Never return an empty pie dish

Rustic Apple Pie Galette Crostata Tart -4

There is something about apple pie that just makes everything right. It promises to right every wrong and make the world a better and more human place. It calls to mind the warm, cosy smells of autumn and winter and mothers and grandmothers in kitchens covered with flour. The smell of the apples, cinammon and butter wafting through the creases of the stove, waking you up from even your deepest slumber. Yes, apple pie is that good. It’s like a simple, easy dessert for the soul. A lot of love in a little dish.

So when I had to return the dish of a friend recently, I decided that I would not return the dish empty.  This is a charming custom of our Arab hosts in the UAE which I picked up along the way when I worked in kitchen and tableware retail. Sharing dishes is popular in every culture and different ones have different ways of looking out for each other. During Ramadan, families and friends send around huge platters and containers to each other’s homes.  The tradition is for food vessels to be returned the way they came-  filled with food.

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I Work in Food! Interview with Karyn Williams-Sykes, top F&B and hospitality trainer

Karyn Williams Sykes Top Hospitality Trainer-1

Karyn Wiliams-Sykes is quite an indomitable force in the hospitality industry.  When you meet her or sit in a training session with her, you get a glimpse of the complex measure of bold strength and soft skills that it takes to really do well in her role. Hailing from the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, she is a a lively and rather engaging trainer.  The Director of Training and Professional Development at Emirates Academy (a subsidiary of the Jumeirah Group) has worked tirelessly to the top of her profession, earning the respect and high regard of her colleagues in the field. Last year Karyn was featured as one of the leading women in hospitality in the UAE by Hospitality Business Middle East and she has since been appointed to their Editorial Board this year. Hers is a rather captivating interview and she shares solid solid experience-based advice for those considering a career in Food & Beverage and hospitality.

This is part of our I Work in Food series where we interview indusrry leaders in the hope of motivating you towards your own dreams. Continue reading

The Wish List 2014 – Our favourite kitchen appliances for chefs and avid home cooks

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Sugar pour

For the past few weeks we have both been dreaming and daydreaming.  It’s been a while since we acquired any new kitchen appliance and we are getting really ansty to try a few of the products that have made it to the top of our combined wish list.  Yes, Chef you are right. I am the one who has been really ultra eager.  No I won’t mention the countless times you have hissed your teeth at our domestic juicer and blender, grunting that they were not up to standard and ruining your recipes.

Our last appliance acquisitions were the Bamix of Switzerland hand blender, our Kitchen Aid Mixer with the Ice Cream Maker Attachment and our extra large capacity Magimix Food Processor. Our Bamix is our most used appliance, our Kitchen Aid is a very handy tool for baking and food prep alongside our Magimix Food Processor for everyday meals, demonstrations, entertaining and catering. We want to develop some exciting recipes for these appliances as well because you know how we feel about giving you options for superbly tasting food that doesn’t take you all day.

These appliances make food preparation fun and practical not only for the assigned cook of the household, but even for otherwise reluctant cooks.  Here are some of the things we would love to have in our kitchen right about now. Two of our appliances need replacement and the others are necessary kitchen resources for improving our workflow in our home kitchen. Of course, since we are Chef and Steward, we have selected the best products in their categories that would suit the kitchen of culinary professionals and keen home cooks. If only we had a fairy godparent to turn our wishes into reality! Continue reading