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  • simonathibault 4:10 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Read Up On It – For January 27th, 2012 

    This week on Read Up On It, we have more about truffles, travel tips and advice about dish duty. Chow down!

    • There is something envious about getting a reservation at a restaurant that is hard to get into. Just look at the insanity that happened when El Bulli said it was closing. But what about the rest of the world? Eater looks into the eleven toughest reservations to get in the world.
    • There’s more to scandinvian grog than Aquavit. Tasting Table presents a sailor’s drink: Punsch.
  • simonathibault 6:53 am on January 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Read Up On It – The “No Paula Deen” Edition for January 20th, 2012 

    It seems like half of the food writing that has come across my board this week has been about poor Paula. Although we here at Passable have nothing against the southern maven, we would like to provide a sanctuary from all the news that has come up around her.

    Instead, we have news that SNL’s Stefon has his own Yelp page (Skinny Cholos!Gary Busey!Closeted Guidos!), Tim Horton’s recent foray into the world of 24 ounce drinks (seriously? That’s almost a freaking litre!), the uncutous underworld of umami and a video about the craziest test anyone may ever take: to be a sommelier. This is Read Up On It, The “No Paul Deen” edition.

    • An interesting food blog from (where else?) Brooklyn, gives advice on how to enjoy (um, drink?) older vintages of wine. I have to admit though, if someone showed up at my house with a bottle of 1945 Petrus, I would read this and pay close attention.
    • SOMM is a film that tells the story of four individuals who are about to take the Master Sommelier Exam. This film makes cramming for medical exams look like a piece of cake.
  • simonathibault 8:07 pm on January 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bobby Grégoire, ,   

    Bobby Grégoire: Gastronomy Specialist 

    A few months ago, I had the opportunity to participate at the Slow Motion Food Film Festival in Wolfville. While there I had the chance to meet Bobby Grégoire, a self-declared “gastronomy specialist” who does everything from podcasting to events on everything from culinary history & terroir to running Slow Food Montréal.  I had the chance to interview him via email about his work, his interests, and the importance of terroir.

    Image via Bobby Grégoire.com

    Tell me who you are, what you do and why.

    First, I am passionate about food culture and heritage. I use to work as a caterer that did period food interpretation from 4th century Roman to 19th century Canadian but I hanged my apron in late 2008. Today, I work as a gastronomy specialist that offers consulting services on food heritage, culinary tourism and terroir products. My job is mainly to work with producers, tourism boards and institutions to create local marketing and development strategies for communities based on their specialty food products ands food culture.

    I do what I do because I love it and mainly am able to work on different projects and issues that interest me in life. When you do what you like, it does not seem as working.

    Where does your love and appreciation of food come from?

    That’s a good question, I’m not sure. I loved to watch my grandmother cooking when I was younger. But, I think, it’s mainly the taste and diversity that bring my love for food alive. Food is a celebration and a pleasure that we experience 3 times a day. But food is also culture, an expression of ours in relation to the environment, ours friends, society and everything that constitute our society and life.

    What is a gastronomy specialist?

    Basically, I am a food consultant, through media interviews, conferences and collaborations. I was designated as a Gastronomy specialist because I always include the broader picture of gastronomy from the field to the plate. Since it suited the media interviews and been used by journalist to describe me, I decided to use the title myself since then.

    How did you become interested in gastronomy, specifically historical accounts and recipes thereof?

    I always loved to cook and try new recipes and create a few of my own over time. As for heritage food, I began to get more interested when I was doing historical reenactment. I was always disappointed by the fact that we put so much efforts in reproducing goods and clothes but never put enough attention to the food we where eating during the reenactment events. So I began to do research about foods and recipes that suited our context and made banquets and food from scratch to the best interpretations I could. Over time, other reenactment associations asked for my cooking services and it’s how I begun to caterer for historical institutions and private groups.

    It lasted 7 years until the end of 2008 when I decided to close my caterer service, to take a break. But in theses seven years I learned a lot about the producer’s reality and the marketing traps …

    What does “slow food” mean to you?

    I discovered the Slow Food movement around 2003-2004 but got to really learn more about it in 2007. For me, Slow Food is an organisation that fosters a similar vision about food and culture as I tried to apply in my caterer service in the previous years. Basically I joined Slow Food to be able to continue to promote the philosophy I was following in the past and promote it.

    I got involved in 2008 to get to meet other peoples and meet with new professional contacts but also, I made new friends and where able to communicate my passion of food.

    Why is terroir so important to you?

    Because terroir is the result of nature and human culture working together to create unique foods that incarnate literally a culture and a land. It’s also important because terroir products are with added value and give more opportunity to farmers to earn an honest living that also bring a regional sense of pride. Terroir can’t exist in large-scale industrial operation, it preserves and creates specific know how’s and knowledge about a region and ensure strong small communities that preserve biodiversity as well as cultural identity.

    Without terroir, culinary tourism would be almost impossible and a lot of small communities would have perished, in Europe as well as here in North America.

  • simonathibault 10:29 am on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Read Up On It – For January 13th, 2012 

    This week’s collection of links and stories are a little more on the extravagant side, with a few stories about truffle season, the possible end of foie gras, as well as a video on the fileting/butchering of a tuna. Bon Appetit!

    Image from Wikipedia.

    • Who would think that 60 Minutes would be a place for interesting food stories? Yet, here they are, talking about truffles, including the influx of cheap chinese truffles and the mafia connection.
    • Even though some people might decry the lack of foie gras, Mark Bittman at the NYT opines on the recent trend of how we are eating less meat.
    • If you’re interested in the politics and policy behind food, you should follow Marion Nestle’s columns in the Atlantic. Although the articles often reflect previous columns, Nestle provides concise commentary on issues around food. Recently, she brings up the difference between organic, local, sustainable and more. She even touches on the subject of the wages of the people who raise/grow/pick our food. Your tomato may be organically grown, but was it harvested by someone who was paid a decent wage?
    • Every year, Saveur makes a list of their 100 favorite things about food. Things to eat, things to read, things to think and talk about. I would like some dried organge blossoms and a trip to Bali please.
    • Del Posto has been posting videos of some of their preparations on YouTube. But the best one of all may be this video, where they take apart an entire tuna.
  • Andy Murdoch 4:33 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Soups   

    Samegyetang – Ginseng Chicken soup 

    My pal Bruce Bottomley, who spent more than 15 years working and raising a family in Japan, often feels like a transplanted Asian man in Halifax. To compensate for the pull of Japan, and his homesickness for Asia in general, he creates small tasks for himself to shorten the distance between himself and his spiritual homeland.

    Right now, he takes Korean language classes from Korean students and he works on perfecting classic Korean dishes. I (enviously) follow him @bruceley on twitter as he posts one delicious photo of dinner after another.

     [By the way, he’s a talented photographer, too. Here’s a flickr stream of his photography, some of which have gone viral in Japan, and another very active flickr stream he started to document his other passion: ramen noodles.] 

     Bruce’s wise guide to learning another another cuisine. If you’re smart, you’ll imitate him: 1) Invite native speakers to your home to speak with you. 2) Cook one of their native dishes for them. 3) Take notes as they discuss (argue over) your technique. Once you learn multiple perspectives over how a dish is cooked, you get to the heart of the dish itself.

    Recipe: Bottomley’s Samegyetang

    This was the third time Bruce cooked Samegyetang. Apparently it’s a summer dish in Korea. Funny, with it being January and cold season, it seems to me that by adding giant hunks of ginseng and garlic that will annihilate any traces of cold in your system, you are inviting me to eat this on a weekly basis throughout the winter.

    (More …)

    • Aimee @ Food, Je t'Aimee 5:14 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Love Bruce’s wise guide, adore the superstition alert, and miss a good bowl of samgyetang in the winter! I have a Korean friend who has promised to help me learn more about making Korean food, so perhaps I’ll start by making him this. Thanks for sharing! A gem of a recipe and post.

  • simonathibault 11:32 am on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Read Up On It – The New Edition 

    It’s a new year and we here at Passable have been busy celebrating, eating and drinking. But the holidays are over and now it’s back to the business of lists.

    Image via Wikipedia

    • And finally, recent cookbook author Tamara Adler has started a smart and understated video series on her website, including this one, about how to boil (and salt) water. I guess Thomas Keller really did mean it when he said, “It should taste like the ocean.”

  • MB 8:53 pm on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Best of the Year, Delicious stuff, Drink, Favourites,   

    My Year in Food 

    This was going to be a Top 5 list of things that impressed me in 2011, but then I realized that I had lots of delicious highlights this past year, and lots of favourite things. There are a few random things that I fell in love with this year—Swissmar’s citrus squeezer, which has ended my days of depending on the pathetic strength of my clenching fists, and desperate fork mashing and screwing to maximize juicing of my beloved limes, the fizzy convenience of the Soda Stream, and a bunch of iPad apps, like Speakeasy Cocktails, How to Cook Everything and the wonderful Gourmet, Jamie Magazine and Saveur Magazine apps—but ultimately I decided to mainly stick with great discoveries and experiences. So here they are!

    (More …)

    • Sheila stevenson 1:47 pm on January 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I liked the range and the content too. Nice to discover Passable, thanks to lia rinaldo

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