Personal Reflective Essay: Personal Experiences

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—The last time I was this excited about anything, and I mean anything, was when a friend invited me around to roast a piglet he had bought. That was until a few weeks ago. The editor will tell you that on that day I nearly bit her hand off when she offered me the opportunity to host a column in this fine magazine. I thanked God, for at last I’d have the chance to engage with an ever-growing audience of foodies. I can finally live out my tantalizing daydreams and feed my ravenous nightmares. (Such is my reverence for food that I don’t think it blasphemous to use the Lord’s name in its context). I don’t for one minute presume that you’d be interested in my philosophy on food, or my approach to cooking for that matter. But I do hope that my interest…show more content…
The result was spectacular. I have emails and sms’s from the fed praising the unholy value of orange peel in the holy grail of gastronomic Burgundy. That little anecdote should help to explain this column. We take proven, traditional recipes and add our own flair. Everyone does, yes you too. That’s why there are more than a few versions of Cassoulet. In truth we bastardize recipes — hence, Trattoria del Bastardo, my virtual restaurant. That brings me to my main interest — traditional European peasant food. I love hearty, earthy meals. Beans with sausages, stews like Cassoulet, Osso Bucco, Pot au poulet, roasted kid or lamb, whole roast pork. Or rustic Romanian Gypsey stews rich with roast paprika, or a Bouillabaisse. I love offal and think it’s truly underrated. You’ll agree once you’ve been to Argentina, or tried Trippa ala Milanese at Mario’s in Green Point, Cape Town. Cheese boards laden with the smelly varieties and pâtés like Foi Gras with sweet onion relish, ripe figs and a Sauterne, Marsala or a local desert wine to bring it all to a glorious climax on your grateful palette. God, don’t get me…show more content…
Now don’t be put off by the picture in your mind — I first saw a humorless wedge of something slouched on a plate — the finished article is delicious. But it would be hard to convince anyone that something that has the visual appeal of Winston Churchill in the nude can be turned into something that will have you purring, “Oh what a dish!” But, as you’ll see later, with a little imagination mixed in, it can be a heady experience that will at once evoke the cascading sounds of castanets and guitars, the warmth of the Costa del Sol and the panache of beautiful olive skinned people schmoozing inside saffron scented tapas bars. At this point the meal becomes hearty. In fact the good people of Spain have had an affair of the heart with the humble omelette for centuries. There is mention of it in Spanish literature as early as 1817, and some sources claim it’s origins to be the town of Villanueva de la Serena. But such is their obsession with this dish that more than a few historians are currently trying to verify its origins. Do you suspect that the complexity of the whole Spain/Omelette thing is borne from of its sheer simplicity? Well this food writer does. Lets cook one and

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