John Oliver on Sugar: A Halloween Treat

John Oliver is genius.  Love this.  Spot on and perfect for Halloween!

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Food Market Luang Prabang

IMG_5683In the mornings this narrow lane used to be filled with women, mostly, who had come into town to sell what ever things they could.  A large Banana leaf would be laid down on the ground and their wares spread out:  some roots, fruit, a few dead birds….maybe some prepared food like steamed rice to offer to the monks.  Well that might as well have been a lifetime ago as tourism has certainly changed the once humble nature of this magical little peninsula.  Now this lane way has a food market every night that is packed with local vendors who create, in many instances these huge all you can eat groaning boards.  Others are more specialized, this one sells dessert or fruit, a few people sold local packaged goods, someone else makes Som Tam (green papaya salad).  The most popular item it seemed to me the night I wandered into the maw of tourists filling their plates was: protein on a stick.  Mostly meat but sometimes fish.IMG_5693IMG_5673 IMG_5675 IMG_5684I believe the picture above is sparrow on a stick. Continue reading

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Chips: Reinventing a Favorite Food

IMG_5755Coming home after a trip is always something I really look forward to. This was particularly true this trip and not just because I had the 40 hour, 5 connection voyage from hell and was desperate to no longer be sitting on a plane. No this trip I was particularly excited to get home because my copy of Chips was waiting for me!

Chips marks the first time a recipe of mine has been published in a cookbook.

Author, Food Stylist, Art Director, Canner extraordinaire and friend Chris Bryant asked several food bloggers if they would like to contribute a recipe for Chips.  I was honored to be asked and offered up Lotus Chips with Red Curry Peanut Dip.  Chris has done a fabulous job presenting the recipe as you can see by the picture below.lotus-with-red-curry-898x1024The book is beautifully styled and put together.  Most importantly to me is that it’s filled with a lot great recipes that are informative and clearly written.

Chris lays out all the chip-making options from baking and frying to dehydrating. I would never have thought about dehydration as a way to make chips.  He then walks you through each step to ensure chip success ;-)  It seems to be the hallmark of Lark’s books (Sterling Publishing) to be first and foremost great resources on what ever topic they take on whether it’s: Keeping Bees, CanningKeeping Chickens or Chips.

He also makes you re-evaluate what chips are or at least can be: Meat Chip anyone?

Now go out Urbanfoodguy readers and get a copy so can you wow your friends this holiday season! And tell your friends ;-)

Thank you Chris for including me in this wonderful cookbook!


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The Craftsman: Farming in Ethiopia

This is the Perennial Plate’s last travel video that they did in collaboration with Intrepid travel.  It seemed apt to post this today after I have just gotten home after a fairly grueling 40 hour journey home that took me briefly to Moscow, where I was greeted by a large flat screen TV proclaiming:  Plane Crash in Moscow Kills Oil Billionaire. Let’s just say that my 90 minute lay over was enough of Russian for me for this lifetime.

I have lots more to post about Bangkok, Laos and the new cook book Chips: Reinventing a Favorite Food, by Chris Bryant which features a recipe by yours truly.  Stay tuned.



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Luang Prabang Laos

IMG_5561 IMG_5629In a very spur of the moment gesture I got on a plane yesterday and came to one of my favorite places on the planet: Luang Prabang, Laos.  And I am so glad I did.  It is many things, a telecommunications center is not one of them, so wifi is dodgy, ergo my taking 2 days to get this post up.  Here are some pictures of this time warp paradise: IMG_5545And you thought French colonialism was over?  French influenced food can be found all over town, but no one does it better than the owners of L’Elephant, who have several venues in town one of my favorites is their Cafe Ban Vat Sene where I enjoyed a lovely lunch.IMG_5551IMG_5546IMG_5548IMG_5587The Nam Khan, or slow river, which flows on one side of town the Mekong flows down the other.IMG_5663The main course of my lunch at the Amantaka.  The most expensive hotel in town and well worth a visit if only for their $35, three course lunch.IMG_5630IMG_5669IMG_5563

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Eating on the Streets

IMG_5269From early in the day to late into the night hard working Thai’s set up shop on the streets often creating mini sidewalk restaurants. The average Thai worker will either stop by and pick something up to take home or if there is a seat available sit down and eat on a stool perch at the the edge of the sidewalk.  Kin Khao Reu Yang? Is Thai for: Have you eaten?IMG_5270IMG_5272IMG_5268IMG_5282 IMG_5281 IMG_5284 IMG_5280 IMG_5283


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Made in Candy: Candy Making as Mall Entertainment

IMG_5020Mall culture in Bangkok is like no other.  Like Canada they have a climate that most of the year is unbearable and everyone wants to escape.  The solution to this: highly air conditioned malls filled with shops of every kind (mostly upscale international brands) and a lot of places to eat.

When you have maxed out your credit cards and can’t eat another thing there are other forms of entertainment: Sea World, Madame Tussauds and Made in Candy 

To be honest I was amazed at how transfixed Neil and I were by the candy makers.  So much so Continue reading

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