My thoughts and experiences on food and wine and other things

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Majorca / Hurlingham via Marseille , only good things may take place.

In Association Culinaire Francaise, Food, Travel on October 18, 2011 at 11:50

At around 8am , the sun is very much appearing as a big bright orange (high up it is scorching although we are soon to be flirting with the winter frosts), sending us all his best kisses , warm and comforting , like bouncing off the surface of mother earth as if by amusement , making his stand up also known as rise , this elegantly , allowing us seeing through the aurora so to ripen the fields of olives , almonds and much more , giving us another wonderful day this time to return to our not so monotonous but different , filled with working days and e-mails of justification , approvals …etc normal life in other terms…

I feel having been away for so long ,as if my travel had included a period through time , I now return to the much larger city of Palma going through the traffic that always leads us to it , as if dragged , sucked in.

I enjoy very much what is then being felt , having loved now and then sipping a fruit cocktail through a straw and being kept apart from much of all reality , but that at time , also is reality.

Sobressada de Majorca made from black pig is “something” to spread on a chunky slice of deliciously toasted bread (wood fired if you still have your BBQ at hand) as this onctuous and rich , red of paprika and spices “paste” is pushed into this not so elegant , rather rustic “tube” (Or its many variant such as Longaniza , Rizada to name a few) made from the pork intestine is delicious either spread onto bread or even slowly melted before adding a rice into the cooking pot , instantly coloring and perfuming the dish in ways real food lovers only may understand , feel and even sometimes smell although my wordings are simple and only describing the reason my mouth is now running its juices made of an excitement I only get from memory , desire but also experience and expectation.

There are a few other items one may squeeze amongst his luggage when travelling so to remind himself the pleasure only recently felt and discovered such as the Crema de Almendra , found to be used (as per recommendations) dissolved into warm milk during the long and cold nights of our winter or used into cakes and various patisseries.

Dulce de Leche or “Milk Jam” beside being local and “tradicional” , has this toffee consistency with the beating powers of “elbow pushing” Nutellas and other lookalike off the markets shelves.

Closer to “our” Mediterranean shores , in the Marseille region , has seen the appearance of what I would describe as subtile creation not only by its ingredients but its presentation being so adequate , so “branche d’Olivier”

L’esperantine de Marseille (avec l’accent s’il vous plait) was created in 1999 for the 2600 years of the city of Marseille and obtained immediately high recognition amongst the great chocolate “haut de gamme”. I must say myself I am loving its down to earth concept  (almond,mint,orange and extra virgin olive oil) but equaling its place amongst my favourite in terms of love , design taste and originality, thus beside the like of Bubble Chocolate Lenotre or its “L7g” cube of 7gr of pure chocolate bliss aspreviously reported.

As the ACF Annual Black Tie Event is just around the corner (Friday 21st October 2011), its purpose in promoting our industry is being constantly worked on , wishing not only its success but also perpetration , a “happy cooking” motto always is in order as has proved its latest competition , having brought together a few professionals of various levels , all brushing shoulder with one another.

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Annual Black Tie Dinner

In Association Culinaire Francaise on October 4, 2011 at 00:30

Un Gratin de Fruits Arrosés

In Blablabla, Food, Travel on October 1, 2011 at 07:59

Bob Law’s painting from the 70’s , a large 9′ by 7′ foot canvas entitled “Nothing to Be afraid of” is at the summum of the minimalism , the apotheosis of what one may not have as return for his monies….

Considering the art represented hereby , I am trying , and you will understand why this is causing me hardship , into juxtaposing the idea to what would be a plate or dish presented before my eyes at supper time (question mark arising)

But enough for an introduction that could lead us into loosing our mind by pretending to have become suddenly “the” art critics , having had for training only , the right way of peeling a “legume” and its numerous possible cooking methods …. ha

As various project in the pipelines have not just stopped me from adding my words onto these pages but rather given me different perspectives into a chefs life , career and possible choice , I am and endeavour bringing soon to your attention , products picked and noticed along the way as per my long-lasting habit , but also anecdotes and news which I always very much enjoy sharing hereby.

My only short time in the Alsace region this summer has unfortunately not allowed me to return with more than a few jars of home made jams. As well , regional and home made of course ‘Eau de vie de Mirabelle ” was also to be found in my luggage …..this beverage will allow me to flambé a few gratins of the same fruit before topping with a scoop of a delicious ice cream and covering my bowl with a sabayon ready for gratin. Tucking into this so very annoyingly simple dish will once more allow me and my guest to travel rapidly as if hovering the “plaines” and “valllees” of the area left behind , in fact it is as if I had never returned from its grounds.

Today , to be taken lightly please , as we gently prepare to step onto the sandy beach of the British Isle I may show and testify that perhaps sometime very soon you may come across a bottle of extra virgin olive oil labelled “Product of London”. Indeed , as just around the corner , you will not loose yourself into an “Oliveraie” as found in a modest number only , but the mediterranean tree that has provided us with its nectar for thousands of years is now to be found in the street of London , growing , maturing and proving to be giving the chances it deserve to its fruits as does its Italian , Greek , Tunisian and Spanish cousin from the “basin”. I simply cannot wait …..

Growing your own mushrooms is something that perhaps your patience will allow you to do , whether it is by “recycling” and old book as it is marvellously put or hanging a ” log” made for the purpose and found under the form of a “Kit” , germinated and ready for you to simply await for its fruiting after about 2 to 3 weeks. What may be found in markets stalls is always astonishing me , the never-ending force of renew and creativity ….

Voila, perhaps you will now feel the necessity harvesting your own crop of shitake for your next stir fry , spending you pocket money (a mere £60 000) into a canvas that will probably become the subject of many conversations at the table or giving me a phone call so to taste and feel , in practice , my thoughts and emotions when scooping one of my greatest favourite dessert “arrosed” with my homeland’s blood.

Whatever the butterflies in your stomach are telling you , do not forget to keep them at ease and fed and educated with a number of flavour thus as per our numerous choices we may only find ourselves lucky enough to have to take a pick from.

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