On becoming a Foodie

You know, I come from a family of amazing cooks. My grandfathers were both bakers, and one of them even a world class Danish pastry chef, Sven. He had a son who is a professional baker, Gus. He also had a daughter, Susan, who’s deliciously diverse cuisine skills are pro-level. She had a daughter, Ella, who makes the world’s best crèpes, among other delicacies. Together these two ladies, Susan and Ella, have been known to gourmet-cater to over a hundred people… while camping… for THREE days.

Get it? They’re good. Really good.

And I’ve kinda always been the one that wasn’t so good. Not that I’m known in the family as a ‘terrible cook’ or anything…  it’s just I’ve never been the one whipping up new recipes or organising feasts for dozens at a time. I’m the dishwasher in the kitchen, or chopper at best. And I know what my mum would say to this: “but you make great bread!”

My bread is alright. I’ve had better. But you know what? I think I might actually be growing into a ‘good cook’! Whether it was my early passion for heathy, sustainable food (vegan), my various jobs in hospitality, or just my damn good genes, I believe I can now officially call myself a ‘foodie’.

The culmination of my culinary experience has come in the form of my current job – cook on board a privately owned yacht. I’ve had to learn quickly, cater to lots of different preferences and figure out how to do ‘gourmet’ while sweating your weight in salt, inside a steaming, rolling, galley.

And it’s been a lot of fun! Obviously I still have a LONG way to go in being anything close to world-class, but I reckon I can whip up a pretty delicious dinner party these days.

I’ve been learning from lots of different sources, altering recipes here and there to suit. One of my favourite cook books is Pete Evans’ “Healthy Everyday” which I draw a lot of inspiration from. I’ve been baking exclusively sugar-free treats, and a lot of these dishes are gluten free too. Here are some of the things I’ve been trying my hand at:

Polenta patties with mozzarella cream and seared arugala

Polenta patties with mozzarella cream and seared arugala

Sushi with crushed sunflower paste, fresh herbs and raw vegetables.

Sushi with crushed sunflower paste, fresh herbs and raw vegetables.

Pumpkin Soup with grilled prawns and a hint of miso and sesame flavour

Pumpkin Soup with grilled prawns and a hint of miso and sesame flavour

Avocados stuffed with marinated shrimp

Avocados stuffed with marinated shrimp

Mmm, a Pete Evans winning recipe - Pomegranate and herb crusted salmon.

Mmm, a Pete Evans winning recipe – Pomegranate and herb crusted salmon.

Sushi with freshly caught (I love sailing!) fish and goat cheese

Sushi with freshly caught fish, cucumber and goat cheese

Beetroot-goat cheese salad, zucchini boats and rosemary potato wedges

Beetroot-goat cheese salad, roasted zucchini boats, rosemary potato wedges, and quail egg mushrooms

Oven-grilled filo quiche

Filo quiche with oven-grilled smokey vegetables

Sugar-free date and walnut slice

Sugar-free date and walnut slice

 

I love these little guys - Crushed Pea patties with smoked salmon and quail eggs

I love these little guys – Crushed Pea patties with smoked salmon and quail eggs

A wheat pasta alternative - zucchini ribbons with a raw tomato and peppers salsa

A wheat pasta alternative – zucchini ribbons with a raw tomato and peppers salsa

Dairy free, sugar free,  chocolate raspberry mousse

Dairy free, sugar free, chocolate raspberry mousse

 

That’s it! Lots more learning to come, but so far I’m quite happy with the progress… and I sure am having fun!

 

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