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Photography: Heather Gill

A Chef, A Photographer. A Storyteller.

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A Comforting Italian Trifle

Photography: Stuart Ovenden

"It's all about the details!"

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Monday, 8 August 2011

Berries and Beef – A Plate to Page Assignment


With the Weimar workshop now done and dusted, we are keen to show off some of the excellent work our participants did under fairly intense time constraints during the course of several assignments and exercises throughout the 2.5 days.

This piece beautifully captures in words and pictures the impressions of a typical workshop day in the lives of two participants from different ends of the world . The principal topic was beef and both participants presented the piece to the entire group for open critique and feedback.
We were deeply impressed by the quality of the work and hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did.

Arugula Salad


The merging of cultures and food can have quite a profound effect when an Irish lass with a hunk of tender beef is paired up with a Canadian girl who toted bucketful's of Saskatoon Berries half way around the world.
Hunks of exquisite Irish beef filet slipped out of their silver skins with Julia and her Ergo knife at the helm. Then, after a brief bath in olive oil, black pepper and salt, we gave the beef a little breathing room and returned to our original delegated task at hand which was to prepare a baked goats cheese on a bed of rocket salad.

Complete insanity ensued.


Food Bloggers in Action


If I was assigned the task of ‘appetizer’ then why did I not stick to my chores and be done with it? Walk away, leave the EntrĂ©e delegates to the beef and start praying to St. Jameson that they would treat it nice, treat it good, treat it like they really should. Because it was my lunch, and I am a control freak.
My assignment partner Julia, for a read head, remained calm and encouraged me to slip back and forth between the beef and salad. So pines nuts started to sizzle and salty questions about beef and water weight made a hotter kitchen start to simmer, and then, to burn.

My fault.  Damn that stupid electric stove with its buttons. The polenta was toast. Although she had (probably) every good reason to point fingers and chase someone around the Kipperquelle with a wooden spoon for ruining her dish, our feisty Italian instructor Illva just scooped it out like a knowing chef and rescued our lunch...........

Sizzling hot skillets seared the meats and hunger pangs were ignited. A Guinness mustard slathered over top of the beef began to tempt the waiting foodie paparazzi to the stove. Last nights bread (grated into crumbs) with pilfered chives, generously coated the beef and it was ready for its few final minutes in hellish heat.


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Whilst waiting for someone to offer us a glass of wine -- don’t y’all drink wine with lunch over here in Europe? -- we dumped the bucket of Saskatoon berries into the pot and waited for them to bubble and boil. A few spoonfuls later, and one burnt tongue, with a dollop of Saskatoon jam, we left the berries alone to do their thing. Because I like to cook with wine, and sometimes even add it to the food, we reluctantly poured a finishing splash of Kevin Arnold Shiraz to bring it all together.


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It did bring it all together. Well, it (being the wine sponsors) Beef (being Bord Bia) and the hard hard work of our amazing instructors. Four ferocious wonderful talented sexy funny strong intelligent friends.

Illva, Meeta, Jeanne and Jamie.

To invite a group of feisty cultures into a kitchen, to encourage them to share and learn, teach and be taught, to extract the artists from within and encourage them to blossom, this is something special.

This, is Plate2Page.

Written by Mona Wise | Photos by Julia House