Monthly Archives: February 2012


I posted about this magical night — the Dep’s first tropical staycation — a while back, and I want to share these other photos, too. Our chef Jeremy was in charge of the main course (spicy jerk chicken, coconut rice and black beans, stewed kale, and a tropical cabbage slaw), and successfully left many, many people frozen in their food comas.

I was in charge of the rest of the dinner, which included my own “Le Pick Up Beer Nuts” (still not quite sure what “beer nuts” actually are), which were delicious but incredibly time intensive (I had to deep-fry 10lbs of raw peanuts in very small batches… boring and tedious work!). After they came out of the pot, warm and golden brown, I tossed them with a mixture of brown sugar, salt, black pepper, ground allspice, cinnamon, ground ginger, deep-fried garlic chips, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice + its zest, and scotch bonnet hot sauce, and added and added salt until they were perfect. It was the ultimate blend of sweet, spicy, and salty —otherwise known as the holy trifecta of flavor — and a perfect complement to ice-cold Red Stripes and dark ‘n’ stormies.

I was also in charge of the dessert course: a very dense, rich chocolate-rum-coffee cake, topped with a rum-infused whipped cream and a minty passion fruit and mango relish. The night was so fun (it ended with me teaching people how to do the Macarena?!) that I hope this becomes an annual Le Pick Up tradition.


I’m totally a freak about period dramas (what does it say about me that two of my favorite movies of all time are Last of the Mohicans and Pride & Prejudice? Or that my new favorite Cronenberg movie is A Dangerous Method?), so I have been waiting to watch Downton Abbey until I have a little break in my life to properly savor it and linger over it and WOW. Just. WOW. It’s all I could have imagined it to be and so, so much more. This image of Mr. Carson carefully decanting an old wine (is he sifting out the sediment?) totally reminded me of Adam. So classic. Wonder what they were drinking? Cuz you know it was Claret.


Ten days later and ten pounds heavier, my Montreal Gazette coverage for the Montreal en Lumiere is finally completed!

From sampling amaranthe with Clement Petitjean (and then eating his epic seven-course meal, alone!) to scoping DNA’s crazy meat-and-wine cellar, this week has been one of the most unique and brilliant dining experiences I’ve ever had. But, guys. I am so excited to not patronize a restaurant for a very, very long time.

You can see a list of the Montreal Gazette blog posts I wrote here, and here’s a rundown of all of the posts for easy access:

Montréal en Lumière: Piedmont cuisine with Seattle chef Jason Stratton

Montréal en Lumière: Keeping it “Healthy” at Aix

Montréal en Lumière: Flying Solo with Clement Petitjean at Laurie Raphaël

Montréal en Lumière: Quebec Inspiration with Christopher Mulder at DNA

Montréal en Lumière: See what’s hanging at DNA

Montréal en Lumière: Alex Malaise on sweets, snails, and harmony

Montréal en Lumière: Tasting Quebec’s bounty with Belgian chef Clément Petitjean at Laurie Raphaël

Montréal en Lumière: Chatting with Seattle chef Ethan Stowell

Montréal en Lumière: Dinner with Tjaco van Eijken, and wines by Domaine Drouhin

Montréal en Lumière: Drinking Drouhin wines with David Millman

Montréal en lumière: Gala with Seattle chef Jason Wilson and Long Shadows Wines

Montréal en lumière: Dinner with Matthew Dillon at Pullman

Montréal en lumière: A chat with Seattle chef Matthew Dillon


I have really been feeling dusty teal + pink colorways for my clothing. These are two new pieces (top: Rachel Comey from Bird; bottom: Zoologist by Charlotte Linton) that I’m fairly obsessed with. It’s so funny, I can’t remember the last time I bought a solid-colored piece. For some reason, my eye just seems to automatically skip over them these days.




For Valentine’s Day this year, we teamed up with some of our sweetest friends for a meal inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty. From the book there was Yotam’s bulghur wheat and roasted peppers salad; cauliflower with raisins; and eggplant spread dressed with pomegranate seeds. There was also a puntarelle salad dressed in lemon; the most delicious green olives packed lightly in oil and orange zest; purple potatoes, chorizo, fennel, and crispy sage; oh and a pair of chickens from Rotisserie Portugalia, too.

I’m glad I was able to sneak in some healthy eating before the decadence of Montreal en Lumiere completely took over my life! (Haha, who am I kidding: at this Valentine’s dinner there was also foie gras in a can, pulled pork, and biscuits!) But really, I’ve been eating like a fat king all week long, but when it comes to a feast, this is the kind of food I would want, every time.

Towards the end of the meal, Katherine lit a delicate lover’s candle — two candles, two wicks, in an embrace. It was a lovely close to one of the best Valentine’s of recent memory.


Today it was just me at the VENUS desk. Listen to the show, archived here (Enter the name of the show, Venus, and click on the stream for the program on Thursday, Feb. 23)!


e.s.g – purely physical (2006)

excepter – the last dance (2008)
miracles club – light of love (2011)
enon – daughter in the house of fools (2003)
these are powers – anything above nothing (2006)
eats tapes – knightress (2004)
la vampires – make me over (2010)
erase errata – marathon (2001)
cocteau twins – shallow then halo (1982)
siouxsie and the banshees – cities of dust (1986)
inca ore – shine on from the heaven above (2009)
kate bush – oh to be in love (1978)
we like cats – meow hear me roar (2010)
paavoharju – valo tihkuu kaiken lapi (2005)
peaking lights – hey sparrow (2011)
christina carter – dream long (2007)
sibylle baier – i lost something in the hills (1970-1973)
double leopards – druid spectre (2003)
stellar om source – ocean chain letters (2009?)
mia farrow – lullaby from rosemary’s baby (1968)
orphan fairytale – happy go lucky (2009)
blonde redhead – symphony of tremble (1997)
sonic youth feat. lydia lunch – death valley ’69 (1985)
ut – safe burning (1989)


I have been a mega fan of David Neale’s work (and his rad blog!) for a long time. But I’ve never bought any of his pieces because he makes mostly rings, and I hate wearing rings. (Also super impractical for a baker). But now that he’s making the Sunrise style in a beautiful gold bangle, I could see myself buying this piece… oh it’s so amazing!

[via The Golden Smith]



All of this super-rich Montreal en Lumiere food means that I am NOT hungry during the day, not even a little bit. It is crazy what this festival-blogging gig has done to my appetite and metabolism.

Normally this soup (homemade chicken stock + shredded chicken + black bean + butternut squash + pearl barley + dab of harissa + sprigs of fennel) would happily worm its way into my lunch plans (this photo was from last week). But these days I look at my fridge during the day and nearly gag. Appetite just doesn’t come until dinnertime — which usually means five-six courses of decadence.

Blogging for the Montreal Gazette has been a fascinating experience. My palate is undergoing some serious calisthenics, and though I’m not fatigued yet, I suspect I will feel differently by the week’s end. We’ll see. For now, I’m loving every second. The soup can wait.



One of my classiest outfits still renders me the most casually dressed person at last night’s Montreal en Lumiere dinner. Ah, Montreal. How you consistently out-fancy me.


The night of Sound + Season, Sasha made a huge bowl of couscous, which she fluffed with her fingers. The couscous was studded with plump currants, orange zest, orange blossom water, shaved almonds, and chopped black olives cured in oil. It was delicious. I’m weirdly terrible at making couscous, it always clumps together and gets sticky. Hers was perfect, so light and fluffy and dry.