I have food rules by which I live. I will be sharing them intermittently with you as time goes on. I thought I would start with the ones that are near and dear to my heart. These are not meant to change your life or even to judge your food standards. It is my love for food, as well as some straight up truth, that has gone into these rules. Enjoy them and take from them what you can, and always remember, great food makes a great life possible.
First the controversial.... Lets just get this one out of the way. In my food world I am right.
Foie gras is delicious and needs to be revered, not banned
-"But its inhumane". No it is not.
Another gratuitous shot of foie gras, just because.
If you go to the Hudson Valley, you can watch the ducks and see how well they are treated. Goose liver has been fattened using this process since the times of the ancient Egyptians. The ducks are raised for this sole purpose. Everything is used and nothing goes to waste. Foie gras is meant to be a delicacy, not something that is eaten every day. Spending your outrage on foie gras in a food system which subsidizes processed foods and makes healthy food difficult to access is short-sighted, at best.
2. All food can and should be eaten in moderation
- Anything in excess is unhealthy.
-Maybe not ice cream, but I will get back to you on that
3. There is nothing more beautiful than fresh produce.
- Perfect imperfections makes it even more special
- The closer your food is raised or grown to you the better it is for you and the planet
- Growing lettuce and zucchini instead of grass will improve your life and the life of the planet
- Tomatoes taste better when they are in season so does all other produce, I'm talking to you fresh fruit
-Grocery store produce as a rule sucks ass no matter where you live and what season it is. Grow your own and you will never have tomatoes that taste like cardboard again
4. The club sandwich is the perfect sandwich when done right. For those of you who need a refresher, a club sandwich is: Three pieces of perfectly toasted bread, specific type is up to the cook, generally white or wheat. Thinly sliced roasted turkey breast, mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and make sure you season the tomatoes. The sandwich must be stacked and cut in triangles facing point up on the plate. Only heathens and philistines put something like ham or cheese on it. Honestly, there should be laws against stuff like that.
My club is three pieces of toasted brioche bread, pesto mayonnaise (minus pine nuts, I'll get to that later), sliced tomato, pancetta and oven roasted turkey breast and thick cut bacon. K.I.S.S.
5. Our food chains are too long. We are seeing them break into pieces right before our eyes here in the PNW. Cash and Carry cupboards are bare and no one is delivering food. There are no delivery drivers to drive the routes needed. Eating locally and thinking globally must become more than a catch phrase. Local restaurants are having to change their menus and in extreme cases, not open at all due to shortages of food. It is this simple: we cannot get it out of the fields, onto the trucks, and into your walk-ins. According to statistics there are over 60,000 job vacancies in the trucking industry. Our food chain is breaking.
6. We have a responsibility as Chefs to support sustainable seafood. Our ocean population is depleting rapidly as the global population explodes. To put it plainly, we are running out of fish. Aqua farming is our only answer. As leaders of the industry it is up to us to source out and support responsible aqua cultured seafood and their purveyors. Wild caught fish is great, we will run out of that sooner than later.
7. Pine nuts are the nut of all evil. The taste stays on your palate too long. And when looked at from a certain angle, they look like maggots. The amount of oil that comes out of those things is unnatural. When making pesto use walnuts instead, or use no nuts at all and make people with nut allergies happy, they have so little pleasure in life, having never tried my pecan bars.
8. Minus 8 vinegar is just about the most perfect thing on earth. If you don't know, drop a Goog on it. I could drink that shit straight. And if you were ever lucky enough to taste the ice wine they made the vinegar from, you know exactly what I am talking about.
9. When it is cheaper for a family of four to eat at McDonalds than a healthy dinner prepared at home, something is wrong in society. There needs to be more accessibility to healthy foods. Childhood obesity, and obesity in general, is a real problem in this country. Don't believe me? Go to Disney and get back to me. Processed foods should not be as subsidized as they are. It makes it more affordable to eat non-food.
10. We should teach kids how to process, cook and bake their own food. These are basic life skills. There is a reason why the prepared food aisles make up a majority of what is on our supermarket shelves. People don't know how to cook or find it too laborious. We need to bring back Home Economics in our schools, there is the start.
11. (always turn it up to 11) When baking use only organic flour. There is a problem when all of a sudden people are becoming gluten intolerant. We have been milling wheat for flour for over 5000 years. Your stomach ache is not the wheat's fault. It is the fault of the government that controls what farms spray on their crops and what those chemicals do to the soil. The chemicals and pesticides are making you sick, not the wheat. Buy a better organic flour and you should be able to eat bread in moderation. A life without fresh bread is not a life worth living. And, believe it or not, carbs don't make you fat. An unhealthy lifestyle does.
There you have it, the first eleven rules of my culinary manifesto, and if you know me there will be more. This was not done to piss anyone off, just to make you think. We are better as a society when we all work towards the same goal. Our food chain as well as our society as a whole needs everyone's attention.
Until next week,