The Twelve Most Memorable Food Moments of 2012
Well another year has flown by. Each year faster than the last. It’s scary to me today is 2013. I remember when 2013 was a far away year in a science fiction novel with transporters and flying cars and living on the other planets. Well there aren’t any transporters yet and who knows what the future will hold for 2013, so I thought I’d do a little look back over the past year. This year for me saw the end of traveling back and forth to London for work. Stefan and I finally moved out of his tiny apartment and rented a big flat that feels like a home. I produced a few films that I’m proud of and challenged myself with new work. It’s been a year of breakups, deaths, and new lives. It’s been a year of new restaurants and lots of Pop in Amsterdam, pushing my own cooking skills, trying new food abroad and splurging more on memorable meals. So here is my ode to twenty twelve.
12. BBQ Tasting in Austin
There’s a small town outside of Austin called LockhartTexas that has a string of BBQ joints where you can get brisket and turkey and ribs by the pound, half pound or quarter pound. Each one a bit of variation on the other so its most fun to BBQ hop from one to the other trying a little of this and a lot of that and slathering it with sauce. If you like BBQ this is the place for it.
11. Lovefood HQ Opening
This year my good friend Jason finally realized his dream and quit advertising for good in order to open his restaurant. And its been a tremendous success because not only does Jason do a great brunch, but also great cocktails and did a fantastic rendition of an American Thanksgiving that unfortunately I don’t have a decent photo of.. Lovefood makes my top twelve because of the passion, commitment, and the risk taking involved with opening a restaurant in Amsterdam. But mostly because Love Food is Good Food.
With the opening of Hiding in Plain Sight a “gezellig” apothecary styled bar with old school cocktails with a modern twist, Fong from Kitchen Seductions and the Bao Project fame held a three course pop up dinner paired with drinks. The white bloody mary even made a believer out of me, who hates bloody mary’s. Fong’s breakfast for dinner and pork belly were savory and delicious and were paired perfectly with innovative cocktails.
9. Cooking classes in Bali
On our trip to Bali I took part in an Indonesian cooking class. We cooked about seven dishes in our teacher’s personal home and about the spices, fruits and vegetables of the regions. I think I’ve made the sweet and spicy Tempeh about five times since taking this class. It has easily become my absolute favorite way to make Tempeh.
8. Making Duck Breast for the first time
This year Edible Europe became a registered company and I got a Kweker card to prove it. Kweker is the Amsterdam equivalent of the Costco. At the Kweker they have things like Jalepeno Peppers, micro-cresses, and duck breast. I’ve never cooked duck before so I went for it with a great twist on Duck a la Orange by Ottolenghi. And it was all pretty incredibly easy yet looks like a sophisticated meal!
7. Curry Club at Virtti and Kedars and Harini and Eric’s
We have three good friends in Amsterdam that are from India who are excellent cooks. They’ve cooked for us on multiple occasions and host Curry Club evenings filled with Indian Specialities. I have never been a fan of Indian food and these meals have turned my taste buds around. Whatever they cook, I will eat.
Staying in a town known for its seafood, fisherman would go out in the morning and come back with the daily catch. We’d pry ourselves out of our beach chairs and walk two minutes down the beach to feast on baskets of seafood filled with lobster, prawns, snapper, squid, clams and crab all for under a $20. And the tables in the sand with the water lapping at our feed didn’t suck either!
5. Eating at a windmill at the Jonge Dikkart
You know your living in Holland when….well when you eat in a windmill of course! We went to this restaurant in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam for Stefan’s birthday and did a four course meal with wine pairings. I think this is the year where if a wine pairing is offered we just do it. It really makes the whole meal more enjoyable when the flavors of the dish are brought out with a sip of perfectly matched wines.
4.Dinner at Ciel Bleu in Amsterdam
For our anniversary this year Stefan took me to the two star michelin restaurant at the top of the Hotel Okura. The views were as stunning as all five course. The tasting menu with wine pairing was one of my culinary highlights of the year. My favorite course was the cheese course with the unbelievable cheese cart piled high with about 100 different cheeses from all over Europe each one coming with its own story.
3. Lunch in Spain at Mugaritz
On our Spain Girls Trip in April, Hilary and I ate at Mugaritz, a two michelin starred restaurant outside of San Sebastian. It was about 20 courses of which we didn’t even have a menu for until half way through the meal. For three hours our senses were overwhelmed and nothing was what it seemed. It was a culinary experience like no other.
2. 8 Course Pasta tasting Menu at Mosconi
I should just call this the year of two starred Michelin experiences. I think it was just easier to get reservations this year than ever before. This time we dined in a house come restaurant in Luxembourg ordering the Pasta tasting menu at the Italian restaurant Mosconi. Simple yet elegant pasta dishes perfectly prepared, some with seafood, some meat and many vegetarian. Well worth a visit.
my first endevour into a restaurant kitchen for Dita and I’s Battle of the Bruscetta was one of the high points for me this year. Teaming up with Dita on food events in Amsterdam gave me the confidence to tackle an industrial kitchen and do more cooking for more people. The event was a huge success and I had a smile plastered across my face the whole evening. I want to do more of these!