A Pair Of Gourmands

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Stop Faking It! - by The Chef in Stead

He says:

Guys, stop faking it this summer!

Whenever you decide you need to get a new BBQ grill, go for the real thing, buy original technology!

Why invest a huge amount of money to get something that will not give your food the taste you are seeking every summer? Don’t go and buy a tasteless propane device, but instead buy a naturally fueled BBQ grill that will give great summer flavour to all your meals. Yes, it may be nice to have a side burner and all the trimmings, but it is not worth sacrificing the main piece of equipment just because there is a cute burner attached to it.

Any device that is big enough to cook two full racks of ribs, a whole chicken, or a beef brisket should do the trick. This year, my first BBQ meal was a leg of lamb.

When it comes down to coals, a real wood charcoal is the only way to go it burns cleaner then briquets and has no additives. Real wood coals burn hotter then briquets and you don’t have to worry about waiting for the chemicals to burn off. (Bags of wood charcoal are available at Canadian Tire)

Buy yourself either a starting chimney or an electric starter for your coals. These should create hot and ready coals within 15 minutes, just about the same time as gas BBQ.

If you are looking for an outdoor cooking device, gas is fine, but if you are looking to “kick it up a notch”, go natural.

This is the way outdoor grilling was always intended to be since the cave man invented fire, so this summer go back to basics and amaze your guess with the real thing!

This is where I shop!
Barbe-Clean, 160-2000 Spall Road, Kelowna, 250-862-3240

She says:

Usually, it is the women who talk about faking it, and I have to admit the BBQ is one area where I would have to fake it if I was ever required to use it. Luckily, I get to stick to what I know and make appetizers, or dessert, or just make the table beautiful. So, I thought my two cents this week would be some simple tips to make a backyard meal fun.

  • Have appetizers ready for when your guests arrive (this ensures no one starts drinking while they are hungry!) Vegetables and dip are easy and popular, or you can even put out cheese and crackers. Only plan to do what you know you have time for, as you want to enjoy your guests’ company.
  • Decorate your table with some festive accessories – some ideas are a colourful patterned tablecloth if you are roasting a chicken to give a French country theme, or straw placemats and patio torches for a tropical night if you are cooking kabobs.
  • Dessert can be something for big kids when you are outside having a BBQ. How about s’mores? You remember, those sticky concoctions made from roasted marshmallows smushed between two graham wafers with a piece of chocolate that melts from the hot and sticky mess… you could even dress them up with fancier cookies and bittersweet chocolate if you want.

I like to let the men be men and gather around the fire, so they can “swap lies and tell stories”. Then the kitchen or the patio is free for the girls to enjoy a bit of time together, discussing the finer points of gardening or shopping without being bothered. Then when we all sit down to eat, we aren’t already tired of talking to each other! Nobody has to fake it and we can all enjoy.

Chef Martin’s Tip 12:
This summer Vinaigrette yourself!

When in doubt, make vinaigrette. It’s easy, it’s versatile and it’s tasty.

Take any vegetables, add vinaigrette and voila!
Take any fish or seafood, add vinaigrette and voila again!
Take leftover roasted meat and yes, voila, again!

When you wonder what to make with a piece of fish, just mix together ½ cup olive oil, 1 to 2 fresh squeeze lemons, one green onion chopped up, a pinch of any fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon or basil, salt and pepper and your done! It’s simple, and it’s good!

Why not cold Pork Roast with Asian style vinaigrette? ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, ¼ cup rice vinegar, one green onion chopped up, 2 tbsp of sesame seeds and cracked black pepper. Add natural soy sauce to taste at the end. A touch of Wasabi is also nice.

Try this one - cold Roast Beef with Dijon vinaigrette: ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, minimum 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, one crushed clove of garlic, half of a medium size sliced red onion, salt and cracked black pepper

Experiment and go vinaigrette!

“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.

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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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