Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Culinary Iconoclast Ruby Tandoh

Cooks, bakers, and even food bloggers tend to be sheep. They follow and write about what's trending, trying to keep up with the culinary hipsters who make our eating rules. Luckily, there is a rebel, the famed British chef, baker and blogger Ruby Tandoh to break the rules. She believes in eating what mothers and grans have said for centuries  -eat what you like. The heck with what everyone else tries to tell you.

Ruby Tandoh's name may sound familiar to fans of The Great British Baking Show.Times contributor, Tejal Rao, a regular contributor and food blogger herself., wrote about this phenomenon in today's New York Times  Food section. She was one of the final contestant on the Season Four competition. This former art and philosophy major turned to cooking and baking as not only a passion but as a way of life. She has written food centered essays for The Guardian, British Elle, and other magazines along with two cookbooks. Her latest book, "Flavour: Eat What You Love" is due out here in the States next month. It was first published in the UK last August  It's a celebration of a skilled home cooking enthusiast. The book also touches upon on the feminist concept of "shine theory"  which values female friendship over competition. She eschews diets and wrote a lament in an essay  that food writers have gone from feasting and flavor to cleanness and lightness. Chef Tandoh has created a dialogue and somewhat of a revolution in Britain. She also has misgivings about the benefits of some diets and their promises too.

What does she cook and bake? She has been exploring her Ghanian roots. Her grandfather had immigrated from there, bringing a wealth of recipes.There is ground nut  or peanut soup spiked with chiles along with tilapia in a garlicky marinade. Fried plaintains round it out this a meal full of memories and flavor Her blog is full of yummy recipes for cakes , doughnuts and creme brules.made with raspberries. She has recipes for rye rolls and a mouth watering banana upside down cake. The new cookbook is a reflection of this as well. There's a creamy English fish pie, made with smoked haddock and peas topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes.Lentil soup is sparked with lime . She includes an opulent meringue, rolled up with cherries and cream. As we all saw on The Great British Baking show, she is an excellent baker. She relies on everyday sweeteners such as honey, sugar, dark brown sugar, golden syrup and treacle or molasses to create amazing sweets such as a marbled chocolate almond Bundt cake and steamed panettone.

Cooking and baking need rebels to keep it fresh . Ruby Tandoh is just that iconoclast to make us break the bonds of all these  diet recipes and fads. She setting us free in a very delicious way.

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