My love of fish and chips dates back to formative years growing up in London, U.K., the historical home of this popular, populist, down-home dish.
In my early teens, I recall joining Girl Guides where we lived in the North London suburb of Finchley – then a white-collar, white-bread enclave where my Jewish family stood out like a sore thumb.
I cut veggies in big chunks for this great summer or fall dish – a perfect marriage of taste and texture.
“The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself.” — Joel Robuchon
I relish these wise words from one of the most renowned chefs in the world. And I humbly endorse them.
This much is clear. The iconic butter tart is everything a dessert should be.
It is more proof that nothing succeeds like excess. It commits unabashedly to over-the-top, tooth-aching, sugary sweetness. Julia Child would heartily endorse its endorsement of butter. It pays no heed to the currently popular culinary buzzword “healthful.” In a nutshell, it lives up to all the prerequisites of its much-loved confectionery genre.
When famous American chef/restaurateur Thomas Keller was in Toronto last year to address an auditorium packed with chefs, foodies and other ardent fans, he listed what he considers the keys to success in cooking: “Patience, persistence, practice.”
These three ‘P’s, it seems to me, go together. To persist, you need patience. It’s a case of constantly tweaking a dish – and practising it over and over again – until it’s close to perfect.
This appeared as my column “Dish” in the Toronto Star in 2002.
Today is Mother’s Day and this is a tribute to the person who first inspired my love of food and cooking – my mum.
I call her “mum” because of the formative years – from age four to 19 – I spent living with my parents and two brothers in London, England.
Bananas are not my favourite fruit. That is, eaten raw.
The window of opportunity for eating a raw banana that’s just at the right moment of ripeness – smooth yet ever so slightly al dente in texture with the hint of sweetness and a slightly sour under-taste – is so narrow that I’ve pretty well given up.