January 2010


McCormick's Turmeric-Spiced Chicken with Tomato Avocado Salsa.

Spice company McCormick’s  2010 Flavour Forecast is a fun look at what  (according to one press release under their banner) “sensory analysts, chefs, trend experts, food technologists . . . cookbook authors and TV food personalities”  think might be flavourings that will catch fire with cooks everywhere (and get them to buy spices, of course). I love the idea of roasted ginger and rhubarb but am not so crazy about caraway and bitter greens (love the latter, generally avoid the former). I also can’t wait for the garden tomatoes to come on stream to try the turmeric-tomato combo.

Just for fun, I’ve tracked down their 2009 predictions, which follow the 2010 list below. Shows that predicting the future is a difficult game at the best of times. Still, it’s always fun, and often inspiring, to find out what the experts think. (more…)

Okay, this blog is primarily concerned with food of the gloriously edible kind, but I’d like to do a little “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” for my friend and former Province colleague Peter Darbyshire, who has a richly varied blog at Cancult.ca, a look at all that, in his view, makes us a Canadian culture, including, at times, what we eat. He plugged Accidental Foodie on his site, so I’m returning the favour.
Peter is one of those irritatingly talented people. He writes novels and has them published (latest one coming out this spring), he’s a great editor, and though he hates mushrooms, he’s a foodie in his own right.
So check out his site. After all, it does provide lots of nourishing food for thought.

He’s written cookbooks with Jean-George Vongerichten and been a personal friend for 15 years, says Mark Bittman, New York Times food writer and author of a number of best-selling cookbooks himself.

Vongerichten, one of New York’s best-known celebrity chefs, thrilled the Vancouver restaurant scene when he opened Market at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel last year, about the same time that another New York City culinary superstar, Daniel Boulud, opened DB Bistro Moderne where Lumiere used to be.

In the NY Times latest food section, Bittman offers up Vongerichten’s favourite fried rice recipe. featuring leeks, crispy fried shreds of fresh ginger and a sunny-side-up fried egg. “It’s the straightforward but extremely clever refinements on the classic that make his recipe special,” says Bittman.

Whether wacky or crazy, cake is on the menu on this week’s food pages at the  Los Angeles Times. Their food section is one of the best in North America, in my opinion, as they always manage to stay a step or two ahead of most other papers in covering the food scene.

With wacky cake, however, they take a step back. It’s called wacky — or crazy — because the cake is made without eggs, milk or butter and yet it bakes up moist and delicious. LA Times food writer Emily Dwass has gone to the source to find out who invented this particular cake — which requires no bowl or beaters for mixing, just an unbuttered square cake pan and a fork to stir the ingredients together. (more…)

C Food
By Robert Clark and Harry Kambolis
Published by Whitecap Books 2009, hardcover, $40; 165 pages

This starkly beautiful book hides a number of elegant yet accessible recipes, rare for something coming from a top-rated chef of a top-rated Vancouver seafood restaurant.

It’s C’s style to challenge, surprise and even put off, something the book does in spades. When I first began leafing through it, I thought the photos were strange, not like the yummy pictures you’ll see in many other books. They are artfully lit, mysteriously arranged, and it’s sometimes difficult to separate what is food and what is prop. (more…)

I live to eat.

Well, let me tweak that a little.

I love to eat, but I also love to think about eating and all its dimensions.

Like culture:
The first time I had real Greek yogurt about 40 million years ago (yes, I’m that old!) was the first time I had yogurt. With real Greek honey. In a youth hostel in Athens. I was a college student ostensibly studying in Europe at a German university, but my real education was happening outside the stuffy classrooms, as I explored the shops and pubs and roadside stands in all the places I managed to squeeze in between the inscrutable lectures and endless recitation of historical facts and statistics. Since then, I’ve traveled on my stomach as often as possible. I have a husband who loves travel and eating as much as I do, and together, we’ve shared sweetly luscious fresh sheep ricotta in Tuscany, juices-down-the-chin grilled chicken along a sun-baked highway in Mexico and perfectly seared and astonishingly tender duck magrets at a 500-year-old restored farmhouse in the south of France. (more…)