A Pair Of Gourmands

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BREAD FOR MY FRIENDS! - by The Chef in Stead

Kelowna was in desperate need for good naturally made breads. Having moved from Quebec last year, I could not find the quality I was used to! So, on January 7, I finally gave up and decided to teach myself the basics of natural levain or sourdough bread making.

I took a bunch of organic grapes, placed them into cheesecloth and stuffed it in the middle of a mixture of flour and water. I waited 10 days and voila, I had made a starter that would allow me to make my own bread from now on…

Well, that’s the short version anyway, to help the culture reach perfection I had to create the perfect environment. In my case living in an older thin house, I was having a hard time keeping the house warm enough for my natural yeast starter to activate. My wife being out of town at the time, I got this great idea of placing the bucket of starter on the top shelf in the bathroom where it is a little bit warmer. I had been feeding it everyday, and on the fifth night, I woke up, walked to the washroom to find out that the starter had finally reached active status! It was so active, that it had exploded and leaked all over the bath towel, my wife’s cosmetic box, the magazines and all the way down to the floor. It was a great thing that my wife was out of town, let me tell you!

Now, two months later, I have made dozens of loaves giving them away to friends and family and went through 41 kilos of flour already. The good news is, I have not had to buy a loaf of bread in two months. The bad news, I can’t stop feeding my starter “Louise” as she will die without the proper care! I am doomed to make bread until I die!

The other day, I stopped to see my butcher and noticed that a new store had arrived in the mall, a bakery! I had to go see, although I don’t really need bread, I am always on the look out for good quality products for my customers.

Well, for the people that do not want to start their own bread manufacture at home, you have another solution. Rhys Pender & Alishan Driediger have opened up a small bread store and they have great breads. Naturally done and if I may say so myself, very close to my own experiment! Go see them, you won’t regret it!

Try these two breads on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Callebaut Chocolate Bread and Fig & Anise loaf.

Okanagan Grocery Breads
Guisachan Village, 2355 Gordon Drive Kelowna, next to Codfather’s Seafood Market. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am — 6 pm.

Chef Martin’s Tip 5:

I have adopted an easy way to increase my success when I cook at home or at work. I never try anything new on my guests!

It usually takes at least two times for a professional chef to really have a good control of a recipe. So, it’s easy, at home, I try every recipe on my wife once or twice before, just to be able to master the spices, cooking time and presentation. This helps me improve my skills and my guests ultimately enjoy the benefits. As for my wife, “for better or worse, till death do us part” the man in white said!

“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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