Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Chef Charlie Palmer

April27

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D and I love everything about New York-the parks, the galleries, the restaurants and especially the people. So it was no surprise to me that New York Chef Charlie Palmer was the real deal. In spite of his culinary pedigree and I am guessing substantial wealth, he was as approachable and personable as the many hometown chefs that I have come to know.

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I was flattered by the last minute suggestion that I attend a soiree at Kitchen Sync, but really didn’t realize the magnitude of the invite. Sister #3 did though, she knew that Chef Palmer had been awarded numerous Michelin stars, the titles of his cookbooks and had seen many of his appearances on NBC’s Today Show.

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I loved watching him pull just roasted lamb chops out of the oven, spoon a savoury sauce over them and then, in one fell swoop, make small talk with the foodies, autograph cookbooks and pose for photos.

I am not usually inclined towards lamb but Chef Palmer has made me a recent convert. I noticed that there are two lamb recipes in his American Fare cookbook which has been recently added to my personal collection. I look forward to trying them out along with numerous other delectable looking recipes.

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Friend Chrissy Troy of Virgin Radio chatting with Chef Palmer

My life is often filled with lovely surprizes like a last minute invite to meet a Michelin chef.

Kath’s quote: “We take those things and kind of upgrade them. Give them a little twist, a little finesse, but it still has those flavors and those textures that people identify from their childhood.”-Charlie Palmer

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Love never fails.

 

 

Ripe Bistro

April21

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An anonymous reader of my Canstar column recently recommended that I visit Ripe Bistro. We have been long time fans of restaurants at this location beginning with Gluttons and then Mise. We were more than happy to have an excuse to visit, but it was a Saturday night and we did not have a reservation. Every dining seat was spoken for, so we happily perched ourselves at the bar top. When head chef/owner Tom Pitt made an appearance behind the bar, I recognized him from his days as a Culinary Instructor at RRC and my husband remembered him from an even earlier time when they both worked at the St. Charles under the tutelage of Chef Takashi “Tony” Murakami.

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Ripe’s extensive menu is divided into sections titled: “the beginnings”, “the middles”, “the in-betweens” and “the final decision”. We obediently started at the beginning and ordered a Seafood Trio of Sliders. We enjoyed nibbles of scallops, salmon and shrimp and couldn’t help but compare thoughts on each taste. The scallops were smothered with lime mayo and had the mildest taste. The salmon with a charred green onion aioli was the boldest flavour but our favourite was the shrimp with a sweet chili sauce. All three were placed into sliced mini bannock buns. They tasted to us like tiny baking powder biscuits and we loved them.

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Forging on, we next chose Chicken & Waffles from “the middles” list. Typically this recipe utilizes an enormous piece of fried chicken so we were pleased that Ripe’s version was with lightly dusted chicken tenders atop a savoury waffle. We got a kick (literally) out of the wheels of jalapeño and the siracha maple syrup that accompanied the dish.

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This dish was accompanied by latke fries which were fabulous!

We were bound and determined to move to “the in-betweens” section of the menu to order something else to share but we just didn’t have enough space in our tummies. So we have vowed to finish our tour of the menu sometime soon.

Meagan our server indicated that she was new to the restaurant but we could not tell that she was a rookie. With her easy manner and personable service we would never have guessed.

Ripe Bistro & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken”. -Maya Angelou

bunheart

Love never fails.

Canadian Health Food Association makes Winnipeg Appearance

April15

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I recently had the opportunity to accompany Michelle Book to her guest appearances on the Global and CTV morning shows. I was responsible for providing some props including a variety of healthy products which I acquired at The Vita-Health store, a place I had never been.

Michelle is the Canadian Health Food Associations’ in-house holistic nutritionist and she has recently developed a “Natural Guide to Workplace Wellness”. I was all ears as I often experience a three o’clock slump when I bypass the fruit bowl and start snooping through the kitchen cupboards in search of some kind of snack.

This is what I learned today:

You can punch up productivity with omega-3 fatty acids , vitamain D to lift your mood and help improve problem solving abilities in addition to B vitamins which ensure proper and faster nerve-impulse transmission.

Pro-biotic supplements have been shown to help brain health by reducing anxiety and stress. Fruits and vegetables including avocadoes, baked potatoes and bananas are also rich in vitamin B, which can help to ease psychological stress since it’s used to make serotonin.

Have you heard about walking meetings? Or thought about swapping your chair for an exercise ball?

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Set a timer on your computer/phone that reminds you to take three deep breaths and try starting and ending the work day with three things you are grateful for.

Complex carbs like beans and legumes are packed with fibre that slows and stabilizes absorption, giving you a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with subsequent crashes. Some studes even show that when stress prone individuals are subjected to stress, they fare better eating a high-carbohydrate diet versus a high-protein diet.

I  was up at 5 this morning and because of my early alarm I didn’t sleep terribly well. I was very tempted to have a nap this afternoon but instead, I went to the gym and came home energized and raring to go.

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When I got home I snacked on Hippie Snacks-Coconut Chips and Go Raw’s Ginger Snaps which were left over from our appearances. Both were absolutely delicious and I didn’t feel sluggish from the treat.

Kath’s quotes, I found it when I searched for “hippie quotes”: “Love is a friendship set to music”. ~Joseph Campbell

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casa de los Suenos-Isla Mujeres

April13

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The setting at Casa de los Suenos is beautiful and one that we gravitate to over and over again.

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On this evening it was overcast and there was no sunset to view. I would guess that it would be beautiful from there.  We settled in with cervesas and glasses of vino tinto.

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I decided upon a veggie platter. Delicious- especially with the rice, plantain and corn bread.

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D selected the margarita grilled shrimp and loved them.

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Bro K selected a combo of baby back ribs and local sausage.

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Sis L decided on the pulled pork sandwich.

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The service was helpful and cordial. The dishes came out of the kitchen lickety-split. We were going to forego dessert, when we found out that they had pecan pie on the menu. Each couple ordered a slice of to share. It was not quite as good as D’s Mom’s recipe but was a lovely treat.

Kath’s quote: I don’t think a really good pie can be made without a dozen or so children peeking over your shoulder as you stoop to look in at it every little while.”-John Gould

coralheart

Love never fails.

 

posted under Isla Mujeres | 1 Comment »

Revamped Prairie’s Edge

April11

We had visited Food Evolution only once and had been delighted by the setting and the food. The newest manifestation of the Kildonan Park restaurant as been dubbed Prairie’s Edge and it feature’s locally inspired cuisine by one of my favourite Winnipeg Chefs-Michael Daquisto. We had been regulars at Pasta la Vista, a downtown restaurant that we really miss. I still dream about two of my favourite menu items- Felicitous & Sympatico and That Old Black Magic. While I reminisced with the creator of the dishes recently, I shared that we had never been successful in recreating the former, even though we thought we had done a pretty good job of duplicating the latter. Chef Michael suggested that he run downstairs where he archived his recipes and grab it for me. It is now safely in my possession for an upcoming celebration.

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We loved when Daquisto’s (the restaurant that bore his name) was in our neck of the woods and even though Prairie’s Edge was a significant trek for a lunch date, I vowed to take D back there soon so we could enjoy Chef’s Italian specialties again. On this day though, my friend Kathy and I had agree to be tasters for a couple of items that needed photographing.

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Kathy suggested the beet fritters and even though I typically prefer items that have not been deep-fried, these morsels were worth the indulgence. The juice from the vegetable must bleed into the batter as each bite exposed the beet’s unique colour. Served up on a slaw of orange and fennel, the contrasts were very appealing.

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A second indulgence were the Pickerel Cheek Pops. The cheeks had been dusted and skewered making for a fun presentation. The peas and garlic confit ensured the dishes’ tastiness.

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Chef Michael suggested the crispy pork belly served with braised cabbage, a parsnip puree and toasted wild rice.

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We opted for some healthy greens with the Farrow salad.

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We had spied Michael’s cinnamon buns when we had first arrived and when we couldn’t resist them any longer, we shared them for dessert. The chef is said to use a beignet dough for his cinnamon buns but I thought that it tasted more like a brioche. Regardless, when split, butters and lightly grilled, they were sensational and could tempt me to drive across town again in the very near future.

The menu revamp allows Michael Daquisto’s talent to continue to shine with local ingredients from the Canadian prairies. Prairie’s Edge was very much worth the trip.

Food Evolution Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

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