Your globe-trotting guide to great food and good fun!

Next Photo »
Previous Photo «

Would you like some pepper with that iPod?

Seasideipod

When I was at the Fat Duck a couple of months ago for dinner, one of the dishes we were served on our Tasting Menu was not food at all. Rather, what came on a small square plate were two shiny new iPod shuffles. They were intended to accompany a dish that was perhaps even more bizarre than the gadgets themselves.

Heston Blumenthal, the chef, said he wanted to experiment with using sound to enhance a dining experience. Hence the iPod, playing the soothing sound of the sea breeze and waves gently caressing the seashore. The dish itself was dubbed Sound of the Sea, with different components on the plate representing something from the seaside. No Seagulls’ poo or oil spill residue though, instead we had sand made of tapioca infused with miso, with medallions of Monkfish liver (Ankimo) in a seawater foam. There were also some bits of Abalone, clams, and Samphire, which, appropriately enough, is sometimes called Sea Asparagus.

Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

Socca à Nice: how to eat and run on the Côte d’Azur

(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.)

Have you tried Socca? If you’ve been to the South of France, especially in Nice, you must have at least seen it. Socca is ubiquitous ‘street’ food in those parts. Made primarily with chickpea flour and olive oil –ingredients plentiful around the Mediterranean- Socca is a quick, cheap, and delightful snack common not only on the French part of the coast but all the way into Liguria in Italy, where it goes by the name Farinata.

Finding a good Socca in Nice is a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘where’ –that is to say there is not a huge variance in quality between all the Socca places in town. It’s just a couple ingredients for goodness sake. The key is to get it as it comes right out of the oven. If you happen upon a Socca joint that’s just pulled one of those giant round pan out of their brick oven, be sure to get a portion and enjoy. That place, ladies and gentleman, is quite possibly the best Socca joint in town at that very moment.

The ‘correct’ Socca –as this is France there is a ‘correct’ way and ‘incorrect’ way to do everything- is not wafer thin or crispy like chips. It should be more like a thin pancake that is crisp at the edges, with burnt blisters in places.

I found a recipe that makes Socca that most closely resemble the ones I’ve had in Nice. And just like Proust’s Madeleine, a bite of this Socca transports me right back to the crowded streets of Old Nice. Ok, I was just there not too many days ago, so it’s not like the transport had far to go, but quand même!

Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

a pig, as seen in Vieux Nice

Piggy
PigfromfrontPigfrombehind

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

The Alain Passard dinners at Manresa, just the food ma’am

(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.)

Some more shots from the Manresa/Arpège dinners last weekend. This set is just the food, ma’am. Just the food. More pictures of the fun inside the kitchen to follow.

I won’t tell you how the food tasted. I’m far too biased to be a good reporter on this one, so you’ll just have to see what others have said about the dinners instead.

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

Two chefs at the pass

(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.)
Alain Passard was at Manresa this past weekend to cook with David -three dinners for very lucky people who managed to call within 45 minutes of the announcement and got their tables. Three dinners, sixty covers at each one, sold out in less than an hour. The man is a rock star.

I got to hang out with said star this weekend. Yeah, now you can hate me even more. Heh. Or perhaps not, because I took lots of photos so I could share the experience with you. So, hate me a little less perhaps?

Here’s the first set in a series. I call at ‘At the pass’. The shots were taken around the area called the pass in the kitchen. Hence the name. Yep, quite creative, me.

Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly