The week that was (24 September 2015)

Soap box:

- The Guardian took another look at the impact of the labour shortage in the industry and the possible ramifications. “We want chefs to be treated well. We want to eat ethical, quality ingredients. But we also want to eat as cheaply as possible. It is a contradiction that restaurateurs are only too aware of, and one that cannot hold in perpetuity.” Their out-take is that this will change the way we cook and design menus. “If the skills shortage worsens, people will have to think about making [restaurants] as de-skilled as possible.”

- There was a lovely little piece by Nigel Slater too. Granted it was a plug for his new book, but I do enjoy his writing. “Cooking doesn’t stand still, at least not for anyone with spirit, an appetite and a continuing sense of wonder.” He correctly ascertains that too many have converted the popularity of food into an opportunity to talk but not act “… good food should be something we take in our stride, a life-enriching punctuation to our day, rather than something to be fetishised. And if I read once more that someone is a “passionate cook” I think I’ll eat my oven gloves.” Hear, hear (particularly in regards to the over-use of the word passion, a pet peeve of mine).

- Redzepi penned an article for Lucky Peach about closing his restaurant to re-open in a new location in Copenhagen. I enjoyed his thoughts about the status quo, which is an interesting question. We all like the idea of harking back to a romanised period in time, but where do we draw that line in the sand? “And how do we consider potatoes, which were introduced from Peru but are now entrenched in modern Scandinavian food? What about pickles from India? How far back in history does one go to be “authentic?” It’s clear that in the world of cooking we haven’t fully understood many of the labels that define us.”

I also like where he's heading with the seasonal concept for their year, mainly because he is debunking the four season model for a year split into three (and thus actually reflects the Danish seasons as they are presented by the produce in the kitchen). This has been playing on my mind of late while working on a potential story about the Aboriginal views on our seasons, which changed from region to region, but sometimes included up to six distinct seasons, taking into account temperature, winds, plant cycles and animal migration.