April 19th
 

theresa albert - my friend in food

 

Eating with your eyes

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by Ilana  .  Tuesday 31 May 2011  .  0 Comments

Moulin du Roc meal

“Dear Bon Appetit:

I was sitting in my apartment one afternoon eating low-fat yogurt and a small nutritious salad when there was a knock at my door.   Imagine my surprise when I found an attractive man in a white chef coat looking pleadingly at me.   In a deep voice with a thick French accent, he asked to use my phone as my neighbors down the hall had hired him to cook them a lavish meal and were not answering their door.  He telephoned but there was no answer so he turned to me, eyes sparkling, and said: “Perhaps I got the date mixed up, however, I now have oysters, a truffled rack of lamb and some chocolate mousse which must be eaten this evening.”  He cocked an eyebrow, smiled knowingly and asked, ‘May I cook dinner for you?’… “

Okay, so perhaps Bon Appetit doesn’t have a “forum letters” section but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a porn magazine especially if you consider the definition of pornography as  “salacious writing or pictures”.   With all the time and money spent making its food look enticing by the stylists and photographers, I have to confess that I, like many others, don’t read it for the recipes.   I have dozens of cookbooks full of photos which I ogle hungrily over a cup of tea, fantasizing about potential meals I will likely never make.

The existence of the Food Network is proof that I am not alone in my proclivities. Some shows are more subtle but watching Nigella Lawson in her tight sweaters and smoky eyeshadow stir a chocolate glaze which she refers to as “glossy and slick” as she looks enticingly into the camera and licks the spoon is designed to make viewers drool with desire.   In the show “Cook Like a Chef”, sultry jazz is played as handheld cameras swing around dizzily and zoom in on the dishes so closely that the lens literally steams up.  It is so highly reminiscent of late-night soft core movies, that one feels children should leave the room.

Chefs know all too well that we eat with our eyes first which is why, in fine dining establishments, each plate is a work of art, carefully composed to arouse.   Let’s own up to it: eating is a sensual experience.  When we dine, we want to be seduced by just the right music, candlelight, soft linens, aromas and of course alluring-looking food before we move on to home base, the taste.  We can only hope we’ll respect ourselves in the morning.

Ilana

Ilana

Ilana Waldston is the mother of two teenage girls who keeps sane by singing. A graduate of the prestigious International Cabaret Conference at Yale, she’s been delighting Toronto audiences with her comedic patter and well-honed ability to sell a song. She’s a self-professed foodie, loves to bake, travel and dine (often all at once) who sometimes sings of food in songs such as “My Diet Starts Tomorrow”, “Dieter’s Prayer” and “Foodblooz”. In addition to her solo work, she’s also a part of Toronto’s only female jazz quartet, The Satin Dolls... www.jazznlaughs.ca

 

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