Our cookbook of the week is Earth to Table Every Day: Cooking with Good Ingredients Through the Seasons by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann (available for pre-order; on sale October 16). To try a recipe from the book, check out: apple and walnut salad, devils on horseback and mushroom tarts with Taleggio cheese.
“Good ingredients matter.” Chefs and authors Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann built their small chain of Southern Ontario restaurants – Earth to Table – according to this maxim.
When the Slow Food advocates released their first cookbook nearly a decade ago, >Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm (Random House Canada, 2009), a return to local culinary traditions – the central tenet of the movement – was just becoming a phenomenon in Canada.
“We hit the nail on the head with the beginning of a trend, which we’d been doing for a while,” says Crump. “We just saw the interest in seasonal and local eating grow, and obviously now it’s pretty mainstream.”
A commitment to good food treated simply – and suitably savoured for its admirable “chemistry of flavour and texture” – is at the heart of their second book, Earth to Table Every Day (Penguin Canada, available for pre-order; on sale Oct. 16).
The collection of 140 recipes – from breads and shared appetizers to pizzas and pastries – has its roots in community. Regular customers of their Bread Bar locations (in Guelph and Hamilton, Ont.) tested the recipes and many of the dishes are menu mainstays.
For Crump – who has worked at such prestigious restaurants as Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. and Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Bray, England – a farm-to-table approach is “all about the celebration of the seasons.” Whether it’s waiting for heirloom apple varieties or rich winter squashes to arrive each fall, he applies a sense of anticipation to almost everything he cooks.
“It’s certainly a lot more exciting. For us, it’s about fun and enjoying what we eat. That’s us. That’s Bettina and me. That’s what we agree on,” Crump says with a laugh.
“When you finally taste (an in-season) tomato, … they’re like candy,” adds Schormann. “To go back to a beefsteak in the middle of the winter just seems a bit silly. It’s almost upsetting when you get that on a sandwich.”
Crump and Schormann are also believers that shared meals are the best meals. In looking forward to Thanksgiving celebrations, they rejoice in the communal, family-style nature of the feast.
“As I’ve gotten mature as a chef my cooking has become very simple, especially at home. I used to get too fancy. But I just have fun roasting squashes and a turkey,” says Crump. “Standing around and drinking wine, I love that. Cooking for half a day (and) hanging out.”
“We love the power that food has to bring people together,” adds Schormann. “Everybody has their community and they have the power to use their food and their suppers and lunches to communicate.”
Source : https://ottawacitizen.com/life/food/a-shared-meal-is-the-best-meal-communal-appetizers-for-your-thanksgiving-table/wcm/47ad711c-748c-4575-9c75-c6f3f29538fe