Two Very Different Men…
Two very different men plopped into my life today and they have the potential to change the way I cook, and therefore eat forever.
First was Alton Brown, who I found through a twisted backroad of google searches. I spent the morning watching dozens of episodes from Good Eats and my high school chemistry, in his food science orientated kitchen finally found it’s resting place.
Cooking shows are not dominant on Australian television screens, especially if they’re American. We have a lot of Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson – but no American shows (I can’t think of one in my living memory, obviously the space is reserved for movies and sitcoms).
Alton Brown is therefore an unknown entitiy; I spent the morning learning about why pinky bacon isn’t necessarily the best (fake chemical nitrates), how to customise your grater to make perfect hash browns and why a pound cake is called a pound cake. Incidentally I learnt about the symbiotic and slightly parasitic relationship of yeast, sugars and ethanol that is behind the magic of alcohol.
Later in the day I discovered Nigel Slater, Britain’s favorite food writer (how this fact can be established I don’t know, but for the sake of Nigel adoration let’s agree). His weekly column in The Observer, posted online at The Guardian, has been around since my first day of primary school. What’s comforting is that he’s not just a food critic, but also a cook – and his food is heartwarming and easy to prepare. It’s rich in spices, ginger, fruits, pulses and beans… he’s also not afraid of old school oats, dried figs or a stick of lemongrass – yum.
I’m still trying to get hold of his Simple Suppers TV series, but clips of his A Taste of My Life can be found on YouTube. I love the one when Richard E. Grant’s wife cooks the actor’s breakfast porridge.
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