Ceviche is essentially a seafood cocktail using fresh fish that is marinated or “cooked” in a large amount of lime juice. It’s one of those dishes that seems to make folks nervous due to the omission of heat to ‘cook’ the raw seafood ingredients.

What is really happening is that the acetic acid in the lime kills bacteria and coagulates proteins that actually cook the product. This is a method has been utilized for centuries in South America to render potentially hazardous seafood safe as well as to create delicious dishes.

There are some recipes that are worth the wait and Beef Bourguignon is one of them.

Beef Bourguignon does take a little bit of time; but when a recipe is this good, you can’t and shouldn’t rush it. There’s a reason why beef bourguignon is a culinary cult-classic, and when you taste it, you’ll see why. Its savoury, seared beef and fork-tender vegetables, simmering in a rich full-flavored sauce is crowd pleaser.

The cacophony of another holiday season is just around the corner. What better time to have a few hot, nutritious meal ideas on hand to assemble, quickly and easily, in the midst of everything else going on.

A favourite of mine is a modern twist on Japanese Katsu bowls. This recipe is made with fresh ingredients and provides infinite variety for individual tastes. (So much better than the ‘bricks’ of starchy instant noodles, with their little packet of mysterious salty flavourings, found in grocery stores!)

Organizing menus perfectly tailored to accommodate unique events and culinary needs is par for the course when you have a catering business like Nicholas Waters has. Regardless of the season, he and his staff have to be prepared to offer different catering styles—anything from a traditional 9-course Chinese dinner to galas, fundraisers, cocktail parties or special family group events. “We have to be ready for anything,” says Waters. “It’s important to me that I offer all of the extra touches my clients expect from me.”

With a hot dry weather forecast, this month’s recipe is a perfect “livin’ is easy” kind of summer dish you can make ahead of time. Then, leave it in a warm oven or on the BBQ while you enjoy more time outside with friends and family—and an ice-cold drink!

When you cook with wine, the rule of thumb is usually: if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it! In this case, however, the wine really does define the essence of the end product. While the beef is the star of the show, the wine most certainly is the ‘best supporting actor.’ It brings out the very best of the ribs with its acidity that tenderizes the meat and adds sweetness to the flavour.

Winter is behind us and the sun is starting to warm the soil in our gardens in preparation for the glorious days of summer just around the corner.

At this time of the year, one of the first shoots of the season is asparagus, a local vegetable that screams springtime to me. The local season is relatively short and while we can buy asparagus all year round from across the globe, locally grown always tastes that much better.

Asparagus and butter go together like peanut butter and jelly, Fred and Ginger, SpongeBob and Crabby cakes. The asparagus recipe in this issue has everything to make those delicate spears of green goodness pop.

Pasta is one of those kitchen staples that has so many applications, it is impossible to list the myriad of dishes in this short column.

The word ‘pasta’ literally translates into ‘paste’. While the concept of a malleable dough, shaped and cooked is widely accepted as originating in Italy, it truly is a global phenomenon these days—and universally enjoyed. According to the Encyclopedia of Pasta, there are 310 specific forms of pasta with over 1,300 documented names. One particular ‘shape’ (cavetelli) has 28 different names depending on the town or region in which it is made!

With all that said, making pasta is pretty easy. Freshly made pasta right out of the pot with a little butter or olive oil and some fresh herbs is a dish fit for the finest of tables.

With the holiday season past us, I just have to glance at the remnants of cookies, cakes, chocolates, candies and other sweet delights that made my blood sugar climb and acknowledge my pants do feel a bit tighter. That said, this time of year is as much about future planning as it is about remembering the fun stuff, the joy of letting loose a little, and basking in fond memories with family and friends. Even our Camosun Culinary Arts students are sharing memories of being ‘voluntold’ into applying their cooking skills for loved ones over the holiday season!

Gingerbread is one of those seasonal treats that we rarely see outside of the holidays; yet it can be utilized for so many entertaining, engaging and creative activities for all ages all year round. The beauty of this tasty building material is in the infinite number of shapes and engineering marvels you can construct with it.

No matter how many of these enormously gratifying projects I undertake, I always get halfway through and realize my intent far surpasses my abilities or time. My advice to you is to start small and work your way up. As with so many things in life, planning is the key to success.

Food quotations have always illustrated the essence of food in our lives. Food brings us together and breaks
down barriers that would divide us. First dates invariably involve a food component, as do birthdays, christenings, funerals, weddings—and just about every holiday celebration. All incorporate food for one very significant reason: it is a way to connect and share with those who are important in our lives.

The Culinary Arts program at Camosun College strives to instill upon our students the importance of food, not just as a commercial commodity, but the important place it holds across cultures and society in general. For thousands of years stylishly presented food was a demonstration of wealth, power, and success in all civilizations. Cooks who developed their skills to the highest levels have been in high demand by the movers and the shakers around the globe from the early days of empires and kingdoms.