A Pair Of Gourmands

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Good Things Take Time, but they don't have to be hard.

She says:

One of the reasons we moved to the Okanagan was the possibility of being in a bread basket region. There are so many foods available from this area, and that is a beautiful bonus when you are a gourmand. Couple it with the fact that we are in the heart of wine country, and you have nirvana. Enjoying life is one thing, but when you can do it in your own back yard, you can experience decadence. This week we wanted to show you, that isn't even hard to do!

In our kitchen, we have this wonderful symmetry: Martin acts on impulse and I get to encourage him. He likes to be inspired by fresh food, so I plant a garden full of weird and wonderful things. He likes to use lots of dishes, and so I wash them. It has been that way since we met, and we just seem to get better at it. He says I am his muse, but I think we support each other's moments of inspiration, and we surround ourselves with an environment that encourages those strokes of genius. As we celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary this weekend, I know that many of the memories we talk about will involve the wonderful meals we have made with the bounty from around us. Don't get me wrong, going out to a restaurant can be lovely, but there is something magical and unique about your very own slow food.

As you celebrate Canada Day this weekend, think of what you can enjoy from this great country of ours. You too can discover the magic in your own back yard, just the way we have!

He says:

Last Saturday, I was looking for something different to eat, and I remembered that last year I used some fresh vine leaves to wrap pieces of salmon. Living in a vineyard, vine leaves surround the house, so it was easy. I drove to Hooked on Seafood on Harvey Street, and bought a piece of fresh sockeye salmon. Check out the result, Sockeye Salmon wrapped in Vine Leaves.

Finally, our garden is starting to give us a few veggies regardless of the not-so-hot summer so far. To go with my salmon, I cooked some rainbow Swiss chard in brown butter and lime juice it was just amazing. We rounded the meal out with baby potatoes roasted in the oven with fresh herbs.

I know I have mentioned it before, but I am very big on mushroom hunting, and the last time I went out to walk the dogs, I found some really big Puff Balls - double the size of a grapefruits. We ate them sliced up and grilled on the BBQ, and they were really tasty. Now before you go out and start eating wild mushrooms, be sure to ask someone who knows what they are doing, and look into reference books to confirm the authenticity of your find. There are many ways to find out if your mushrooms are good to eat. Be reassured, I am no expert myself, but I have never been sick eating wild mushrooms and all I have is a beginner course from UBC and many years of reading books and brochures, so you too can do it.

If you are not up to a walk in the forest, try learning about any new food this week, and you will know the same excitement I get from mushroom hunting.

Chef Martin's Tip 18: Electric gismos!

Robot coupe/food processor, blender, rice cooker or ice cream machine we can always use extra help in the kitchen!

I know that just about everything can be done by hand, but if you've got it, use it!

Ice cream machines can produce amazing result in 25 minutes by hand, good luck!

Rice cookers: well, just use it once and you will be sold. They work well, they're easy to clean and they take almost no space at all. If the entire Asian population of the world uses them, there must be a reason!

Robot coupes can be a pain to clean, but they are great for chopping massive quantities of food in no time at all. I use mine for grated cheese on pizza night, and for small things like radish dips in the summer.

Blenders for soups, margaritas or for smooth sauces - it becomes pretty hard to do without them.

As long as you are using your gadgets, they will help to save you time and do more than just collect dust on the kitchen counter.

No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

The Chef in Stead - Website For Previous Chef Tips For comments or questions, you can reach Martin at 250-712-4440 or Email.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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