Patricia Wells, James Beard award-winning author, spoke with me this week from Provence, where spring came early this year. Our first local asparagus poked its way through the now thawed ground only this week, but she has been enjoying that amazingly tasty flowering perennial since January. Don't miss her tip on the simplest way to prepare this spring treat. You'll have to listen to the show for the recipe.
Ms. Wells' completely revised 5th edition of The Food Lover's Guide to Paris is available in bookstores and online, and the app for IOS is on the iTunes Store as a free download to try out, or for $4.99 you can get the complete app with over 350 recommendations for enjoying the culinary delights in the City of Light.
You can learn more about Patricia, her cooking classes and books at-http://patriciawells.com/.
This week's GREAT TASTE is packed with ethnic food. The hour begins with my discussion with Leah Koenig, author of the new book Modern Jewish Cooking-Recipes and Custom's for Today's Kitchen.
Just as it sounds, the book is Leah's take on updating the culinary traditions that make up the wide variety of foods associated with Jewish cooking. I had some important questions to ask her like does cinammon belong in a chocolate babka recipe?
This interview could change your life (or perceptions anyway). Check out her blog here.
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When I walked into the Curry Hill restaurant Haldi several weeks ago at dinner time I was surprised and a little giddy that the person who greeted me and my guests was Hemant Mathur. Hemant and his business partners own six Indian restaurants in NYC, and I had serendipitously picked the right one, the spot where Hemant was overseeing the new menu. In addition to earning a Michelin star at two previous spots in his career, Devi and Tulsi, I have been lucky to eat Hemant’s food when he was in the kitchens previously at Ama and Tamarind.
What better to do but ask him to order for us, which I did. I am not certain what part of the meal I relished most, the seamless flow of one enticing and varied dish to another all based on three distinct culinary traditions of Kolkata-Bengali, Marwari, and Jewish, or the exclamations of pure happiness coming from my dining partners who had rarely, if ever, experienced this type of attention to tradition and modern preparation in an Indian meal.
THIS WEEK: A PROSECCO DISCUSSION WITH ALAN TARDI
RESCHEDULED TO APRIL 1: ALICE RANDALL, BESTSELLING NOVELIST AND COUNTRY MUSIC SONGWRITER
It was my good fortune to speak recently with Caroline Randall Williams and her mother, Alice Randall. They are the co-authors of Soul Food Love-Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family. I hope you will make the time to listen, buy the book, read their amazing story, and use the many creative recipes while creating your own kitchen legacy.
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Great show at Green Building Supply last night with Eric and Denyce Rusch of Breadtopia. We consumed terrific red fife bread and cookies. Thanks to both of them, and our sponsors GBS and Everybody's Whole Foods. You can hear part of the discussion in the second half of the show on our "Iowa Cooks" segment.
The first half of the show features Alice Medritch, author of the new and highly-acclaimed book, Flavor Flours. Join us. Here is what Alice wrote to me about her book:
"The book is about new ingredients and a whole new approach to what people insist on calling Gluten Free, and I want to discuss why that is so, and what the advantage is of not thinking about these flours as merely substitutes. This book is about broadening horizons and new tastes and textures. The recipes are mostly quite easy, of course I have advice about how to best to succeed with the recipes, but there is not rocket science involved." This is going to be a fascinating look into what up, until now, would be considered baking outside the box.
This Wednesday I welcome back to the show Matthew Kenney. I have great admiration for Matthew. In the 90's he was in the top tier of chefs as a chef/owner of Matthew's and other restaurants in New York City. But, much to the dismay, confusion, and derision of many of his colleagues he changed course in the new century to become an untiring champion of the plant-based, raw food lifestyle. He has applied his extensive classical training, modernist techniques, and experience to elevate raw food cuisine to a level that wows people at his restaurants, his culinary academy, and through numerous books. Despite numerous overwhelming personal and business challenges, his commitment to educating the public about the benefits of a plant-based diet and lifestyle is unwavering.
"I feel like I talked way too long," said author Rebecca Katz. "I thought you would interrupt me if you needed to."
When what you have to say is not only fascinating, engaging, and critically important to anyone tuned into the show, why break in and disturb the flow. That's exactly how I felt listening to Rebecca talk about her new book, The Healthy Mind Cookbook. My hope is you will take the time to listen to her. I believe her approach to food, nutrition, and cooking can make the kitchen a safe place to experiment and grow in for those who presently are not comfortable there, and also broadens the perspective of seasoned cooks by introducing them to a wide variety of previously unthought of flavor possibilities.
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Andi Mitchell, the author of the blog “Can You Stay for Dinner,” and the new book, It Was Me All Along kicks off this week’s show. Andie’s book is the story of how she lost half her body weight, and learned that her life’s journey encompasses much more than the single issue of weight. Her book is written in a straightforward style, and chronicles how her love of food also became her vehicle of choice to mask her emotional struggles. It’s a look at how one woman took control of her life, achieved the immediate goal of weight loss, and applied that knowledge to become a mindful eater, and, in addition, grew to become cognizant of the many other complex issues that comprise our lives on this planet.
Andie’s story is inspiring so I hope you’ll take the time to listen. You can watch an interview with Andie on Good Morning America here.
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LA personal chef, Nick Trombetta, joined us for a LIVE Great Taste Tuesday night at Green Building Supply. Nick put his Italian heritage into play showing us how to make rosemary focaccia and a perfect dish for a cold winter night, creamy polenta with three cheeses, shitake mushrooms, and bok choy. I would be remiss if I didn't state that I'm not certain I have ever tasted and enjoyed a better polenta dish. All the flavors married together for a sparkling taste experience that highlighted a very light and nuance touch with ingredients that can be extremely heavy.
You can listen to part one of the show with Nick at 7:00 pm Wednesday and the replay is at 7:00 am on Friday. Part two airs on Wednesday, February 11 at 7:00 pm and again on Friday, February 13 at 7:00 am. Don't forget: Great Taste is LIVE and FREE with a cooking demo the first Tuesday of every month brought to you by Everybody's Whole Foods and Green Building Supply.
You can watch the entire show with Nick here, courtesy of Jason Strong and Fairfield Media Center.
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