This is by no means a definitive list, but merely a tip of the hat to some of the great things that people cooked for me (or I cooked myself), all leading to my favourite food memories of the year. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. The 'za at Diana’s Gourmet Pizzeria. And she just came out with a pizza cookbook.
2. I think this recipe helped score me the book deal for my culinary work of fiction (watch for it in spring 2011.) My editor loves kale. (Hi Jane!)
3. S’mores over a pit fire on an ancient beachhead as we watched polar bears snoozing along the shores of Hudson Bay. (Thought the locale probably had more to do with this winning taste sensation than the s'mores themselves.)
5. The Indian feast I made with the lovely Swaran and Rimple Sumer at their Vancouver home.
6. Sure, they’re all about grilled pickled elk tongue and fried headcheese, but the chocolate pudding at Murray Street restaurant was the best I’ve ever had. (The only thing missing was a delectable pudding scum.)
7. Can't forget the Dou Su cod, a Formosa Island specialty, at Vogue Chinese Cuisine in Richmond, B.C.: Steamed cod encased in a thick crust of soybeans that have been deep-fried and ground so that they resemble sand and taste like the delicious crap stuck to the bottom of a frying pan.
8. An oyster Po’ Boy at Grand Central Oyster Bar. Love the subterranean room. And the old school service. Loved the oysters. Love New York.
9. Eating champagne macarons at Luxemburgerli in Zurich made me feel like Marie Antoinette.
10. The delicious passed hors d’oeuvres at my al fresco birthday party at Ezra’s Pound – and the Dufflet Chocolate Banana Fudge birthday cake to complete the fete.
11. Crisp and flavourful duck fat frites at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in Scottsdale are served with three dipping sauces. But the best part? They’re free.
12. I’m not usually a quiche fan, but I was meeting the gang for brunch at Coquine, didn’t want an omelet, so ordered what turned out to be the most ethereal example of mushroom quiche, ever.
13. The perfect example of poutine, in Quebec City
14. Crisp duck salad at Nota Bene.
15. I am addicted to Tom Thai’s cooking. That’s all there is to it. Case closed.
16. I want to live at the Oyster Bar at Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago.
17. My beginner’s luck foray into the mysterious world of smoked brisket.
18. Even better was the word on every deli lover’s lips this year: Caplansky’s. Sure, most go on about the smoked meat, but don’t forget about the chopped liver. (What is it, chopped liver? Heh.)
20. Union’s juicy, fatty, honest, earthy, cote de boeuf and Swiss chard.
21. From-the-water sweet king crab legs in Norway.
22. Our Lobsterlicous meal at Scaramouche was so good we’ll be going back for seconds in January.
23. Just about everything I ate in Mexico City, but especially here.
25. And let’s not forget: A classic is always timely.
Happy continued cooking, and eating, and here’s to a great 2010 for one and all.