friend and her husband. They had helped me book me a hotel and took me there. The couple are Chinese but live and work in HCMC. They dropped me off at the hotel, made sure I was settled in and took off to attend to some business (they work in the jewellery business, importing and exporting between China and Vietnam), but returned in the evening to take me to dinner. We went here. The place, Làng Nướng Nam Bộ, is huge and, on a Friday evening was packed. My friends ordered - they both speak fluent Vietnamese whereas mine is limited to the basics. I just looked around. Each table was supplied with Tissues and two dips. One was fish sauce and the other seemed to be shrimp paste with sesame. and A bag of crackers, some pickled gherkins or similar and a dip of salt and chilli Steamed Chicken with Banana Hearts Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls - accompanied by a mixed selection of raw greens, which are served with almost everything. Grilled Venison with Grilled Okra Hotpot protein - squid, shrimp, clams, beef Hotpot Vegetables - including both banana hearts and shoots. Everything was good. Especially the venison. I hadn't expected okra, but it seems to be popular. Every market I visited had some, but I'm getting ahead of myself. More to come.
  9. So here we are once again on the road. That would be Kerry singing.. We remembered Kira. And behind Kira is our stash of stuff we’re taking with us.
  10. Host's note: the initial title of this thread was "Swarvin' in ???" as a teaser. Once the destination was identified as Newfoundland, the title was changed to reflect this. The initial comments were based on the ??? In the title. And we'll soon be off.......culinary adventures to follow.
  11. As times and available resources have changed, members have started their own food/travel blogs. These are not listed in the eG Foodblogs index below. You can find them, though, by searching with the tag "foodblog". The tag search box is near the upper right corner of the Forums Main Page. It looks like this:
  12. It's that time of year again, after just getting back from our summer vacation. This year, we went to Yogyakarta which is a city in central Java, Indonesia. The title of the topic comes from the fact that most people there call the city Jogjakarta (pronounced jōg-ja-karta), although some people (depending on background) do call it yōg-ya-karta. This is a special place in Indonesia - Indonesia is a mostly Muslim country, however, the region around Jogjakarta was declared a special region as it is also a Sultanate. It was the original home to the ruler of the island of Java, and once democracy came along, the Sultan still lives there and has some kind of power in the region, as well as with the government as a whole... It's confusing - and I would say that I'm still a bit confused, but that's ok. Anyway, all this leads this region to be called the cultural and culinary capital of the island of Java, the most populous island in the archipelago, some of the reason it is extremely popular with domestic tourists - I'd say the vast majority of the tourists there are from other parts of Indonesia, with the balance being mostly Australians, and some Europeans and very few North Americans. Food-wise, we found Jogja interesting because it is the first Muslim area we have seen in SE Asia, which means (with very few exceptions) no pork. There are tons of chicken dishes - many using what is called kampung chickens, or extremely free range chickens which tend to be relatively scrawny, a little tough but with a lot of flavor. There is also some beef, some mutton/goat and fish. Like a lot of Indonesian food, the use of sambal(s) is key - many times you will have a selection of sambal that you would use to accent or add spiciness to a dish. Some of these sambal are crazy hot... Another thing interesting thing about being a mostly Muslim area is the seemingly ever-present call to prayer. In the city, typically 5 times a day, the Mosques will have their best singer sing the call to prayer (which lasts about 20 minutes) over the loudspeaker systems. If you are in an area with a few mosques, you will hear 3 different versions all going at the same time. Some of these calls are at inopportune times - like 1:30AM - so most hotels provide ear plugs so you won't be woken up in the middle of the night. Like we do on all our trips, we take Benadryl as a sleep aid to help get us over the jetlag... so we never needed the earplugs as we were sleeping very soundly to say the least! I think I'll sum this up by talking about how relatively inexpensive this city is. It is probably the cheapest area that we have seen on our travels so far - you can get a luxury hotel room for about $50 per night, and a 40 minute taxi ride across the city doesn't cost more than $3-4, at the current rate of exchange. Local food is really cheap too. I took some photos of menus to show pricing - keep in mind that the current rate of exchange is about IDR14,100 to US$1. What can be much more expensive is some touristy things - foreign tourists are charged a different rate from domestic tourists, and in some cases will have a separate entrance (and usually a much shorter, or non-existent, line).
  13. @Alleguede and I are in the lounge awaiting our flight to NYC. Saturday is the Fine Chocolate Industry Association's Summer Elevate Chocolate event. I will likely spend a day at the Fancy Food Show this trip. Only one specific plan this time - we have reservations for Dessert Bar - Michael Laiskonis's new dessert place inside the bakery Recolte
  14. About the eG Foodblogs The eG Foodblogs began in 2003 and are a popular feature in the eG Forums. These are discussion topics in which an eG Society member engages the rest of the membership in discussion of all the food and drink they consume, usually for a period of one week. Society members who become eG Foodbloggers write about all the food that they plan, purchase, cook and eat, accompanied by photos. They discuss their food background, family food preferences, eating habits old and new, shopping, gardens, beverages consumed, and more, responding to questions and comments from other members throughout the week. Sometimes there is a specific culinary theme to an eG Foodblog, and other times the discussion is simply about a typical week of meals for that member. Although most eG Foodbloggers do love to cook and/or bake, not all love fixing their meals. All do love to eat. A significant number of eG Foodblogs focus mostly on routine dining out, or the eats enjoyed during travel. Starting this month (October, 2010) a new season of eG Foodblogs will begin. If you are interested in becoming an eG Foodblogger (or would like to nominate someone else!) please send an e-mail to eGFoodblogs@egullet.org. Please keep in mind that all normal forum rules apply within the eG Foodblogs. Finally, the Society is searching for a volunteer to assist the forums team in coordinating the eG Foodblogs program: if you are interested in the position please contact eG Foodblog co-ordinator and host Heidi Husnak aka "heidih" (hhusnak@eGstaff.org) to discuss what the position entails.
  15. Hello, oh wonderful eGulleteers! I know I've been away a while, but at least I'm coming back in style. Not a whole lot has changed here in Ecuador - it's still definitely paradise, and the big Market still runs on Sundays and Mondays. I'll be off towards that shortly, to shop for the week and also to search out some of the food I want to feature in this blog - namely, the quick breads and munchies on the go that Latin America is justifiably famous for! So what am I waiting for? It's time to EAT!
  16. We’ve just returned from a fun filled 16 days on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. The food was fantastic, the people friendly, the markets chaotic, the temples serene, the mountains breathtaking, the wildlife plentiful and the weather ? Well, you can’t have everything, it was mostly hot, and at times very wet. Why Sri Lanka ? We loved time spent earlier this year in southern India, especially the food. Sri Lanka lies just off the southern tip of India and has been influenced over time by various invading Indian dynasties. Often referred to as the spice Island, it’s been an important trading post for centuries. Other countries have also played their part in shaping Sri Lankan cuisine. The Portuguese arrived in the early part of the 16th century, the Dutch gained control in the 17th century, the British had control by 1815, and independence was proclaimed in 1948. Throughout these years, Chinese traders also contributed to the evolution of Sri Lanka. So, what’s the food like ? Delicious ! Our first night was spent at a homestay in the coastal city of Negombo. All day the rain bucketed down. It was difficult to go anywhere else, so we asked our hosts to provide dinner. Good move ! The rain let up long enough for a quick quick visit to the fish market, the first of several we’d see. Our hostess made 10 different dishes including a mango curry where I watched her pluck the fruit from the tree in the front yard. There was sour fish curry, chicken curry, dal, several veggie curries, chutney, two rice and roti bread. The meal cost 900 rupees pp, or about $6. Gosh it was good. Lousy photo, some better ones to come.
  17. In December, I spent 3 glorious weeks eating my way through Japan; Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Sapporo, Hakodate and back to Tokyo. It was my 11th (!) trip to Japan but my mother had never been, so I thought I'd take the old girl over for a good time. We did not kill each other, surprisingly. I'll come back and caption these a little more informatively over coming weeks, but as you can see, we ate rather a lot. Midori Sushi, Mark City, Shibuya (always my first stop when I arrive in Tokyo, as my preferred hotel is directly above it) Toro tuna belly, Midori Sushi, Mark City, Shibuya Squid gristle for snack time (as you do) Uni tempura, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Uni tempura, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Eel, fish and scallop tempura, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Clam meat, chopped, stuffed back in clam shell and tempura'd, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Crab leg tempura, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Maitake mushroom (a cluster of them) tempura, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Squid, prawn which had been alive right up until this point, lotus root tempura, dipping sauce, radish and green tea salt, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Prawn head tempura, Tsunahachi, Shinjuku Evening hotel room snack - an AUD$15 tray of uni from Isetan depachika (food basement), Shinjku Amaebi (sweet raw prawn) gunkan sushi from Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya ' Engawa (flounder fin), lightly grilled, Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya Otoro, chutoro and akami tuna, Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya Marinated raw baby squid sushi, Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya Otoro fatty tuna belly and minced daikon (takuan), Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya Fried oysters, Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya Negitoro - fatty minced tuna belly and green onion, Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya Salmon, flounder fin and tuna belly aburi (lightly grilled), Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya
  18. I have just returned home after four days (three nights) in Guilin. This was a business trip, so no exotic tales this time. Just food. Anyway, despite its reputation, Guilin is actually a rather dull city for the most part - anything interesting lies outside the city in the surrounding countryside. I was staying in the far east of the city away from the rip-off tourist hotels and restaurants and spent my time with local people eating in normal restaurants. I arrived in Wednesday just in time for lunch. LUNCH WEDNESDAY We started with the obligatory oil tea. Oil Tea Omelette with Chinese Chives Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables Sour Beef with Pickled Chillies Cakes* Morning Glory / Water Spinach** * I asked what the cakes were but they got rather coy when it came to details. It seems these are unique to this restaurant. ** The Chinese name is 空心菜 kōng xīn cài, which literally means 'empty heart vegetable', describing the hollow stems.
  19. Prologue: Originally, we intended to spend this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We have travelled a lot last year and will need to attend a wedding already next month in Germany, so I was happy to spend some quiet days at home (and keep the spendings a bit under control as well). As a consequence, we had not booked any flights in the busiest travel time of the year in this region … But – despite all good intentions – I found myself two weeks ago calling the hotline of my favourite airline in the region, essentially cashing in on three years of extensive business travel and checking where I could get on short notice over CNY on miles. I was expecting a laughter on the other side of the line but this is the one time my status in their loyalty reward program paid out big time: three seats for either Seoul or Kansai International (earliest morning flights, of course). No need to choose, really – Kyoto, here we come !
  20. I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine.
  21. And so it begins once again. @Kerry Beal is on the road heading to my house to pick me up so we can head north to Manitoulin Island. Hopefully she remembered to put Kira in the van. Things will be very different this time. Change is inevitable. Among the changes iscthat one of our favourite nurses now that she has her children are grown is going back to school to become an anaesthesiology assistant. You might remember her as the owner of a lovely piece of property with horses, dogs, cats, kids and raspberries. But perhaps the biggest change is that the townhouse is to be sold. It is on the market with a closing date of September. Thankfully it will not be shown while we are there! Almost everything in the town house belongs to Kerry except for the furniture and the appliances. One of our challenges will be how to deal with all this accumulated stuff! This will be Kerry‘s 19th summer up there so I leave you to imagine the challenges we will face. But I am determined it will not interfere with our cooking or our enjoyment of the waterfront view or of all the other adventures that we manage to get up to each year. Stay tuned for future installments.
  22. Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
  23. OK, I'm back, by popular demand! hehe.... After being back for 2 days, I'm still struggling with crazy jetlag and exhaustion - so please bear with me! This year, for our Asian adventure, we went to Bali, which for those who don't know, is one of the islands in Indonesia. Bali is a very unique place - from its topology, to the people, language, customs, religion and food. Whereas the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, most people in Bali are Balinese Hindu, which from what I understand is a little like Indian Hinduism, but has more ancestor worship. Religion is very important to many people in Bali - there are temples everywhere, and at least in one area, there are religious processions through the street practically every day - but we'll get to that later. Bali has some food unique to it among its Indonesian neighbors, but like everywhere, has seen quite a bit of immigration from other Indonesian islands (many from Java, just to the west) who have brought their classic dishes with them. Basically all Indonesians speak Indonesian, or what they call Bahasa Indonesia, or just Bahasa, which, anyone who has read my prior foodblogs wouldn't be surprised to hear that I learned a little bit just before the trip. Unfortunately, I didn't get to use any of it, except a couple times which were totally unnecessary. When speaking with each other, most people in Bali speak Balinese (totally different from bahasa) - many times when I tried using my bahasa, they smiled and replied, and then tried to teach me the same phrase in Balinese! As time went on, and I used some of the Balinese, I got lots of surprised smiles and laughs - who is this white guy speaking Balinese?!? Seriously though, tourism has been in Bali for a very long time, so just about everyone we encountered spoke English to some degree. Some people spoke German as well, as they supposedly get lots of tourists from Germany. As one of our drivers was telling us, Bali is heavily dependent on tourism as they have no real industry other than agriculture, which doesn't pay nearly as well as tourism does. While there are beaches all around the island, most of the popular beach areas are in the south of the island, and those areas are the most highly touristed. We spent very little time in the south as we are not really beach people (we get really bored) and during planning, decided to stay in less touristed areas so we'd have more opportunities for local food... this didn't work out, as you'll see later. So, it wouldn't be a KennethT foodblog without photos in the Taipei airport and I-Mei Dim Sum, which we called home for about 4 hours before our connection to Bali... Beef noodle soup: The interior: This was the same as always - huge pieces of beef were meltingly tender. Good bite to the thick chewy noodles. Xie long bao (soup dumplings) and char siu bao (fluffy barbeque pork buns):
  24. In Northeast Minnesota, what they call the Iron Range, Where men are men and that is that, and some things never change, Where winter stays 9 months a year, there is no spring or fall and it's so cold the mercury cannot be seen at all... -- So begins Garrison Keillor's Ballad of the Finn Who Would Not Take a Sauna. It's a fine read, if you like that sort of thing (I do), and it's even better if you can hear Garrison himself recite it. It's also as good an introduction as I can think of to this corner of my world. As luck and good timing would have it, I'm blogging during that all-too-brief time that is NOT winter, and might be called summer if you were to squint. Summer here is the despair of gardeners. It started this year around July 4, as it frequently does. Tonight is August 17, and the temperature is predicted to dip to 39F. We're on the fast downhill slide from summer into fall, all right. I can't speak for everyone around here, but I'm clinging hard to the last vestiges of summer. It isn't that I don't like the fall - I do - but summer and its produce here are too ephemeral to wish them to hurry away. This blog is to be a bit of a tour for you, to show you around the area and its produce, and to celebrate summer as it starts to slide in earnest. My area of coverage is pretty broad. I live near Duluth, which is at the pointy end of Lake Superior, but I spend a lot of time working up the North Shore of Lake Superior, and somewhat less time inland on the Iron Range. (Do not let my blog title and the poem confuse you: Duluth is not the Iron Range is not the North Shore. From a distance they may look alike, but the residents will no more appreciate being mislabeled than, say, a Scot would appreciate being called English.) If you look at a map of Minnesota and imagine lopping off the northeastern quadrant, going roughly straight north from the end of Lake Superior, you can see why it's called the Arrowhead. The cultures and foods of the areas I visit are different enough that they're all worth exploring, and I'll do that to the best of my ability. I'll add a couple of words about my work and the way I imagine this blog will work, and then post this to get things going. First off: I work two jobs - one full time, one less so. Sometimes I'm near a computer during the day, but I can't count on it, so my main activity is likely to be during the evening, or first thing in the morning. The full-time job is only indirectly related to food. The part-time job is as a flight instructor, and it isn't at all related to food, although there's likely to be an airport lunch sometime this week. However - both jobs involve a lot of teaching and communication! I cannot abide posting or lecturing in a vacuum, so I hope you'll ask lots of questions or post comments. I plan to solicit opinions and suggestions for some cookery I intend to do, too. While I've been typing on this, I've been having an evening snack: Nectarine-plum ice cream based on Ruth Smith's Peach Ice Cream, the original recipe, and Folie a Deux Menage a Trois wine, an inexpensive blend of zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Mmm. Ice cream and red wine are a nice combination, especially at this hour. Welcome to my world!
  25. Much like cookbooks, what the world needs now is many fewer restaurant critics. Over the next week, it’s my goal to ensure that you talk me out of my job, while I, meanwhile, try to talk you into it. So to speak. In other words, I want you to ask me lots of questions. My life doesn’t hang in the balance of my next review, something that I’ve been doing professionally for the past 15 years. But from writing about restaurants I’ve also come to know the food service business quite well, I suppose. And behind the swinging doors lie much bigger stories, especially of the collaboration of chef, farmer and fisherman; distribution; cross-cultural influences (Vancouver, where the culinary DNA is still knitting itself together, is a fine laboratory to observe that in); the collusion of wine with food; and more recently, the necessity of sustainability, especially as it relates to the global fishery. This week I’m going to eat my last Russian caviar. Ever. No, restaurant reviewing would be much less interesting if I couldn’t write about these bigger stories. So I hope that I can transmit to you how the research works, how the writing gets done, and ultimately, lend a sense as to how culinary cultures--born from diversity--emerge with a sense of their new locality. We’ll be covering a considerable amount of real estate across this big, raw-boned place: • We’ll begin today In British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley Wine Country and for the next two days and nights look in on some agricultural history (in an attempt to track the area's culinary evolution) and wineries, cook with chef Michael Allemeier of the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (braised boar cheeks will be featured at a Friday night dinner party with some wine folks) and a revisit to a restaurant to demonstrate our review process and methodology. • On Saturday I’ll return to our home in Vancouver—where we have some friends joining us for a little seasonal cheer, ‘Seven Hour Sacrificial Lamb’ and ‘Cheesier-Than-Mariah Carey Scalloped Potatoes.’ • On Sunday morning we’ll be flying to the wild outside coast of Vancouver Island to the ecotourism town of Tofino, which is about an hour’s flight in a twin engine aircraft. Once there we’ll be looking in at coastal cuisine from the pans of chef Andrew Springett at The Wickaninnish Inn and, in a more casual vein, at the construction of excellent fish tacos at Sobo. • On Monday we’ll be returning to Vancouver to go behind the scenes at pastry chef Thomas Haas’s (he was the opening executive pastry chef at Daniel in Manhattan) lovely production facility, and observe John van der Liek at the Oyama Sausage Factory, which carefully produces more than 150 products. We'll aslo track the history of a new restaurant, from development menu to opening night and review. • Through the balance of the week we’ll look inside many more professional kitchens and markets, hopes and dreams. I’m sure we’ll find a few other things to do too. Once again, I very much encourage your questions. Last night, the Ice Wine harvest was supposed to start. In order to trigger that, Vintners' Quality Alliance reguations demand the temperature must stay at or below -8 degrees Centigrade through the entire pick, which can take a while. Anything else is just Late Harvest fruit. Alas, there was a slight inversion off the lake yesterday afternoon and it was called off. So we stoked the fire and rolled back into bed. But now I’m off to pick up some croissants down the hill at La Boulangerie. We baked some Irish soda bread yesterday as well. I’ll make some strong coffee when I’m back, and begin to tell you a little more about this disturbingly beautiful place . . . Welcome, Jamie Image: On the Beach - Okanagan Lake last afternoon, 1530 hours.
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