Bits & Bites 2017
Fun article about Mtl Chefs’ Signature dishes http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/local-food-reviews/lesley-chesterman-12-signature-dishes-from-top-montreal-restaurants
Cheap meat over Vegetables We don’t need to become vegetarians! Why can’t we all just eat less better meat, offal too? It comes down to cost and people disconnected from where their food comes from; progress is slow. Truth: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/admit-it-if-price-is-an-issue-youll-choose-cheap-meat-over-vegetables/article34796062/
Food, Sex and Silence: On James Beard’s missing story I loved him. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/opinion/sunday/food-sex-and-silence.html
How Expo 67 helped shape Canadian cuisine https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/contemporary-canadian-cuisine-can-trace-its-roots-back-to-expo-67-in-montreal/article34769872/
Caterpillars that eat plastic Promising. But we first need to stop our plastic thing. (Fr) Fr) http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/environnement-des-vers-mangeurs-de-sac-plastique-reperes
The Patent that could kill Mosanto and change the world I don’t know but there’s no doubt he’s onto something with his mushrooms, very promising. But like with pesticides, it won’t be one mega solution, just a lot of small changes. All but Mosanto. http://www.ecosnippets.com/environmental/patent-that-could-destroy-monsanto/
David Chang on the reality of the restaurant industry and challenges ahead, spot on.. http://www.businessinsider.com/david-chang-on-the-restaurant-apocalypse-2016-3
Go University of Guelph, key to our agri-future! I've visited and been a witness over the years to how much UofG does for food in Canada, impressive. They deserve it. http://www.goodfoodrevolution.com/university-of-guelph-gets-a-20-million-dollar-gift-for-its-agri-food-program-from-the-arrell-family/
‘The 50 Best Restaurants in the world’ for 2017, for whatever it's worth: http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners They are all no doubt worth visiting.
The ‘granola’ trend is stronger than ever Looking back to Moosewood which was one of my first cookbooks! https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/dining/health-food-hippies-restaurants-vegetarian.html I’m all for vegetable based cuisine but that remains hedonistically deliciousness, so not vegan.. ideally with a natural meat garnish/sauce, and never! eliminating cheese, eggs etc. I think it is much more important to eschew industrial food and factory food, especially meat, rather than draw the lines at animal products (Less but better).
The true cost of seafood It’s been 15+ years that I have been awakened to sustainable quality fish and seafood in general, and careful about shrimp in particular, opting for local seasonal nordic shrimp only at the restaurant. But its crazy how this is still largely not on many average eaters’ radar, as in most of what is in supermarkets and mainstream restos is cheap and crap. Not to mention terrible for the environment and workers. We need to make informed choices and pay the price. https://www.foodism.to/guest-column-true-cost-seafood/
Cabane à sucre/ Sugar shack ideas (and maple themed menus like ours) in Lanaudière where there is a shack every clic https://lanaudiere.ca/fr/blogue-lanaudiere/ou-aller-et-quoi-faire-pour-le-temps/
Ten Organic Wines under 20$ http://montrealgazette.com/life/bill-zacharkiw-10-great-organic-wines-under-20
A wine primer - kind of like a ‘Wine for Dummies’ that covers all the bases https://cooking.nytimes.com/guides/41-how-to-drink-wine
Is eating fruit responsible for our bigger brains? Fruit eating seems to at least in part be linked to a cognitive leap in our evolution http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/eating-fruit-fuels-bigger-brains-primates
Anti-bacterial-Biodegradable chitosan based food wrap made from crustacean shells – very promising! Emballage de demain fait à base de carapaces de crevettes http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1022852/emballage-alimentaire-bioplastique-bacterie-conservation-biodegradable-udem-polytechnique-chimie-gaspillage
The evolution of chickens http://luckypeach.com/the-evolution-of-chickens/ An interesting article from Lucky Peach, which sadly is rumoured to be folding..
Quebec’s Cider industry has come along way http://montrealgazette.com/life/quebecs-cider-industry-needs-to-realize-that-it-could-be-the-next-cool-thing I love the Domaine du Minot’s products to sip but especially to cook with..
Canadian food history in a few dishes https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-150/we-are-what-we-ate-canadas-history-incuisines/article34289538/
Where so called ‘natural flavours’ come from: ‘Grapefruit’ does not come from grapefruit; the line between natural and artificial is blurry.. http://www.popsci.com/what-are-natural-flavors#page-4
Hang-over cures: Yuck! But whatever works for you, I guess. http://luckypeach.com/recipes/collections/15-recipes-cure-hangover/
On Fine-dining, a conversation with top chefs: http://luckypeach.com/state-fine-dining/
How about vegetarian being the default, and meat the add on or exception? I hate strict food rules and diets, but this general approach makes sense. Without being a vegetarian, this is pretty much how we roll with lots of veg, fruit and grains with natural meat and sustainable fish as garnishes. (French) http://fr.chatelaine.com/sante/nutrition/et-si-les-plats-veges-devenaient-loption-par-defaut/
The Reverse Sear – best way to cook a big steak?! http://www.seriouseats.com/2017/03/how-to-reverse-sear-best-way-to-cook-steak.html
Lichen – It doesn’t taste like much but potentially loaded with medicinal properties and we have lots of it! (French) http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1020157/grand-nord-amazonie-lichen-mousse-compose-medecine-therapeutique-medecine-changement-climatique
The forgotten story of a historic French chef of Michelin starred La Mère Brazier http://www.eater.com/2016/8/12/12382076/eugenie-brazier
Podcast with Normand Laprise of Toqué: A good listen; His story with perspective on Quebec’s cuisine du terroir https://thegrilledproject.com/2017/02/16/toques-normand-laprise-on-changing-the-face-of-quebec-cuisine/
Hawaiin food – a profile in 6 dishes http://firstwefeast.com/features/hawaii-food-history/cake-noodle
Wine and Sex – How wine is an aphrodisiac http://winefolly.com/update/wine-sex-drive-match/
Sometimes fussing and writing over Food & Wine seem silly or a luxury. But no, it is ok, if not essential. For comfort and happiness, togetherness, the celebration, expression and exchange of terroir, art and culture. Why Wine Matters http://winefolly.com/update/wine-sex-drive-match/
B&B August 2016
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE RESTAURANT IN AMERICA Damon Baehrel’s methods are a marvel, and his tables are all booked until 2025. Or are they? By Nick Paumgarten http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/29/damon-baehrel-the-most-exclusive-restaurant-in-america Ridiculous! Unlikely that he’s alone (and why would that be a good thing?) His concoctions sound gross anyway, even dangerous! If he really lived so completely off the land, there would be more mention of real wild vegetables, more than bark, sap, goldenrod and powders. And a 10yr waiting list, c’mon. It all sounds so incredibly exaggerated. Hardly surprising with all the BS out there these days. If Baehrel didn’t exist, foodies would have to invent him.’
Where to eat in Montreal according to another: Covers most of the tops, including newbies, looks like a good list.. http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/08/24/where-to-eat-in-montreal-quebec/
Gluten probably not to blame Unless You Have Celiac Disease says another study http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/unless-you-have-celiac-disease-gluten-sensitivity-is-probably-just-in-your-head/
The Colonel Sanders recipe of 11 herbs& spices revealed ! In case you want to make KFC at home.. http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/a39634/kfc-chicken-secret-recipe-revealed/
The Secret to a long and healthy life: A plant based diet with more beans than meat and Weeds, Community, Walking, Wine, Sex and Naps http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150412-longevity-health-blue-zones-obesity-diet-ngbooktalk/
Indigenous foods that are underrated. Move over kale! And we at Les Jardins Sauvages have a hundred more! http://civileats.com/2016/08/23/the-native-foods-we-should-be-eating/
About the person not the gender – I agree fully with her, my experience being similar as a woman in the kitchen http://luckypeach.com/its-about-the-person-not-the-gender/
The rise of the Hipster sommelier not always Delicious https://grapecollective.com/articles/how-the-hipster-somms-could-get-away-with-murder-and-how-we-can-stop-them
How Plants get such wierd names I love the common names and the weirder the better (although the latin names do come in handy once and a while) http://luckypeach.com/a-plant-by-any-other-name/
57 things to eat/drink before you die in Montreal according to someone http://dailyhive.com/montreal/things-to-eat-in-montreal
On Michel Richard, legendary French-American chef, after his passing http://articles.latimes.com/2006/nov/01/food/fo-calcook1
SlowMeat: Eat less better quality meat http://www.slowfood.com/what-we-do/themes/slow-meat/
A Name You Should Know: Eugénie Brazier, a great (and underappreciated) Michelin starred French Chef from the 1930’s. Love this quote of hers and signature dish: ‘Of cooking, she would write that it’s "not complicated… you have to be well organized, to remember things, and to have a bit of taste." Among the many dishes she became famous for, volaille demi-deuilis a rich and aromatic masterpiece. An abundance of black truffle slices are slid between the flesh and the skin of a Bresse chicken, to perfume the meat while it poaches in bouillon. It’s finished with a cream-enriched sauce made from the reduced cooking liquid.’ http://www.eater.com/2016/8/12/12382076/eugenie-brazier
Review your oyster knowledge with Rowan Jacobson’s twenty (new) rules for Oyster eating http://luckypeach.com/guides/the-new-rules-of-oyster-eating/
Huel – the food of the future? Yuck, I hope not. “If I had to eat this, I’d lose the will to live pretty quickly.” https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/31/huel-human-fuel-hi-tech-food-powder?CMP=twt_a-lifeandstyle_b-gdnfood
I love the idea of a community oven.. https://food52.com/blog/17568-the-centuries-old-form-of-public-cooking-that-s-making-a-comeback?
Bio et Rentable: Promising future for organic farming with work towards a sustainable/profitable business model (in French) http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/2171e9ca-ba61-4b25-a359-6c8b33cd6aa3%7CpuEIeZ1h_e0g.html
Mushroom Leather - Neat! http://grist.org/living/your-next-leather-accessory-might-be-made-from-mushrooms/
The Science of Baking Cookies http://luckypeach.com/the-science-of-baking-cookies/
Food fraud and misleading marketing You have to be on your toes when shopping at the supermarket. Frustrating. Yes even Oasis juice has at its base that apple/pear concoction that likely contains apples grown in China with pesticides that are banned here. http://firstwefeast.com/features/2016/08/food-fraud-at-supermarkets/
How food became pop culture: Mario Batali sums up the last 40 years or so of the North American food scene. Good read, especially for younger cooks and foodies for a bit of perspective. http://luckypeach.com/how-food-became-pop-culture-mario-batali/
The Globe & Mail’s Food 53 - Influential people in Canadian food http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/the-food-53-thegatekeepers/article31118114/#index?cmpid=mktg16
A Map of where your food comes from may surprise you http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/06/13/481586649/a-map-of-where-your-food-originated-may-surprise-you?
Dinner theatre at Alinea I don’t know man - kinda cool, kinda seems like a little much.. http://ruthreichl.com/2016/06/dinner-theater.html/
Perception is reality when it comes to taste http://luckypeach.com/perception-vs-reality/
Harold McGee debunks MSG myth MSG is NOT bad for you!http://luckypeach.com/on-msg-and-chinese-restaurant-syndrome/
Our gigantic problem with portions http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/25/problem-portions-eating-too-much-food-control-cutting-down?
I love Dorie Greenspan! Her books just make you want to bake.http://luckypeach.com/what-would-dorie-greenspan-do/
A Naked restaurant, C’mon! http://www.theguardian.com/global/commentisfree/2016/apr/22/naked-restaurant-london-the-bunyadi-horror
Ken Oringer on Kitchen Culture Then and Now - Less brunoise, More XO sauce http://luckypeach.com/culture-of-the-kitchen-ken-oringer/
Anthony Bourdain on his documentary about Jeremiah Tower, a US food icon – It’s important to remember/get to know the pioneers! http://www.grubstreet.com/2016/04/bourdain-jeremiah-tower-interview.html?
Des ouvertures de resto à Montreal attendues ce printemps http://journalmetro.com/opinions/bouffe-et-compagnie/951268/5-restos-qui-feront-le-printemps/
Great article by Mario Batali on the evolution of food, cooking and dining and the impact of food TV http://luckypeach.com/how-food-became-pop-culture-mario-batali/
Funny this trend of more food savvy people who don’t know how to cook http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/17/too-many-cookbooks-not-enough-broth-gwyneth-paltrow?
Carbonaragate http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/carbonara-purists-cant-stop-the-pasta-revolution? I think we should respect and celebrate traditional recipes and know what the original recipe is, without being afraid of riffing on it and making it our own. But then it should be referred to as ‘our take on Carbonara’ or ‘Carbonara inspired..’ And when it no longer resembles the original(s) at all, then it should be called something else.
Kale is not ‘healthy’. Our food is not healthy; we will be healthy if we eat nutritious food, which means more cheese than cheese product, more pig’s ears than mechanically separated meat, more grains than white flour.. alongside that kale salad. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/no-food-is-healthy-not-even-kale/2016/01/15/4a5c2d24-ba52-11e5-829c-26ffb874a18d_story.html
My favourite kind of wine is white and fresh – with some novel recommendations via Bill http://montrealgazette.com/life/more-lessons-in-white-the-refreshing-quality-of-acidic-grapes
Perspective on Molecular Gastronomy: Tricks vs Taste and Nutrition Exactly! I went to NY to do a class on Hydrocolloids ten years ago because it was new and fascinating. But back in my kitchen, I realized how stupid it was for me here at Les Jardins Sauvages, working with the freshest terroir product to be over-manipulating with all these industrial powders. Yes, I gleaned a few techniques and a deeper understanding of gels but most of it went into the trash. It just didn't make sense if I listened to my taste buds and a conscience. Around the same time I rediscovered béchamel, traditional mayonnaise and creme anglaise for ice cream. No going back. https://munchies.vice.com/en/articles/molecular-gastronomy-still-needs-to-taste-good
The Earthquake that’s about to Hit Restaurants No doubt prices have to go up no matter how crafty and smart we get in managing, even if people find it crazy to pay 18$ for a dish.. With super slim/non-existent profit margins, while trying to pay better wages, alongside exorbitant taxes etc, not to mention food and all other ‘fixed costs’ that have also increased. We’ve all been holding our breath for too long. One step would be axing the tip as an essential revenue/salary, but that’s only a part of the solution. No matter how the cookie crumbles, we have to charge more period. People will hate it, they won’t understand, but c’est comme ça. Inevitable, especially with the new generation of labour with benefits. http://www.gq.com/story/david-chang-resturant-business-challenges
Sourdough starter, a wonderful pet I lovingly kept one (Leonard) for almost a year, going from taking precious care of it with regular feeding to negligent spontaneous feeding when I wasn’t making enough bread.. Eventually he turned and I ditched the idea which I love in theory, but realistically, I only make bread once a week and I’m not into pets. Now, I just start my bread a day or two in advance for a complex flavour without the daily doting. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/dining/sourdough-starter-bread-baking.html?
Butcher, Baker or Scientist - Find your suitable career via a survey Great in theory, Bullshit in practice. The food industry is more nuanced than that. Apparently here, my strength is in marketing/business administration which is the opposite of the truth. Reminds me of a survey in high school that told me I should be in marketing, business administration or pure science, very different from cooking. Good thing I never paid too much attention! http://tasteyourfuture.ca/butcher-baker-or-scientist-where-do-you-fit/
Best Montreal Pho I love ‘Tonkinese soup’ and living in the country, I miss it even if I can cook something similar that pretty much hits the spot. Because I’m no longer a city girl, I’ll take his word on these recommendations.. http://www.shutupandeat.ca/2016/03/29/montreals-best-pho-2016/
Bits and Bites March 2016
Both sides of the truth wrt Modern food: Tragic due to industrialization, loss of biodiversity and nutrients in our food system, and meanwhile, more efficiency, more accessibility.. http://grist.org/food/modern-food-is-a-triumph-modern-food-is-a-disaster/
Dessert is more complicated than you think in the restaurant biz A pain for most chefs unless you can afford a pastry chef, and either way, not necessarily profitable.. But, although I’m not a sweet tooth, I enjoy making desserts – ultimately because with experience, I know how important the sweet course is when you are in the business of making people happy and treating them extra special! https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/10/why-restaurants-dont-always-want-you-to-order-dessert/
Reassessing tipping culture – the debate continues http://www.goodfoodrevolution.com/just-the-tip/ One day, hopefully we can overhaul the current nonsensical system. The only thing holding me back personally is the legal complexity and the economic climate including sticker shock for the customer.
The secret to Indian food is contrasting flavours as opposed to overlap of similar molecules as in Western cuisine https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/03/a-scientific-explanation-of-what-makes-indian-food-so-delicious/
About that Persay NYTimes review – chefs weigh in on the changing times http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/restaurants/news/a41981/per-se-new-york-times-chef-reactions/
Nestle admits to slave labour on coffee plantations, no way!? After decades of ‘unfair trade’ and an empire more than partially built on the backs of ‘slaves’.. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/mar/02/nestle-admits-slave-labour-risk-on-brazil-coffee-plantations
Bits and Bites February 2016
Help! I’m the only foodie in the family, Diana Henry https://t.co/V1eKVBAhJF A Good read..
No, it's not all about food, food is dinner. But since dinner happens every day, I need my partner to appreciate food and wine, otherwise it's just passing up on so much easy pleasure. When we have so many other battles in life, I want my dinner table free of squabbles. I have dated guys who weren't so into food, but at least they had good appetites, open minded good eaters who I used as guinea pigs. I ditched a few dates for ordering Pepsi or being picky eaters, I knew there was no way it would work.
Luckily I found a guy who values food as much as me, if not swish restaurants or the latest trends, he knows who grows the best tomatoes and how to pick out a melon, willing to pay for primo produce (not to mention the foraging!). At the market, people saw us shopping and exchanging wondering what the occasion was, to find out it was just dinner! We are not rich, it is a choice to spend your time and energy on food, which could only work for some people and not others, I can see the conflicts in another life. With my François des Bois, every meal is a celebration and I can't imagine living life otherwise. So, I sympathize. I can deal with a Dad or a few (old) friends who aren’t so into food, and kids for a certain time of course because well that’s more complicated, but my partner, no and never..
Top skills in the restaurant biz I agree that these are key, a genuine warmth and aim to please and work ethic more than impressive credentials on a cv. I would just add ‘being quick’ as in on your feet and mentally. The rest can be learned and comes naturally if someone likes the place and believes in what they offer, ie. wants to be there. http://www.businessinsider.com/skills-danny-meyer-looks-for-in-job-candidates-2016-2
Efforts to reduce slave labour via US imports A start.. It’s about time we start paying more attention to this reality, from shrimp to cell phone components. http://firstwefeast.com/eat/slave-labor-products-banned-congress/?
Ten of the world’s most expensive restaurants Even as a chef obsessed with food, I find it crazy to spend the equivalent of a mortgage payment on a meal, but maybe just one, just once in my life.. Not because it is expensive but tops, like Pic say. http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-the-worlds-most-expensive-restaurants?
Important people in the food world, according to Roman Cho http://food52.com/blog/15760-13-people-to-know-in-the-food-world-right-now
Restaurants and recipes for Valentine's Day http://montrealgazette.com/entertainment/lesley-chestermans-valentines-day-survival-guide-10-delicious-ways-to-woo-your-lover
Cilantro, fresh coriander - Why some people love and others hate it Although a big factor is exposure/culture (I have seen so many acquire the taste), on a chemical level, apparently the haters don’t detect the delicious aldehydes in the bouquet, only the ‘soapy’ ones http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/the-right-chemistry
How the brain perceives taste – Neurogastronomy shows how crucial texture and the other senses are in our taste experience, providing tools and applications for changing diets and cancer treatment http://grist.org/science/neuroscience-comes-to-dinner-how-brain-tweaks-could-change-our-diet/
Food Media going soft?! The problems no one wants to talk about Good article on point! http://firstwefeast.com/eat/problems-with-food-media/
Cheap food has hidden costs to society; ‘True Cost Accounting’ reveals the real cost of Industrial food production http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/03/cheap-easy-food-easyjet-stelios-haji-iannou?
The case for organic agriculture strengthens in how to feed the world http://blog.ucsusa.org/science-blogger/organic-agriculture-is-key-to-helping-feed-the-world-sustainably
Natural Home uses for Hydrogen Peroxide – handy! http://wisemindhealthybody.com/tracey-black/hydrogen-peroxide-facts/
Slowfood biodiversity monitor of animal breeds – how industrial methods have impoverished the genetic diversity and the the security of our food supply (a short French video with English subtitles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdw3DmDTCfs&feature=youtu.be&a
A new primo coffee using bacteria from the lab as opposed to civet or elephant poop http://grist.org/food/move-over-civet-cats-this-coffee-company-tries-a-fresh-approach-with-bacteria/
Les chefs se suicident toujours http://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Societe/Le-dernier-adieu-a-Benoit-Violier-908677
La vie des chefs sans glamour, un rappel http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2015/02/07/le-visage-obscur-des-chefs-cuisiniers
Primo pay to prep your own food – the cost of ready-made food at the supermarket in a smart chart: All for fresher, more wholesome food, think about it – 30$/h to cube melon, 200$/h to slice your own cheese! http://nutritionnisteurbain.ca/infographiques/le-cout-de-la-transformation-des-aliments-frais/
Mushroom burial suit/coffin turns dead bodies into compost - a cleaner end of life option than traditional burial or cremation https://m.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://grist.org/living/mushroom-burial-suit-turns-dead-bodies-into-clean-compost/
Chaga, the miracle mushroom (tonic) catches on (in French) http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/bien_dans_son_assiette/2015-2016/chronique.asp?idChronique=395201
Food allergy fakers wrecking it for the truly afflicted https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2015/10/14/why-food-allergy-fakers-need-stop/PB6uN8NF3eLWFjXnKF5A9K/story.html
The Gut is key to health, emerging nutritional and medical science increasingly demonstrates the importance of our microbes https://t.co/y8hza7d0oA
Persay two star takedown shows that even Thomas Keller is not untouchable at the top.. I find it kind of sad to see people who aim so high and pay so much attention to detail get knocked, especially Keller who has inspired a generation of cooks. The skyhigh prices and bordering on ridiculous preciousness and pretension of Persay was bound to rub a few too many diners the wrong way sooner or later. I’m sure/ I hope this critic did not take it lightly however how catchy the headline. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/13/dining/pete-wells-per-se-review.html
Anticipated Montreal Restaurant openings for Winter 2016 http://montreal.eater.com/2016/1/12/10750170/larrys-atelier-robuchon-agrikol-diplomate-new-restaurants-2016
Food day Canada 2015 Winners Circle Chefs across Canada promoting local food -I’m proud to be a gold award winner for 2015 http://fooddaycanada.ca/events/the-2015-winners-circle/
America’s national eating disorder http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/whats-wrong-americas-approach-food.html
Kitchen Advice This is basic, but on point – tips for beginner cooks and success in the pro kitchen (or any kitchen), actually generally useful in life.. http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2015/12/30/life-lessons-professional-kitchen
The year in fungi – new species discovered, and new powers, mushrooms as mystical and powerful than ever – capable of curing cancer, changing weather, wiping out bananas and creating everything from flavours to pharmaceuticals.. http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-year-in-fungi-2015
Lucky Peach – Mostly always refreshing good reading, when they’re not trying to be too cool.. http://luckypeach.com/the-top-10-stories-of-2015/
The Restaurant Lists for the Year are coming out, mostly about what’s new and hot and successful in Montreal, apparently promising..
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/best-restaurants-of-2015-lesley-chestermans-picks
Tastet, Le Devoir http://m.ledevoir.com/#article-458243
Primo boozy gifts We all have someone we love who likes a stiff drink albeit with finesse! I’m a wine girl, not into cocktails and spirits so often find myself confused and at a loss when trying to buy something like scotch for a guy I love. A guide like this might help.. http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/just-in-time-bill-zacharkiws-annual-last-minute-booze-buying-guide
Top ten documentaries to change the world?! http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/the-top-100-films-for-action/
Montreal Pizza List http://montreal.eater.com/maps/25-epic-montreal-pizzas-to-eat-before-you-die I love pizza as a snack more than a meal, but I live in the country so make my own mostly.. BUT if I were in Montreal, I would be slowly knocking off this list.
Top Cookbooks (of all time?!) Cookbook lists are my favourite of the lists I used to like but less now, but when it comes to old ones; this one is pretty classic/good. So a definite thumbs up for a Christmas gift for a younger foodie/chef. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/news/25-greatest-cookbooks-of-all-time/
Must Read – A fascinating overview of the science of taste, which I’m happy to see is a burgeoning field, finally! (very general, for everyone; leaving me hungry for more detail because I am crazy for this stuff!) http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/12/food-science-of-taste-text
The Cook’s Cook - an online food magazine to explore http://www.thecookscook-digital.com/thecookscook/dec_jan_2016?pg=1#pg1
Another top NYC restaurant eliminates tipping With a proportional plus price hike of course.. Hopefully, eventually this will be feasible across the board because it just makes sense. http://ny.eater.com/2015/12/1/9816186/eleven-madison-park-no-tipping-nomad
Watch a good chef’s knife being made, beautiful https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/news-trends/bob-kramer-knives/
A crackdown on Pesticides in Quebec – about time! Not enough, but a start.. (in French) http://www.equiterre.org/actualite/quebec-reglemente-lusage-des-pesticides-les-plus-dangereux-une-victoire-dequiterre-et-de-s?
Hotel (Restaurant) Menus circa 1860 – love it! Lots of meat and wine (even breakfast wines!), not enough veg ever though. I can't imagine eating like that, course after course of meat, but probably wouldn't want to be a pauper either eating only potatoes.. http://imgur.com/a/APcB7
Michael Pollan on the Big Screen – A documentary version of his In Defense of Food - this will be GREAT! In getting people to think about their food with a touch of science, history, politics, common sense and CULTURE.. He’s the best! http://grist.org/food/michael-pollans-food-advice-hits-the-big-screen/
Old ‘cookbook’ find, very neat! The Johnson Family Treasury republished, thanks to our dear Canadian food history geeks (in Guelph and Montreal) http://m.guelphmercury.com/news-story/6124838-unexpected-find-in-u-of-guelph-cookbook-archive-creates-stir-among-foodies-historians
An ode to Elizabeth David – good old school (quality! In depth) food writing by The Art of Eating about an important culinary figure, the English food writer of the last century. Her books were essential reading for a cook or ‘ foodie’ of my generation. I didn’t love her like MFK Fisher or after Ruth Reichl say, but I did admire her (imagine writing that during/post-war?!), and I like reading her concise paragragh recipes, I hate those of today with ml and pan sizes instead of pinches and common sense. https://artofeating.com/the-pleasures-and-challenge-of-elizabeth-david/
How the burgeoning field of Neurogastronomy is Helping Bring Taste Back http://civileats.com/2015/11/19/how-the-science-of-neurogastronomy-is-helping-bring-taste-back/#sthash.rPUHvQIw.Vob7j3b4.dpuf
De L’Espoir avec les abeilles (en Français) http://www.nationalgeographic.fr/22770-labeille-miracle-va-t-elle-sauver-le-monde/
Sommeliers in the limelight – a glimpse into the new world of wine and trends.. http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/the-rise-and-rise-of-the-somms
Best Food Docs to view http://firstwefeast.com/eat/best-food-documentaries-that-you-should-watch-right-now/
Bits & Bites September 2015
Évènement pour la Tablée des Chefs avec Jardins Sauvages et autres artisans samedi le 12 septembre au Marché Jean Talon http://www.debeur.com/site/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1073&cntnt01returnid=58
Alice Waters granted highest recognition from Obama; she deserves it! Inspired by her and the chefs who followed her, I sought out ‘our Alice Waters’ in Quebec, the local food pioneer Anne Desjardins, to go work at L’Eau à la Bouche in Ste-Adele in 2015. A life changing experience –in food & cooking, and in meeting my François des Bois, a pioneer in his own right with the wild stuff.. To think of all we have done since, the cooks and customers who have been inspired and learnt from us, and all the parallel stories everywhere.. Talk about ripple effect! http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-alice-waters-20150909-story.html
New Montreal Restaurant Openings this fall/ Nouveaux restos (FR) http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/9c2d802f-d046-4487-b22b-b1a0091ef877%7C_0.html
Encourager les poissons de Pêche durable! http://www.zeste.tv/blogue/vezina/17-la-peche-durable-un-choix-de-conscience
Montreal Gazette dining critic explores the ROQ (rest of Quebec) http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/local-food-reviews/dining-lesley-chesterman-goes-off-the-beaten-track
Bits and Bites August 2015
No more tipping I believe in this, and have been working towards this for years with a sharing scheme like in most labour intensive restaurants that I would like to ditch for something simpler. But it’s a tough transition in Quebec since we are taxed heavily and in the economic climate, always scared to ‘raise prices’. Everyone should just be paid a secure living wage according to their skill and experience determined by the employer, the service included in the check, since anyway it always depends equally on a team of others behind the scenes, and management. Every restaurant is different, but the customer shouldn't have to guess, the employees either. http://civileats.com/2015/07/16/goodbye-tipping-hello-living-wage-the-changing-face-of-progressive-restaurants/
The most anticipated new Montreal restaurants http://montreal.eater.com/2015/8/26/9205959/montreal-restaurants-new-openings-fall
Oregano for antibiotic free chickens, c’mon already! http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/12/28/oregano-fed-chicken-healthy-antibiotic-free-birds?cmpid=tp-ptnr-eatlocalgrown
Hurray for hybrids! Noteworthy wine in Vermont by courageous winemakers, which means hope for here with our set of courageous artisans, more local quality wine inevitably on the horizon.. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/dining/vermont-wine-la-garagista-hybrid-grapes.html
Eggplant – to salt or not? http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-eggplant-salting-20150825-story.html
Foodie gripes Small plates, vegan vs vegetarian, single stall washrooms, mini water glasses etc., the things bothering NYC food writers at the moment..http://ny.eater.com/2015/8/17/9166993/the-airing-of-grievances
Lists! I can’t say enough about lists for practical day to day efficiency, for inspiration etc.. Love my lists. http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/10/18/ray-bradbury-on-lists/
Eat the right meat (in small quantities) http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/04/24/401965111/these-animals-might-go-extinct-because-no-one-wants-to-eat-them
Yes, quality staff is a problem in the restaurant business - and getting worse every year despite the interest with foodies, tv shows and full culinary school programs.. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/12/the-crippling-problem-people-who-eat-at-restaurants-havent-noticed-but-chefs-are-freaking-out-about/
Haute cuisine shit show A food journalist brutally recounts her visits to a few NYC top restaurants, with a huge dose of cynicism and vile for the ridiculous tones of our haute foodie culture.. Very compelling food writing, if harsh and true. I cringe at any restaurant bashing, but I get it. I am not into fancy, manipulated food at all anymore, never snobbism, but quality ingredients with a story, yes.. Acidulous , smart work in the kitchen and/or floor will impress me though, as long as the soul and hospitality come first.. I'm so annoyed with over the top marketing and bogus menu descriptions; it used to and should mean something to speak of the purveyor/source but now it’s all marketing bullshit and no one can know the difference. It’s sad really. That Keller could be so dissed after all his hard work, experience and meticulousness, while a new green bistro with a good vibe and PR team could win the day is not fair, all measured on the same scale. Different beasts. Both should be MORE REAL. Anyway. From day one, I always knew that no matter how top-notch precious the food and professional the experience I liked, it had to be fun, convivial, warm and delicious, be it on the giving or receiving end. Hence the spots I chose to work at in my career. http://t.co/5F5QxbpStP
Eat the right meat (in small quantities) http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/04/24/401965111/these-animals-might-go-extinct-because-no-one-wants-to-eat-them
Amazing Documentary Le Nez (on our amazing primal sense of smell from different points of view), now on TV or on the web! http://tv5.ca/le-nez
Overdone food stories – True! Although I have to say, I wouldn’t mind reading some of these themes again with a new twist, good journalism/writing, more so than ‘New’ fluff.. http://www.eater.com/forums/general-food-and-cooking/2015/8/12/9138063/27-food-stories-nobody-needs-to-write-again
Quebec City creativity Always happy to cheer on my home town! http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/travel/quebec-city-st-roch-restaurants-museums.html?
A real Paleo diet should include ‘some’ carbs http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/08/paleo-truther-scandal-carbs-were-in-the-caves.html?mid=twitter-share-thecut
The truth about marinades As a cook twenty + years in, I have noticed.. Better to focus on the seasoning when cooking and sauce.. But twenty minutes or 1-2 hours of pre-seasoning does make a difference even if its just the crust.. http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-marinade-20150810-story.html
Proud organic potato producer holding on to his passion and coveted land near Tremblant http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/bien_dans_son_assiette/2014-2015/chronique.asp?idChronique=379810
The life of a modern day cook to chef http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-life-cycle-of-a-modern-day-chef/
Bits and Bites June/July 2015
Canadian Fleur de Sel If you're going to get fancy about salt, might as well go Canadian for your finishing touch! http://www.goodfoodrevolution.com/vancouver-island-sea-salt/ I have some in my kitchen!
The Lost Art of the Salad It’s true I love my composed salads with a variety of textures and flavours, some protein and flare at La Table, but that’s what people are coming for. Meanwhile I love a simple green salad, eat one at home every night, and constantly gripe that it doesn’t exist on restaurant menus anymore. http://www.wsj.com/article_email/the-lost-art-of-the-salad-how-to-keep-it-simple-and-classic-1436553251-lMyQjAxMTA1NTM5MTczMDE2Wj
The Pickle Man And the art of fermentation http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/opinion/sandorkraut-a-pickle-maker.html?
Harsh Truths about opening a restaurant http://www.eater.com/2015/7/24/8964099/amanda-cohen-dirt-candy-new-location-column#4666138
Just Eat it! A food waste story (Trailer) https://vimeo.com/88023628
How Ugly Food can change the world http://blog.ideasinfood.com/ideas_in_food/2015/07/july-24-2015/
We’ve been eating chicken since at least 200 BC http://grist.org/news/this-is-likely-when-people-started-eating-chicken/
Ocean farms to feed the millions! Great innovation, but please let’s not forget about SOIL!? Hydroponics are a plus, but not the same. How about we stop developing/destroying arable land and start taking care of the farmland we have instead of building farms in the ocean? http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/06/02/floating-solar-farm_n_7455034.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000010
Joe Beef on top world restaurant list! A humble reply: http://news.nationalpost.com/life/food-drink/theres-a-mistake-joe-beefs-david-mcmillan-on-being-named-one-of-the-worlds-best-restaurants Maybe not the end of the world gastronomy but always so good and ahead of the curve, authentic.. And I like them even better with age, say when they shrug off this award. For sure, they are happy and they should be, but they know it only means so much, they say it like it is; it’s the day to day work that never stops in kitchens everywhere..
25 Food Documentaries to watch http://firstwefeast.com/eat/best-food-documentaries-that-you-should-watch-right-now/
Nut footprints http://grist.org/food/what-are-the-most-eco-friendly-nuts/
Hot Food trends: Seaweed, Bread &Butter, Charcuterie, Cauliflower, Food tickets.. http://www.mrporter.com/journal/the-read/the-next-six-big-food-trends/334
Scientists working on ‘Super Rice’ to save the world’s food supply http://grist.org/food/these-scientists-are-trying-to-change-rice-as-we-know-it/
Profile of a great chef sans tattoos – Jonathan Benno Great piece re-diffused thanks to the unfortunate passing of the food writer Josh Ozersky who was well respected too http://observer.com/2013/10/jonathan-benno-profile/
Chickens aren’t supposed to be grain-fed vegetarians http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/29/consumers-love-chickens-that-are-vegetarian-fed-never-mind-what-the-birds-want-to-eat/
Slowfish – Know your Fisherman https://vimeo.com/122111944
Bits & Bites April 2015
Les meilleurs fromages Canadiens 2015 – Laliberté (Fromagerie Presbytère) takes the top Canadian prize http://lynnefaubert.com/fr/2015/04/26/the-best-canadian-cheeses-2015/
The list of 35 Food Trucks on the Montreal circuit this summer http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/montreal/archives/2015/04/20150424-180331.html
Yes! Forget the nutritionists, follow flavour http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-flavor-drives-nutrition-1428596326?KEYWORDS=Flavor+drives+nutrition
Jackfruit, an exotic fruit/veg that is gaining favour (especially with vegans) I only tried it once and was not impressed.. I’d definitely give it another go if I was on spot, preferably not out of a can, but I’m in search of a pulled pork replacement either. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2015/apr/12/green-jackfruit-vegetable-pulled-pork
Two Farmers’ stories – The big guys control the market, the small farms get the foodie love, here’s why we should care about the mid-sized farm http://grist.org/food/2-farmers-stories-the-fall-and-rise-of-the-mid-size-farm/
Freeze-Fry Steak If you feel like fiddling with your steak for supposed great results.. http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/how-to/article/clap-steak-ideas-in-food
Rene Redzepi meets a Japanese master https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/14cbaaae5353c03c
Thomas Jefferson, a real original NA foodie Inspiring. I remember falling in love with him through a few of his food quotes, reading about his food ventures and musings, my kind of politician. http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/11/16/thomas-jeffersons-creme-brulee/
A new Montreal delivery service for fine foods http://montrealfrais.com/landing-page/
Montreal food critics discuss what makes the perfect restaurant following up on the article in Caribou magazine http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/medium_large/2014-2015/chronique.asp?idChronique=368979
More reason to consume less plastic http://gizmodo.com/why-the-plastic-recycling-market-just-crashed-1694804237
Classic French food hits the spot Especially today, the classic French restaurant experience is refreshing amidst the hip scene of creative n’importe quoi and accompanying pretension. Funny how what seemed fancy and snobby 20+ years ago now feels comforting. Maybe its just for people my age? Like L’Express, how we all love it and return for good food, solid classics no flafla, professional service that remains warm and knowledgeable, perfectly satisfying! when you think it would be staid. Reminding us how it should be. Love. http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-02-13/classic-french-restaurant-paris-food-allard-la-fregate
Fred Morin (of Joe Beef) talks celiac, and calls for more empathy towards customers I agree, it seems that many chefs today are in performance mode with their tricks and hip factor, almost forgetting about the customer. You need to want to please. And if you have lived a little, you know and love several people who would be 'complicated customers', who like their meat well done or the music not too loud, etc and you want them to be happy. I can get annoyed with the anti-gluten/allergy trend, but I take each one seriously out of principle, my mother's face helps, I have a family of celiacs. http://luckypeach.com/the-art-of-gluten-free-living-according-to-joe-beef/
Normand Laprise’s Toqué cracks a top world restaurant list, a first for Montreal/ Canada http://ottawacitizen.com/life/food/and-the-only-canadian-restaurant-to-crack-this-list-of-the-worlds-top-100-is
Terra Madre St.Lawrence, a Slowfood Event held April 22-26, 2015 in Montreal, is the first regional meeting of food communities ever organized in Canada. The event aims to gather powerful organizations that share our mission for a good, clean and fair food system. For the occasion, Slow Food Montréal will also be host of the Salon du Goût de Montréal – an event showcasing the products of the farmers, fishers and other producers of the communities we support, as well as the 10th National Meeting of Canadian Convivia. With all these celebrations, we wish to highlight the food communities of Quebec and the rest of Canada and offer the participants and other organizations that share our goals a place to meet and debate. See programming: www.terramadre.ca.
What is Slowfood? A video of some of the people across Canada (including us cameo): https://vimeo.com/110986872
Bits & Bites March 2015
Good piece on Crayfish by Adam Gollner - The river here used to be teaming with them, François grew up eating them cooking them in a pot on spot over a fire. I was only introduced to them fresh at L’Eau à la Bouche circa 2000-2004 where we served them (from Lac St-Pierre area), neat but what a load of trouble they were. http://luckypeach.com/that-fish-cray/
James Beard award finalists http://www.eater.com/2015/3/24/8282707/james-beard-award-finalists-2015-restaurant-chef-book-journalism
We could all benefit from being a little more vegan by eating more fruit, veg, nuts and legumes, less but better meat http://grist.org/food/what-i-learned-from-a-month-of-eating-vegan/
Mushroom farming – a crazy business, like Foraging! http://grist.org/food/what-i-learned-from-a-month-of-eating-vegan/
Recipe plagiarism common in the food world but what can you do http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/critics-notebook-plagiarism-a-common-ingredient-in-the-wide-world-of-recipes
Canada’s most exciting chefs via The Guardian (UK) http://www.theguardian.com/explore-canada/2015/mar/09/canadas-most-exciting-chefs
Chef harassment Another case of old school meets new school – somewhere in between the traditional hierarchical rough&tough work ethic and the lazy, whiney entitled baby democratic circus would be optimal http://www.eater.com/2015/3/12/8204983/yannick-alleno-french-paris-chef-harassment-violence-accusations
Mushroom Medicinal teas the rage http://www.eater.com/2015/3/11/8181107/why-people-are-shrooming-out-on-medicinal-mushroom-tea
An extravagant Careme style banquet from 1817 – just insane! http://www.theoldfoodie.com/2007/01/extraordinary-banquet.html?m=1
New compilation of Canada’s best restaurants http://www.canadas100best.com/category/canadas-100-best-restaurants-2015/
Great article on a great French chef, Anne Sophie Pic http://www.eater.com/2015/2/11/8015169/anne-sophie-pic-michelin-chef-new-york
Breakfasts around the world – see how others start their day http://matadornetwork.com/pulse/18-breakfasts-around-world/
The dark side of the chef world (in French) http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2015/02/07/le-visage-obscur-des-chefs-cuisiniers
On the flipside, The Rise of the Sober Chef http://firstwefeast.com/eat/sober-chefs/
Influential women in the food world – a slideshow http://www.elle.com/culture/travel-food/g25575/goddesses-of-food/?slide=2
A chef who is growing his salt http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2015/2/3/heres-how-one-chef-is-growing-his-own-salt?
Death to the Chicken Finger; how we created a generation of unsophisticated picky eaters ‘Don’t give them a choice.’ ‘ Teach them to taste like to read’, they will thank you later.. http://news.nationalpost.com/the-kids-menu/
The decline of food journalism True. Driven by social media and the short attention spans of gen Y, it’s a new brutal reality of abundance of clips and n’importe quoi to wade through. I sometimes long for a simpler time of quality over quantity, when credentials and years of experience mattered more than marketing. I however, have pity for the ‘real’ journalists and I find it sad that there are fewer of them. Same goes for chefs and restaurants. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-vetri/how-food-journalism-got-a_b_6551682.html
Ethical foie gras I have tasted a similar Que product and I loved the natural, less fatty, more meaty aspect of it, but it’s not what the clientele expects/wants when they treat themselves to foie gras.. I don’t even think said artisan survived because it’s great but not foie gras as we know it with less fat and more liver taste, your seared foie gras is more like a deluxe blond liver sauté, the makings for a rich terrine for sure, expensive though for that, so not attractive to most chefs and consumers, anyone who isn’t in it for the principles.. I’m all for this product, even prefer it, but customers aren’t there yet. And anyway in the meantime, traditional foie gras the way it is mostly produced in Quebec is not so bad or ‘unethical’ especially given that it is a treat, a micro blip in the market line of less ethical industrial food people consume without a thought on a daily basis at the cafeteria, supermarket, neighbourhood bistro or fast-food chain.. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/18/the-farmer-who-makes-ethical-foie-gras?
Essential oils to replace antibiotics in factory farming? Wow, there's hope. We could start with just feeding them the nutritional plants, but for sure essential oils provide natural medicine, many antibiotics, I'm all for it. At worst your chicken will taste like oregano?! http://grist.org/food/why-essential-oils-could-change-factory-farming/
MSG and the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome a whole lot of fluff that endures.. I thought this was over, with numerous studies and the notion of umami mainstream.. But no, we need Harold McGee to chime in again.. http://luckypeach.com/on-msg-and-chinese-restaurant-syndrome/
A French resume of what the English think will be hot food trends haha - like more kale and bugs, bitter things like grapefruit and brussel sprouts, kolache, and an African fruit baobab, birch sap.. http://m.slate.fr/story/96747/tendance-alimentation-2015
David McMillan talks Montreal food, always interesting and true http://www.afar.com/magazine/montreals-food-scene-is-better-than-your-citys
Broth is hot! No kidding. I kind of like this trend though, if only to see people waking up to the good things in life, not about me feeling trendy as a duck/rabbit/partridge broth fiend.. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/dining/bone-broth-evolves-from-prehistoric-food-to-paleo-drink.html
Foie gras ban is lifted in California http://four-magazine.com/articles/2453/fournews-foie-gras-back-on-the-menu-in-california?
Olive oil shortage will mean higher prices due to poor harvest in 2014 http://www.goodfoodrevolution.com/olive-oil-crisis/
Thieves take off with 300000$ of wine from French Laundry on X-mas day http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-french-stolen-wine-20141230-story.html#page=1
Bravo! Normand Laprise, chef owner of Toque, is named to Order of Canada for his contribution to Quebec gastronomy http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=15922&lan=eng
Bits and Bites, December 2014
Silly food is killing us There is indeed a fine line between haute cuisine and stupidity http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/11306710/The-Fat-Duck-Silly-food-is-killing-us-body-and-soul.html
'Important' Food media moments from 2014 http://food52.com/blog/11930-some-of-the-most-important-moments-in-food-media-from-2014
CTV Sunday Bite ‘best food moments of 2014’ featuring artisans, new restaurants and us foragers.. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.2164361&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
The ‘best of’ lists from Montreal restaurant critics if you haven’t had your fill of annoying lists yet.. http://boucheesdoubles.net/2014/12/toutes-les-listes-de-top-restos-a-montreal-pour-2014/
‘Best of’ – Montreal Bakeries and Pastry shops by Mayssam - a useful one if you like sweets http://willtravelforfood.com/2014/05/27/montreal-best-bakeries-pastry-shops/
20 wines for under 20 (or 30$) for the holidays http://chacunsonvin.winealign.com/articles/2014/12/27/20-a-moins-de-20-ou-30-pour-decembre/
Interesting perspective of eating habits over time, countries http://www.nationalgeographic.com/what-the-world-eats/
Bits and Bites November 2014
Montreal restaurant scene booming for bust? Good article. It’s true that however exciting the scene seems, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs, fragile and not sustainable with too many restaurants for the clientele, the fickle crowd moving from one ‘hot’ thing to the next, quality and longevity not counting for much in the end.. Diners are spoiled with choice, but maybe not so longterm if it is so difficult for good ones to hang on without cutting corners or charging more while customers are checking out the others.. Construction aside, it’s a tough business for restaurant owners, yet they keep on coming. Not for the faint of heart, deep pockets help only so far. http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/the-restaurant-scene-in-montreal-is-the-boom-too-much?
Administration charge to replace tip at NY restaurant. Positive initiative. Next best thing to an all inclusive charge; until more restaurants are doing it, so the sticker shock isn’t so hard. This is just logical. So that the restaurant can pay everyone fairly according to their job, waiters guaranteed a living wage, but not exaggerated, redistributed amongst employees and to cover behind the scenes service/administration costs. http://ny.eater.com/2014/11/21/7256693/you-wont-have-to-tip-at-dirt-candy-2-0
So much for wild game on Quebec chef’s menus for now http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/d9c2bd87-42dd-45a9-987c-d82f12576d7f%7C_0.html
From David Kamp (The United States of Arugula; how we became a gourmet nation) A great excerpt, very interesting if Alice Waters and Jerimiah Towers mean anything to you, and if not, still a fragment of NA food history.. To think of ‘mesclun’ and local sourcing peppering French dishes as revolutionary! And I remember.. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2006/10/kamp_excerpt200610
Musician brains I have often seen a parallel with chefs and musicians, but I will accept that they are more talented, maybe even smarter, but not however necessarily better at organising things/getting things done! http://trendinghot.net/what-playing-a-musical-instrument-does-to-your-brain/
Made in Quebec, Julian Armstrong’s new cookbook out, a review by Mayssam: http://willtravelforfood.com/2014/11/05/cookbook-review-made-in-quebec-julian-armstrong-recipe-lamb-shanks/ Lots of good stuff here, I’m featured too, but however much I love Julian, I am sad to see hack foragers featured instead of our François des Bois who is head and shoulders above, the Quebec pioneer..
Le Nez (The Empire of Scents), a film by Kim Nguyen that looks fascinating especially to an olfactory obsessed like me. Inspired by François Chartier’s ‘Papilles et Molecules, but not just food/wine focused from what I understand. Playing in Montreal as of Nov.12th. http://www.ridm.qc.ca/fr/actualites/nouvelles/1273/le-nez-de-kim-nguyen-en-ouverture-des-ridm
Jeremiah Tower meets Tavern on the Green http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/dining/tavern-on-the-green-hires-jeremiah-tower-as-head-chef.html Who is Jeremiah Tower? (for the youngsters) http://m.sfgate.com/restaurants/article/THE-RISE-FALL-OF-A-STAR-How-the-king-of-2906407.php
Truite au bleu – Good story about a classic dish and a badass Que chef bent on doing it in NY. http://munchies.vice.com/articles/why-trout-is-turning-blue-in-a-old-garage-in-queens
Bad restaurant reviews get more reads and likes I don't doubt this is true, but as a chef, I don't enjoy reading a bad review. Unless I personally know it's a shitshow, it's a big co., disconnected from their customers and the day to day, or maybe with young ones too fake, hip and arrogant. But Never a 'Mom &Pop', chef owned life&soul invested resto. Not amusing. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/30/negative-restaurant-review-bad-food-fun-read
Bits and Bites October 2014
Soylent interest fading - good! I hate the idea. Cooking real food does not have to be complicated and should be/can easily be a joyful part of the daytoday. http://grist.org/list/so-long-soylent-world-remembers-that-eating-rules/?utm_source=syndication&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed
Do Men and Women cook differently? For sure. Obviously we cannot generalize too much, everyone is different. But after 20 yrs in a professional kitchen, I would say that most of the time these points hold true : men like their gadgets, compete more, are sloppier, taste and nurture less than perform . They swear, but whine less, do what needs to be done with less fuss, beer at the end of the night as opposed to a heart to heart hash out. I don't agree that the girls aren't ready for service; most question themselves and worry more than the guys. It's not smart to be cocky when it comes to MEP. But it's true that guys are often faster, again that competition thing. Sometimes there isn’t room for nitpicky, fairness or feelings. The best kitchen formula is a mix of the two types, gender aside.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/11161139/Do-men-and-women-cook-differently.html
Always more restaurants opening in Mtl, who can keep track? http://montreal.eater.com/2014/10/3/6906077/get-to-know-the-bumper-crop-of-new-montreal-restaurants
Eating well at the end of the road Inspiration from Alaska with a young pig farmer, the locals and chefrugees People close to the land naturally spend more time on their food, a way of life. It’s nice to see a vibrant food community so far north. Can’t help but note that with govt grants/when someone else is paying for the tunnels, the sky is the limit, crazy projects can see the light of day, and then carry on.. http://www.eater.com/2014/10/15/6971503/homer-alaska
Nitrite brief - most of our intake is natural, not necessarily a bad word. Probably a good idea to avoid excess additives but no need to freak out over some quality charcuterie in your diet either.. http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/10/08/cured-meat-nitrites-cancer?cmpid=foodinc-fb
Champagne quotes I love bubbles and the stories they inspire.. http://firstwefeast.com/drink/champagne-quotes-from-the-famous-drinkers-who-loved-it-best/
Ten things to fix the food system besides GMO labelling http://grist.org/food/10-things-that-would-fix-the-food-system-faster-than-gmo-labeling/
Wine recommendations – some interesting sounding, definitely reliable selections for under 20$ at the SAQ, we all like that! http://chacunsonvin.winealign.com/blog/2014/09/25/20-bons-vins-a-moins-de-20-pour-septembre/
Bitter, Jennifer McLagan’s latest book http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/food-trends/the-worlds-most-dangerous-flavour-how-bitter-is-making-a-comeback/article20630943/
50 ideés savoureuses/decouvertes via Marie Claude Lortie http://www.lapresse.ca/vivre/gourmand/201409/11/01-4799243-50-idees-savoureuses-des-decouvertes-des-bons-coups-et-des-gens.php
A restaurant surcharge for employees behind the scenes! Kudos, a step forward.. But it’s a bit ridiculous that as restaurateurs we cannot include this into our price without fear. That’s the thing, no one understands how expensive it is to run a quality restaurant, so scared to up prices when we should just be able to charge what we need to, no questions asked. And while we’re at it, why not forget about tips and pay waiters an hourly wage/salary like everyone, based on experience and competence, again included in the ticket price, tips not necessary, only bonus. The whole system needs revamping but no one wants to go there. Although logical and simple, best for full time employees, it comes down to bad business - Because its sticker shock for the clients, probably less tips for the waiters, more costs for the owners, only the government would be happy.. http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-suzanne-goin-josiah-citrin-3-percent-benefits-surcharge-20140903-story.html
Restaurant workers living in poverty Yes, this is true.. You have to love it to stick it out to eventually make a living wage.. And it's not going to change soon unless people are willing to pay a lot more for their food because outside the fast food circuit, it's not the restaurant owners making money off the backs of employees; it's hard to charge enough.. http://eater.com/archives/2014/08/28/40-percent-of-restaurant-workers-live-in-poverty.php