Thursday, February 24, 2011

For My Foodies;

For my foodies I'd like to chat about some different foods, Chefs and a particular inspiring food lover.
Foods are best enjoyed at their freshest time of the season. Some foods are found to be great all year round while others are only available for a limited time. If there is one thing that culinary school taught me that stuck the most, its that the best tasting food comes from fresh produce and home style recipes. Personally I find food from restaurants to be filled with MSG and different wax like preservatives that are to fake for my taste buds which may be enjoyable at the time but my body pays for it later.
 Not only am I uncertain of the quality of some foods at an eating establishment but the concern that is always on everyones mind is how good or bad it is for your body. With more and more Canadians getting fit and starting to have better eating habits it is important that we watch our daily intake of the food groups.
Follow the pyramid steps to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
Everything is great in moderation!

Speaking of fresh foods here are my top 5 favourite vegetables that are in season right now!!!
1) Artichokes; best boiled and steamed. I, for one, am in no doubt that the nutty, rich flavor of artichokes is worth the hassle of preparation that takes place before you can eat one.
2) Beets; can be eaten simply thinly sliced and drizzled with olive oil, turned into chips, grilled or roasted. Beets are available for much of the year, but the first spring beets, with their fresh greens still attached by deep rosy stems, are more tender than their larger ones harvested later on in the year.
3) Fiddlehead Ferns; have a grassy yet earthy flavor, a bit like artichokes, a bit like fava beans, even a bit of mushroom flavor.Fiddleheads can be steamed, sauteed, or pickled, but never eaten raw!
4)Lettuces;  are at their sweet and tender best in spring! With such a wide variety to choose from at your local farmers market, these light crisp leafs are best enjoyed with your favourite dressing drizzled over top.
5) Radishes; are around almost all the time, but they are smaller, sweeter and crunchier in spring. The spicy crunch of radishes is divine all by itself or complimented by a variety of foods.

In honour of all the award shows on these future and previous days I would love to talk a little Wolfgang Puck.Wolfgang is the chef for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, February 27th, 2011. Not only am I a foodie fan of his I was also privileged to work in his restaurant in Niagara Falls before he decided to pull his business from Canada. Plans for a new facility of his will appear sometime in the future in down town Toronto, but for now you will have to travel state side to try his dishes or pick up one of his many cookbooks and "do it yourself". From pumpkin ravioli, salmon & BBQ pizzas to his famous stuffed chicken Wolfgang is all about flavour-flave and presentation.
Another hot Chef right now is Guy Fieri. Another one of my top 5 fav's, hes known for his cuisine as well as his sense of humor. You might know him from the famous drive ins, dinners and dives or as the new t.v show host of minute to win it. Guy owns 5 restaurants in California and has not only written a few books but has been written about by other authors. This Italian, Irish chef was named the "face of the network" mid 2010 by the food network and has been on fire ever since.

Before I come to a catch phrase and leave you hanging until next Thursday, I'd also like to mention my favourite Chef who is not famous or very well known to the public spot light...YET.
My girl Linda Keeping who was my lab partner first year of school deserves some recognition. Not just because she is one of my closest friends but the food ideas and recipes she comes up with are some of the most creative I have seen in a while. Linda is a take home chef for any of you Niagara locals and comes highly recommended by clients from Beamsville to Font hill. Linda's blog is one that I will continue to follow for as long as she continues to write. If you don't believe me check out her page yourself by just clicking on her name.

                  ~  I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.~

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