The week that was (20 August 2015)

Soap box:
- Back to one of my favourite topics and what's happening to the world of cookbooks. Prue Leith, a veritable queen of the cookbook, has a crack in the Guardian. “Now the look of the book dictates the sale ... In my day you could still buy a good cookbook in paperback with no pictures at all. I doubt if that would sell today. But those books were much used: they lived in the kitchen and got splattered with custard and gravy ... Today, if we cook, we Google it. New cookbooks lie on the coffee table and we drool over Tuscan landscapes and rustic bread ovens. Before ordering in a pizza.”

- If you, too, like Food & Words (figuratively and literally), check out Barbara's run sheet for a day of culinary thought here. There's a cracking line up of Australia's most thoughtful food communicators. Food & Words is held on the 19th September at the Mint. I'm sad I won't be here for it (more on that below).

- Want to know how to perform Ike Jime? Lucky Peach has a fascinating article looking at the impact of the change in water pressure on the fish, the lactic acid build up due to the fight on the line and how this is dealt with and countered using traditional Japanese technique. We all know how important a calm death is for farmyard animals ... now read this and understand the ways to deal with it in the water. 

- This month they also have a little on kombu (the different varieties, their differing uses and why kombu is aged), a couple of case studies on the seaweed industry in the US and some other seafood related articles up on their website now.

- Nicole Pisani left her job running Ottolenghi’s Nopi to work in a school canteen, it's a lovely story and she tells a little bit of it here. "It’s hard to compete with processed food when it comes to young taste buds (or older ones, come to think of it). Food manufacturers spend a great deal of money working out product formulations that press all the right sensory buttons." 

- Last week I mentioned all the new openings afoot, a fact that is undoubtedly going to put pressure on hospo staff. Add to that the lack of graduates coming through, a perverse idea of what occurs in the kitchen (due in part to the reality tv shows) and of course the cash. It's an old and familiar tale, reiterated last week in the Washington Post. "One of the clearest obstacles to hiring a good cook, let alone someone willing to work the kitchen these days, is that living in this country’s biggest cities is increasingly unaffordable." Hear, hear.