24 February, 2012

Small Bites: sizing up the competition

Julia was my age when she started cooking.
"My Life in France" by Julia Child and Alex de Prud'homme

I've been reading books about food, poking around websites about food, absorbing New Yorker Tables for Two and salivating over the writing, trying to come up with a great lentil recipe, and anticipating taking my first formal cooking class this summer.

But I'm especially looking forward to watching Top Chef Canada return (albeit with only three female chefs).  Maybe it's because of my background in film and TV production, but I can't help falling in love with this show (and its American counterpart).  I am a drooling viewer, watching the chefs flounder against the clock, waiting for the judges' critiques.  The critiques are often quite painful to watch.  As the competition heats up we must shun the chefs that make mistakes.

In other news, the James Beard Foundation announced its nominations for the JBF awards (now that's a lot of nominations; one nominated restaurant, Isa in Brooklyn apparently "deliberately resists being understood."  Porridge for dinner? Why not!).   

And, my old friend is visiting - I'm diving into the Oscars on Sunday.

Oh, and I'm trying to find a job (not a cooking one, but still).  Competition surrounds me!  As they say (in some kitchens, and probably not JBF nominated ones...) "at the end of the day, it’s only food."  

21 February, 2012

Kanpai! Matcha to the rescue

Photo credit: The Pleasure Monger
It's very grey today. With some wet snow. And cold winds. Oh, and it will be like this all week too.  And yet.  I see something green!  Having just returned from Cuba, I needed something vibrant to get me through the rest of winter.

19 February, 2012

An early start on Spring

Photo by Bravo TV: Chef Lindsay Autry's Trout Spanakopita

Here's my Sweet Julienne Spring wish list:

I'm in the mood for a "challenging" level Top Chef recipe

Call me a sap - it's maple syrup season in Ontario and I want some of the good stuff

Try to catch a glimpse of my chef crush, Chuck 

Create the ultimate Toronto food itinerary for Bec's visit

Cook red lentils with garlic butter for my mom

Spend more time browsing the Cookbook Store shelves

Read all of Ruth Reichl's books (two down...)

Noodle-icious; a well-timed dinner party

Yikes!  Where have I been?  Cuba.  On my honeymoon.  Let's pick up where I left off...

A menu plucked from a Jamie Oliver cookbook can't go wrong, right? The book of wide-ranging recipes (from liver and onions to banoffee pie) presents a "revolutionary" way of cooking, specifically how to multi-task in the kitchen to produce killer menus to please a small crowd.  But even this enthusiastic cook was challenged by the timing when I started cooking for our first official dinner party in the big smoke...