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Feb. 17 2010 — 3:24 pm | 468 views | 0 recommendations | 162 comments

Italian TV Chef Axed Over Penchant For Cat Stew

It’s not often that I’ll take issue with a Tuscan over his preferred menu choices. After all, what’s not to like? Ribollita (hearty vegetable and cavolo nero soup thickened with bread); ragu di carne alla Fiorentina (slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with chicken livers); panforte di Siena (a dense and luscious cake of dried fruit and nuts melded together with honey and sugar) – all perfectly delicious. But when I heard that Italian celebrity chef Giuseppe “Beppe” Bigazzi announced his penchant for stewed cat, live on Italian TV, I was, to say the least, somewhat sceptical.

Silver-haired Bigazzi, 77, who authored the culinary bible, La Cucina Semplice dei Sapori d’Italia (which translates loosely as Simple Italian Cooking), is a household name in a nation of food-lovers. He co-hosts a daily pre-lunchtime cooking show on the RAI network which attracts millions of eager viewers keen to pick up tips on perfecting their national cuisine. But his fans were less than convinced last Wednesday when he described how soaking a cat (I assume one that has been slaughtered and prepared for the cooking pot) in spring water for three days (to draw out any impurities and ermm…residue from foul flavored pet food, perhaps) makes for quite the most delicious stew – gatto in umido – with tender, white-fleshed meat. The casserole, he said, was a long-standing traditional favorite in his hometown of Valdarno, Tuscany.

Whilst his beautiful, female co-host Elisa – who incidentally has a cat named Othello – looked on with obvious panic in her eyes, Bigazzi ignored her silent pleas to shut up already about the cat and enthusiastically encouraged folk to whip up the dish for the Florentine festival, Berlingaccio, which is celebrated the Thursday before Mardi Gras. Feasting and gluttony are welcome revelers at this party. Sugar coated, deep-fried pastries, candied almonds and creamy rice tarts are all usual participants. But Bigazzi proposed his kinsmen go one step further and take a traditional proverb, which eludes to generally merrymaking, literally, “to those who have no fat Berlingaccio kill the cat.” It’s better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon, he persisted in arguing.

BBC World News reported that during the commercial break that followed his sensational outburst producers, who were only too cognizant of the outcry that would inevitably follow, tried to convince the chef to apologize when the show resumed. But lady luck was not on their side. Bigazzi stood his ground and was subsequently fired from the network. 

Italian TV chef axed after recommending cat stew | World BB News.

Bigazzi was today quoted by the newspaper Corriere della Sera as saying he had been referring to events in the past, adding: “You can’t judge things from 70 years ago”.

But that was not enough for Italy’s National Animal Protection Board, whose president, Carla Rocchi, announced she had instructed its lawyers to begin proceedings against Bigazzi for inciting cruelty to animals.

A junior minister in Silvio Berlusconi’s government, Francesca Martini, said what had happened was “of the utmost gravity”.

No doubt none of us nor are going to start boiling up Felix on Bigazzi’s recommendation, but I think the widespread coverage of his unchecked revelation and the reaction to it are worth mulling over for a moment. When I was little my family had a farm in England about 2 hours outside of London. There we kept horses, goats,sheep, chickens and two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs. Most of these creatures had names, most had come to us as cuddly newborns and some were treated as fully fledged pets. But does this mean that I wouldn’t now savor a steaming bowl Jamaican curried goat because of my old friend Billy? No, of course not. Why then do we attribute certain animals which we have arbitrarily chosen to become our friends and not our food with greater rights? Why should the cat live and not the chicken? Because they purr when we rub their bellies? Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. 

I think Bigazzi’s comments speak to a larger and more profound problem in the way we choose to see our food. The sanitized packs of chicken breasts, steaks and ground meat wrapped in neat trays and lining the walls of supermarket chiller cabinets could not be further removed from the reality of where that protein came from. Some time ago I went to a Halal slaughterhouse in Queens. There I watched a young goat- cute, with a fetching beard and emitting shrill cries that made me hold back my tears-  being slaughtered. With great speed, the animal was deftly butchered and the meat handed to a customer who was going home to feed his family. This was real and there was no room for sentimentality.

Last month China responded to popular pressure from it’s growing middle classes and proposed a ban on eating cat and dog meat. Both are traditional Chinese fare and have been in the culinary repertoire for centuries. If the law is passed people caught eating cats could face 15 days in prison. But what if cats and dogs were raised in sterile, humane farms, with space to roam, much like grass fed cattle say. What if they were humanely killed by stunning and were not plucked off the streets? Would this really be all that unacceptable? Indeed, how is this different from consuming rabbit. Many of us grew up with bunnies as pets; yet my local butcher has them hanging in his shop, gutted and skinned and ready for me to casserole. No one is knocking on his door demanding that he close shop for being cruel to bunnies.  

By no means am I advocating anyone murder their cats or bite into their puppies; there are easier ways to get your protein fix. At the very least, if we are going to pass judgement on others for what they eat, we really should take a careful look at out own food sources first.

Feb. 12 2010 — 7:32 pm | 306 views | 0 recommendations | 8 comments

Dumplings & Dinosaur Sex: The Ultimate Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year Menu

I won’t be the first, second or even 169th person you’ve heard say that the mere mention of Valentine’s Day or the  mere glimpse of a foil heart adorned Hallmark window display fills them with an unquellable wave of nausea. Admittedly for the last three years whilst I’ve been “with-beau”, so to speak, those bouts of sickness have been less pervasive. But enough. I won’t bore you with another anti-Valentine’s Day tirade. In fact, this year, I’m wholly looking forward to the 14th February. Indeed, I wish every year could be like 2010. And that’s because it also happens to be Chinese New Year. Despite the ominous warnings of the ancient Oriental soothsayers that predict tumult during the coming year of the Metal Tiger, both I and said beau will be celebrating whatever chaos and disarray comes our away with home-cooked Chinese fare.  

Like most Chinese revelers we’ll be starting out with dumplings (a great hands-on Valentine’s activity to get the juices flowing too), a variety I think; moist and savory pork and prawn filled steamed siu mai, then Beijing style beef jiaozi with their pert, crisp, golden bottoms and juicy, flavorful filling. These petite pockets are symbolic of wealth and prosperity, resembling gold coins. So the more you eat, the weightier your wallet in 2010 (well something’s gotta work, right? It may as well be dumplings).  

Then we’ll glide gracefully onto the noodles, a fiery prawn and chili bean concoction. You must always have noodles on Chinese New Year , the longer the strands the better as they represent longevity. Don’t be tempted to snip unruly noodles. I can’t be sure, but you may well shorten your life. Why take the risk? Just wear a bib… or a dark shirt.

As for dessert, we’ll be nibbling suggestively at Mandarin oranges, the vibrant, burnished orange diminuitive fruits that litter the streets of Chinatown right now. Well, at least I will, no doubt, unconvincingly. Lover Boy, however, will at this stage be mesmerized by the nether regions of a T-Rex. Yes, this is still the same post, we are still on Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. In case you missed the news alert, the Discovery Channel is airing Tyrannosaurus Sex at 10pm on Valentine’s Day. Writes the New York Daily News:

“Tyrannosaurus Sex” doesn’t just answer the questions, it shows dinosaur sex in all its glory with state-of-the-art CGI animation,” reads a press release.


“The scenes created for the special are all based on fact,” it continues. “Interviews with scientists on the cutting-edge of paleontology bring new life to one of the last mysteries of these mighty giants.”

via How did dinosaurs get it on? Discovery Channel to provide answers, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

So here you have it, Chinese chow and watching dinosaurs getting down and dirty. Have we cracked the code for an awesome Valentine’s Day? Let me know Monday…

Photography Maya Smend. Food Styling Nadia Arumugam

Beijing Beef Dumplings

Makes 20
For the dumpling filling

1/2 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tbsp Chinese wine
2 spring onions, finely chopped
3 1/2 tbsp finely chopped bamboo shoots
½ medium sized carrot, peeled and finely grated
1/2 tsp salt

 18-20 dumpling or Jiaozi wrappers
1/4 pint / 4 fl oz chicken stock

For the dipping sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp Chinese black vinegar
2 birds eye chillies, finely chopped

1. Combine all the ingredients for the dumpling filling in a large bowl and stir well until thoroughly mixed.

2. Lay a dumpling wrapper on a board and place 1 tbsp of the filling the centre. Tab the edges of the wrapper with a little water then lift the edges of the wrapper and press together at the seam until you have a crescent shaped dumpling with a flat bottom. Pinch the seam to create a crimped effect. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers. 

3. To cook the dumplings, heat 2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil in a wide saute pan. When hot place the dumplings inside in batches making sure they are sitting on their flat bases. Fry for 2-3 mins until the bases are golden brown.  (At this point you can freeze half the dumplings for another time if you want. Just place on a tray or baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours until frozen, then transfer to a zip lock bag and return to the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat remove from the freezer and steam as directed below. ) 

4. Return all the browned dumplings to the pan. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover the pan and steam the dumplings for 4-5 mins until cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well. Serve the dumplings immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.  

Photography Michael Hart. Food Styling Nadia Arumugam

Fiery Prawn and Chili Bean Noodles

Serves 4 

1 large onion, cut into 1½cm / ½in chunks

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp grated ginger

2 large red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

1 large red pepper,  deseeded and cut in 1½cm / ½in chunks

16 raw tiger prawns, shelled but tail left on and deveined

1/2 pint / 8 fl oz chicken stock

3 tbsp chilli bean sauce

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp corn flour

Small bunch coriander chopped
1 lb fresh, medium egg noodles

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to theboil. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok and throw in the onion. Stir fry for 2 mins until softened then throw in the garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for a further minute then add the peppers. Season the prawns with a little salt and throw into the pan. Stir-fry until the prawns turn pink then add the chicken stock, chilli bean and soy sauces and bring the whole thing to the boil.

2. Combine the corn flour with 2 tbsp of cold water and add to the wok. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1–2 minsuntil the sauce is thickened and glossy. Stir in the chopped coriander.

3. Meanwhile, throw the egg noodles into the boiling water and blanch for 30 secs. Drain well, add to the prawns and toss. Remove the wok from the heat and turn out into a serving dish. Take to the table to serve.

(I know this serves four, but it’s so good you can keep half of it in the fridge for a midweek supper or if you have a microwave at work, take to the office in a Tupperware and treat yourself to a delicious hot lunch. Alternatively just scale down for enough for two.)

By all means tuck into those brillian Mandarin orbs for a refreshing finish to the meal but in the even you fancy something a little more show-off, try this. So the dessert I’ve got for you isn’t Chinese but that’s because most true Chinese desserts are time consuming to prepare and include lots of hard-to-find ingredients. It isn’t even Chinese “inspired” and that’s because at least on Chinese New Year we’ve got to show a little respect and steer away from the whole “fusion thing.” But, it is red. And although its a little boozy it is fruity, so you’ll have some energy left for post-dinner frolicking. Serve with chocolate truffles on the side and you’re in aphrodisiac heaven. Enjoy!

Photography Maya Smend. Food Styling Nadia Arumugam

Spiced Roast Pears with Red Wine & Brandy Cream

4-6 unblemished pears, such as Bosc or Anjou, peeled and halved
Pared zest of 1 orange
Pared zest of 1 lemon
3 1/2  fl oz crème de cassis
1 bottle red wine
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cold butter, diced
9 fl oz heavy cream 
2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar  
2 tbsp brandy 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. Place the pears in a small saucepan so they sit inside snugly, then pour over the red wine. Make sure the pears are completely submerged. Add the orange and lemon zests, crème de cassis, spices and sugar. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook covered for 20 mins. Remove from the heat and allow the pears to cool in the pan.

 2. Remove the pears from the wine and place in a roasting tray. Dot with the butter and roast for 15 mins. Meanwhile make the brandy cream by whipping the cream and the confectioner’s sugar until it just holds soft peaks then stirring in the brandy.

3. Strain the wine and return to a clean saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce by ½.

3. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and whisk into the simmering wine. Continue to cook stirring unil the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 min. Serve the pears hot with the warm sauce spooned over and a dollop of the brandy cream on the side.

Jan. 26 2010 — 3:28 pm | 2,818 views | 0 recommendations | 252 comments

The Haggis Wars: Could A Scottish Invasion Signal The End of American Haggis?

As throngs of red-faced, whiskey-downing clansmen and wannabe lairds across the U.S. chomped down on their haggis yesterday amidst the convivial ambience of Burn’s Night, one authentic Scottish ingredient was surely missing. Sheep’s lungs.

In a painful affront to their ancestry, since 1989 – after Britain’s BSE  crisis – Americans of Scottish decent have been woefully denied haggis from the homeland whilst they celebrate the great bard’s birthday with song, dance, booze and offal.  Following the outbreak more than 20 years ago the USDA  banned Scottish sheep in all its incarnations from its menu. And since the “great chieftain o’ the pudding race” – Burn’s words, not mine –contains sheep’s lungs, liver and heart amongst a smattering of spices, onions and oats all encased in a neat sack made from the lining of a sheep’s stomach, no doubt it was amongst the first delicacies to be struck off the import list.

But aficionados of all things Scottish may finally be free to perform the solemn ceremonial carrying in of the haggis, preceded by a recitation of Burn’s famous Ode to a Haggis and the screech of the bagpipes with the real deal. The USDA has recently announced plans to relax legislation on imported meats that up till now has prevented the sale of Scottish haggis in the U.S. reports the U.K. Independent newspaper.

In recent years Americans have had to party with the spirits of their forefathers whilst supping on locally manufactured haggis. “Local” may be the buzzword for the noughties, but when it comes to this offal delicacy, diehard haggis fans say Americans are missing out.  Much of the local haggis comes out of a can – Robbie Burns would surely turn in his grave- and if you do find it in a casing, more often than not it will be artificial and not a genuine sheep’s stomach lining as the original recipe calls for. But it gets worse.  Even with BSE -free American sheep filling out this pungent pudding, the USDA strictly forbids the use of sheep’s lungs in home grown approximations. In 1971 the agency banned the use of lungs in food when researchers found them to be contaminated with lesions, bacteria and stomach contents. However, changes are afoot thanks to the World Organization for Animal Health. What is now deemed an adulterated food item could likely soon be welcomed into our diets and into our haggis.

America’s long wait for haggis may be over – Americas, World – The Independent.

Yesterday, the US Department of Agriculture said new regulations were being drafted in line with international standards. A spokeswoman told The Sunday Times the review was being carried out in line of a ruling from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that sheep lung – a core ingredient of the Burns Night dish which will be consumed tonight in homes across the UK – is safe. She said: “By closely aligning our import rules with the OIE, we will allow the importation of certain ruminant products that do not contain tissues associated with BSE infectivity or ruminants raised under conditions where they were not fed prohibited materials associated with spreading BSE.”

So what does this mean for American manufacturers of the “warm-reekin’ rich” (Burn’s again…) haggis? Will they be laying down their canning accoutrements, meat mincers and oat dispensers to make way for the superior Scottish breed? Or will they be putting up a fight ol’ Robbie would be proud of. To answer these questions, I spoke to a couple of haggis producers. continue »

Jan. 24 2010 — 5:02 pm | 472 views | 0 recommendations | 878 comments

Jean-George’s NYT Fried Rice Creation: Not All That Creative

I was somewhat bemused when I read Mark Bittman’s homage to Jean-George Vongerichten’s recipe for fried rice in the New York Times. “I was never more impressed than when he created his version of fried rice, topped with crisp ginger and a fried egg,” Bittman writes sycophantically.  It’s not that I take issue with the fact – and indeed it is a fact – that Vongerichten is a culinary wizard with an enviable propensity to knock up delicious fare. But what I do find egregious is the assertion that Vongerichten created a dish that is a longstanding favorite in Southeast Asia. Of course I’m referring to Nasi Goreng. This Malaysian and Indonesian staple, which translates as “fried rice” in native speak, is a concoction of rice wok-fried with chili, garlic, onions and minced vegetables all tossed with a sweet soy sauce called kicap manis and served with an oozy, sunny side-up fried egg perched on the top. To spruce up this homely dish locals add diced chicken and/or shrimp. And for a truly sumptuous take it is served with a couple of sticks of grilled skewered meat - satay-  and prawn crackers. One of the few Asian dishes that straddles the line between street fare and home-cooking, Nasi Goreng features in lunch boxes, picnic baskets and is a perennial go-to for a late night supper. Even Vongerichten’s mode of presenting his dish, carefully molding the fragrant grains in a high mound has been flagrantly poached from us Asians, sans attribution. I’m all for sharing and proliferating my culinary heritage (in the event you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a thoroughbred Malaysian), but please Mr Vongerichten, how about a little a respect amongst foodies.  Credit where credit’s due is all I’m saying. 

My Nasi Goreng Recipe

Sambal olek is a concentrated chili paste with a fiery kick. It is often used to enliven Indonesian dishes such as this punchy meat and vegetable filled fried rice and can be increased or reduced in quantity depending on how much heat you like. If you have an adventurous palate and forgiving neighbors add a teaspoon of shrimp paste (available from Asian grocery stores) with the sambal olek. It may emit the most odiferous of whiffs but, trust me, it will imbue the dish with a sublime savory depth.  

Serves 4

 3  tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp sambal olek or chilli sauce
1 large chicken breast, cut into small dice
6 1/2 oz.  uncooked shrimp, chopped
3 1/2 oz.  finely grated carrot,
6 1/2 oz. tinned sweetcorn, well drained
3 1/2 oz. trimmed green beans, finely chopped
1 lb. cooked  and cooled basmati or jasmine  rice
1 tbsp kicap manis or soy sauce combined with a 1/4 tsp sugar
4 large eggs

1. Heat 2tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan, add the onion when hot and cook for about 2 minutes until softened and golden, then add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the sambal olek or chili sauce, cook for 1 minute before adding the chicken pieces. Cook over a high heat for about 2 minutes then add the prawns. Cook until the prawns are opaque and just cooked through.

2. Throw in the carrots, sweetcorn and green beans and cook for about 2 minutes until the beans are cooked but still crunchy.

 3. Add the rice to the wok or pan and mix. Pour over the soy sauce and stir until the rice is piping hot.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

 4. Heat a large, frying pan with the remaining oil and fry the eggs, two at a time, until the edges are golden and crisp but the yolks still runny. Serve the rice in mounds on four plates, each topped with a fried egg.

Jan. 21 2010 — 7:17 pm | 211 views | 0 recommendations | 371 comments

Confessions Of A Salt Fiend: How To Cut Back On The White Stuff

I was enjoying some vegan, curried apple and squash soup from Wholefoods earlier when I was struck by a curious thought three-quarters of the way through the tub. The soup was richly spiced with a boisterous chili kick; it had an unctuous creaminess often absent in vegan dishes courtesy of a good dose of coconut milk and it was nicely balanced by what I suspect to be lemongrass and a hit of lime juice. Whilst it certainly didn’t seem to be lacking anything, it suddenly struck me that the soup was distinctly less salty than how I normally take my food. So my taste buds retreated, habit waded in and I pulled out my carton of fine sea salt and assaulted the dregs of the soup with a shower of sodium.

This, in the wake of a recently published study by Californian researchers which reveals that there would be between 54,000 and 99,000 fewer heart attacks every year and up to 92,000 fewer deaths, if everyone ate just half a teaspoon less salt per day. And if that isn’t startling enough- it rides the coattails of another recent piece of research, this time from Japan, which shows that aside from the well known connection between salt and high blood pressure, increased intake of salt boosts the risk of heart disease and the risk of cancer. My bad.

As a responsible foodie who buys organic eggs, vitamin-rich locally grown kale and ensures her meat once roamed grassy pastures, I have come to parade myself as being something of a model of sensible eating. But when it comes to my salt intake I shamefully admit to being a salt fiend of the worst kind. It’s true that processed foods, whether you’re talking deli meats, chips, tomato sauce or perfectly square white bread, are packed with monstrously high levels of salt – 3 rashers of bacon can account for nearly your entire daily allowance of salt. In fact, over 80% of our salt intake comes from processed foods, so we barely even realize it’s there. But, it’s a terrible misconception that people who don’t frequent fast food joints, who shop at farmer’s markets and who regularly cook with fresh ingredients, i.e. folk like me, are consuming any less salt than the Burger King fanatic. If anything, I’m committing an even worse crime because I’m directly responsible for my own high salt quotient.

Research conducted last summer by the Center for Science in the Public Interest showed that 85 out of 102 meals served in 17 chain restaurants including Chili’s and Olive Garden contained more than a day’s worth of sodium (some even contain 4 days worth!!). But such salt sprees aren’t limited to budget friendly joints. Should you ever roam about the kitchens of haute cuisine establishments with a tasting spoon you’ll note that the best of chefs are as liberal with their salt shaker as they are with their sticks of butter. “Season, season, season” was the mantra of my instructors at culinary school. What they often meant by this was throw in a third teaspoon of salt. It was this training, I believe, that altered my tastebuds to crave salt like a toddler craves candy. There are numerous theories as to why chefs develop such a hearty appetite for salt. One is that their palates lose their sensitivity to the seasoning over years in the kitchen. Another albeit somewhat tenuous theory I heard from a fellow chef is that many chefs are heavy smokers and this dependency dulls their tastebuds. Whatever the reason, quite frankly, whether you are dining out on Michelin starred fare or at Red Lobster’s all-you-can-eat buffet, you are overdosing on salt.

The good news though, is that apparently once you recognize you are consuming too much salt, and you cut the amount you add by a third, it actually won’t be all that long until your palate reacclimatizes and your cravings for the white powder lessen. The bad news is that for the first 2-3 weeks that it takes your taste buds to adjust, you’ll probably find your food tastes bland and lacking and you’ll hanker after a salt block to suck on.

As a rule of thumb, you should have not much more than 1 teaspoon of salt a day (about 2300mg). On average Americans consume 2-3 times this amount. Here are some tips to help you cut your salt intake with as little pain as possible.

  1. Combine your salt with a mixture of your favorite spices, such as ground cumin, ground pink peppercorns and ground coriander and use this concoction to season your cooking. This way you’ll use less salt and the spices will give your dish a real boost.
  2. Use half the amount of salt you would normally use and jack up the flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a handful of freshly chopped herbs. The wonderful, fresh flavors will compensate for the reduction of salt.
  3. Use low –sodium soy sauce. Soy sauce has far less sodium that salt as a general rule but will still give you’re their salty taste with a umami boost.
  4. Cut the salt and add a squeeze of tomato paste instead. Like soy sauce and mushrooms, tomato paste is packed with umami goodness that will add a rich, savory backdrop to your dish.
  5. Keep salt only in the kitchen cupboard and not on the dining table. Instead, indulge in a chic, new pepper mill so you can enjoy freshly ground pepper instead of salt at the table.
  6. Use garlic powder and onion powder to add flavor and savory depth rather than salt to your cooking. And the pale appearances of these powders will trick your brain into thinking you’re getting your salt fix.
  7. If you use canned fish or vegetables, rinse them well under running water before cooking or eating. To inject flavor into them, look to your spice cupboard and a smattering of fresh herbs!

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    About Me

    Confused, perhaps. Well fed, definitely. A Malaysian of Tamil ethnicity, raised in London and now living in New York, I couldn’t have asked for a better culinary heritage. My Sunday roast is massaged with garlic, ginger and red chilies. My chicken soup is infused with heady coriander and the warmth of toasted cumin. My meatballs are transformed by a spattering of my mother’s curry powder and a glug of soy sauce.

    I live to eat and I eat to live. Quite literally. I write about food, who produces it, who cooks it and who eats it. Most recently I was the food editor for the London based culinary magazine, Fresh, and my first cookbook, Chop, Sizzle & Stir - the final word on stir frying - has recently hit the shelves. I have also written for numerous culinary and lifestyles magazines in the UK and in the Southeast Asia. When I'm not cooking, thinking about my next meal or eyeing up someone else's, I'm usually asleep!

    I’m fascinated by our culinary customs, traditions and innovations. The recipes we learn from our mothers, the treats we indulge in when no one’s looking and the meals we dish up for friends reveal who we are and who we want to be. So join me in this most delicious quest as I concoct, imbibe and ingest to understand that little bit more about my fellow diners!

    See my profile »
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    Contributor Since: June 2009

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    Chop, Sizzle & Stir

    Check out my new cookbook …

    For quick, easy, and delicious meals, “Chop, Sizzle, & Stir” is packed full of Pan- Asian stir-fries to pop up your wok repertoire. 

    Buy this must-have cookbook on Amazon. To read more about me and try out some of my recipes, visit my website www.nadia-arumugam.com