Posted by: njbrown | February 9, 2010

Julia at the Newseum, Bob Blummer making fluted mushrooms


February 9, 2010

On Monday night’s Dinner Impossible, Robert Irvine had to do five meals based on the five major food news events – Thanksgiving (proclaimed by Lincoln in 1864, I think); WW I eggless, meatless, wheatless meals; TV dinners in the early 50s;  Julia; and microwaves.  For his Julia meal, he made boeuf bourguignon,  coq au vin, and creme caramel; however, he surely wasn’t following Julia’s recipes.  He served the boeuf bourguignon over rotini pasta.  I think Julia might have said you could serve it over noodles (I haven’t had time to go back and check), but I don’t think rotini was in her mind.  She’s probably spinning in her grave, or she might be taking all with her usual good grace.

The same evening, Bob Blumer was competing with chef instructors in a knife skills competition.  He really is an amazingly versatile man!  It was interesting to me that the second level of competition had them making carrot flowers, tomato-skin roses, turned potatoes – basically a rectangle of potato that is trimmed to become roughly egg-shaped, but symmetrical at both ends – and fluted mushrooms.  Housewives for years have been making tomato-skin roses, and I think they take virtually no skill.  In five days, Bob had taught himself all of the skills, and did lovely fluted mushrooms.  He motivated me to go back and try to perfect mine.  The highest level of the three portions of the competition, was peeling a daikon thin enough to read an eye chart through it and without tearing or breaking the peel.  He won easily.  It is amusing that fluted mushrooms are alive and well in chef training after all these decades.

Nancy

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