An Eye for Beauty

12 Mar 2005, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

Since discovering the work of Kelly Cline, I have been changing over all the pages of Gastronomic Meditations to incorporate her food shots. Her sense of aesthetics is utterly in tune with my own, and her photos lend a complementary air of ethereal beauty to words full of passion for cuisine. In fact, Kelly’s photo of apples and honey inspired the entire redesign of the site from its last incarnation, and to this muse of mine I am most grateful. :) Invariably, when I receive feedback about Gastronomic Meditations, it includes the question, “Where did you get your photography?? I’m…

Carb Lovers Unite

11 Mar 2005, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

I’ve tried to behave. Really, I have. I eat much less bread than I used to, and have made it a point to incorporate whole grains. But have you ever tried to resist a loaf fresh from the oven? When I was in high school, my brother would awake me on Saturday mornings by waving a bag of freshly baked bagels under my nose. It was better than any alarm clock in existence. This month’s issue of Gastronomic Meditations is all about decadence, from bread, bread, and bread, to foie gras. Mmm…foie gras. Don’t be afraid of the carbs. Or…

Turkey Trot

08 Nov 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

Egads, it’s that time again. Time to start preparing The Menu. The Sister and I must soon formulate our strategy, for we will undoubtedly have too many recipes on the wish list, and we’ll have to pare it down to human proportions. Then the Niece will get involved with her own opinions, which we’ll ignore as soon as she leaves the room. We’ve already plied Mom into retirement with a bottle of Bailey’s and a cozy blanket, so all bases are firmly covered. Besides, two Chiefs are more than enough at this pow-wow. Since we have now mastered the art…

Autumn Splendor

25 Oct 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

At long last, my favorite season is here. No more humidity, no more air conditioning. Now it is time to bake. To kick off the harvest season, I returned to the preschool for another session with my favorite little chefs. We made Apple Duff, which is a peeled, cored apple stuffed with raisins and brown sugar, then wrapped in puff pastry. I gave them each a cup of the raisin/sugar mix with which to stuff their apples, then set about helping each of them to wrap it all in the dough. By the time I got halfway around the table,…

Summer Lust

18 Aug 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

Tempting, luscious tomato, why do you torture me? My spirit is counting the minutes ’til you cast aside your shades of green, the verdant reflections of my jealousy. I envy the vine’s hold on you, its power to keep you captive, and long for it to release you to me. For then I shall partake of your splendor, the craving for which drives my soul through the hot months of summer. Each day is an eternity without the taste of you. How I long to bathe you in luxurious oils, releasing your succulent juices and fulfilling my hunger once more….

Michael Newberry

17 Jul 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

I met a new friend in Vancouver, one who I hope will be in my life for a long time to come. His name is Michael Newberry, and he is an internationally renowned artist whose work lights my soul on fire. The vividness of the hues in his paintings is like no other I’ve seen, and his canvases radiate with luminosity. In the end, I discovered that his paintings are merely a reflection of his soul. Not surprisingly, Michael and I bonded over cuisine. The first night of the conference he said to me, “Aren’t you the gourmet?” Our conversation…

Oh, Canada…

16 Jul 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in travel

I found British Columbia to be the optimal location for a July visit. The air is temperate and dry, and the views are magnificent. My travels took me from the mountain’s peak to the water’s edge as I meandered through Vancouver, Whistler and Vancouver Island. The farmer’s market in Vancouver is a sight to behold — every stall is a study in color and texture. I could not believe the variety of exotic ingredients for sale, and was saddened that I did not have a kitchen in which to experiment. It was not so bad to settle for dining out,…

A Feast for the Senses

15 Jul 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in chefs & restaurants, travel

On my recent trip to Vancouver I hosted a dinner party at Lumiere, a Mobil 5-Star restaurant owned by Chef Rob Feenie. Rob is one of my favorite chefs, and I knew he and his staff would put on a brilliant show for us. Their efforts did not disappoint, as my guests and I were presented with a special eight-course summer menu paired with wines for our feast. We spent the evening in sensory satiation. As the courses progressed I gazed around the table to view each person’s reaction. Some people I knew quite well, others I did not, but…

That Dear Old, Dirty Town

28 Jun 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

I’ve enjoyed spending the last few months in the bucolic tranquility of the Hudson Valley, and am glad I took the time to do so. However, I’ve discovered that a solitary work existence is not my ideal. As someone who has always thrived on a bit of chaos, I’m finding that the lack of it can be debilitating. I’m not sure what this says about me, nor am I sure I want to. I tend to be somewhat fidgety by nature, so it soothed my soul to return to a kitchen environment where there was controlled chaos all around me….

For the Love of Archibald

22 May 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in travel

I wasn’t sure what to expect gastronomically from my pilgrimage to Scotland. I had hoped there would be some form of cuisine that was not saturated in starch (this was the land of the deep-fried Mars bar, after all). What I did not expect to find was a talented Italian cook. His name is Archibald Clark, and he is, in his own words, my mad, mental, Celtic cousin. Archie is the kind of person who will very comfortably speak his mind with little concern for the impact of the truth on others. I took to him immediately. His effusive charm…

A Trip to the Chippy

17 May 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in travel

I knew it would be a challenge to maintain my low-carb regimen while in Scotland, especially given that most menus comprise battered protein and starch with a side of peas. However, I was not about to blow a 13-lb. weight loss. At least, this was my frame of mind before I discovered the glory of fish and chips. Since returning from my trip, I have decided that I will never again eat this dish anywhere but in Scotland. Not only will this ensure dedication to my regimen, but it will guarantee that my vision of the perfect fried combination will…

On Food and Sensuality

21 Apr 2004, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food, sensuality

I am often amused by the reaction I get by expressing how closely food and sensuality are related. During a recent cooking class, I was enamored with the sight and texture of a decadent custard we had just prepared. As I drizzled the pearlescent yellow cream over a dish of succulent strawberries, I couldn’t help but to comment aloud, “This, right here, is sex on a plate.” There were some puzzled looks.