Am I The Only One Who Likes Gwyneth Paltrow's New Cookbook?

It's All Good!

Am I The Only One Who Likes Gwyneth Paltrow's New Cookbook?

Beyond the never-ending controversy it created in the media, I have to admit that I love Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook. Not as much as her first one—My Father's Daughter—which is one of my favorite recipe book ever, but I still love it. I even rushed to the library on April 2nd and paid $35 for the hard cover. I was really looking forward to it, and I wasn't disappointed. Even though people seem to dislike the fact that she talks about her health issues, it did take her to a path of consciousness that she is brave enough to share with us. 

I particularly appreciate the foreword from Dr.Habib Sadeghi, particularly what he says about food: "Food is sacred. A lot of people think great flavour is an afterthought when it comes to 'healthy' food, but if we are to be nourished by food, it needs to taste wonderful. Food must be a pleasure-filled, spiritual experience. God gave us taste buds for a reason!"  

The book is filled with great ideas. I especially like the soups and the salads and their Asian twist—the simple technique she shares on how to make delicious fish roasted in salt. She also has smoothie recipes, healthy breakfast ideas, desserts of course, and even menus for kids. Written with her long time collaborator and friend Chef Julia Turshen, It's All Good is an appetizing and user-friendly book that makes you want to eat healthier. And why not try to eat healthier for the plus value of not compromising taste? We all need a few tips on that!
So why is the media so harsh on Gwyneth? All she did was to share the healthy recipes she created for herself and her family, following a scary health diagnostic that required her to go on an elimination diet: no coffee, dairy, alcohol, sugar, eggs, gluten, etc. She refused boredom for her plate and her palate. Isn't tasty healthy food that's not boring what we all want?
Thank you for the tips Gwyneth!


The Terroir Symposium: A Great Culinary Adventure

Have You Ever Tasted Cod Tongue, Beaver Tail or Pig's Head

The Terroir Symposium: A Great Culinary Adventure

This is what I tasted for the first time in Toronto during the 7th edition of Terroir Symposium, an impressive event that brings chefs, producers, journalists, bloggers, Epicureans and thinkers from all over Canada and the world, to discuss food and gastronomy. What a joy to be immersed in an environment that exudes unpretentious avant-garde and passionate ideas about the culinary world, within and beyond our borders.

I loved my day!

Quebec's presence was very strong this year, many of our journalists, bloggers and even chefs were present, including Normand Laprise of Toqué! and Martin Juneau from Pastaga. There was also a great contingent from Prince Edward County, my new favorite region, just one hour west of Kingston. I hung out with my friends from Hinterland Wine — who make in my opinion the best bubbles in Canada — and I finally had the honor of meeting with famous winemaker Norman Hardie. In the kitchen, I very much enjoyed the cooking demos of some of the greatest chefs on the Canadian culinary scene, including Jeremy Charles from Raymonds Restaurant in St. John's Newfoundland, Marc Lépine, well known for his innovative cuisine at L'Atelier in Ottawa and raising culinary star Connie DeSousa from the buzzing Charcut in Calgary.

In this splendid presentation from Chef Jeremy Charles you have over a puree of turnip, sea urchin, seaweed, and almost every part of the cod including the flesh, bottarga (eggs), semen and on the right, the fried swim bladder, that is as crispy as a potato chip.

From L'Atelier, Chef Marc Lépine presented deep fried beaver tail skin over sea urchin, smoked avocado and ahi tuna. 

Alongside the culinary demos were several workshops like wine making, food styling, publishing cookbooks, sustainable agriculture, and more. And on the main stage, a succession of prestigious guest speakers, including René Redzepi, chef and founder of Noma restaurant in Denmark, voted best restaurant in the world for 3 consecutive years and from Sweden, Magnus Nilsson, chef of Faviken — listed as one of the Top 24 Best Restaurants in the world — who shared his vision about consuming, ending his speech with a shocking video: Le sang des bêtes — a documentary from 1949, on the abattoirs of Paris. Interesting, but it made me so upset, I had to leave the room. Some people thought it was in bad taste, for my part, I rather appreciated his courage to go all the way in expressing his views.

Cover Fool magazine #1 2012 Photography ©Per-Anders Jörgensen Art Director Lotta Jörgensen — Swedish Magazine — Voted Best Food Magazine in 2012.

"I have decided to focus on the emotional side of things."- Chef Magnus Nilsson

Ironically, right after this powerful presentation, lunch was served. The Chefs created amazing twists on sandwiches with confit beef tongue, chicken liver parfait, pork belly croque-monsieur, braised bison, fried cod tongues ... and one fried tofu sandwich!

Fried cod tongue sandwich from Jeremy Charles of Raymonds.

A big success and a really great turnout for Terroir, that had as part of its primary objectives to create a national awareness.

"It's all about building a community, whether it's in Canada or internationally. The event is important as a catalyst to bring in international guests. Chefs meet here and build a relationship, then go home and tell people about what's going on in Canada. Our country is so large, I find it really difficult to say that we are all unique and all the same. We are not. We have to acknowledge our differences. We also have a strong community from upstate New York and Buffalo, that we are really connected to. We share such a similar terroir, it's hard to say this is just about Canada. Although, I think that next year we are going to do a Canadian theme," concludes a smiling Arlene Stein, co-founder of Terroir Symposium.

Many thanks to Helen and Kattrin from Ontario Tourism and Hella who hosted me at the majestic new Four Seasons Toronto

Photos: © Patandersonphotography


Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

I just baked the best chocolate cake ever! Dairy-free and gluten-free!

I am not a dessert fan at all, but I had a craving for dark chocolate and I found this recipe. What I love most about it is that I felt nourished after I ate it as opposed to usual desserts that make me feel bloated or tired, after the sugar rush. And my entire family loved it too!!! Here are the details of my success story.


2/3 cup olive oil

6 tablespoons of high quality cocoa powder

1/2 cup boiling water

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups almond meal

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup sugar (I use organic coconut sugar, for its low glycemic index, or maple syrup)

3 eggs

Preheat your oven to 325F.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the boiling water and in another small bowl, mix the almond meal with the baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a mixer, put the eggs, sugar and olive oil and beat vigorously for 3 minutes. Reduce speed and pour in the cocoa mixture and then the almond meal mixture.

Pour the final mixture into a 9" pan, well oiled on the sides and lines at the base with parchment paper. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until spaghetti or a toothpick comes out dry.

This recipe is from the fabulous new book by Nigella Lawson, Nigellissima, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada.