M's Cooking Diary

Musing about food, wine and cooking.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The links

There are 3 links today at the right of the page.

The first one is for “A la Di Stasio”. A Tele-Québec TV show about cooking, good food and good produces. I credit her and Daniel Pinard, her co-host on a previous show on really giving me the incentive to really go back to cooking for real.

Instead of just doing what I knew how to do, to search for new technique, to try new food that I was afraid to touch (Not to eat, mind you, as I have always been ready to try anything). My technique improved tenfold in the last few years.

Di Stasio always has a guest, it maybe a chef or a home cook but it always interesting. There is also visit to market or producers, showing the good product that you can find in Montreal and its region.

The second one is about the French Laundry’s chef, Thomas Keller. His book, the “French Laundry cookbook” is one of my bibles. What I like about it, is that all the recipes are without compromise for the home cook. There is no shortcut and it’s all from scratch. If it takes 3 days to do something, then it 3 days. Nothing of that “chicken stock in everything” that you find in a lot of cookbook because this is the only way to add flavour to flavourless food. The recipes are given exactly as they are done at the restaurant. The pictures are true to the food. I know this because I tried a lot of the recipe in that book and it turns out WYSIWYG! Most cookbook pictures are cooked. That’s always something I check at the bookstore, I read the recipe, look at the picture and I can usually tell if making the recipe can even remotely give something that look like the picture. If it does not, I put the book back on the shelf.

The technique (French) are well explained and you end up using them all the time in day to day cooking.

Also Keller has philosophy of respect for the food that I find helps me cook and eat better. (Read the “The importance of rabbit”)

You can read the same story in Michael Ruhlman’s book: “The Soul of a Chef”

I’ll go back to Keller later…

The third link is to another blog, “the Waiter Rant”. It is well written, humorous and although it is not about food per se, waiters are half the experience of eating in a restaurant. They make the meal as much as the chef and I think that if they are professional they deserve as much respect. Unfortunately, in North America, this is not a profession as much as in France where “garçon” is a career.


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