HOT OFF THE PRESS.. We will be on TV with Emmanuel Stroobant !
The very talented Chef Emmanuel Stroobant, stars in this Latest and Newest AFC Original Production, entitled 36 Ways to Live. 36 Ways to Live is set to debut, Wed, 12th of September 2012, 9:30pm and will air four times per week. In this 12 X 30 minute cooking series, he shares 36 recipes that have made a mark on his life. He teaches viewers how to eat, live and enjoy life to the fullest.
Catch us on TV, in Episode 7 or 8.. We will be on AFC Astro Channel 703 with Emmanuel Stroobant.. and he actually cooks for us as dinner guests. Here’s his cooking demo we attended yesterday at Signature Kitchen, that paves the way for his new programme 36 Ways to Live.
Chef Emmanuel Stroobant tells us the tale of the origins of Foie Gras.
Here’s Emmanuel preparing something for us to eat, from Episode 1. Something close to our hearts.. or should I say… liver
As he tells his riveting tale, Emmanuel proceeds to skillfully, de-vein and cook the foie gras for our dining pleasure..
During the migration of the geese, these birds would gorge themselves on food to become at least 3 -4 times their size, so that they wouldn’t die of starvation on the long exodus. So this act of force feeding naturally was in fact not a cruel thing.
But as early as 2500 BC, the ancient Egyptians learned that many birds could be fattened through forced overfeeding and began this practice. Whether they particularly sought the fattened livers of migratory birds as a delicacy remains undetermined. Some say it was more for the oil that the birds produced.
Emmanuel shows us, a perfectly cooked foie – crispy on the outside, but soft and succulent on the inside
The practice of goose fattening then spread from Egypt to the Mediterranean. The earliest reference to fattened geese is from the 5th century BC Greek poet Cratinus, who wrote of geese-fatteners, yet Egypt maintained its reputation as the source for fattened geese. When the Spartan king Agesilaus visited Egypt in 361 BC, he noted Egyptian farmers’ fattened geese and calves.
It was not until the Roman period, however, that foie gras is mentioned as a distinct food, which the Romans named iecur ficatum – iecur means liver and ficatum derives from ficus, meaning fig in Latin. Yes, that’s right, these geese were fed figs.
After the fall of the Roman empire, goose liver temporarily vanished from European cuisine. Some claim that Gallic farmers preserved the foie gras tradition until the rest of Europe rediscovered it centuries later, but the medieval French peasant’s food animals were mainly pig and sheep. Others claim that the tradition was preserved by the Jews, who learned the method of enlarging a goose’s liver during the Roman colonisation of Judea or earlier from Egyptians.The Jews carried this culinary knowledge as they migrated farther north and west to Europe.
Today, France is by far the largest producer and consumer of foie gras, though it is produced and consumed worldwide, particularly in other European nations, the United States, and China.
By French law, foie gras is defined as the liver of a duck fattened by gavage (force-feeding corn), although now a days, outside of France the foie is generally produced using natural feeding. So yes, it’s all very humane these days. And the Chef says, and I am inclined to agree, if you want to scream about foie gras being inhumane then why don’t also lament chicken and pigs and etc that are kept in sordid conditions and not properly treated either.
When the cooking demo ended, so did the story.. and it was time to eat! You can be sure though, that on 36 Ways to Live, there will be heaps more of interesting stories and cooking techniques that Emmanuel will share, so don’t forget to tune in to the show.
And so, with a final flourish, this pan seared foie gras that was served on a puff pastry (stuffed with caramalized apples) and drenched in a wine reduction sauce was wobbly, unctuous, decadent.. like 3 times over! Flavours of livery succulence balanced with the sweetness of the apples and then the superb aroma from the wine reduction was just too good for words.
The session ended with a Q&A session and it was time to go home!
Don’t forget to tune into Chef Emmanuel Stroobant show – the Latest and Newest AFC Original Production, entitled 36 Ways to Live. 36 Ways to Live is set to debut, Wed, 12th of September 2012, 9:30pm and will air four times per week.For more info check out:
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