Sunday, November 23, 2008

Change is GOOD!

I had this domain from my "professional" site, and recently decided the company I work for is doing a great job of hosting pictures of my work. Since I'd already paid for the domain until 2011, I figured I'd put it to good use.

So, if you came here looking for kitchen ideas, Paradigm Kitchen Design is where you want to go. You're more than welcome to visit here as well.

The picture? It was an art exhibit we saw in Seattle on our way to Caf矇 Presse. Seemed appropriate.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Being Piggy in the Emerald City

We had tried. Seriously. At least 3 times before this trip we had made honest but unsuccessful attempts to visit Salumi in Seattle. Sometimes we missed their regular hours. Another we visited when they were on holidays. It seemed a visit was just not in the cards.

For those who don't know about Salumi, it is a tiny hole-in-the-wall salumerie run by Armandino Batali, father to chef Mario Batali. The cured meats are so amazing they're legendary even without Mario's family connection.

This store is a temple to all things porcine: prosciutto (he also offers an excellent lamb prosciutto), smoked paprika sausage, sopressano ... the full list can be found HERE. The day we were there they even had pork skin crackling! Salumi also features on any given day a selection of 10 sandwiches, as well as deli-meat take out.

So it was on this trip that we actually made it to Salumi, and it was open!

You are greeted at the door by 3 things: a chalk board spelling out the days menu choices, the intoxicating aroma of cured meats and GARLIC, and a line-up. Don't let the line-up put you off ... it moves quite quickly. But be warned, you should have your choice made well in advance of reaching the counter. They move quickly here, and indecision doesn't help your cause.

Porcetta with onions & pepper on baguette.
Smoked paprika salumi and Gorgonzola on olive bread.
We took lunch down to the piers beside Ivars (on Alaskan Way) for an impromptu picnic. Without going overboard with superlatives, the porcetta was one of the best sandwiches EVAR! I'm not sure if it was the shredded pork or the copious amounts of garlic and olive oil spread on the bread ... but I'm sure I really don't care. It was amazing. The smoked paprika was also good, but nowhere near as messy and gooey and scrumptious.

A warning for Salumi visitors: Call ahead if you just want to order deli meat to go. Lunch time line-ups for the sandwiches prevents staff from doing a lot of cutting. Another warning: get there early for lunch. Many of their daily specials sell out early.

Salumi Artisan Cured Meats
309 Third Ave South Seattle, WA
(between Main and Jackson, across from Seattle Lighting)
Restaurant Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Are You Gonna Be When You Grow Up?

If I could go back and re-do my career choices, knowing what I know about myself now, I would work in the kitchen. Without a doubt. It's too late now to make a career change (YES, IT IS), so the cooking in my life remains a hobby. A wonderful hobby. But it won't ever be my career.

However, I have kids. And I can love vicariously through them.

My eldest graduates this year, and made a terrific discovery last year. There are many schools in BC that offer trades training as the curriculum for the last year of high school. There's metal fabrication, hair dressing, mechanics ... and culinary! Yes, my son is spending his last year of high school chopping, saut矇-ing and baking his way to his Dogwood (high school graduation in BC).

The school he attends operates a fully operating kitchen out of the school, and opens it's kitchen to the public Tuesday to Friday. Over the last 3 weeks we've been treated to Pasta Carbonara, Salmon Wellington and Beef Burritos. There's also a choice of starch and veg ... all for only only $7. Add salad bar for $2.50 and desserts for under $2 and there's an inexpensive meal for 2 for under $20.

Now, I might be biased, but the food has been really excellent. At the beginning of the year, little things were missed ... seasoning was off, food was a bit under temperature ... but as the year progressed these kids really started to hit their stride. Last week, we arrived to a huge lineup and before we could get to the kitchen, they sold out of food. We missed out on Schntizel, but Chef was able to find us some Lamb Currey and roast potatoes.

In Metro Vancouver, many of these programmes are taught in conjunction with VCC. Graduating students receive credit ofr post secondary eduction. Check out the high schools in your area. You might find the next Rob Feenie, Jeff Van Geest or Andrey Durbach in development. Or you might find my son. Either way, you'll be well fed.

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