Beautiful Things : Notes From the NVICA Charcuterie Workshop

My father told me once that there are three things in life that we must do: Work hard, be honest and make beautiful things” With these words John Van Der Lieck plunged his hands into a dark, shimmering paste of pork liver to the reverent, nodding ascent of a roomful of chefs.

We were in the spacious commercial kitchen of North Island College’s Culinary Arts department for the NVICA Charcuterie Workshop; a two-day journey through the world of salting, curing, pressing and preserving meats. There were twenty or so of us foodservice pros gathered around John as he guided us from whole hog (literally!) to finished product and every critical step in between. (more…)

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Soy-Braised Pork Loin

If you’ve ever been to a real Chinese market, have a Chinatown near you, or hell… If you’ve been to China you’ve seen and hopefully tasted Siu Mei in all of its barbecued, glistening glory. It’s a take-out tradition that goes back to Guangzhou in the days when every neighbourhood had a local “oven master” that would roast various animals in special sauce to perfection and sell them to their neighbours to eat with a bit of rice and pickles. (more…)

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A Feast of Swine and Family: Notes From a Wedding In Gananoque, Ontario

Wedding 1I’ve been posting pictures and vague references to my trip out East for a week or two now and I suppose I should share some of our food-related experiences while they’re still (relatively) fresh in my mind. It’s not really West coast in any way, but hey; good food is good food and connecting with family is one of the reasons this blog exists in the first place.

It had been nearly half a decade since I’d seen my ancestral home when my mom put out the call: My brother Andrew was getting married to his long-time better half Julie and the clan was converging from all points to throw a proper wedding in their honour… And there was a pig that needed to be cooked. (more…)

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