Food & Drink

I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!

Food is NOT just fuel!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An Email and Some Thoughts

I got a great email from a new reader, Holly.  She's going through some kitchen renovations (crock pot and toaster oven only...I feel for her), and wanted some suggestions for food inspiration.  So Holly, here's my lengthy, wordy, exhaustive, I do enjoy talking about food and things related to food, don't I?

My inspiration varies constantly.  There was a period when I was really into the magazine Food & Wine - but (not to sound too negative) it feels so pretentious anymore, and I let my subscription expire.  I've gotten some good ideas from Cooks Illustrated.  But honestly I get most of my inspiration from television programs.  Leaving aside shows like Top Chef (yes, I try to do Quickfire challenges where I have to get everything from the farmer's market and make a delicious breakfast in 1/2 hour...haha), I'm a HUGE fan of the Cooking Channel.   Food Network has gone awry for me for the last few years, so I was really glad when they created the Cooking Channel (oddly enough, it's labeled as the channel for people who like to cook...wasn't that what Food Network used to be?).  The channel is running a lot of old shows - like Mario Batali, even Julia Child, and most recently Jamie Oliver.  I love watching the food being made, and I find that it inspires me a great deal to want to create versions of my own.  Also both Food Network and Cooking Channel have great search availability for recipes - and I often think of something I want, find 2 or 3 versions, and then mush them up together to find the best alternative for myself.
That being said I have a huge library of cookbooks.  And if you're in the neighborhood for something completely overwhelming (in a good way), I recommend these two:
The Professional Chef (this is the text book for many culinary students)  
On Food & Cooking
These aren't your traditional cookbooks.  While there are oodles of recipes in each, they both delve into the history of food, taste, and technique.  The Professional Chef taught me how to properly break down a whole chicken in just a few minutes (Mario Batali taught me how to perfect that even further by leaving a chunk of the breast attached to the separated it's not just a wing!).
I just realized I've been going on and on - as I tend to do when it comes to the subject of food.  Ask me about some of my favorite places to eat in NYC and I'll never shut up!  Not sure if I actually answered your question or not, but I greatly appreciate you reaching out.

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