Monday, July 26, 2010

Happiness is dancing tastebuds!

I love food. More to the point, I love food as a topic, an area of study. When it comes to actually eating, I'm pretty good with whatever's around and not terribly picky. I've been known to survive on cold cuts and granola bars. But the art of preparing food fascinates me. Whether it's some elaborate spectacle of food porn on TV or a group of First Nations people preparing bannock and pemmican over a camp fire (a highlight from the Calgary Stampede a couple of years back), I can't get enough.

As you might know, I also write a cooking blog ( as a hobby mostly, but also with the slim hope I can impart my love of the art of food preparation to someone who might not otherwise have thought about it.

Now, I've come to learn something even more wondrous about the cooking experience: sharing it. I used to feel like I should everything myself and keep everyone out of my kitchen, DAMMIT!!! (a trait acquired from my mother). But, after dating some fellow foodophiles (which are different from foodies, because foodies only eat the BEST, foodophiles will take guilty awesome pleasure from a feast of Chef Boy-ar-dee or other "lowbrow" items) and sharing the experience of cooking with them, I’m starting to change my tune. Add to that my recent ‘promotion’ to the head of the Cook Shack at the Blue Skies music festival, I’m starting to see the value in communal cooking, the joy of sharing ideas and building up to some of the best meals ever.

This, of course, is outside the confines of professional line cooking, which I did for 5 years and, while I learned an invaluable set of skills from that experience, it was more hard, annoying work than anything else. Perhaps I’ve taken such a shine to cooking for fun because it’s at my pace and I get to do it my way, sort of am “after the fact” form of revenge on the oppressive kitchen environment.

Today’s post is a sort of thought and word association exercise of some of my favourite foods and flavours.

August 7 2010

Kalamata olives are a weird fusion of black and purple, gilded in a silken skin that hides a luxurious meat of salty, buttery wonder.

Boiled squid marinated in a tangy mix of oil, vinegar and herbs has a bite that is simultaneously rubbery and flaky. It was the best thing to ever come out of the salad station at the Old Fish Market.

Take the time to break down the flavours of a Thai red curry in your mouth (it might take some time) and revel in the symphony of lemon, lime, coconut milk, chilis, galangal, garlic and so much more…

Have you ever eaten an entire package of salami or capicollo without ever putting it on bread? You know you have!

Childhood can be summed up in a single sandwich: peanut butter and honey.

Nothing in all of existence can top my mom’s crab tartlettes: a crisp pastry shell, surrounding a gooey steaming cheesy mess of crabmeat and sauce.

There’s a naughty pleasure in eating a thic
k, rare/medium-rare steak. It’s when you take a big bite and tuck it into your cheek, sucking out the juice before chewing and swallowing. Yeah, it sound a bit gross in writing, but try it once and you’ll know what I mean.

Do you have a food you have to avoid before it adds 30 pounds to your waistline? Mine’s Heavenly Hash ice cream…

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