Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Posts Tagged ‘Private Chef Canada’

Gastronomically yours,

March 12th, 2014

March a reason to celebrate…

March is no doubt a great month for celebrating. This March we will see March Break, St. Patrick’s Day, Day Light Saving time begins, the First Day of Spring, and Maple Syrup harvesting! All of these events are worthy of a feast and recipe to share but I can’t help myself when it comes to this time of year because I get a little giddy about maple syrup.

Maple Syrup can be enjoyed in many forms like candy, taffy, sugar and jelly. Maple Jelly is an easy to make spread using maple syrup, water and a thickening agent. The thickening agent used is either Gelatin based made from animal bone marrow or it can be can vegetable based from carrageenan which is harvested from Irish moss or seaweed. Genugel is a commercial brand of carrageenan that is easy to use and is available to purchase on-line or at Maple syrup supply stores. It should be noted that fruit produced Pectin does not work as a coagulant in Maple syrup.

Maple Jelly is an easy to use condiment that can be used on toast, vegetables, roast pork loin, beef and salmon dishes alike.
It is time to get your Maple on and get and celebrate spring with many area Maple Syrup producers hosting tours and festivals in the coming weeks creating educational experiences for all to enjoy as well as giving us a taste of the first harvest. Pick up some extra syrup this year and try making your own Maple Jelly using the following recipe.

This basic recipe can easily be flavoured with clove, currant, cinnamon, bourbon, all spice, apple, or cranberries. It will lose its amber translucency which is prized among Maple Jelly producers but it will bring a whole other dimension of taste to your jelly and accompanied foods.

 

Looking for hard to find ingredients and gourmet foodstuffs?

Check out http://cookculture.poolpatioandbbq.com

Tapped Sugar Maple producing sap for maple syrup

Tapped Sugar Maple producing sap for maple syrup

 

Maple Jelly

1 liter Grade A Medium Amber pure maple syrup
1.5 cups cold water
1 tsp. Genugel

Prepare 3-5 Mason jars in a hot water bath so that they are ready to use. In a medium sized bowl whisk the Genugel into the cold water. Combine the Genugel water mixture with the maple syrup in a large, heavy bottomed stainless steel pot. The pot will need to be at least large enough to accommodate 4 liters or a gallon of liquid as the Jelly mixture will foam up and expand during the cooking process thus avoiding the pot boiling over.

Over medium low heat bring the soon to be jelly to a boil and allow it to continue to boil until it reaches a temperature of 103 °C / 217 °F. To ensure a nice clean jelly it is important to skim off all of the foam that appears on the surface while it is boiling.

Immediately reduce the heat to as low as possible and begin to fill your preserving jars. It is important that you use a portioning tool like a ladle or measuring cup that can fill your jars in one smooth motion as this jelly will set very quickly. If you have to fill your jars in 2 or 3 steps you will find that air bubbles will get trapped in your jelly and they will look quite visibly layered which in the jelly making world is undesirable. If this happens don’t worry as it will still taste delicious the jelly will simply appear rather cloudy. Place the lids onto the jars and process them in hot water bath at a temperature of 82°C /180 °F for 10 minutes. Cool and store in the refrigerator after opening.

Proud Winner of the Top Chef Readers Select Award 2014

Proud Winner of the Top Chef Readers Select Award 2014

 

Looking for hard to find ingredients and gourmet foodstuffs?

Check out http://cookculture.poolpatioandbbq.com

Gastronomically yours,

March 8th, 2014

Let’s get Tapping

The great thing about this year’s winter is that it has lasted longer than in previous years allowing us additional time to prepare for our first plant based agricultural harvest; maple syrup. This year’s harvest of maple syrup is delayed by about a month and it is expected to be a great one due to the harshness and length of the winter.

For a one time investment of $200.00 you can purchase enough maple sugaring gear to tap 12-14 trees for years to come. Additionally you will need to purchase propane to fire the sap into syrup. I purchased $60 of propane from which I produce over 16 liters of my own maple syrup. Considering that a liter of syrup costs around $20 this is a very economical approach to enjoying maple syrup. The amount of work involved in making these 16-liters of syrup was rather shocking and makes purchasing locally produced syrup seem like a bargain at $20 a liter.

New and used maple sugaring supplies can be purchased locally at the Peterborough Co-Op located just outside of Peterborough on highway 7. This farmer owned farm Co-operative has been serving Peterborough County for over 70 years and can assist you in starting up your own urban maple syrup farm.

 

Homemade Maple Syrup

If you have a few sugar maple trees, you can make your own maple syrup. I strongly recommend not boiling sap inside your house.

You will need the following

Cordless drill with a 7/16” bit

Spigots and metal or plastic pails with lids.

Felt syrup filter. (optional)

Large plastic pails for storing freshly gathered sap

Outdoor cooker with pot available at hardware stores

Full propane tank and a backup tank

Candy thermometer.

Clean glass jars that will seal for storing your syrup

 

How to make your own syrup:

First be sure your trees are sugar maples. Drill a 7/16″ hole 3″ deep at waist height into unblemished bark. Drive the spigot in so that it is tight and cannot be pulled out by hand, but don’t overdo it and split the tree. Hang your bucket on the hook of the spout. Be sure to cover the bucket with a lid.

Once the sap has started to run and you have enough in your buckets to fill your boiling pot two-thirds full, you are ready to fire up the burner. Do not overfill your pot, as it will boil over. As the water evaporates, add more sap to the pot. Do not have less than an inch of liquid in the pot as it may burn. You can add cold sap right into the boiling sap. It will take a lot of boiling to get it to become syrup. Remember that 40 liters of sap make one liter of maple syrup.

Do not leave an accumulation of sap in the collecting buckets especially in warm weather, as the sap will sour. Keep the sap as cold as possible and boil it as soon as you can. Finished maple syrup will be 7.5 °f. above the temperature of boiling water at your elevation, check this with your candy thermometer. I like to use a hydrometer to tell me when my syrup is done. Proper syrup will weigh at least 11 pounds per gallon. Do not go beyond 11 1/4 pounds per gallon or it may form crystals in the bottom of the storage container.

Pour finished hot syrup through a felt syrup filter or strainer. Sediment will settle to the bottom of the jars and clearer syrup may be carefully poured off the top. Personally I prefer to leave the sediment in my syrup, as it is a concentration of calcium and other minerals and is quite healthy to consume.

 

Pour the hot syrup into the clean, sterile canning jars and seal. Fill them full so that very little air will be in the jar. If laid on their side while cooling a better seal will result. Store your finished syrup in a cool place. The freezer is ideal and properly prepared syrup will not freeze and a poor seal will not be as important when stored in a freezer.

If proper taping procedures are followed, tapping will not endanger the health and vitality of your trees as a healthy sugar maple can provide sap every year for a hundred years or more.

 

Looking for hard to find ingredients and gourmet foodstuffs?

Check out http://cookculture.poolpatioandbbq.com

Maple Wine

As the season has just begun our first 3 liters of syrup would be classified as Canada No. 1 Light which is a pale, honey like delicate syrup produced only at the beginning of the season.  Maple syrup is divided into five grades, based largely on color. Canada No. 3 Dark lies at the other end of the spectrum, as a richly colored full-flavored syrup which is harvested towards the end of the season. Canada No. 1 Medium is the most popular grade; it’s produced midseason.

Most people will take maple syrup and drizzle it over food just like ketchup. My point being that neither is considered to be an act culinary genius. We simply use it as a condiment and pour it over anything from baked goods and pancakes to salmon and pork dishes.

one should try any of the following ideas If you are harvesting your own sap or have access to fresh sap I recommend any of the following ideas and concepts to appreciate maple sap and syrup to the fullest..

Farmers Rock!

Farmers Rock!

Anywhere that you use water in your kitchen you can replace it with maple sap so try making your coffee and tea with sap instead of water.  I will freeze a few liters of sap to make iced teas with in the summer. A maple-mint julep can take the edge off of any lazy summer day.

Some of my favorite ways of cooking with sap is to reduce by half it until it just starts to thicken and turn a slight amber color. At this point the sap will have a slightly pronounced maple flavor, now you can get adventurous, try cooking your oatmeal or other hot cereal grains in this reduced sap. It is perfect for cooking wild rice and quinoa as well.

I recently cooked baked beans with sap in a crock pot for several hours. I only added some salt, chopped onion and bacon. I didn’t have to add any brown sugar or molasses to the recipe as I found them to be delicious with just the maple sweetness.

Looking for hard to find ingredients and gourmet foodstuffs?

Check out http://cookculture.poolpatioandbbq.com

 This sap reduction can be used as a poaching medium as well. Try poaching salmon or chicken in it.  For a taste of a true Canadian breakfast poach your eggs in the reduced sap and serve it up with smoked bacon.

Enjoy the first harvest of the Kawarthas’ and support our local maple syrup producers. For the more adventurous ones out there I recommend trying this week’s recipe for wine.

 

 

Tired of mixed messages

Tired of mixed messages

Maple Sap Wine

Four liters maple sap

Up to 1kg granulated sugar

Two lemons

Ten cloves

One eighth tsp tannin

One tsp yeast nutrient

One package of Riesling wine yeast

First measure the specific gravity of the sap with a hydrometer to determine how much sugar to add to achieve a starting specific gravity of 1.085-1.090. Different saps will contain different amounts of natural sugar, and even the sap from the same tree will differ from year to year. In a stainless steel pot stir the required amount of sugar into the maple sap and bring to a low boil for 15 minutes, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. In a separate pan, combine a cup of the sap with the cloves and zest of the lemons and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the clove mixture back into the sap and sugar pot and add the juice from the lemons and the yeast nutrient. When cooled to 22° c., add the activated wine yeast. Cover the pot and store it at room temperature. Be sure to stir the mixture daily for 8-10 days. Transfer to a secondary carboy fitted with an airlock. Ferment for 6-8 weeks. Rack into a sanitized secondary, refit the airlock and bulk age for 12 months.

 

Looking for hard to find ingredients and gourmet foodstuffs?

Check out http://cookculture.poolpatioandbbq.com

Proud Winner of the Top Chef Readers Select Award 2014

Proud Winner of the Top Chef Readers Select Award 2014

Gastronomically yours,

March 7th, 2014

 

Liquid Gold Rush

When the nights are below freezing and the days are mild you can be sure of some things, like the coming of spring, the deadline for filing your tax returns and a new season of local harvesting. This seasonal change in the weather makes the sap flow and represents the region’s premier crop harvest of Maple Syrup.

It usually takes about forty years before a Sugar Maple will reach the recommended tappable size of being 10 inches in diameter. The tap hole is usually placed about waist high on the tree, and 3 to 4” from any previous taps. It is bored 3″ into the sapwood. Larger trees may take numerous taps. For every additional 8″ in diameter another tap hole may be added. A tree 26″ in diameter could have up to three taps. I’ve been told that trees with lots of branches are better producers than those trees with smaller tops. During the 4-6 week syrup season, a single tap hole can yield up to ten gallons of sap or about one quart of maple syrup.

After tapping the tree a metal spout called a spile is tapped snugly into the hole, and a bucket is hung from a hook on the spout. A cover is put on the bucket to keep out rain, snow, and debris. If a plastic tubing system is used to collect the sap, a plastic spout is tapped into the hole and is then connected to a network of tubes that creates a pipeline system.

When all of the trees have been tapped, the syrup producer is ready for the “first run,” this is when the sap first starts to flow. Sap flow requires freezing nights and warm days. These must alternate and be in a long enough series to allow the sap to move through the trees. Prolonged periods of either below freezing temperatures or days without freezing nights will stop the sap flow.

Maple sap comes from the tree as a clear, slightly sweet liquid that is approximately 98% water and 2% sugar. When the syrup is finished these ratios change to 33% water and 67% sugar.

When the bucket collection method is used, a sap-gathering tank is mounted on a sled or a wagon that is moved through the sugar bush as the sap is gathered. Tractors are most regularly used, but sometimes teams of horses pull the sleds or wagons. Workers using large gathering pails collect the sap from each tree. These pails are dumped into the gathering tank, which is then taken to a large sap storage tank at the sugarhouse, where it will be boiled down into maple syrup. If the tubing system is being used, the sap drips from the tap hole into a section of tubing. This tubing eventually connects into a larger pipeline called a “mainline.” The mainline carries the sap downhill to a sap storage tank either at the sugarhouse, or at a low spot where it can be collected easily and transported to the sugarhouse.

Maple syrup is traditionally made in a building called a sugarhouse or sugar shack. This name comes from the time when most sap was actually turned into sugar. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s when the drastic price reduction of cane sugar caused maple sugar sales to drop resulting in the production of the more profitable maple syrup.

Each sugarhouse contains an evaporator that is used to boil down the sap into syrup. Evaporators are made up of one or more flat pans, which sit on a type of firebox. Wood or oil, and sometimes gas is burned at the front end, and the flames are drawn along the underside of the pan, heating and boiling the sap as it travels towards the back of the pan. It takes about one cord of wood or sixty gallons of oil to boil down 800 gallons of sap into syrup. Sugarhouses have a vent on their roofs, a cupola, which is opened to allow the steam of the boiling syrup to escape the building. Steam rising from the cupola is a signal that maple syrup season is under way.

An evaporator pan is divided into partitions, so that the sap is continuously flowing through the pan. Fresh sap enters at the back of the pan, where a float valve keeps the sap about an inch deep. As the sap boils the liquid becomes sweeter, and begins to move towards the front of the pan, traveling through the partitions and more fresh sap is allowed into the rear of the pan.

The syrup maker concentrates their attention to the front of the evaporator where the boiling sap is turning a golden colour as it approaches being maple syrup. The temperature of this boiling liquid must be checked regularly for when it reaches 7.5 °f above the boiling point of water, it has reached the proper density and has become maple syrup.

At this stage a valve on the front of the pan is opened and some of the finished boiling syrup is drawn off the pan and is filtered. After filtering, the syrup is bottled and is ready for a fresh pile of warm pancakes.

Last year I spent $200 on equipment and $60 on propane and was able to produce over 4-gallons of my own maple syrup. Considering that a gallon of syrup costs around $60 this is a very economical approach to enjoying maple syrup. The amount of work involved in making these 4-gallons was rather shocking and makes purchasing locally produced syrup seem like a bargain at $60 a gallon.

 For great deals on specialty ingredients and gourmet foodstuffs please check out

http://cookculture.poolpatioandbbq.com/home.html

Tapped Sugar Maple producing sap for maple syrup

Tapped Sugar Maple producing sap for maple syrup

Homemade Maple Syrup

If you have a few sugar maple trees, you can make your own maple syrup. I strongly recommend not boiling sap inside your house.

You will need the following

Cordless drill with a 7/16” bit

Spigots and metal or plastic pails with lids. Felt syrup filter. Available at TSC stores

Large plastic pails for storing freshly gathered sap

Outdoor cooker with pot available at hardware stores

Full propane tank and a back up tank

Candy thermometer.

Clean glass jars that will seal for storing your syrup

 

How to make your own syrup

Be sure your trees are sugar maples

Drill a 7/16″ hole 3″ deep at waist height into unblemished bark. Drive the spigot in so that it is tight and cannot be pulled out by hand, but don’t over do it and split the tree. Hang your bucket on the hook of the spout. Be sure to cover the bucket with a lid.

Once the sap has started to run and you have enough in your buckets to fill your boiling pot two-thirds full, you are ready to fire up the burner. Do not overfill your pot, as it will boil over. As the water evaporates, add more sap to the pot. Do not have less than an inch of liquid in the pot as it may burn. You can add cold sap right into the boiling sap. It will take a lot of boiling to get it to become syrup. Remember that 40 gallons of sap make one gallon of maple syrup. Do not leave an accumulation of sap in the collecting buckets especially in warm weather, as the sap will sour. Keep the sap as cold as possible and boil it as soon as you can. Finished maple syrup will be 7.5 °f. above the temperature of boiling water at your elevation, check this with your candy thermometer. I like to use a hydrometer to tell me when my syrup is done. Proper syrup will weigh at least 11 pounds per gallon. Do not go beyond 11 1/4 pounds per gallon or it may form crystals in the bottom of the storage container.

Pour finished hot syrup through a felt syrup filter or strainer. Sediment will settle to the bottom of the jars and clearer syrup may be carefully poured off the top. I leave the sediment in my syrup, as it is a concentration of calcium and other minerals.

Pour the hot syrup into the clean, sterile canning jars and seal. Fill them full so that very little air will be in the jar. If laid on their side while cooling a better seal will result. Store syrup in a cool place. The freezer is ideal and properly prepared syrup will not freeze and a poor seal will not be as important when stored in a freezer.

If proper taping procedures are followed, tapping will not endanger the health and vitality of your trees as a healthy sugar maple can provide sap every year for a hundred years or more.

 

 

 

Gastronomically yours,

February 12th, 2014

So here is what one chef had to say about the eggs that my 4 and 1 year old daughters are harvesting from the chickens they are raising in an exceptionally sustainable way…

How to explain to someone who has never had farm fresh eggs over store bought??? It is hard!

I had my first Pixie Hollow farm eggs today and i must say I was delighted!!!
I like mine sunny side up or in egg in hole, of course both fried in bacon fat. I decided to compare the sunny side up with store bought, and what a difference.

Pixie eggs have nice deep rich orange yolk colour, store bought…plain yellow.

Pixie Hollow”s egg kept its shape and didn’t spread all over the pan when i cracked it, store bought well went running all over the pan.

Pixie Hollows eggs stood tall and proud in the pan, store bought just sort of slouched down and got flat.

The other amazing thing I noticed is i cracked the Pixie Hollow’s egg in pan first, then the store bought, and i had to take the store bought out first or it would of been over cooked and that crusty bottom. The Pixie eggs took a full minute longer to reach the way i like it.

Grocery store egg on the left, Pixie Hollow Farm Egg on the right.

Grocery store egg on the left, Pixie Hollow Farm Egg on the right.

But the flavour and mouth feel was amazing, both the white and yolk had a velvety feel on the tongue. The white actually had flavour, not just bland like store bought. The yolk well what can i say, when i cut into it is slowly ran out, and it was a deep velvety yoke flavour..
Can’t wait to use them in baking.

Moose Neilsen

Gastronomically yours,

February 8th, 2014

My Bloody Valentine

February has long been celebrated as the month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, or  Feast of Saint Valentine as we know it today, contains leftovers of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition infused with modern day spending habits.

The history of St. Valentine’s Day and its patron saint are shrouded in mystery. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different patron saints named Valentine or Valentinus. From these three we have adopted the story of Father Valentine who was martyred on February 14, 269 who in his final hours started the tradition of exchanging Valentine messages with our loved ones.

For a few years before St. Valentines death the Roman Emperor Claudius was recruiting soldiers for his armies. Enlistment was down, and Claudius; a warring ruler blamed the declining recruitment on the men wanting to stay at home with their wives and families instead of going to war. Claudius’s solution to his dilemma was to ban weddings, hoping that this would cause boredom within in the male population and inspire men to want to go to war thus causing enlistment to go up.fruit rose

Father Valentine may have almost neurotically enjoyed performing marriage ceremonies. When Claudius banned marriages Father Valentine continued to conduct them in secrecy, which instigated Claudius to classify weddings as “pagan rituals” and when he heard that Father Valentine was illegally performing wedding ceremonies Claudius imprisoned Father Valentine until he denounce his Catholic faith, which would leave him defrocked and without his churchly powers.

While imprisoned Father Valentine befriended Claudius’s daughter and would spend long hours talking to her from his cell. Roman Emperor Claudius also known as Claudius the Cruel had had enough and ordered Father Valentine to be beaten and beheaded. One of Valentine’s final actions was to write a note to his jailer’s daughter. The note was signed “from your Valentine”. Shortly thereafter on February 14, 269 AD Father Valentine was executed. It wasn’t until 496 AD that Pope Gelasius marked February 14 the day to remember St. Valentine the patron saint of lovers and over time the day was marked with sending simple gifts, poems or messages.

During the height of prohibition, it is believed that on February 14, 1929 Chicago gangster Al Capone chose to send a Valentine’s message to George “Bugs” Moran. Capone had given orders for his men to take down the rival gangster by starting at the bottom and working their way up through the ranks until they got to Bugs himself. It is believed that these orders from Capone led to the “Valentine’s Day Massacre”.

After the Valentine’s Day Massacre, Capone went into hiding for a while but when he returned home to Chicago; Capone was welcomed by his family and friends with a celebratory feast. One of the dishes served at this feast was Chilled Pasta in Walnut Sauce, Capone’s favorite dish, as revenge is a dish best served cold.

The following Scarface Capone Pasta recipe is easy to make and can be enjoyed any day of the year, served hot or cold and made with locally sourced ingredients.

 

Scarface Capone Pasta

Ingredients:

½ lb. walnut pieces, toasted

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp. butter, softened

¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 lb. pappardelle or fettuccini pasta

 

Method:

In a food processor place the walnuts garlic, butter, parmesan and 1/3 cup of the parsley. Process the ingredients until they form a coarse paste. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil into the paste and continue to process until relatively smooth. Transfer the paste into a bowl and stir in the cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the sauce rest for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Cook your pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water. Drain the noodles and decide whether you want to serve your Scarface Capone Pasta served cold or hot. If cold simply toss the noodles in the sauce, let it stand for 30-45 minutes tossing it regularly and then refrigerate covered for 2 hours. To enjoy it hot simply return the drained pasta to the pot which it was cooked in and add the walnut sauce. Toss noodles over low heat until well combined. Top with remaining parsley and serve with extra grated parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6 depending on sides served with.Zombie-Donuts

Gastronomically yours,

February 1st, 2014

Coming in from the coldIce Sculpture Carving

If you have had to spent extended periods of time out of doors the past few days chances are that your face and any other exposed areas of skin is probably feeling a bit sore and tender. This is because the extreme cold has damaged your skin by dehydrating it and causing it to oxidize. More specifically your exposed skin is being subjected to the sublimation process which is when we see the outer surface of our skin begin to freeze ever so slightly and the water molecules go directly from their solid state or ice to their gaseous state as a vapour without ever being in its liquid state. Simply put we are all feeling a little freezer burnt!

If you have ever found a forgotten tidbit of food in the freezer which was wrapped in haste and repeatedly tossed out of the way every time you went rooting through your freezer you may discover when you finally un-wrapped it that a portion of its surface may have been covered in ice crystals.  This is the extreme effects of sublimation on foods that have been improperly frozen which when thawed leaves our food looking dry and shrivelled or somewhat burnt.

Food affected by freezer burn does not pose a threat to food safety or our health, it is will simply have some dry patches or have changed colour as the lack of moisture can cause reactions in pigmentation. By keeping the temperature of your freezer at a constant temperature of -18 °c or colder it will not only keep your frozen food safe it will lessen the effects of freezer burn. Foods located in an area of your freezer that are frequently exposed to temperature fluctuations like those near the door are at a greater risk of experiencing sublimation as well manual defrost freezers are better at preventing freezer burn than the self-defrosting freezers for the same reason..

When we venture outside in cold weather we tend to wrap ourselves up thoroughly and apply a protective layer of lotion on our skin to protect it which we can also do with our food. Properly wrapping our food is the first step in protecting it in the freezer. Vacuum packing your food with sealant machines are a popular method to use, while some choose to use self-sealing plastic bags which allow you to hug and squeeze the excess air out of the bag. Although plastic barriers are extremely effective at protecting food when they fail they fail miserably as the slightest puncture in the protective plastic allows the entire piece of food to be exposed to the effects of cold air. Traditional butcher paper is better for wrapping medium to larger pieces of food because it can effectively create a barrier between foods and the air, when they become punctured only the food at the puncture site will be at risk of developing freezer burn and can easily be trimmed off.

You can also slow the effects of freezer burn on your food by simply placing open, plastic containers partially filled with water in your freezer in addition to those used to make ice cubes to help maintain humidity.

Humans have been freezing food for its preservation for centuries as it slows decomposition of foods while protecting them from bacteria and pathogens. Clarence Birdseye II made numerous fur trapping expeditions into Labrador where he learned about ice fishing and witnessed the effects of flash freezing food in the sub-zero climate of the region. Birdseye watched how observed people purposely freezing their food for long term storage which inspired him to invent the necessary equipment required to create an endless line of frozen foods and prepared meals.

It has been proven that freezing foods does not impair their nutritional values; these values are lowered by the cooking methods and cooling processes that foods endure prior to and after being frozen similar to fresh foods. It has also been proven that foods frozen for 3, 6 and 12 month intervals also showed that the duration of time food spent in the freezer did not change their nutritional content.

As the extreme cold weather is now behinds us, and temperatures set to soar above the freezing mark I plan to be out on the deck firing up my barbeque and grilling locally raised meats, baking some locally grown potatoes, and possibly enjoying local corn from the freezer section in the following recipe.

 

Roasted Corn Chowder

3 cups frozen corn

1 tbsp. cooking oil

3 tbsp. Butter

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups of Yukon Gold Potatoes cut into ½-inch cubes

5 cups of water or chicken stock

1 tbsp. fresh chopped thyme

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Pinch of cayenne

Grill the corn in a cast iron skillet with the oil over a medium flame on the barbie until slightly charred and golden in color. Remove the pan from the barbeque and let it cool.

In a large soup pot over medium heat melt the butter then add the onions and garlic and allow them to cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the potatoes and then the water or stock. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Add the corn to the soup pot and allow it to simmer another 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

Gastronomically yours,

January 30th, 2014
Help Wanted, job opportunities and career advancement

Help Wanted, job opportunities and career advancement

 

 

The following employment opportunities are available online via LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

I was personally contacted to further boost their profile in promoting these positions…

Please respond to those listed as the contacts for each post

 

Dana Hospitality is looking for chefs and chef/managers for positions in Scarborough and Toronto. I am not sure of salary range, but in the range up to $55k. M-F work, 7-3.

Some catering possibly at 1 of the accounts- quality of life is a must at Dana.

The chef/managers at Dana all have free range to cook any menu items they wish and our mandate at Dana is to cook from scratch, including chicken fingers!!! If you know of anyone interested in working for this amazing company, can you have them send their resume to: Ralph Mann: mann@danahospitality.ca.

 

===================================

Line cooks, kitchen supervisors and servers needed for a casual dining establishment with a roadhouse classic grill atmosphere.

Located in Northern Ontario contact thechef@chefbrianhenry.com

===================================

A leader and innovator in hospitality industry and

specialized in restaurants at major airports in many countries.

 

We are looking for 4 restaurant managers for our client for Toronto

airport locations.

 

If you would be interested, please email resume to me at

taj@mywalsh.com asap and I will have our

account manager call you to discuss this opportunity with you in

details.

 

Taj Haslani (Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the

Year Finalist| Talent Acquisition & HR CEO| Angel Investor|Merger &

Acquisition Expert).

 

Gastronomically yours,

January 26th, 2014

Print

Pear Bureau Northwest is pleased to invite your students to participate in our seventh annual recipe contest exclusively for Canadian culinary students!
The Grand Prize is$2,500 with four second place prizes of $1,000!

We invite your students to get creative in showcasing the flavour and versatility of sweet and juicy USA Pears for a chance to win prestige and prizes!
Click on the image of the flier below to download and print for distribution. Please feel free to forward this email to your students as well.
See www.usapears.org/excellence.aspx for further details and entry form. The entry deadline is March 1, 2014.
Pear Excellence
Student Recipe Competition

 


Salad or soup, beverage or breakfast, we want to see Canadian culinary students’ flair with the pear!

 

Students are encouraged to create a pear recipe that tantalizes our taste buds, and if it does, we’ll sing their praises!

Five regional finalists will be selected to compete in Vancouver for the $2,500 Grand Prize on April 8, 2014!

A finalist will be selected from each of the following five regions: British Columbia (including Northwest Territories), Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba), Ontario, Quebec, Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland/Labrador, P.E.I)
Only one will win the prestigious Grand Prize!
The Grand Prize winner will receive $2,500 (US) and their school will win $500 (US) for supplies or its general tuition scholarship fund. The four finalists who compete in Vancouver but are not selected as the grand prize winner will each receive$1,000 (US) and their school will be awarded $300 (US) for supplies or its general tuition scholarship fund.
A panel of judges will evaluate the recipe submissions on the following criteria:
Pears – Does the recipe use an appropriate amount of Green Anjou, Red Anjou, or Bosc varieties of USA Pears so that the flavour is identified when tasted?

Canadian-Grown Ingredient – Does the recipe showcase at least one Canadian-produced protein or produce item or dairy product, etc. that complements the pears in your recipe?

Creativity – Is the recipe creative and unique?
Mechanics of the Recipe – Does it work?  Does it taste good?
Appearance – Does the dish look appetizing?
Inspiration – Does the dish have the capability to inspire?

Don’t delay!  Entries are due March 1, 2014!

This contest is open only to Canadian culinary students. Seewww.usapears.org/excellence.aspx for full terms and conditions.

Details and entry forms are available online in both French and English languages.
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Gastronomically yours,

January 23rd, 2014

Pickled Eggs

Preserving foods using the pickling process has been around for a few thousand years. Pickling is a technique used to preserve food and prevent food spoilage for extended periods of time. This is can be accomplished by either producing pickles preserved in vinegar, a strong acid in which few bacteria can survive like most of the bottled kosher cucumber pickles available in the supermarket or one can produce pickles that are soaked in a salt brine which encourages fermentation. Common examples of fermented pickles include kimchi or sauerkraut.

Pickling is a technique used around the world; as it can also change the flavours and textures of foods. The flavours of India are preserved in chutneys, kimchi is Korea, Japanese Miso pickles, salted duck eggs of China, pickled herring is found in Scandinavia, the Irish have corned beef, the salsas of Mexico, and pickled pigs feet in the southern United States.

I love pickles with their strong sour, salty, sweet and acidic flavours. I’ve never met a pickle that I haven’t liked. My all time favourite is pickled eggs; they are the perfect pub food and pair perfectly with beer, any beer. One does not need much of a gastronomic education to pair these two foodstuffs together.

There are many recipes for pickled eggs, which means that you can choose one that will suit your taste in food. Some recipes may be very hot and spicy and will contain ingredients such as chilli peppers, for those who prefer a sweeter flavours you should try recipes that contain brown sugar, beetroot, onions and cinnamon.
The best vinegar to use for pickling is good quality malt vinegars, which may be either brown or white in colour. Cider vinegar may also be used, which some may prefer, as its flavour is milder in comparison to the malt vinegars.

The eggs that you use for pickling should be as fresh as possible, especially as they may be stored for a long period of time. Grocery store eggs may be well over a month or two old when purchased. For farm fresh eggs I like to use eggs raised by Pixie Hollow Farms north of Lakefield which are available at the farm gate or by delivery.

egg carton photograph

 

Pub-style pickled eggs
Ingredients

12 hard-boiled eggs

4 cups of malt vinegar

1 finely chopped chilli pepper

10 black peppercorns

10 whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp of allspice

Method

Peel the hard-boiled eggs and rinse them off to remove any pieces of shell. Allow the eggs to cool and then place them in a large clean jar.

Heat the vinegar and the spices in a saucepan until the liquid begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the vinegar mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to about room temperature. Strain the liquid and pour over the eggs covering them completely.

Seal the jar tightly with the lid and store in a cool and dark place for a minimum of two weeks before consuming. Although it is not necessary I choose to refrigerate my pickled eggs.

The final taste of the eggs is largely determined by the pickling solution. The eggs can be left in the solution from one day to several months. Prolonged exposure to the pickling solution may result in the eggs developing a rubbery texture.

Other ways of serving pickled eggs are in egg salad sandwiches, potato salad or with fish and chips, as the British do.

Pickled eggs are a great source of protein; they are low in fat and contain very little carbohydrates, making them a healthy whatever your diet.Eat real food

Gastronomically yours,

January 21st, 2014

Duby logo

 

 

 

Wild Sweets®

By Dominique & Cindy Duby

Launches New Cocoa Bean-To-Bar

Chocolate Hearts Collection

January 20, 2014 (Metro Vancouver, BC). We are pleased to announce that 

Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby

 Cocoa Bean-To-Bar Online Boutique, an haute chocolate couture concept, is launching Hearts, a new cocoArt chocolate collection.

We have posted a short video on YouTube that shows the 12 steps involved in making this beautiful chocolate collection.

The exquisite hand-painted Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby cocoArt Hearts collection

features our exclusive Limited Release Vintage Single Origin Dominican Republic cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate.

This chocolate is made with cocoa beans from La Red, a cooperative of small-scale cacao producers in the north of the Dominican Republic.

We use the cocoa bean varietal Hispaniola for this collection.

This varietal has a distinct chocolate flavor with tamarind and citrus notes as well as roasted tones of caramel and toffee. The Hearts collection includes:

  • Individual hearts flavored with raspberry ganache, almond nougatine and raspberry jelly.
  • Hand-painted cocoArt heart filled with a creamy organic coconut & peanut butter praliné, passion fruit & raspberry pâte de fruit, organic roasted peanuts and organic dark chocolate crispy puffed rice.
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Such exquisite edible jewels deserve especially luxurious packaging.

 For this new collection, we worked with our graphic artist partner, Linda Mitsui,

to design a new and distinct packaging scheme based on the heart shape with repeating lines and two leading colors:

kraft to represent nature and red for love. The packaging is produced in microprint runs

and hand-finished, a process that requires patience and precision and illustrates the art of true craftsmanship.

This approach allows us to showcase the symbiosis between our chocolate-making process and our packaging —

 exclusive, meticulously crafted, single origin/limited edition and small-batch production —

resulting in one-of-kind high-quality exclusive chocolate products, which could not be achieved from a high-volume production process.

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Although the Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby Organic & Gourmet Chocolates

division sells its award-winning products to many retail partner stores across Canada, the cocoArt Heart,

 collection as well as all other products from our Cocoa Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Boutique, are only available for purchase online and are shipped throughout Canada and the United States. Free shipping options are available.

 The Hearts collection has a net weight of 220 g (7.8 oz) and a shelf life of four weeks from the date of shipping. It retails for C$29.99 per collection 

Click on this link to view or purchase the Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby cocoArt Hearts collection.

The Hearts collection is also available as part of a luxurious Gift Sleeve that includes an exclusive assortment of our

Vintage Single Origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate products. Click on this link to view or purchase the Hearts Gift Sleeve.

The Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby cocoArt Hearts Collection or Gift Sleeve are sure to meet the needs of those who seek high-quality, exclusive chocolate gifts! 

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About Us

Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby is Canada’s only science-based artisan cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate-maker. It evolved from a three-year research and development project in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, which resulted in the opening of a brand new virtual chocolate boutique in November 2013. Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby Cocoa Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Online Boutique is an haute couture concept of chocolate that is part of an exclusive group of only a few premium sweet boutiques in the world that are combined “Chocolatier | Cacaotier | Pâtissier.” The online boutique focuses exclusively on chocolate, and all the chocolate products are made from our own cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate. The boutique promises consumers a luxurious range of chocolate products that are unique in the chocolate world, thanks to the nature of and our total control over the entire chocolate-making process! To purchase our exclusive Vintage Limited Release cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate products, please visit our online chocolate boutique at www.boutique.dcduby.com For more information on the cocoa bean-to-bar process at Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby, please visit The Process page on our website [www.dcduby.com].

 

Dominique & Cindy Duby are the chefs and owners of Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby (www.dcduby.com), a critically acclaimed Designer Chocolatier Atelier, Vintage Chocolate-Maker Laboratory and Virtual Boutique, which has emerged as one of North America’s finest artisan chocolatiers. The Dubys also own DC DUBY Hospitality Services Inc., an international firm offering culinary training and consulting services to hotels and catering companies worldwide, as well as product development, food styling and photography. In addition to these full-time business endeavors, Dominique and Cindy are also award-winning authors. Their first book, Wild Sweets: Exotic Dessert and Wine Pairings, won gold for the Best Book for Food and Wine Matching (2003) at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Spain. Their second book, Wild Sweets Chocolate, won the silver award for Best Chocolate Book (2007) at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Britain. In 2008, they launched a new series of books titled Definitive Kitchen Classics. To date, three books in the series have been released: Crème Brûlée,Chocolate and Panini. The Dubys are currently working on more titles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WvG40hB-7OM

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The Spice Co.