Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekly Linkage: Gross Food, Gross Fish and not-gross-at-all Bijou

Maybe I'm wrong.  I'd love to be.  I'd love for someone with knowledge of the facts to correct me (perhaps in the comments section of this post).

I consider Stratford to be a clean city, with beautiful parks and with a distinct absence of the litter and general grime that other locales suffer from.  The grass is green, the flowers are beautiful, the trees are healthy, the not (well, at times it's green, but beautiful and healthy?  No.)

Perhaps it's too motionless, perhaps it's all the duck/swan poop.  Whatever it is, to me it appears disgusting.  And yet people fish in it.  Now, I know the derby this past weekend is facilitated by the Optimist club 'stocking' the lake with healthy fish from another location. This doesn't alleviate my gut feeling of disgust at the thought of people eating the fish from that water.

People are often shocked at the concept of the '5 second rule' in restaurants (the idea that if a piece of food hits the floor, as long as it's picked up within 5 seconds, it's still ok to use).  While I'm sure that rule is NEVER put into practice in ANY restaurant in our lovely city, to me this derby is a far more disturbing practice.

I mean, these fish effectively marinate in a poop brine for hours, sometimes days - as this morning there were families fishing in the rain, 2 days after the derby.  They are then caught and (I fear) cooked and eaten by potentially unsuspecting families.

Please tell me I'm wrong.  That I'm an ignorant idiot.  Show me some facts that dispel my fears.  I'm actually begging here.

On to the links!

Sticking with the gross food theme: this is an older article, but still quite relevant given the success of shows like Outrageous Foods on the Food Network.  It talks about the gross food movement.  You know, like shrimp and ham cake, 9lb burgers and the mega bacon sandwich.  It's sort of like if Maury Povich or Jerry Springer were chefs, these are the things they'd make.

Even worse (better) is when people cram food into them quickly.  At least this year, women will have a chance to compete in the Nathan's Famous hot dog-eating contest (though for a quarter of the prize money).  I applaud Nathan's for giving both sexes equal opportunity to act like pathetic fools.

Hopefully all that processed meat won't kill them.

Worried about radiated seafood from off the coast of Japan?  Be thankful you don't live in Britain, where since 1952, a nuclear plant on the Irish sea has dumped about 44 times the amount of cesium-137 into its waters than Fukushima has dumped into the pacific.  I guess that's good news?

This device doesn't measure radiation, but it will tell you if your meat has expired.

In case you weren't aware, this past weekend was easter.  Here are some interesting facts about the eggs you painted.

A celebrity chef who will not snub Toronto!  I always liked David Chang better than those other guys anyways.

A bunch of food related 'best of' and 'top 100' lists came out recently.  The San Pellegrino Top 100 restaurant list does not include any Canadian restaurants, which is bad news for Langdon Hall, who had finished 77th last year. The seventh annual Canadian Cheese Grand Prix results are in.  Also, some guy named Grant Achatz was the only food related entry in the Time 100 list.  Never heard of him.

On a sombre note, one of the most enigmatic and fun to watch Canadian TV chefs passed away this week.  Ken Kostick was just 57.

Lastly, but by far not the least, this past week saw chef Aaron Linley and Steve from Bijou Restaurant battle Paula and Ben from Verses Restaurant in round 2 of the 3rd annual Nick and Nat's Iron Chef, Uptown!  Aaron did Stratford proud as he defeated the competition in 'Battle Organic Beef'  As he does, The Local-Come-Lately was there to intrepidly report the goings-on.  Please read his article, complete with a kick-ass  video capturing the action!  Congrats Aaron!


  1. Thanks for linking my Iron Chef post Chew!
    Under the category of Outrageous Food...
    Next week Slow Food Perth County's hosting a group of Canadian youth at McCully's Hill Farm for a day of workshops & great meals. For dinner, the kids get to pick between a pulled-pork sandwich or a perch sandwich. Or they can get the doubledecker combo: "Porch"!

  2. I could totally get into a "porch", it's when you batter and deep fry it, then use it as a garnish on a sundae that you've lost me :)