Wild Food Festival’s future uncertain
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Wild Food Festival’s future uncertain
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The weekend’s Wild Food Festival could be Hokitika’s last, as the event struggles to pull in the crowds.
Festival manager Mike Keenan said the event attracted about 8500 people in 2013, down from almost 11,000 2012.
Attendance peaked in 2003 with 22,500 festival goers and ticket sales are now capped at 15,000.
The 25-year-old festival, which is owned by Westland District Council, made a $68,000 loss last year. Keenan told Radio New Zealand yesterday that if numbers did not improve, the event may no longer have a future.
“We’re on notice now that if we don’t perform we could be down Skid Row I dare say,” he said.
Keenan said the decision lay with the Westland District Council on whether to continue the event if there was another loss this year.
He said ticket sales for Saturday’s event were down, but he hoped gate sales would make up for it.
The festival’s menu this year included stallion semen, crispy tarantulas and seagull eggs.
Crouching Grasshopper’s stall had the creepy addition of crispy tarantulas, which were imported from Thailand and sold out in a matter of hours. Mikhail Kozijevic, 25, of Christchurch, sampled one of its poisonous spiders’ legs and said its flavour was impossible to describe.
“It was a little bit acidy. It did have a lot of flavour though.”
Stall-holder Fiona Anderson, who bred the grasshoppers for about six months in her Hokitika living room, said the critters were always popular.
“I feel a bit bad but it’s quite good, it really is,” Christchurch woman Sarah Jackson, 21, said as she tasted a live grasshopper for the first time.
Police said the majority of festival-goers were well behaved, and there were no arrests made at the event.
Senior Sergeant Phil Baker said 21 arrests were made over the weekend around Hokitika for disorderly behaviour and other alcohol-related issues. There were also 47 infringement notices issued for breaches of the liquor ban.
Over the weekend, Hokitika police also breath-tested about 4500 drivers travelling in the region. Only three were found to be over the alcohol limit.
– © Fairfax NZ News
Mr Holland is planning a new venture in Pembrokeshire, where he will oversee a new restaurant that overlooks the sea.
He had tried to open a restaurant in Bridgnorth, but had been thwarted by legal complications.
Today Mr Holland said he was sorry to be leaving Shropshire because he had enjoyed seven happy years in the county.
He said: “I made great efforts to stay in Shropshire and we tried very hard to find an opportunity that would work for us.
“We were hopeful of opening a restaurant in Bridgnorth but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I have been offered an exciting opportunity to run a new restaurant in Pembrokeshire by established restaurateurs and I’m excited about it.
“I’ll be very sorry to leave Shropshire because I’ve had seven wonderful years in the county. I’ve made a lot of friends who I’ll keep in touch with and I hope to be back from time to time.”
Mr Holland made his name at La Becasse, in Ludlow’s Corve Street. He won a Michelin star before the age of 30 and also featured on Great British Menu on two occasions. He beat The Hairy Bikers in a televised cook off and starred regularly at Shrewsbury and Ludlow Food Festivals.
Mr Holland added: “The new restaurant is just down the road from Narbeth, which is twinned with Ludlow, so I hope to retain many links with the town.”
He added: “I’d like to thank the people of Shropshire for supporting me. I’ve had the best of times and will leave with only happy memories.”
Food is no longer just an afterthought for some airlines and airports. In fact, there is now a new travel blog, FlyandDine.com, dedicated to covering just airline and airport food. Its “Eater-in-Chef” Jason Kessler shares his pick for the best new airport and airline food.
Like Pavlovian dogs salivating at the sound of a bell, most air travelers hear the phrase “in-flight meal” and immediately get nauseous. That’s really a shame because airlines are putting more care and effort into their menus than ever before. The truth is, food on planes these days is pretty good. In fact, the whole air travel experience as it relates to food has gotten a major upgrade. That’s exactly the reason why I started FlyandDine.com, the first website dedicated to documenting what and where to eat while you fly. Whether you’re in the air, at the terminal, or on the ground, FlyDine is your resource for figuring out what to eat on the go and we’re luckily entering into a new age of food travel. Here are five huge developments making the entire travel experience much better:
Constantly Evolving Menus
There are no sweeter words to a constantly flying road warrior than “new menu.” For those forced to eat regularly on airplanes, it’s far too easy to become sick of the same bowl of warm nuts and ice cream sundaes that appear before and after every business class meal. It’s even worse if you’re stuck in economy where your choices are usually limited to pre-packaged junk or poorly made sandwiches. In recent years, though, the airlines are making a concerted effort to offer appealing meal options and, more importantly, rotating those options. American recently ended its relationship with Marcus Samuelsson, but continues to innovate with new menu items like Thai-seasoned chicken breasts and United seems to constantly change their “Bistro on Board” menus. Virgin America is overhauling their entire first class menu on March 4 and that includes the introduction of a brand new flavor from San Francisco’s favorite artisanal ice cream maker Humphry Slocombe (with a special signature flavor chosen by flyers via Twitter). The major American carriers still can’t compete with the much better food options on international airlines, but with major menu renovations coming regularly, they’re certainly moving in the right direction.
Terminals as City Samplers
The best part of food festivals is getting to sample bites from a bunch of local restaurants all in one place. Airports must have picked up on this fact because they’re turning their terminals into permanent food festivals with outposts of local favorites giving travelers the chance to try iconic names without straying far from their gates. LAX is leading the charge with a massive overhaul to all of their terminal dining options, including Michael Voltaggio’s ink.sack, French dip specialists Cole’s, and Sushi Roku-inspired Luckyfish. In Grand Rapids, awesome brewery Bell’s just opened at Ford International Airport while San Antonio and Fort Lauderdale are jumping on the local restaurant bandwagon, too, with a whole slew of new restaurants opening in the next few years. Ever wanted to try Rick Bayless’s food? You can at Tortas Frontera at O’Hare. Heard about The Salt Lick but can’t make it out to Driftwood? Both DFW and the Austin airport have you covered. It’s a brave new world at the terminal, people, so don’t bother eating before you get through security.
Actual Food Professionals as Consultants
Airlines have used major chefs like Neil Perry (Qantas) and Heston Blumenthal (British Airways) to try and make their food more enticing for years now. That trend continues with a truly exciting development for Delta: Restauranteur Danny Meyers’ Union Square Hospitality Group has come on-board to offer barbecue favorites from New York’s venerable Blue Smoke restaurants. ‘Cue in the air is a perfect choice as the oven reheating process on airplanes should actually work to make the meat even better. One can only hope that every major airline will soon partner with a big-time restaurant group to turn your favorite dishes on the ground into new favorites in the air.
One of the best recent developments in air food is the ability to choose your meal before you fly. I took an American Airlines flight from Tokyo to LAX and couldn’t wait to try my pre-ordered filet (verdict: not bad!). While most of the pre-ordering is only available in the premium cabins, Qantas has recently expanded their “Select on Q-Eat” program to its premium economy seats as well. That means you no longer have to worry that you’ll be stuck with the fish curry when they run out of chicken and, if you ask me, that’s a major upgrade for everyone.
So what if all of these new menus and consultants don’t do much for you? Grab something from the terminal and take it along for the ride. Sounds easy, but it’s even easier when the terminal restaurants do the work for you. That’s what’s happening in London’s Heathrow Airport where Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food is offering three-course meals packed in special insulated containers. Same thing at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal where Petrossian is putting together “Picnic in the Air” packs with caviar, blinis, and crème fraiche. Even if you’re flying in the back of the plane, you can still eat a First Class meal and be the envy of all of your seatmates.
For more culinary options, please check out:
- Diet Busters: 10 Surprising Unhealthy Airport Menu Options
- Your Best Gluten Free Airport Food Options
- Airplane Food Worth Noting
- Airline Recipes You Want to Cook
Jason Kessler is the Eater-in-Chief at FlyandDine.com.
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In today’s day and age, when winning a reality show gives one the title of “Chef” quite easily, it’s reassuring to know that the true world of chefs still exists. The world where one embarks on a long journey of learning, absorption, practice, thought and application. A journey that begins rather tearfully with the chopping of onions, and leads to rough and tough kitchens sometimes results in a celebrated title.
Of late, I’ve often been asked, “Who is a true chef and who isn’t?” or “Are TV chefs true?” And the answer is not so easy. There was a time when TV chefs were true chefs who had undergone the grind; chefs like Gary Rhodes or the Roux Brothers who had worked in kitchens (not necessarily 5-star hotel kitchens) and who really knew food, who strived for perfection in every aspect of cooking right from selecting ingredients to presentation. These were chefs who could demonstrate a dish or technique anywhere and using any ingredients given to them. Today, sadly, the picture has changed. If you can talk-the-talk, cooking doesn’t seem to matter. There are plenty of food teams available (comprising true chefs) who handle back-end kitchens and churn out not only pre-prep, but also cooked dishes to make people from non-culinary backgrounds look like chefs.
It was hence a refreshing change to see someone who not only spoke well, but also cooked and knew his food in and out. Meeting with Chef Christopher Koelke from Kendall College took me back through the journey of what it takes to be a true chef and I couldn’t help, but travel back in time to the training kitchen where the foundation of my career was laid.
I remember only too well the thorough checking we underwent every morning. Our chef uniforms were spotlessly white, our knives well-sharpened, all tools in the tool kit in order, we had notebooks handy to jot down important tips during the practical session. I also got nostalgic thinking about the training kitchen itself. Several rows of small kitchenettes which were assigned to us, charts on the walls – some showing us cuts of vegetables and meats, others giving us subliminal lessons in combining flavours and textures; and the classes of course – with our chef lecturers observing our every movement like a hawk, testing and guiding us at the same time.
Chef Christopher was demonstrating a few kitchen techniques and dishes, and he suddenly stressed on the proper handling of the most important kitchen tool. “A chef is defined by the way he or she handles a knife”, he said adding that, “a true chef uses his knife as an extension of his arm, from his shoulders to his forearms to his wrists. Even the way three fingers curl around the handle and thumb and forefinger rest comfortably on the sides of the blade shows how well a chef knows the main tool of his trade.” As he demonstrated quick slicing to an admiring audience of potential hospitality students, and explained the concepts of precision and speed, I saw flashes of roadside sandwich makers using their hacksaw blades to cut vegetables with enough speed and precision to put many a chef to shame.
Watching him work, I was reminded of the other lessons one learns in becoming a chef. Things like practicing cooking techniques and perfecting them in order to gain consistency, following an internal mental clock and developing an instinct so as to be able to cook without thermometers and measuring cups and spoons, creating a mental image of how you want the dish to finally look when it’s ready to be presented, how to plan and incorporate supporting elements to complete a dish, etc. However, there are several non-food lessons which one needs to master in order to truly become a chef.
Like multi-tasking for instance. A chef not only cooks food, but also plans menus for a la carte establishments, banquets, food festivals; makes and handles budgets to run the kitchen, creates new recipes, handles staff, trains new staff and also constantly keeps upgrading his own skills and knowledge. It’s a lot about putting egos aside and putting one’s food first before self. About mastering the art and science of food, which should be so ingrained in one’s psyche that you can adapt to situations on the press of a button or a whim and to be able to gain respect rather than demand it. Things get more and more challenging with every passing day and holding fort through the numerous ups and downs becomes the ultimate test – the test that differentiates a common cook from a chef.
However, holding a degree in hospitality is not enough to make one a chef. Experience is a key point. There are numerous chefs in the Indian hospitality industry who do not hold a formal degree. These men did not have the luxury of a formal education. Their beginnings were humble and journeys much tougher than ours. They learned through their own mistakes and gained experience by facing lashings every day. Today, they have earned the title of Chef and feature as Executive Chefs or Consultants to several big names in the industry. And it is these men who have taken the industry to the pinnacle at which it stands today.
I often think back on the most important thing I learned through the years – even after I became a chef – and the one thought that comes to mind is “Thank God, the beginning was difficult. It made the remaining journey smoother.”
Michael Swamy is a Cordon Bleu Graduate Chef, intrepid traveller, author and food stylist. He loves good food art, culture and food history.
Join Chef Michael as he travels:
On the food trail – What’s the organic fuss all about?
On the food trail – The raw revolution
On the food trail - A bit of chocolate on Valentine’s Day
On the food trail – A trial by fire and a grain of sugar
On the food trail – Singapore Part 2
On the food trail- Singapore: Part 1 – A Gastronomic Adventure
On the food trail – A weekend sojourn to Alibaug
On the food trail – Food Glorious Food – The Real Stuff
On the food trail – A rosary, Monastery and Pancakes on a Mountaintop
On the food trail – Doorway to the East
On the food trail – A tale of two restaurants
On the food trail – Down the streets of Old Delhi
On the food trail – A romance over tea
On the food trail – Trials of food and flying elephants
On the food trail – A drive down wine country in India
On the food trail – Pairing Indian food and wine
On the food trail – A road trip to Puducherry
On the food trail – Breakfast on the Dal
On the food trail – “Jaipur Pink”, Dal Batti and a true Rajmata
On the food trail – The wish-granting hills of Kumaon
On the food trail – Splendid sights and Southern Spice in Chennai
On the food trail – A fort, a resort and “temple templates”
On the food trail – Of gazelles, pearls and a land of dates
On the food trail – A hot cup of Tea in the “Coffee Cup of India”
On the food trail – Peking Duck and more
On the food trail – Grappa: Fire in a bottle
On the food trail – A touch of Prosecco
On the food trail – Dubai
The word “Scandinavia” evokes many images. Endless fir forests, awe-inspiring fjords, wilderness, and lately, perhaps, crime fiction and noir thrillers such as Borgen, Wallander and The Killing. It’s all these things, of course, but this hardly does justice to the region’s vastness and diversity. To the North is the Arctic Circle, where polar bears roam, the summer sun lasts 24 hours, but an implacable dark descends in a winter lit, if you’re lucky, by cosmic northern lights. Although not in Scandinavia, Finland, where Russia’s cultural orbit is felt, also has a Nordic feel with vast expanses of lake and forest inhabited by wild bears stretch beyond sight. Nomadic reindeer herders range from mountain to forest and the naked sauna is a national pastime.
Download the free Telegraph Travel app to destinations including Paris, New York and Rome: itunes.apple.com.
The western coasts are wild and wet. Plunging cataracts and cruise-ship-dwarfing fjord cliffs defy your sense of scale and the wind whips angry seas. Head south to Denmark’s countryside, though, and you’ll find a pastoral, almost English beauty of rolling fields and woods. It’s a gentler landscape ideal for touring by bike.
Scandinavia is also a region of extreme seasons quite unlike Britain’s tepid climate. Winter in the region thwarts all but the most determined city-break tourist. It’s a winter sports heaven, though, when ice grips great tracts of wilderness tight for half the year and you can snowmobile to ice hotels or trek wild trails by husky sled.
During summer’s brief lease, the days stretch on and every Scandinavian country explodes in a celebration of light, music, culture, Baltic beachcombing, lakeland fun and some legendary fishing (especially in Norway during the salmon runs). This is the time to explore remote coasts and sleepy islands by car, canoe, ferry or historic Baltic schooner, and to plan mountain and trail hikes. It’s also when frivolous midsummer festivals and cavorting take over and a husband can win his wife’s weight in beer at the World Wife Carrying Championship.
While most regional towns and even cities in Scandinavia tend to be small, relatively sleepy and often achingly pretty, the capital cities are compelling destinations in their own right. Stockholm offers grand Venetian charms around its many canals and islands as well as the world’s only ABBA museum, while Copenhagen has chic sophistication and fine dining.
For a region that subsisted largely on herring and rye bread, only occasionally looking to France and Italy for some culinary cues, the food has changed out of all recognition. Local chefs, such as René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, have transformed the way they find and use what’s on their doorstep, and the world is now beating a path to their kitchen doors.
Putting together an itinerary to sample the best of the region is quickest via the network of airports. Doing so overland poses its challenges but promises greater adventure too. Determined independent travellers willing to stitch together an itinerary that takes in several countries will feel like Phileas Fogg taking in rail, road and ferry travel over some incredible landscapes. The Oslo to Bergen railway or the Norwegian coastal steamer route are just a few examples. Happily, all these mini-adventures will generally run to timetable, thanks to innate Nordic good sense and organisation.
When to go
Mid-May to August is the obvious period in which to go, when daytime temperatures rise into teens and 20s Celsius, greenery abounds and everyone makes the most of the “midnight sun”. It’s also when the vast majority of food, culture and music festivals happen and the seasonal attractions and camping grounds re-open. Oddly, and happily, the height of summer is also when many hotels cut their rates (and surprisingly many businesses including restaurants close so everyone can head off to their summer houses). Spring and autumn are when the cities really come into their own and a series of often excellent cultural and food festivals take place.
Rail travel in Scandinavia is first-rate, usually reasonably priced and with some good regional and cross-border intercity services. Some journeys are wonderfully scenic trips in their own right, such as the Bergen railway which crosses the “roof of Norway” on Northern Europe’s highest altitude line. Eurail (eurail.com) offers great deals on unlimited rail travel around Scandinavia if you are planning extensive rail travel and are prepared to plan and book ahead. It also offers family tickets and discounts on some ferry routes in the region.
Car hire works well and all the major international firms operate here. The ScanRail Drive (eurorailways.com) deal offers a five-day rail pass with two days of car hire.
Much of the region is dependent on ferries and there are extensive services throughout Scandinavia including many car ferry routes. At weekends, ferry fares go up. Sweden has the largest fleet of ferries serving the islands of the Stockholm archipelago. Some ferry routes are worth the journey in themselves, perhaps chief among them Norway’s extraordinary Hurtigruten (0203 627 8249; hurtigruten.co.uk).
Know before you go
Travel around Scandinavia is generally safe, hassle-free and requires little in the way of special planning or completion of red tape. Your European Health Insurance Card will be accepted in some countries (Sweden) but not others (Denmark), so travel insurance is a must.
While the summer climate is mild and sometimes even hot, it can also be wet, so warm clothes and waterproofs are essentials. Mosquito repellent is a good idea if you’re visiting the lake areas in summer.
Perhaps the main preparation to make is realistic budgeting. It’s not a cheap region to visit but it is possible to make savings by planning and booking ahead. Drinking alcohol and eating out are generally expensive. Picnics with off-licence wine, lunch set menus and bakery pit stops are some examples of how to shave costs without wearing a hair shirt.
Download the free Telegraph Travel app to destinations including Paris, New York and Rome: itunes.apple.com.
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- A. Scattergood
- Mama Musubi’s salmon and kelp rice balls
Why some so-called street food grabs a city’s attention and not others is a mystery for the anthropologists – or maybe the folks at Lucky Peach. There are, thank God, tacos and fruit carts on repeating corners in L.A. But it remains bafflingly difficult to find good omusubi, also called onigiri, the phenomenally delicious filled rice balls that operate like portable snacks in Tokyo. You can find sad refrigerated iterations in the cases at Mitsuwa and other Japanese groceries, but other than the Onigiri Truck and Sunny Blue, a very cool and very tiny shop in Santa Monica, there isn’t much else.
Or so we thought until a recent pilgrimage to the Altadena farmers market, where Phillip and Carol Kwan have for the last year been setting up their Mama Musubi rice ball operation. The brother-and-sister team launched Mama Musubi at the first 626 Night Market in 2012, operate as a catering company, and attend the Altadena Wednesday market. Tonight, March 7, and for the next week, the Kwans will be popping up at Aburyiya Toranoko in Little Tokyo – their first pop-up event.
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- A. Scattergood
- Mama Musubi’s salmon and kelp rice balls
The Kwans’ versions of the popular Japanese snack are certainly worth the trek downtown (or to the upper reaches of Altadena), as they’re extraordinarily fresh and flavorful and filled with some pretty awesome stuff. If you’ve been surviving on the sad rice balls in refrigerated cases, these will remind you why onigiri are all over the place in Japan, from convenience stores to family shops to high-end department stores in shinkansen stations.
The Kwans fill their gorgeous triangles of beautifully articulated rice (Japanese short grain, California-grown) with, among other things, miso Jidori chicken, Berkshire pork belly, salmon, Asian sweet sausage, and a fantastic kelp and rāyu (chile oil) concoction that is utterly addictive. There will also be specials over the course of the week-long pop-up. The rice balls (balls, triangles: food geometry being somewhat relative) are embedded with fillings, then folded with nori, edged with sesame seeds and more seaweed, and wrapped in a bit of paper – this being portable food, after all.
The Mama Musubi pop-up will be operating within the normal hours of Aburiya Toranoko, the downtown L.A. Japanese restaurant owned by Michael Cardenas, whom the Kwans met at one of the many food festivals they attend. Which means lunch, dinner – and happy hour, a pretty great time to eat onigiri. Maybe just close your eyes and pretend you’re on a sidewalk in Shinagawa. (Some of us do that all the time.)
The Mama Musubi pop-up at Aburiya Toranoko: March 7-15 (closed Sunday, March 9), 243 S. San Pedro St., downtown L.A..; 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., and 5 – 11 p.m. Monday – Saturday; closed Sunday.
See also: Sunny Blue: Great Omusubi in Santa Monica + Coming Soon to Los Feliz
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Some chefs discover their passion for cooking in the kitchens and markets of France and Italy but for Alain Bosse the moment of discovery came at a Scout camp.
Long before becoming The Kilted Chef, being designated an Atlantic Canadian culinary ambassador or joining Saltscapes Magazine as food editor, Bosse was determined to master tin foil and campfire cooking.
“The other kids went off on some adventure but I stuck around to help the leaders getting a meal together. When they saw I was really interested they gave me lots of encouragement and freedom to experiment,” he said.
Soon he was doing survival cooking demonstrations and in charge of feeding 40 Scouts three meals a day at Scout jamborees in Sweden and Denmark.
Bosse grew up speaking French in Edmunston, N.B., in a home where cooking was more about feeding a family of seven than creative expression. He remembers an Italian grandmother who had a way with vegetables and spices but she died when he was very young. A lacklustre student, he decided to take a course in hotel and restaurant management. When he got his first job in the business his mother got down on her knees to offer a heartfelt prayer of thanks.
“I was hired as the food and beverage manager at the Wandlyn in Bridgewater before I was old enough to drink legally.” he said.
An opening at Pictou Lodge eventually lured him to the county.
“I was hired by Don Mingo as chef and general manager of the lodge. It was a great opportunity with a great view. I got to know Pictou County and its people. I was invited to get involved in the community and it became home.”
About six years ago Bosse, feeling he needed a change, started his own food consulting business. It is a wide-ranging business with restaurant and retail clients, corporate team-building workshops and a limited number of cooking classes.
“I started with some ideas and half a plan. I remember getting one great piece of advice which was not to pigeon-hole or restrict myself. I’ve definitely learned the value of being versatile.”
In need of a brand, he re-invented The Kilted Chef, having years earlier donned a kilt while hosting a fundraiser for Heatherbell Girls Pipe Band.
“I wanted to promote what Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada have to offer and a kilt gave me the memorable brand I needed. Obviously from my name, I’m not Scottish but nobody seems to mind.”
He acknowledged being named a culinary ambassador led him to opportunities he could only have imagined.
“I may be at the Right Some Good Food Festival or an event in Boston or Georgia or in Europe but I’m always reminding myself I’m just a cook who likes people. I like the limelight that goes with the work but I don’t forget who I am.”
When he is at a Canadian event he usually sports a Nova Scotia tartan kilt but for international events he often wears a red kilt with maple leaves.
“Wherever I go in Canada, the United States or Europe, at food festivals or trade shows or in restaurants or cooking schools, I’m promoting lobster, mussels, wild blueberries, apples and everything we have to offer in Atlantic Canada.”
The cooking classes at his farm are actually journeys into what Pictou County has to offer.
“I’ve been cooking local since before it was cool. I want people to know what they can access locally from the sea, from farmers’ fields and at our local markets and businesses. I might add honey from Guysborough County or chicken or turkey from Tatamagouche but I keep everything close to home.”
That means taking his students to pick up ingredients at businesses such as The Pork Shop, Ferguson’s Abattoir, Lakenman’s Farms, North Nova Seafood and Logan’s Fish Store. Frequently they stop at New Glasgow Farmer’s Market and it is not unusual to visit Mrs. MacGregor’s Tea Room in Pictou to sample the shortbread.
Once the food is gathered, the first instructions are about knives, Grohmann knives to be exact.
“Starting off with the best of ingredients and the best of knives, we create a very enjoyable meal. By the time we’re done people who may not have thought of Pictou County as a culinary centre are quite pretty impressed with what can be done with local food,” he said.
Bosse, who serves on the Ship Hector Foundation, is enthusiastic about the area’s tourism potential.
“We can’t get by on just being friendly because there are friendly people everywhere. We’ve got to promote what we have, such as the wonderful Ship Hector, and bring people here and give them something to remember.”
Bosse and Linda Duncan, executive director of the Mussel Industry Council, which promotes Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island mussels throughout North America, have joined forces in a soon to be released cookbook.
“We have a passion for mussels and we’ve got 77 different recipes for serving them. Nothing wrong with steaming in white wine and a few spices but it is just the beginning of what can be done with mussels.”
- Rosalie MacEachern is a Stellarton resident and freelance writer who seeks out people who work behind the scenes on hobbies or jobs that they love the most. If you have someone you think should she should profile in an upcoming article, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I got married, I wanted to serve Manchester tarts at our wedding reception. These are jam and baked custard pastries native to – you guessed it – Manchester, where I live. Trouble was, we couldn’t find anyone who made them well enough using a traditional recipe, so my mum, who has always cooked professionally, made them for us. Our family said they were winners, and that’s what planted the seed that grew into mum and I working together.
A couple of years later I had a baby, and decided not to go back to my job, so it seemed like the right time to take a leap and start a food business with mum. Manchester tarts used to be on school dinner menus in the 1970s and 1980s, and usually had desiccated coconut or banana slices in them, but neither are authentic, so we decided to adapt a Mrs Beeton recipe. We’ve always used all-butter puff pastry, which we make by hand, Mum’s raspberry jam (she picks the fruit then cooks it herself) and lemon-infused, homemade custard.
We started selling them at local farmers’ markets in 2008 in the Greater Manchester area, then we branched into Cheshire. This proved a good way to test the product and the price point. We knew from the beginning that the Manchester tarts alone wouldn’t be enough, so we began with a small range of around nine different bakes, which over the years increased to about 30. The only rule for what we make is that there has to be a strong emphasis on regionality – we want to be part of the reinvigoration of traditional baking. Our products include Lancashire hotpot pies, Bury black pudding tarts, and a twist on a regional Lincolnshire pastry, which we call Chorlton Clangers. These are crimped pastries filled with minced pork, sage, peas and apple. Not to mention our Cumberland mutton pie, which won three gold stars at the Great Taste Awards last year.
We now supply local shops and cafes, which means making around 300 bakes a week, but we also cater for private functions and food festivals. It’s always been a juggling act. Although I live in south Manchester, my mum actually lives in Cleethorpes, north Lincolnshire. We run the business from my kitchen, so she will stay with us for anywhere between two days and two weeks, depending on the jobs we have on – we just have to be as flexible as possible.
Our relationship is at the heart of it all. From a professional point of view, she is my mentor, but we do have differences of opinion. Luckily we can be very honest, so it doesn’t take long to settle things – that’s not something you find with every colleague.
Shocking statistics underline scale of city’s challenge.
TODAY’S shocking YEP report on the experiences of youngsters growing up in Leeds underlines why we’re campaigning to make it a more child-friendly city.
It’s a report that makes for difficult reading. Nearly a quarter of under-16s in Leeds live in poverty, while the same proportion of teenage girls suffer violence at the hands of a partner.
There’s more. One in three children will suffer from mental health issues at some point, while a third of youngsters have been bullied at school in the last year.
Leeds is a great city with much to be proud of, but too many children are facing early hardship and a bleak future – the number of 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training, for instance, is well above the national average.
Such a grim picture shows why Leeds City Council was absolutely right to make it a priority to tackle the inequalities confronting so many of the city’s youngsters – and why the YEP is backing it all the way.
But if local councils are to deliver genuine change they need the cash to do it. That’s why the Government’s spending review which cut budgets for northern, urban cities with high levels of deprivation by almost ten times the amount taken from mostly Tory-run councils in the south was so unjust.
That imbalance must now be addressed, with more power being devolved from Westminster so cities like Leeds have a greater say over where money is spent.
Food festival will have certain je ne sais quoi
THIS year the city’s annual celebration of food and drink will come with a distinctly gallic twist.
Staged just a month before the Tour de France rolls into the city, the Leeds Food and Drink Festival will see fine fare from across the Channel served up in the special Le Grand DeParty section.
Artisan breads, wines and cheeses as well as French cooking from the likes of Leeds’s own Brasserie Blanc will all be on the menu at the what is one of the country’s most popular food festivals.
If the Grand Depart is the main course then this looks set to be the perfect starter to whet the appetite for the excitement to come.
Yorkshire’s produce is famed around the world but in a special year for the county, a food and drink showcase will get a continental twist.
Just a month before the Tour de France rolls into town on July 5 and 6, tens of thousands of food-lovers will get a taste of what is to come as French culinary treats sit alongside traditional regional fare at the Leeds Food and Drink Festival 2014 from May 23 to June 8.
Spread across the city, the event will run over three main weekends and include a Kids Food Festival at The Tetley, in Hunslet, for the first week and the Yorkshire Food and Drink Show, in Millennium Square, from June 6 to 8.
Organisers of the festival aim for it to become the UK’s biggest and best urban food festival as it once again celebrates Yorkshire’s renowned culinary scene.
A brand new Yorkshire Post Le Grand DeParty section will showcase French food and drink including artisan breads, wines and cheeses as well as French cooking from the likes of Brasserie Blanc on the final weekend – marking a month until Le Tour’s arrival.
Nicola Furbisher, Yorkshire Post managing editor, said: “Excitement about the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire is building – we’re already giving it huge amounts of coverage.
“What better way to celebrate it than to give a truly French flavour to this wonderful festival.”
As part of the YP event visitors will have the chance to ride a special Yorkshire Post-branded bicycle which will be mounted on a stand, with the fastest to ‘Go The Mile’ winning a special prize.
“You don’t need to be a professional cyclist or even a huge cycling fan to be part of the Tour de France celebrations, Le Grand Departy is proof of that. Enjoy the festival and enjoy the ride,” Mrs Furbisher added.
The festival will also see the return of the popular Pink Shed pop-up dining experience, which saw different restaurants serve intimate meals to select diners in a one-off venue in Trinity Leeds last year. Festival-goers will find the attraction inside the centre’s Trinity Kitchen food hall throughout the two weeks.
Organisers Leeds and Partners, in partnership with Leeds City Council and the Yorkshire Post, are hopeful that Yorkshire’s food and drink producers, restaurants, cafes, bars, critics and connoisseurs will get involved this year.
Opportunities for firms include themed or special products and menus, displays, events, special offers and recipes.
Lurene Joseph, chief executive of Leeds and Partners, explained that the Leeds City Region is rightly capitalising on the fact it produces 12.5 per cent of the UK’s food and drink turnover.
She said: “We have the credentials to hold and grow an amazing celebration of the region’s produce.
“These credentials mean our ambition for the Leeds Food and Drink Festival to become one of the largest and best attended food festivals in the UK is now more than an aspiration.”
She added that the region is home to one of the UK’s largest grocery chains in Asda, one of this year’s major event sponsors, as well as having a deservedly strong reputation for its independent food and drink scene.
Andy Clarke, chief executive of Asda, said the firm will be encouraging colleagues to get involved in the two weeks of events that are taking place across the city.
Over just three days of the Yorkshire Food and Drink Show, in Millennium Square, over 60 businesses took part and 60,000 visitors attended in 2013.
And over the two weeks of last year’s festival, Leeds saw an 11 per cent increase in city centre footfall.
Coun Gerry Harper, deputy executive board member for development and economy at Leeds City Council, said: “The Leeds and Yorkshire food scene is something that we are incredibly proud of.
“Perhaps more importantly, food is great at bringing people together and helping to create a sense of community, that’s why we think the Leeds Food and Drink Festival is so important.”
HUGE INVESTMENT IN CYCLING FUTURE
The UK’s Tour de France triumphs have led to a raft of schemes aimed at getting people cycling in Yorkshire.
A 14-mile cycling super highway from east Leeds to Bradford, with Government part funding the £30m plan, is in the pipeline and should be complete by September 2015.
It comes after £77m of Department for Transport funding for UK cycling projects was announced in August.
Others include four South Yorkshire cycling routes through the Peak District dubbed phase two of Pedal Peak, while a feasibility study is currently underway to find whether a national cycling highway broadly following the planned HS2 rail route could be implemented.
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