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  • simonathibault 7:09 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, Field Guide, ,   

    Au Revoir, Assis Toi 

    And so, it is with a heavy heart, and a bit of a buzz that I say goodbye to this season’s edition of  Assis Toithe series.


    To finish the series off, I met up with Passable contributor, Melissa Buote. She had introduced me to a wonderful cocktail called The Trinidad Sour at The Field Guide.  The catch: the cocktail is made with an entire ounce of Angostura Bitters.

    Take a listen as Melissa and The Field Guide’s bartender, Shane, tell us why a cocktail made with such a bracing amount of bitters is actually one of the most balanced cocktails you will ever try.  You can also download the podcast from iTunes.

    I’d like to thank all of the chefs, home cooks, and food lovers who helped make this series possible:

    • Melissa Buote and the gang from Field Guide for laughing and getting me tipsy
    • And last but not least, the producers at Information Morning in Halifax, Sydney, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, and Island Morning in PEI for giving me another opportunity to tell stories from all sorts of kitchen tables. Special thanks to Diane Paquette for spearheading the project, Jerry West and Margot Brunelle for helping me with vetting, and Christina Harnett, who wasn’t afraid to tell me to re-write a script.
  • simonathibault 8:59 am on September 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, Sandor Katz,   

    Assis Toi: Fermentation Fun 

    I didn’t believe it when I heard that Sandor Katz was coming to Halifax.

    One of Katz's books

    One of Katz’s books

    The author of The Art Of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation recently paid a visit to Nova Scotia to teach classes on fermentation, including classes at enVie and the Wolfville Farmers Market.

    Katz is pretty much known as THE guy to talk to about fermentation in North America, and so his coming to the province was a big coup to those of us who live for sauerkraut, kefirs, and kimchis. And so I was very excited to have the opportunity to sit down with him and chat about fermentation. Take a listen to it here via Information Morning Nova Scotia’s website or download the podcast.

    Next week is my last edition of Assis Toi, so stay tuned for a little nightcap (hint hint).

  • simonathibault 10:02 am on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi,   

    Assis Toi: When food doesn't taste good 

    This week’s edition of Assis Toi looks at food in a different way: as a chore.

    This episode is very personal, as it involves a family member going through cancer treatments. The treatments essentially robbed her of her sense of taste and smell, and made eating a less than pleasant experience.

    Seeing someone who loves food becoming someone who laments the very notion of eating made me look at food in a completely different way.

    These are two of the reasons my sister holds on to as she fights cancer

    These are two of the reasons my sister held on to when fighting cancer. Their names are Sophie and Ella.

    You can listen to the episode by streaming on Information Morning’s website.

  • simonathibault 5:55 pm on August 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, Halifax Cookie Cravings, Pies,   

    Assis Toi: Pie and Cookies. 

    It’s a baking extravaganza on “Assis Toi”!

    My mom's pie does not look like this. It looks much better.

    My mom’s pie does not look like this. It looks much better.

    Last year’s final episode of “Assis Toi” took me all the way back home, proverbially speaking. I interviewed my mother, Jeanne, about her pie-making skills. Last week, I revisited that episode on CBC Radio’s Information Morning. You can download that podcast here from iTunes.

    This week on “Assis Toi”, I visit with Diana from Halifax Cookie Cravings. She recounts her love of baking, her beautiful Pashley Britannia Bicycle, and how people like to hug her when she comes around. Why? Because she is delivering cookies! You can stream the episode here or download the podcast here.

  • simonathibault 6:36 pm on August 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, , , Sea Urchin, , Uni   

    Assis Toi: You say whore’s eggs, I say uni 

    The first time I tasted it, I didn’t understand it.

    Food should not melt like this in my mouth. It’s like a briny foam peanut.

    The second time, I knew what to expect, and appreciated it a bit more. My other half, did not.

    Now, I have to say that I enjoy fresh sea urchin roe, often known by its japanese name, uni.

    A few years ago, I had the chance to meet Nick Budreski, who told me a rather interesting story about how his father came to harvest the spiny little guys. In this episode of “Assis Toi”, Budreski tells that story, as well as some of the difficulties in gathering the revered and reviled seafood.

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  • simonathibault 10:54 am on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, , , Stillwell Beer Bar   

    Assis Toi: It’s five o’clock somewhere… 

    For the latest episode of Assis Toi, I sat down for a beer with Chris Reynolds from Stillwell Beer Bar.


    Located on Barrington Street, Reynolds and the rest of the crew have a great devotion to beer in all its forms. In their infinite wisdom, they decided that a form that might work for me is a lambic beer.

    Essentially, lambics are beers brewed with wild yeasts that are present in the air. In this case, it was an Oude Kriek Vielle, a fruit lambic made with cherries.

    The instant I tasted it I understood it, or rather it understood me.

    My brain didn’t register that I was drinking a beer – something generally malty, yeasty – but something dry and crisp, with a mild sourness in its finish, but not unpleasantly so.

    Take a listen to Chris wax poetic about beers in the latest episode of Assis Toi, which you can stream here. or download the podcast here.


    • Jayme 12:57 pm on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      As a beer nerd (and one of the few BJCP certified beer judges in the region), I was thrilled to hear your piece during my morning commute on Information Morning. Sour beers are all the rage these days in many parts of the United States but have just barely begun to show up in the Canadian beer scene (there are some breweries in Quebec, Ontario, and BC brewing sours to my knowledge – not lambics though, that is a term exclusive to a region in Belgium).

      Lambics are a complex, beautiful style of beer. I recommend you try a Gueuze (sometimes spelled Geuze), which is a blend of 1, 2 and 3 year old lambics (no fruit added). Oud Beersel makes an excellent version of the style, though Cantillon’s various blends are probably the most sought after. After blending the various ages beers, the depth of flavour takes on a whole new dimension. Another interesting sour beer style which would be similar to the Kriek you tried, would be a Flanders Red. They tend to be somewhat hard to find locally (not that lambics are easy to find either), but you come across a Rodenbach Grand Cru, I think you will thoroughly enjoy it.


      • simonathibault 12:59 pm on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks! And now I know where to dig/drink.

  • simonathibault 11:00 am on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, Dharma Sushi, ,   

    Assis Toi: Oishii Agedashi! 

    Oishii means “yummy” or “tasty” in japanese, and agedashi tofu is tasty indeed.


    But more importantly, agedashi tofu is a great example of washoku, a tradition in Japan that encompasses the knowledge, practices and making of food. Washoku was recently added to the United Nations Intangible Cultural Heritage List, but by many accounts, the knowledge and traditions around washoku are in danger of being lost.

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  • simonathibault 3:58 pm on July 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, , Gateaux Rose, ,   

    Assis Toi: Remembering Rose 

    The whole time I was working on this story, all I could to was think of this song by the B-52’s. And no, you’re not about to click on Rock Lobster.

    This time “Assis Toi” heads off to visit Crystal Ross from Gateaux Rose. Gateaux Rose isn’t a bricks-and-mortar cake shop, it’s a side project that Ross does on her off hours to keep her sanity. Or maybe her day job functions to fund Gateaux Rose. In any case, Ross was kind enough to sit down with me to teach me how to make a proper buttercream. Not that stuff you find on cupcakes, which is just butter whipped with sugar and flavourings. No, we’re talking whipped egg whites, sugar syrup and flavours that sing, rather than scream.

    You can stream the episode from Information Morning Nova Scotia’s website, or you can download the podcast here.

    On a personal note, I once tried to make this very same recipe and totally screwed it up. I then took a class with Ross where I discovered my fatal flaw: I hadn’t read the instructions properly and tried to use cold butter. Room temperature butter is a must to make this work. Otherwise, expect to whip your buttercream into oblivion before it reaches the right consistency.

    Ross flavouring some buttercream. Image courtesy of Michelle Doucette/Gateaux Rose's blog

    Ross flavouring some buttercream. Image courtesy of Michelle Doucette/Gateaux Rose

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  • simonathibault 6:43 am on July 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, , , Renee Lavalle,   

    Assis Toi: A Feisty Succotash 

    First, a promise: I will try my best not to make corn-y puns in this post.

    For the second episode of my summer series for CBC Radio, “Assis Toi”  invites listeners to Prince Edward Island, as Bedford resident Nancy Johnston takes us for a trip down memory lane as she talks about summer corn boils on the island.

    But soon listeners are taken for a walk around my neighbourhood in Dartmouth and head to The Canteen. There I meet up with Feisty Chef Renée Lavallée, who whips up a beautiful summer succotash and gives great tips on how to use every last morsel of corn in your pantry.

    Renée Lavallée's summeru succotash, (photo via Feistychef.ca)

    Renée Lavallée’s summeru succotash, (photo via Feistychef.ca)

    You can find a version of the succotash on Lavallée’s website here.

    You can stream the episode on Information Morning’s website, or you can download the podcast on iTunes here.

    Bon appetit!

  • simonathibault 1:40 pm on July 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assis Toi, , ,   

    The Return of "Assis Toi" to CBC 

    Last summer I had the occasion to do a food series for CBC Radio’s Information Morning in Halifax.  It was called “Assis Toi” and featured interviews and stories with local food lovers and producers, where listeners could learn how to make sausages with butchers to what it’s like to cook for scores of tree planters.

    This season will continue with that tradition, dealing with everything from a baker who named her company after her cake making grandmother, how a japanese restaurateur decided to bring izakaya-style food to Halifax, all the way to the trials of eating while undergoing chemotherapy.

    The episodes will air every tuesday on Information Morning, in mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  I’ll be posting each episode here on Passable as well as recipes from the episodes when possible.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 1.13.01 PM

    The first episode I head up to the corner of Agricola and Charles in Halifax’s north end, where I meet up with chef Lauren Marshall from enVie, a vegan restaurant in Halifax. Lauren whipped up a kale melonade drink, as well as a three grain salad with arugula pesto. So tasty. You can find the recipes for those items below, and you can hear Lauren by going to Information Morning Nova Scotia’s website, or download the podcast here.


    Lauren Marshall’s Three Grain Salad with Arugula Pesto

    Serves 4

    *Arugula Pesto recipe*


    3-4 cups arugula

    1/2 cup olive oil

    1/4 cup lemon juice

    1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar

    2 cloves garlic

    1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

    1/4 cup walnuts

    2 Tbsp maple syrup

    Sea salt and pepper to taste

    1.) Place all ingredients in a food processor except for the olive oil, pulsing until it forms a smooth paste, wiping down the sides occasionally.

    2. Slowly stream in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    *Three Grain Salad Recipe*


    1 cup cooked and cooled wild and brown rice blend

    1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

    1 handful organic mixed green

    Juice of one lemon

    1/4 cup arugula pesto

    1/4 cup chopped raw pecans

    1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

    1 apple diced small

    Pinch red pepper flakes

    Sea Salt and Pepper to taste


    1.) Mix all ingredients together, reserving the salad greens for plating.

    -Lay grain salad on top of a bed of greens. Mix up and enjoy!

    Lauren’s Kale Melonade

    Serves 2


    1/2 honey dew melon

    1/2 large head of kale

    1 green apple

    1 lemon

    1 lime

    1. Following manufacturer’s instructions for juicer, juice each ingredient, and blend the juices. Enjoy!

    Alternatively you can use a blender. If so start by blending the melon then add the juice of the lemon and lime. Pick all the leaves off the kale and remove seeds from apple. Blend with some ice and enjoy a smoothie instead!

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