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Cookery School

On Saturday, because my friends are very wonderful indeed, I spent an amazing day at the cookery school at le Manoir where, among other things, I made pasta from scratch for the first time ever...

I'll have a lot more to say about it later this week when I have time but for now there are dozens more photos here...

Top Chef Starts Tonight. Are You Excited?

Top Chef Masters was an ok distraction to pass the time, but I'm really excited Top Chef is back for season 6.  I'm watched all the previews, the videos, and red the bios and here are my picks for the top 8.
A recent roadtrip to Germany led to some excellent meals... well, we did use the Michelin guide to garner local recommendations!

We were working at Hockenheim over the weekend, and The Michelin Guide, when consulted the week before, suggested a couple of restaurants nearby in Ketsch (about three miles away), so I booked one for Friday and one for Saturday. And a very good thing they proved to be too.

Restaurant Hirsch, Ketsch, Baden-Wurttemburg, GermanyCollapse )

Gasthaus Adler, Restaurant Stecker, Ketsch, Baden-Wurttemburg, GermanyCollapse )

SundayCollapse )

Hotel Moselschild, Oliver's Restaurant, Urzig, Rheinpfalz, GermanyCollapse )

Still tasty???

This is a great site that has all sorts of info about the real shelf life of different foods. It's divided into sections of different food types and has a lot of great information!
http://stilltasty.com/

NY Times article

This is a review of three books that have come out that all are memoir types that have recipes as well. A couple of them look really interesting!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/books/review/Muhlke-t.html

Organic sales grow by 17 percent in 2008

"U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, growing an impressive 17.1 percent over 2007 sales despite tough economic times, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), which has made available final results from its 2009 Organic Industry Survey.
While the overall economy has been losing ground, sales of organic products reflect very strong growth during 2008. "Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products," said Christine Bushway, OTA's Executive Director."

...the rest is here.

Amazing article about jello "artists"

Make sure you look at the slide show of their creations too!
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/dining/01jelly.html

More Mental Floss Food Trivia!

**Philadelphia Cream Cheese was first manufactured in New York City, not the City of Brotherly Love.

**SAFFRON: In 1730, saffron was as valuable as gold; the two had the same list price on the Philadelphia commodities exchange.

**SESAME SEEDS: To make their hamburger buns, McDonald's buys about one-third of all the sesame seeds imported to the United States from Mexico.

**MUSTARD: In the early 1300s, Pope John XXII was such a fan of mustard that he hired a mustard-maker to be at his beck and call. But there was some nepotism involved; the Grand Moutardier de Pape was also his nephew.

**ALLSPICE: Allspice is a tree, not a combination of spices. It got its name because the dried berries of the allspice tree taste like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Sugar Makes a Comeback



Sugar, the nutritional pariah that dentists and dietitians have long reviled, is enjoying a second act, dressed up as a natural, healthful ingredient.

From the tomato sauce on a Pizza Hut pie called “The Natural,” to the just-released soda Pepsi Natural, some of the biggest players in the American food business have started, in the last few months, replacing high-fructose corn syrup with old-fashioned sugar.

ConAgra uses only sugar or honey in its new Healthy Choice All Natural frozen entrees. Kraft Foods recently removed the corn sweetener from its salad dressings, and is working on its Lunchables line of portable meals and snacks.

The turnaround comes after three decades during which high-fructose corn syrup had been gaining on sugar in the American diet. Consumption of the two finally drew even in 2003, according to the Department of Agriculture. Recently, though, the trend has reversed. Per capita, American adults ate about 44 pounds of sugar in 2007, compared with about 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup.

“Sugar was the old devil, and high-fructose corn syrup is the new devil,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior analyst at Mintel International, a market-research company.

With sugar sales up, the Sugar Association last year ended its Sweet by Nature campaign, which pointed out that sugar is found in fruits and vegetables, said Andy Briscoe, president of the association. “Obviously, demand is moving in the right direction so we are taking a break,” Mr. Briscoe said.

Blamed for hyperactivity in children and studied as an addictive substance, sugar has had its share of image problems. But the widespread criticism of high-fructose corn syrup — the first lady, Michelle Obama, has said she will not give her children products made with it — has made sugar look good by comparison.

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