Sunday, July 29, 2007

Top Chef & Cook Books.

sorry about the lack of updates, i swung from doing absolute jackshit during the june holidays to being piled with work when school came back this month. there were a couple of recipes i worked on in the last month that i thought i might blog about, but decided otherwise as they were honestly a tad subpar.

Women's Weekly's Cook.Marie Claire's Kitchen.

i decided then that i would get my hands on two cookbooks for ideas. truth be told, i've never been a fan of cookbooks because i'm b-a-d at following instructions. but like cook shows, we can learn so much--about technique, ingredients, flavours and plating--without actually following recipes. for me it's esentially about being inspired, seeing as how i often end up cooking something completely different from what i'm reading/ watching.

but a good point about testing or following recipes is summed up well by Laurence Fishburne's character, chef Edward Robinson, in the movie Bobby (2006). describing the importance of taking ownership of his food, Robinson says:
See, the first few times I tried to make this dessert, couldn't get it right. Too much sugar one time, not enough sugar the next time; couldn't find the balance. I realised I was forcing it; I'm trying to make it taste like my mama's and her mama's, but mine didn't have any poetry, didn't have any light. And then I realised, I was trying to force it to taste like my mother's, to taste like her mother's. See, it had to be Edward's creation. It had to come from me.

anyway, to say the least, my cooking has been lived vicariously through the latest season of BravoTV's "Top Chef". for the uninitiated, this reality-tv programme features professional chefs competing for the title of, well, 'Top Chef' (entailed by prize money and other goodies). similar to its sister programme "Project Runway", the contestants have to cook to save themselves from being eliminated each episode. the first challenge--the "quick fire"--sees the chefs fighting to win elimination immunity, but the real fun comes in the elimination challenge. the loveliest thing about the show is that it almost always has a renown chef coming in as a guest judge for the challenges. the first from this season being Anthony Bourdain. next week, we're apparently going to see a very yummy Rocco DiSpirito guest judging.

can't wait!

(for aussie readers: although the show's not on free-to-air television--i'm not even sure if cable has it, it is readily downloadable.)