If you only read one article about food this week, set aside a bit of time and make it this one. A brilliant read, Matt Goulding takes an in-depth look at the genius behind the scenes at El Bulli. Since the famed restaurant closed in 2011, Albert has come out from his brother Ferran’s shadow via multiple new restaurant ventures. His creative energy, the capacity to dream up new ways to cook and combine ingredients, seems almost boundless. When a new dish works I bet it is mind-blowing! (And even when it doesn’t, I bet it’s never dull.)
The statistics are thought-provoking, Simone Egger informs us that “… Australians throw out 4 million tonnes of food every year”. We can all make a difference at home with a little bit of effort to make full use of what we have, including composting waste. Even if you lack yard space, initiatives such as Cultivating Community can bring you together with neighbours who produce their own food and compost in community gardens. The article rounds up with some starting ideas for recipes to help make full use of your groceries . A personal favourite of mine is bubble and squeak: refrying your leftover veggies to create something new and delicious (so much better than microwaving)!
Matching wine with spicy food can be tricky. I know in my case all I tend to do is go a bit further to the sweet side of the spectrum than normal, and usually land on something like a verdelho. In this article Fiona Beckett makes the point that spicy dishes vary widely, so you need to put a bit more thought than I do into your selection. There are a few examples of pairings to give you a more concrete idea. Recommendations range across all wines from dry to sweet, both red and white. Even a wheat beer get’s a crack, which I don’t recall ever trying (I guess most often the beer menus are filled with regional lagers, which could make it tricky).
You might have noticed from a few of my posts that I love making bread of all kinds. There’s just something fun about working with dough, and nothing beats a freshly-cooked bread! If you can relate to that, then you’ll probably also connect with this blog post on Zeb Bakes. It’s a stroll down memory lane, recounting a five-year journey from novice to experienced home baker. We’ve all had our misses, that bread that burned or didn’t rise, but it’s all part of the experience. I find a little uncertainty makes the hits even more exciting, anyway! It’s summed up in the closing sentiment: “…question everything, practise lots, study your failures, as they will tell you more than you think, and have a good time!”.
How’s this for a creative streak: pastry Chef Caitlin Freeman has produced a range of desserts inspired by great modern art. Fittingly, these eye-catching treats are on offer at the Blue Bottle Coffee Shop on the root of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For some of us, sadly, California is a little bit too far to go for a slice of Mondrian. Never fear, though, because you can get the recipes in Caitlin’s book Modern Art Desserts and try your hand at a bit of art in the kitchen!