The Cook by Harry Kressing

This weekend I finally fulfilled a long-time dream and re-read The Cook by Harry Kressing. For anyone who loves cooking or who is interested in psychology and sinister plots, I highly recommend this book. For anyone who has worked in the service industry, catering for the excessively rich and snobby, this book is a delightful fantasy where the clever and hard-working cook turns the tables and soon has the boss for his butler. All the little details about cooking, the kitchen, the cookbooks (even a cookbook for cats!), the hunting and the shopping give a wonderful glimpse into what running an old manor kitchen might have been like. In this age of gluten-free and allergies for every imaginable food, The Cook also offers a parallel with every character’s special needs being catered to with the ease and flourish of a very accomplished chef. It is one of those books you just can’t put down, but with its 244 pages it is a quick read. You can’t truly call yourself a foodie if you haven’t read The Cook.

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Kitchen Education Manifesto


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I discovered this, written by a Shaker while I was studying at the Culinary Institute of America. One of the most fantastic aspects of that school is the huge library they have of culinary works from across the centuries. I was writing a paper on the Shakers. When I first read this I got goose bumps and my spine shivered.

Unfortunately the people who are in positions of power currently in our world are generally on pretty bad diets. Couple that with high stress lifestyles and we have a perfect recipe for paranoid, grumpy and negative thinking personalities. Is it really such a good idea to let people like this run our world? The following, written by a Western Plowman and published in The Shaker Manifesto of September of 1883, lays this out in clear language.

Kitchen Education

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Street Food is Making a Comeback

It is interesting to see over the past decade or so, as countries such as India and Thailand are putting more and more pressure on their street vendors to shut them down, that illegal street vendors are springing up all over North America — San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles…the small guy is back. All over the world, sometimes this is the only way a family can make a dollar.

Last year in Los Angeles there was a crack down on street vendors, supposedly people were worried about the health safety of the vendors, but it may have been motivated more by racism. These days it is clear we need to be more concerned about food coming from the industrial-agriculture food sector, and not waste resources hassling street vendors. Most small-scale street vendors are very conscious of where their food is coming from and how they process it, they often know their customers in fact, their personal livelihood depends on their repeat business. They also take pride in their creation. Some of the new movement of pavement culinary artists may have even wild-harvested their ingredients!

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