Food For Thought
With Chef Tim Tibbitts
As 2013 now begins, most people tend to take the new year as an opportunity to change something from the previous year. Perhaps losing weight or quitting smoking, which tend to be high on the list of new year's resolutions for most people. For me, I do the opposite, and find new ways and new goals for enjoying food to the max!
Most new year resolutions relating to food are about deprivation and denial rather than embracing the joys of eating. All that stuff about eating less junk food and saying 'no' to the snack machine at work is all well and good, but don't forget to set yourself some culinary goals as well. Here's my list...
More smoking. Meat, fish, yogurt, chocolate, you name it. The old fridge in the shed should be just the ticket.
Don't drink bad coffee. If there's no time for a double shot espresso, there's no time for coffee.
Eat mindfully. At the table, not in front of the TV, preferably with the whole family, and with a sense of ceremony even when I'm alone. Thoughtlessly stuffing food down at my computer will be a thing of the past.
Stop being such a superfood victim. Goji berries and chia seeds are not going to change my life. I do, however, enjoy pomegranates a lot!
Pork belly. Just say 'no' to saying 'no'.
More dumplings. That says it all.
Commit the plethora of Chinese greens to memory. Be able to identify the pak choy from the ong choy and the choy sum at 20 paces. I'm pretty good at this already but I wish we had more options at our local grocery store to keep in good practice.
Only organic when possible. Most definitely avoid GMOs and unsustainable seafood.
Go natural cleaning the kitchen where possible. Bicarb, baking soda and vinegar. And elbow grease.
Give up processed sugar. Go for rapadura or honey, or go cold turkey. I have a very low amount of sugar in my diet already but it can always be a little lower.
Make gluten free gnocchi a reality for my wife. One of our great pleasures and is sadly not the same as the real deal when done gluten-free. I will make it my mission to make it as good as with flour.
Master the macaroon. Those beautiful little delicate French pastries have been on my mind a lot lately and I'll get them perfect this year.
Buy only ethical meat and less of it. Opt for quality over quantity. We do this already but it's worth repeating.
Find new ways of using eggs. There are only so many omelettes someone can eat.
Redo the pantry. Out with the grotty, sticky old half-finished bottles at the back of the cupboard and the 10-year-old dried chickpeas - in with the quality ingredients. And most importantly, actually have food that's edible in the house.
Commit the sustainable fish species guidelines to memory. It is within all our abilities to protect the waters that sustain us here.
Try ultra-local seafood. I've been trying my best to secure things no one else uses around here for the restaurant. Even going to start pickling my own seaweed.
Cook my way through Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine. Again.
Make jam from the local produce here on the island. Sappodilly, coco plum, sour orange and guava all need to be used more.
Keep the knives sharpened.
Stop using a scourer on the non-stick pans and Le Creuset pots. Ditto to sticking the knives in the dishwasher.
Eat until three-quarters full. And then stop.
Make the time to go to the local farm. Building good relationships with our local farmers and fisherman is very important to securing the very best products available.
Tend the veggie patch. The weeds need weeding, the plants need feeding; I will aim to be a better, timelier pruner and an heirloom warrior. And I will not let the sun destroy the tomato crop like last year. I will spend more time making our garden produce this year.
Get involved with teaching kids about food. More time spent with young people will help them to foster better eating habits, of which people of this country so desperately need.
Take more than one food trip. We have to see what the rest of the world is doing to truly understand what food is and how to prepare it. Seeing other cooks and trying new foods is very important to the growth of any cook.
Crusade for butter and salt. Everyone who knows me know that I do this anyway but I will step up my efforts to remove the stigmas and false information surrounding the two best ingredients in my kitchen.
Collect more wine. We have just started this again, after years of demolishing our once large wine collection, it's time to start building it back up again. Hopefully my finances allow me to keep up.
Make the restaurant an international culinary destination. In our small market we need to be good enough to bring guests from other markets just to eat at the restaurant. It is our long time goal to become a tourist destination by itself and help to boost our struggling tourist market.
Take more time off. Six days a week (sometimes seven) and 14 hours a day makes it difficult to stand back and see the bigger picture. This year I hope to spend more time fishing and researching our local sea creatures for their "food-ability."
Write the book. I will finish the Flying Fish Year One book. Even if it's more of a coffee table book than a recipe collection, we definitely need to document the cool stuff we do every day.
Finish the set-up of the Flying Fish @ Home line. We have almost completed the small space at the restaurant where we will be housing our little retail space. You will be able to buy our different products and ingredients that help us make our food here at flying fish, as well as ordering high quality meats, seafood, cheeses and charcuterie.
Very soon we will start selling the high-end salts and olive oils along with spice blends and other ingredients not available anywhere else. Drop me a line if there is something you're looking for specifically.
Do you have any food resolutions for this year? If so, let me know. Perhaps I can help you with some of them. Send me a message to email@example.com and let us know what we can do to help your food resolutions. Here's to making 2013 the best year ever for food in Grand Bahama.
© 2013 The Freeport News