Wednesday, 28 November 2012

FCC: Food and the Humanities

Quite fittingly, our final Food and Culture Colloquium lecture for the semester focused on food writing, with particular emphases on food literature and food blogging. This session, co-presented by Associate Professor of English Dennis Read and Assistant Director of the Writing Center Susan Kanter (both of whom also teach food-themed first-year seminars), also served as a wrap up to our month-long focus on intersections between food and liberal arts. To set the stage, Dennis and Susan shared with us the first half of this video (if you're more of a Hulu fan, you can check out the same video here). A direct response to Pete Wells's New York Times review of Guy Fieri's recently opened restaurant in New York, the cut SNL skit prompts us to think about the thematic curiosity of whether or not food writing means anything to anyone these days.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

2012 Thanksgiving Cookery

In what Thanksgiving dish could apples possibly belong?
Quite interestingly, and now less unexpected as the years have pushed on, one of the questions that seems to accompany "what are you doing for Thanksgiving?" has been "so, will you be cooking for Thanksgiving?" I have no reason as to why I never seem to have an answer prepared for that one, but after getting back to campus, I can definitely say that yes, I did do a bit of cooking.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Inspiration from the Nearly Expired: Culinary Transformations before Heading Home

bacon, brie and spinach turnover
I don't know about you, but I take issue with the thought of knowing that items with a limited expiration date would be left behind and go to waste while away from campus. In my world, there are two things that should be done: 1) throw out everything that you should have consumed before it ever got to that point or 2) make a dish or perhaps even a meal out of it. I imagine that, especially if you're a returning reader, you know which route I chose.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Dining at Denison: Country Cuisine with Executive Chef David Schneider

ham and cheese flatbread.. utterly and undeniably delicious.
Last October (2011), I wrote about two dining hall experiences (dinner and lunch) led by Executive Chef Sathish Kumar, as part of Sodexo's Global Chef program.This year, Denison's Dining Services brought in Executive Chef David Schneider as a Sodexo Signature Chef. Chef David, born and raised in Yardley, PA, and a graduate of the CIA (i.e., the Culinary Institute of America), truly brought both a homey and elevated taste of the South (in the form of an authentic Virginian meal) to our community here in the Midwest.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

FCC: Food and the Social Sciences

For our eleventh Food and Culture Colloquium lecture-based session, I joined Associate Professor of Political Science Jim Pletcher in focusing on our November "Liberal Arts" theme, with an intersection of food and the social sciences. While we both centered each of our presentations on our research and experiences in sub-Saharan Africa, we unintentionally shared a common thread of talking about corn (a crop which has made its way into other presentations, as well).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

And So We Meet Again: Dialoguing with a Side of Dinner

quenelles of chocolate mayo topped with crumbled beskuit
Especially if it hasn't been made evident from previous posts, I'd like to begin this one by stating that I am a strong believer that food offers a great (if not in fact the greatest) medium for sharing and revealing parts of one's identities and/or experiences. Whether a dish represents a particular memory, a gastronomic preference, or perhaps even a prompt to a story and further conversation, food has a place in the dialogic experience. Having said this, members of our Listening for a Change group gathered at my house for another dialogue, to which each of us contributed to our potluck-style dinner.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

FCC: Food and Art

Continuing our focus on intersections between food and the liberal arts, today's Food and Culture Colloquium session took a look at food from the angle of well, the arts. And as if this wasn't liberal artsy enough, our presenter crossed food and art with environmental studies, as Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Abram Kaplan shared his personal journey through ten years of art and his lens of our food system through art culture.

Monday, 5 November 2012

An Extended Weekend Away from the Office: Cooking in Farmington Hills and Eating in Columbus

Fresh from a practicum focusing on emulsions, the next 48 hours or so yielded two foodie experiences I wanted to capture in blog form. First, I surprised my parents with a visit to Michigan on Saturday for a banquet held at my sister's university. Before heading back to Granville, I made a stop in Farmington Hills to cook with fellow foodie and former roommate Tony. [On the menu: baked pork chop with apple compote and baked mashed potatoes, and poached pears with red wine reduction and chocolat Chantilly.] Second, following a presentation earlier today with Marilyn at the Region VI NAFSA conference and a visit to OSU's anthropology department (to talk about food studies, naturally) in Columbus, Marilyn and I joined others at Latitude 41, located in the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

ITKP: "An Introduction to Molecular Gastronomy and Molecular Cooking"

clockwise from right: strawberry on top of chocolate mayo, asparagus on top of hollandaise, raspberries on top of dark chocolate mousse, asparagus on top of sauce kientzheim; plate also with mayonnaise-- all created with the molecular technique of emulsification
Many months ago, I discovered chocolate Chantilly ("invented" by the father of modern gastronomy, Hervé This; some recognise him as MG's godfather) and it forever changed the way I viewed chocolate. On some level of the culinary universe, bringing together chocolate and water is like creating a hybrid community from two competing subcultures. Okay, maybe this discovery wasn't all that dramatic, but it was amazing and is now relatively impressive that understanding the science behind food can aid in its transformation and the redefinition of relationships between foods that usually don't get along. This relationship with food--as presented as the kickstarter to our Food and Culture Colloquium's November focus on the intersection of food and the liberal arts--was the highlight to our fourth In the Kitchen Practicum.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Collaboration in the Kitchen: Executing a Menu with PEAS (and I Don't Mean the Pod)

Charring some bell peppers for ratatouille
Every semester, members of People Endorsing Agricultural Sustainability (i.e., PEAS) gather for a Slow Cook dinner at the home of PEAS advisor and professor of "Food for Thought" (a first-year seminar) Evelyn Frolking. A few weeks ago, I was extended the invitation to join them for their dinner and to help with the creation of a few dishes. And join them I did, as we orchestrated a collaborative effort of from-scratch dishes to produce the meal presented in this post. Trust me when I write that the environment was quite simply a sort of organised chaos (this will save the trouble of muddling the multiple dishes concurrently made within a very quick 90 minutes!).