By Jessica Allen - Friday, January 11, 2013 - 0 Comments
What’s not to like about a man who bakes his own bread?
Near the back of the Cookbook Store in Toronto on a November evening, two men lingered in the bread-making section. Shane Carruthers, a cook who’s started to experiment with baking bread, carried How to Make Bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou in an Indigo bag. And Matt Harris, who doesn’t bake, left with a copy of Nick Malgieri’s Bread—for his wife.
That gave store manager Alison Fryer pause, considering that in the past 30 years, she and her staff have observed that roughly 90 per cent of their bread-making books have been bought by men. “When you point it out to people, they’re not really aware of it,” she explains. “But then the penny drops and they go, ‘Oh, that’s right. It is all males.’ ”
What exactly fascinates men about mixing flour, water and yeast is debatable. It could have something to do with the fact that the most prominent European bakers of the past 200 years have been male, explains food historian Heather Evans of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. And although she notes that “cookery-book purchasing patterns don’t necessarily bespeak patterns of cooking,” the only bread-making cookbook Evans and her partner own in their vast collection was bought by him. “Perhaps,” she suggests, “all these bread-making books are being purchased with a view to integrating bread-making into the courtship process. What’s not to like about a man who bakes his own bread?”
By Pamela Cuthbert - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM - 0 Comments
One is laid-back and luxurious, the other is fast and furious
Sunday lunch versus Sunday brunch: the difference is only a few letters, but the two are opposite approaches to the midday meal. Brunch, a North American invention, was initially about time—not quite breakfast, not quite lunch—but has evolved into a loud, fast-paced antidote to a hangover in which friends down cocktails and dine on dishes like deep-fried French toast. Sunday lunch, a European tradition, is a slow and sumptuous feast that involves family, many courses of finely crafted dishes, some wine and time for dessert. And though brunch dominates in Canada, at least one Toronto restaurant is trying to make Sunday lunch an occasion.
“Brunch is about business, it’s not about joy,” says Tobey Nemeth, who runs the small bistro Edulis with her husband, chef Michael Caballo. After a few years spent cooking around the world, they took over the space earlier this year. “Sunday lunch was one of the first things we set out to do,” Caballo says.
The $40 set menu encourages lingering over dishes that range from fish mousse to braised rabbit, garlicky potatoes and rich pies. There is only one seating, so the table is yours from noon to 3 p.m. Dishes are family-style, which means shared platters of food. To slow things down, wine by the bottle is half-price. Continue…
By Jessica Allen - Monday, October 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
Thomas Keller, the only American chef to simultaneously win three Michelin stars for two different restaurants (The French Laundry and Per Se)–and the executive chef and designer for the animated film Ratatouille–will be in Toronto on Oct. 30 for a special event hosted by the Cookbook Store. Manager Allison Fryer will conduct an onstage interview, followed by a question period with the audience. Guests will also be able to have copies of Keller’s new cookbook, Bouchon Bakery, signed.
We’ll be at the event to hear Keller talk about his fifth book, co-written by his executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel, and to ask his fans which of the 150 recipes they’ll be attempting first.
By Jacob Richler - Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
Julia Child’s books are hot, but enthusiasm for cooking from them may rapidly wane
The first person to tell me that I should head post-haste for the nearest cinema to see Julie & Julia offered the recommendation with a caveat. “Take it from me,” he said. “Before you go to the movie, make a reservation for right after the film at the nearest French restaurant. It’s going to happen—you’ll need to go. But so will everyone else at the movie. So you’d better have your table waiting.”
As it turns out, the facts of the Julie & Julia effect are a little different. Put it down to hard times. Or if you prefer, attribute the phenomenon to the joyful and empowering central message of the film, which is that just about anyone—even a whinging, solipsistic New Yorker who has never before cooked or even eaten an egg—can handily master almost any recipe of the French culinary pantheon, untrained, first time out. Either way, it is not your local bistro that is witnessing a Hollywood-driven surge in business, but rather your local bookstore and online bookseller, each plagued with requests for the Julia Child back catalogue—and especially her two books that lie at the heart of the film, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and My Life in France. Continue…