The (Unofficial) Shortbread Interview

I recently came across The Shortbread, a new interview-style blog dedicated to exploring everyday perceptions of food and food and culture. After reading the first two interviews, I decided that I’d do a very unofficial one of my own! 🙂

Name: Kate

Date / Time / Your location: 15 November, afternoon, London

What is the last thing you ate? A cracker with garlic zinfandel jelly (see below).

What is the most interesting item in your fridge or freezer right now? Garlic zinfandel jelly! (Lovely gift from Meaghan – all the way from Edmonton). Also have some yummy fresh mozzarella from the market this morning.

Tell me about a food that evokes nostalgia for a certain time or place for you. My grandmother cooked the perfect steak. Steak reminds me of her and the very happy years I spent living with my grandparents.

Talk about your favorite restaurant in your home town. (Truro) Bistro 22. (Halifax) For fine dining, Da Maurizio. For sandwich, the chicken Caesar wrap from Rogue’s Roost is like crack to me. For pub food, The Old Triangle. For seafood, Mckelvies. For coffee, Steve-o-Reno’s.

Name an “acclaimed” or generally beloved food that you won’t eat. That’s a hard one. I guess the level of “acclaimed-ness” might be debated, but….. pumpkin pie, candy canes, squash, caramelized onions, …

What is the best meal you’ve had while traveling? Oh dear. There have been many, but the one that stands out that will be very very hard to beat, probably ever, is a meal I shared in 2008 with my extended family in the middle of the bush at Sabi Sands game reserve in South Africa. Not your typical African eating experience, but one that I will never forget. The food — mostly game — was incredible and the atmosphere so magical and surreal it seemed like a dream.

What is your favorite item in your kitchen – this could be a cooking tool or something entirely non-food related. I like my turquoise serving platter and lobster slate.

What is your favorite image of food from a movie or book? This is a tough one. I remember all of the coffee in the Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy and liked that, since the idea of coffee, for me, is almost better than coffee itself.

Describe your ideal sandwich. Super-fresh tomatoes, good mozzarella, pesto…mmmmm.

What makes for great barbecue? Char!

What do you like to eat when the weather is hottest? Tomatoes. Cold noodle salads. Veggies.

What do you like to eat when it is freezing cold outside? Soup and casseroles. I have recently had a craving for old-school casseroles like the type my mum used to make. Watch this space. 😉

What can you cook really well? how did you learn this dish? Pad Thai. I was taught by the best, my aunt Joanne. She gave me the bible of Thai cooking and then we made Pad Thai once together. It’s one of my favourite things to make now — I don’t even need the recipe anymore.

What would you like to be able to cook well? I’d like to be a better baker, particularly of bread. And I’m working on roasts.

What is the best meal you’ve eaten for under five dollars? Zaatar flatbreads at the (now closed) Architecture Cafe at McGill. Not a meal, but a damn good snack.

What has been your most satisfying food splurge? Money spent on good wine and good cheese is never wasted. The biggest splurge I’ve made in the kitchen is our food processor, but have to categorize that as the least satisfying splurge. What a disappointment.

Tell me about an experience or person that has changed or inspired the way you eat. Moving to Montreal (in 2005). When I was growing up my family was very meat and potatoes; we didn’t eat a huge variety of foods. Living in Montreal was a complete eye-opener for me and I was introduced, sometimes a bit grudgingly(!), to so many different styles and cuisines.

A food ethic is a set of values and principles that guide the choices you make about what to eat. Describe your personal food ethic. 1) Buy local when possible. 2) Share food with people you care about. 3) Food snobbery is never, ever attractive. 4) Enjoy the process.


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