Saturday, November 30, 2013

Restaurant le Meurice

Posted by David Lebovitz -  29 Nov 2013 

bread at Le Meurice

A few years ago, a good friend who has sadly moved away, was kind enough to take me to Restaurant Le Meurice for dinner. The first memory of walking into the done-up dining room was the way the waiters brought her an Hermès stool for her purse, which was an Hermès Kelly bag. The second memory I have, was shortly after when we sat down and they asked if we wanted apéritifs. I’d heard about the house apéritif they were serving back then, which was famous, so I ordered one.
Restaurant Le Meurice

Continue Reading Restaurant le Meurice...

Friday, November 29, 2013

gather & hunt

go get it

The power of a sandwich

We've been thinking quite a lot about sandwiches in recent days, which led us to write a list about our favourites, we've added your favourites too...
Summer sandwiches

A nice spot

There's a sweet new espresso bar tucked away down the lanes and alleys of the city. It's called Nice Day, and serves nothing but brilliant coffee and cronuts.
Nice Day

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How Food Network Created and Lost Foodies

The Food Network, which launched twenty years ago this week, was the Starbucks of TV networks. To wit: It has been argued there have been three waves of American coffee consumption: (1) Supermarket brands like Maxwell House and Folgers. (2) Chains of decent quality, like Starbucks, that taught consumers that there is something better out there. (3) Increasingly discriminating and artisanal coffee vendors like Stumptown who treat beans as proper ingredients, not commodities, subsequently attracting more discriminating consumers. 

Much in the same way, Food Network was Wave No. 2 for cooking: It took an American public that largely didn't know or care about cooking and turned them into foodies — which gave them the knowledge and skills to eventually turn their noses up at the network and move on. I was one of these viewers, my culinary obsession shaped from studying Mario Batali and Bobby Flay in middle school, and »

- Jesse David Fox

denizen WEEKLY

27 November 2013






The Bookman's Favourite Cookbooks for 2013

I was going to say the Best Cookbooks for 2013 then decided that I wasn't really qualified to make that call so changed it to my favourites.

First up my shortlist of New Zealand favourites, in no particular order:

The Complete New Zealand Seafood Cookbook - Penguin Books $60
Limited Edition Cookery - Laura Faire - self published $115
Everlasting Feast - Lauraine Jacobs - Random House $55
PIE - Dean Brettschneider - Penguin Books - $55
Cut - Josh Emett - Random House - $65
Nadia Lim's Good Food Book - Nadia Lim - Random House $50
Union Jax - back to Blighty -  Jax Hamilton - Bateman $40
Julie Biuso at Home - Julie Biuso - New Holland $65

Now my shortlist of imported favourites, again in no particular order:

Love Bake Nourish - Amber Rose - Kyle Books - $45
Eat, the little book of fast food - Nigel Slater - Fourth Estate - $50
The New Classics - Donna Hay - Harper Collins - $70
Lucy Boyd Kitchen memories - Harper Collins - $50
The Amalfi Coast - a Collection of Italian Recipes -Hardie Grant - $50
Bill's Italian Food - Bill Granger - Harper Collins - $60
take away - Jean-Francois Mallet - Chronicle Books - $60
The Kinfolk Table - Nathan Williams - Workman Publishing - $70

Later I will select one from each list as my all-time favourite for the year.

It is interesting to note the good health of cookbook/food publishing in New Zealand and around the world. My informal survey suggests that at least 50 cookbooks were published in NZ this year and one suspects that it is the largest selling genre in the non-fiction area.

Since publishing the above list of eight favourite NZ titles I have had a number of friends/readers suggesting I should have included this title or that.......... Interestingly the two that caused most comment over their absence are the next two I would have included had I made a list of ten .

They were A Taste of Home by Brett McGregor (Random House) and Ripe Recipes-A Fresh Batch (Beatnik).

Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Figs

Posted by David Lebovitz : 26 Nov 2013 
Cranberry Sauce

People often ask me what Parisians do for Thanksgiving. And while many French holidays are celebrated in America, Thanksgiving is one that doesn’t cross the Atlantic.
I’ve done a Thanksgiving dinner for friends and it takes quite a bit of time to find and assemble all the ingredients. And although a few stores that cater to American expats stock everything, it’s more fun to make fresh pumpkin puree for pies, break up a pain au levain for stuffing, and to get a free-range French turkey – which I found out that many poultry sellers with rotisseries will pop it on their spit-roaster for you, which is a boon for those in Paris with dinky ovens.

And, if I may be so bold, Thanksgiving is a holiday where we spend eating food that doesn’t especially appeal to people outside of the United States. The French eat pumpkins, but roasted, and not in dessert. (Nor with marshmallows!) The French version of stuffing, or farce is mostly meat, with a bit of seasonings to round out the flavor. And flour-thickened brown gravy isn’t quite the same as sauce au jus de volaille.

Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce

So while we Americans love all that stuff for nostalgic reasons, people in France don’t have that same set of references we do, and most seem to politely “appreciate” it, but I don’t know any French people who hoard molasses or stuffing mix, or spend the few months prior to November downloading Thanksgiving recipes.
Continue Reading Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Figs...

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Complete New Zealand Seafood Cookbook launched in fabulous style at the Auckland Seafood School

Last night I attended the hugely enjoyable launch of this handsome new book at the Auckland Seafood School. As six of the chef/lecturers from the Seafood School are the providers of the recipes in the book it was of course the logical place to hold the launch and what a great show it was for the 80 or so lucky punters attending. 

Following an introductory glass of two of fine Babich wines, (if you haven't already done so then you must try the new, superb, crisp, dry Gruner Veltliner from their Headwaters Organic Block in Marlborough),we listened to each of the chefs talk briefly (and with a great sense of fun) about their involvement with the book. Then after some words from Penguin Publisher Debra Millar  the Seafood School manager Jo Cooper invited us through to their spacious, light-filled kitchen to try a wide variety of tasty dishes from the book. Accompanied by more splendid Babich wine.

It was a grand event, an appropriate launching for such an important, useful, and brilliantly illustrated hardback cookbook containing more than 250 recipes along with tips and techniques to identify, select and cook seafood.

This book will make an excellent Christmas gift for friends or family who have baches on the coast.I am going to buy a second copy to take to our bach.

I wrote about this book more fully on the blog last week.

Grant Allen (Savour writer, Herald on Sunday), Indiana Munn (Features Editor, Good Health Choices), Michelle Coursey (Editor, New Idea). 

The Auckland Seafood School was set up by Sandford Ltd, in 2004 to encourage us to incorporate fish into our everyday meals and to try species we might not have eaten before.
What a great asset the school has proved to be running regular classes and seminars as well as having space available for hire. I salute Sandfords.

I recall going to another book launch at the school back in November 2009, Mercurio's Menu. That was fun too. The Strictly Ballroom actor/dancer turned foodie, Paul Mercurio cooked from his book; I still remember the cockle linguine !

The Complete New Zealand Seafood Cookbook
Auckland Seafood School,
Photography by Sean Shadbolt
Penguin Books - Hardback - $60.00

I talked about this book and the launch with Jim Mora on Afternoons on Radio New Zealand National today.

Christmas with all the trimmings

Gourmet Traveller

All you need to celebrate Christmas with all the trimmings. Take a sneak peek at the recipes from our latest issue.

Plus, our restaurant editors reveal their dishes of the year; a masterclass on millefeuille; we review Sydney's Nomad restaurant; our travel guide to Vienna; and your chance to win a trip to Europe thanks to Emirates or an Adelaide Hills getaway!

Happy eating,

Anthea Loucas and the team at Gourmet Traveller

Sneak Preview of the Roberta’s Cookbook

    It'll cost $35.

  • Grub Street via Vulture
It'll cost US $35.Photo: Courtesy of  Clarkson Potter

News of a Roberta's cookbook first broke in October of 2011, and two years later, it's finally going to hit shelves. Chef Carlo Mirarchi, writer Katherine Wheelock, and co-owners Brandon Hoy and Chris Parachini's book, released on October 29, includes recipes for a whole lot more than pizza: It'll teach you how to make orecchiette with oxtail ragu, venison saddle, and sweet-tea gelato, as well as cocktails. Click here to take an early look at a PDF of a few of the pages. [Earlier]

Square Peg signs MasterChef winner

Square Peg has acquired a new cookery book by a former Masterchef winner Tim Anderson.
Rowan Yapp, senior editor at the Penguin Random House imprint, acquired world rights for Nanban: Japanese Soul Food from Rosemary Scoular at United Agents.
Anderson was the youngest winner of MasterChef when he took the crown in 2011 aged 26.

The book, published in September 2014, will be an exploration of southern Japanese cookery focussing on authentic yet easy-to-follow recipes. Anderson will open his first restaurant, also called Nanban, in east London in spring next year.

He said: "I'm very excited to be releasing Nanban with Square Peg as part of their increasingly impressive line-up of cookery books. This will be a new kind of Japanese cookbook, one that focuses on punchy dishes from a specific region – the deep south. Expect exciting recipes for ramen, fried chicken, tofu, soft serve ice cream, and plenty of cocktails."

Yapp said: "Japanese soul food has exploded on the restaurant scene but this will be the first book to take it into home kitchens. Tim brilliantly shows how gutsy dishes like gyoza and ramen are easily made by anyone. Tim is a true original – he was dubbed "the nutty professor" on MasterChef, and this book captures all that creative flair and unique voice."

Square Peg's 2014 cookery list also includes a new book from award-winning food blogger Ms Marmite Lover, the pen name of Kerstin Rogers, who won the Guild of Food Writers award 2013 for her blog The English Can Cook.

Commissioned by Square Peg editor Caroline McArthur, Ms Marmite Lover's Secret Tea Party will take a fun and very creative yet seriously foodie approach to the delights of afternoon tea.
McArthur also recently commissioned In the Charcuterie for 2014, by husband-and-wife team Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller from San Francisco's Fatted Calf Charcuterie. The book is a comprehensive guide to butchery and charcuterie techniques for budding professionals and home cooks.

Square Peg will also publish a fully illustrated updated 25th anniversary edition of Claudia Roden's classic cookbook Food of Italy in March.

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 by David Lebovitz

Cinnamon ice cream recipe
My favorite thing that I bought this year is this old battered gelato dish, which was my score at a street market in Palermo. It was sitting there all by its lonesome, and there I was, to give it a happy home – it was kismet. (Or maybe it’s called something else in Italian, but I’m just happy I stumbled across such a fabulous find for only €2.)

So I’ve been trying to use it at much as possible. But since I only got one, that means I have to share. Which is pretty much a good thing when it comes to desserts anyways, as few of us can eat a whole cake, pie, or quart of ice cream.

Continue Reading Cinnamon Ice Cream...

50 Essential Novels for Foodies

By Emily Temple on

‘Tis the season, as they say, to stuff your face. Thanksgiving, that hallowed day of highly caloric foods and oft-tempestuous family relations, is upon us. To celebrate — or just to escape the festivities for a while — why not nourish the foodie in you with some gourmand-friendly literature? 
Behold, a spread worthy of kings: 50 essential works of fiction (no memoirs or travel narratives here, that’s for another list) to whet your appetite, and then satisfy it, and then satisfy it some more. And as ever, if your favorite got squeezed out, just pile it on the plate in the comments. … Read More

After reading this leading NZ food writer Lauraine Jacobs wrote saying:

I have read 17 of those books mentioned on your blog this morning, and have very little desire to read more. I prefer non fiction food books to be honest as I find this new genre of food as the theme in novels is rather tiring!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sweet deals at gather & hunt

Sweet deal

Sweet black banana rice

at L'oeuf

One of the most delicious mouthfuls we've had all year. Big call for a little egg.

A long black

at Supreme Seafarers

The tables are gold! So is the coffee. 
Supreme Seafarers 

Oh hello!

That hello feels a little more familiar than usual, as this week we asked a cross-section of you about the things you like. I feel like I've gotten to know you a little bit better. 

I know that loads of you buy coffee every single day. Most of you eat out more than once a month. Tonnes of you shop at local boutiques. But hardly any of you go to the theatre.

Want to come with me next time I go?* You might be surprised how brilliant Auckland theatre has become, even in a year. Just this week Silo Theatre's 2014 program was revealed, and it's set to be EVEN BETTER than 2013's.

In the meantime, give Between the Sheets a go, it's good! 


*I'm totally serious by the way, email me, and next time there's a play you can come!

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