A Pair Of Gourmands

by - Story: 12055

Waiting for gumbo’s return!

He says:

Well, it looks like New Orleans will be pretty messed up for a long time. Watching TV, and seeing water everywhere, seeing and hearing about all the contaminated water being pumped out into the lake, I cannot imagine what it will do to the aquatic food chain.

I know that there are many stories like this all over Louisiana and Mississippi, but imagine being a small restaurant owner. Your house is flooded and/or destroyed, your car is flooded, and your restaurant is also flooded. Now, your suppliers of seafood, meats and vegetables are probably in the same situation. Most restaurant owners don’t make a huge amount of profit at the end of the year, so to recover from such a thing is absolutely un-imaginable. Financially, their government and insurance may help you, but it would take years before your business recovered from such a thing. Even if you could re-open your doors in a few months, your customers are now in a financial situation where restaurant outings have become a luxury.

Like I said, I know that everybody is suffering equally, but the plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and many more like that will be back at work fairly quickly. Well, for the restaurant owner, the future looks very grim.

The south is well known for their fresh seafood dishes, but also for their BBQ creations. This weekend, I will cook a southern BBQ meal in a tribute to my fellow cooks, chefs, servers, dishwashers, hostesses, valets, butchers, fishmongers, and farmers.

She says:

As you can see, the natural disaster of the past week has certainly made the two of us think about the way life is a precious thing. It also made us think of the effects our lives have on other people, and on other creatures. I wish we didn’t need reminders to make us spend quality time with family and friends, but the pace of life these days seems to mean we forget to take time to smell the flowers, as my Mom always said. I have petted my dog and enjoyed evenings with Martin more in the last week, thinking of how much I would regret not taking that time if suddenly my life were turned upside down like those who live in the southern U.S.

I also lost someone in my family this past week, and so I shall be paying a tribute to my Auntie Maxine when we do our BBQ memorial dinner. She was the kind of person who embodied the concept of the hostess: kind, generous, loving and a great cook! She always had goodies of all kinds for any occasion, even if it was just someone stopping by for coffee. To this day, I use her recipe for pickled beets and Yorkshire pudding – they are some of the recipes I wrote in my “moving out” cookbook when I first left home. We will have some beets on the table with the BBQ this weekend, and I shall toast her memory.

As you all get back into the routine of the fall season, take the time to smell the flowers. Maybe it will make us all a little wiser about how to make the most out of life.

3-4 lbs beets
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
½ cup water, or juice from cooked beets
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
whole cloves and/or caraway seeds (optional, for flavouring)

Remove stems and roots from beets and cook in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes, or until soft. Remove from water and plunge immediately into cold water. Peel the skins by rubbing them off with your hands. (Wear rubber gloves or you will have pink hands!) Save the cooking water to add to pickling brine.

In a large pot, bring vinegar, cooking water, sugar and salt to a boil.
Put peeled beet pieces into clean canning jars. Pour hot vinegar mixture over beets, adding spices if desired: 2-4 whole cloves or ¼- ½ tsp caraway seeds per jar (less for 500 ml, more for 1 L jars). Sterilize the jars by processing in a canner for 10 minutes.

Serve beets with roasted meats, or use in salads.

Chef Martin’s Tip 24: Roasted Chicken!

Anyone who really likes roasted chicken considers it an art!

Five easy steps:

Shop for a fresh grain-fed chicken.

Completely dry it with paper towel.

Rub it all over with butter or olive oil.

Spice it up with your favorite spice rub.

Cook it in the middle of your oven or BBQ at 275F, until the internal temperature taken in two different places reaches 180F. This process can take up to 2 to 3 hours!

Depending on the mood, here some of my favorite spices for roasted chicken spice rub: Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, thyme, rosemary, Cajun mix, chili pepper, garlic powder and oregano.

“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.

These are the stores where I shop, go visit them and tell them I sent you...

Hooked on Seafood, 1951 Harvey Ave, Kelowna 860-2541
Discover Wines, 2080 C Springfield Rd, Kelowna 868-3990
Matterhorn Bakery, 103 - 3640 Gosset Rd, Westbank 768-3302
L&D Meat, 103 - 2365 Gordon St, Kelowna 717-1997
Quality Greens, 3717 A Old Okanagan, Westbank 707-1420
Valoroso Italian Market, 1467 Sutherland Rd, Kelowna 860-3631
Kitchen Niche, Orchard Park mall, Kelowna 860-3637

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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