Friday, April 17, 2009
The Mystery Chef
Many people who stop to chat about Home At Last! usually ask about my favorite types of food. I'm often asked who inspires me and who do I enjoy watching on television.
The first question is the toughest-I love so many types of foods. I am a huge fan of Japanese food, I enjoy the passion behind Tuscan foods, and I often crave middle-eastern food with its rich, exotic spices and contrasting textures. So the answer changes depending on the day that question is asked.
Who has inspired over time is much easier to answer. I remember being captivated by Julia Child and she remains one of my favorite TV personalities. Jacques Pepin was another, Martha Stewart helped me realize that I was passionate about home and Francios Vatel, a famous French Chef inspires me to create beautiful food!
The radio and television personality that I would have most liked to meet was John McPherson, The Mystery Chef!
He predated Julia Child, starting out in radio in the 30's and he also enjoyed a short run on television is 1949. I have collected three of his cookbooks and he is one of my favorite reads!
The grapes pictured here are from the book. They are frosted rather than sugared and I think they work well as a garnish for cheese stations at an event. I know everyone knows how to sugar fruit and understands the method with beaten egg whites.
Here's John McPherson's method:
"Dip clean and dried fruit into apple juice. Allow all the juice to drip off the fruit before dipping into caster sugar."
I opted for a combination of powdered, granulated and pearl dust. It completely encased the fruit-so I took a pastry brush and brushed off parts of the grapes.