Monday, June 4, 2018

My China Chapter in the New Taste of the Place Global Cookbook....

It's heeeeeeeere......!!! Over the moon ThRiLLeD to have received the much-anticipated global cookbook Taste of The Place (Authentic recipes from real kitchens around the globe) conceptualized and produced by Julie Ann Cockburn from Oregon, USA who I have had the complete honour to collaborate a chapter with. Lovely Julie is a real food advocate, food photographer and writer with a knack for discovering regional cuisines through cooking and travelling, featured on her site Taste of The Place, now blossomed into it's very own cookbook- Congrats Julie!!! She has also graced Susan's Savour-It! as my very first guest blogger with her delicious autumn Roasted Acorn Squash with Zingy Greens. Along with 12 other food writers from around the world, each with our own countries' chapter, I contributed four recipes for China (an appetizer, main meal, side and dessert) from my beloved heritage on Cantonese Chinese cuisine. Read on for more on how to order an e-book or printed cookbook and for a discount code.

As Julie says, "this is about bringing people together over food, even though they are worlds apart!"

For info. to order an E-Book or Printed Cookbook

Here are a few highlights to whet your appetite –
  • Enjoy over 50 authentic, regional recipes from real kitchens around the globe, each accompanied by beautiful, full-color photos.
  • Each regional chapter explores what makes the food from that area so special.
  • Gain personal insights into the culinary cultures of 13 different parts of the world. 
  • The areas of the world we will explore together – Argentina, China, Curaçao, Czech Republic, India, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Romania, South Africa, Cornwall in the United Kingdom, The Midwest United States, and The Southwest United States. 
  • For more information of how to order an E-Book or Cookbook, see HERE.

Taste of the Place

Meet my fellow brilliant and beautiful women contributors from around the world...

From top left clockwise to bottom left: Mira Jirrar on Jordan; Petra Novotna on Czech Republic; Susan Ng on China; Prachi Grover on India; Sandra Mukidza on Kenya; Lindsey Shifley on the Midwest, USA; Maria Elena Ledesma on Argentina; Debbie Thorpe on Cornwall, U.K; Rebecca Bourhill on South Africa; Terri Salminen on Italy; Muriel Strobos on Curaçao; Dana Visternicu on Romania and Amy Baker Wambold on the Southwest, USA

Now meet the one and only Super Julie, who single-handedly put this entire book together!

Julie Ann Cockburn, Bend Oregon, USA

I had a chance to interview Julie to learn about her vision and the journey that went into  making the book.

What inspired you to create this global cookbook and how did you select the contributors?

The Taste Of The Place cookbook was inspired by my realization after a magical dinner on the Oregon coast that every meal has the potential to tell the story of a place. The ingredients, the flavors, and even the cooking techniques give us a glimpse into the history, culture, and land of that particular part of the world.

I originally met all the contributors through the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution ambassador program. I was inspired by each of these 13 women not only because of their love of delicious and REAL food but because of their passion for exploring and sharing their own unique cultures. So when it came time to begin the Taste Of The Place cookbook project, they were the perfect, natural fit.

Collecting, testing and compiling recipes from food contributors around the world must have been exciting and overwhelming at the same time. What was the biggest challenge and learnings?

There were certainly a lot of challenges to gathering and preparing these recipes to go to print. In some cases, language barriers were a challenge, and of course, there was the issue of converting units and measures. But the biggest challenge was trying to interpret ingredients that are commonplace in one culture, but unknown in North America. For example, in Romania, they have a very different cheese culture than we do here in the US, and there isn't a lot of online information to help out. I actually spent weeks researching and then testing cheeses for the Romanian Tocinei (potato pancakes) and Papanasi (cheese donuts) recipes before finally settling on what I thought were acceptable substitutes to the traditional Romanian cheeses. I have to admit - it was a tasty challenge!
Speaking of Dana's Romania recipes- I had the opportunity to make these recipes as part of the proofing and retesting process. The results were sensational. Take a look here.

Your book is such a celebration of not only recipes, but stories and traditions of cultures from around the world. Was there a particular cuisine or dish that really stood out or resonated with you?

Of course, I love all the chapters in the cookbook and have many recipes that I regularly make at home for my family, but yes, I do have my favorite favorites! I love savory, spicy beef dishes, so the Jordanian Royal Kebabs and the South African Bobotie are personal favorites.

What is your aspiration for this wonderful and collaborative cookbook project?

My hope in sharing all these beautiful recipes and food cultures is that readers will be inspired to embark on a culinary adventure. I believe that by reading the personal stories that accompany the recipes, and tasting these dishes from around the globe, that they will gain a deeper understanding of and connection to not only the regions featured in the cookbook, but also to the rich diversity that the world has to offer.

Thank you Julie! I can't wait to cook out of this globe-trotting recipe book.

So EXCITED last week to have received the books by mail :D

Thank you Julie... I finally have a copy in my hot lil' hands! YAY!

My Cantonese Chow Mein has always been the top contender as my most popular blog post, and that's after 600 posts. And I'll say I'm not surprised in the least-- it's such a gorgeous dish, full of healthful veggies, colour and textures all smothered in a glazy sauce over fried egg noodles! I was so pleased to learn that this beautiful rendition by Julie made running photo after the cookbook's cover page.

Photo Credit: Taste of the Place by Julie Cockburn

Sharing my recipe for steamed fish fillets Cantonese-Style (not whole fish) with Julie remarking, "it's such a perfect and approachable recipe for introducing people to Chinese cooking!" This dish uses readily frozen fish fillets, with no bones to contend with. Beautifully styled and shot Julie! :D

Cantonese Steamed Fish with Ginger, Cilantro & Green Onions

Cantonese Steamed Fish with Ginger, Cilantro & Green Onions

Admiring the history of my heritage roots and classic black and white photos of my dad cooking.
Take a close up read on this very page spread.

Back story: I was flipping through old yellowing family photo albums and sighted these photos I totally forgot about.. it caught me off guard and brought tears to my eyes. These were of my dad before I was born-- the first one of him learning to roast a pig when he went over to neighbouring Hong Kong from Guangzhou, China and the other when he was working in my aunt's restaurant in Newfoundland before coming to Toronto. I just love these rare B&W photos of him! We owned two Chinese restaurants after I was born, and my mom is a wicked cook, no wonder I got cooking in my blood :D.
I can't wait to gift this cookbook to my parents. My dad will be surprised and hopefully very proud!

My father learning how to roast an entire pig-- a hallmark-must for a Cantonese chef. 

How do you get your hands on a copy? You can get an E-book or a printed cookbook shipped out of the States. They are on PRE-order until the release date June 26th. To my readers, I am offering a discount code of 20% off either the printed book or e-book. The code to use is: susanssavourit. Click HERE for pricing, and a sneak peek into two of my recipes.

I hope you enjoy reading the book and trying something new…
Here’s to taking the culinary adventure into your kitchen!
Susan Ng

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