Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

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World’s Best Restaurants…

April 24, 2007

Well there you have it. Restaurant Magazine released their top 50 restaurants in the world. And check this out: NONE are found in Québec, not even one in Canada. I mean, I am not that surprised but you would think at least one would find its way in there. I would argue that Toqué! is at least close to what Charlie Trotter’s is doing in Chicago, not on par but close. They are of the same school of thought after all. And despite me not knowing them, I can’t imagine that Toronto and Vancouver is only filled with mediocre restaurants. Hell, even Québec city has a few very interesting restaurants. This sucks quite a bit. Maybe not in the top 50, but at least one in the top 100….

 Tunes: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues…

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CSA & Half a Lamb

April 4, 2007

Despite the lack of recipes posted on this blog in the past few weeks, there is no shortage of planning that has been done to ensure that the most exquisite meals will come your way soon (oh the humility of the amateur cook!) First I subscribed to a CSA, so I will be receiving boatloads of organics fruits and vegetables throughout summer and fall. So I will have to do something with that, hopefully a few things to please the readers. Second, I commited to buying half an organically fed, humanely raised lamb. Expect lamb recipes in the fall and all through winter as I’ll go through that beast (now I gotta convince the guy that I need those nasty bits like liver, tripes, brains  and all.)

Anywho, I’ll try to cook something interesting soon. Expect tasty things in the future. Now I am trying to secure foie gras directly from local farms… We’ll see how that goes!

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No time for anything

March 12, 2007

Sorry people (the two of you), haven’t had a minute to cook anything interesting in a little while. I will have something up this week and I am planning a pretty challenging dinner party in a little bit so please come back soon.

 I also went to a great restaurant but haven’t taken any pictures due to lack of light. Maybe I’ll review it anyway.

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Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

October 10, 2006

Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

Bill Buford

 

In Heat, we follow Buford as he encounters star chef Mario Batali and decide to follow Batali’s path to becoming a chef through the different people that have influenced his cooking. More than that, Buford also enlists as a kitchen help in Batali’s three star restaurant: Babbo. Buford, nothing more than a foodie at the time, gets to learn from the best in the business in one of the most celebrated and busy kitchen in New York. The book also doubles as a biography of sort for Batali and following his rise to the top of the culinary world, from apprentice to Food TV.

 

Heat is a terrific read if you are in any way shape or form interested in the food business, how kitchens are run and how difficult it can be to work in the conditions these people work. Kitchens in high end restaurants are just like the ones in corner dinner, simply hot, filthy messes that there is a good chance that your meal has been seasoned with sweat and some other people’s food. More to that is the physically demands required by a job where you are in front of a very hot grill, standing up for 9 hours at a time without any breaks. From preparation the ingredients in the morning to the cooking and serving of those same ingredients at night, every step is on the clock, one fatal mistake can halt everything for a long time. The pressure is something a kitchen thrives on apparently and as Buford dutifully explains when in particularly tense situation:

 

“It was, I concluded, my first glimpse of what Mario had described as ‘the reality of the kitchen’- a roomful of adrenaline addicts”

 

Heat is more than just the memoir of a man trying to survive in busy kitchen, which he did admirably BTW, despite the cuts and bruises and the fact that he is in his late forties. Heat is about a quest of culinary knowledge bordering on the obsessive. What starts with Buford interviewing and getting to know Batali’s past as a chef soon evolves in a full fledge mania about the history of Italian cuisine and a search for the authentic in a country with as many variations on a dish as there is regions. The simplicity and the charm of Italian cuisine soon takes center stage as he interns and interviews some of the people trying to keep the cuisine as authentic as possible in a context where cuisine is as much global in its influences as it is local, cooking with local ingredients being increasingly important.

 

The Tuscan Dante-Quoting butcher of the title is the incredibly entertaining, but also troubled, Dario Cecchini. The most famous butcher in the world it is said of him, but he is also a fierce defendant of Tuscan cuisine that yells at “unworthy” customers and throws balsamic vinegar of the floor of local restaurants (it is from Emilia-Romagna). Cacchini is troubled by the fact that his Tuscan heritage is disappearing all around him and he doesn’t seem to be able to stop it, despite the fact that he is doing the food cop all around his small town. Buford comes into this situation and gets to learn from the Maestro himself and also gets to reflect on the state of Italian cooking, where it came from and where it is going.

 

The book addresses some of the important questions about Italian cooking as it found today and the way it has evolved, or rather, not evolved since the renaissance. It touches on sour subjects like Caterina de Medicis’ passage to France and how that might have influenced French cooking, probably the most recognized cooking in the world. The leaves us on a question mark and certainly another volume from Buford that seems as passionate and as manic in his research about cooking than anything he has done before. The tone of this book is incredibly light and fun and describes with accuracy the culinary underworld, as Anthony Bourdain would say, and describes Batali as would Rabelais in all his excess and charms. In the end, Batali only seems like a jumpstart to Buford’s awkward quest that becomes a lot more entertaining than anything Batali has done. One more on the plus side, the food descriptions are mouth watering.

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GrubNoise?

October 7, 2006

After that first post, I thought I would explain the motivations behind GrubNoise. I have two very important passions in life, first is music and the second is food. After a few forays into combining the two back at indieworkshop.com, my regular outlet for musical writing, I decided to give it a go and start this blog. What I will do is try to emulate the great sommelier of this world who match wonderful wines to beautiful food but rather do that with music and the preparation and enjoyment of the food. As this is not exactly a discipline that has been thoroughly researched, I will try to keep it at my level (low) and try to have fun with it. Although I have plenty of music writing experience, from the past 10 years, and plenty of eating and cooking in the past 15, I am a novice at writing about later and still very much an amateur in the former. In other words: You’ll read things that don’t make any sense and chances are that they were unintentional (Please blast me in the comments if you see something like that.)

In addition to the marriage of food and music, I will sometimes link and rant about various food-related business as well as hopefully write about the food eaten on my upcoming trips abroad. You will also so some pictures around here as I experience with food and macro photography (I had never done anything like that before about a month ago.)

I hope you will enjoy your stay here and see things that might interest you.

S.