La journee du gout 2012

May 8th, 2012 | Posted by greg in Classes & Demo | Daily life...

“The day of taste” – A day where a bunch of passionate chefs come together to visit schools and give children a taste of what authentic food is supposed to taste like, without all the crap chemical additives industries are adding to today’s supermarket food.

I can hear you through my screen; telling me how expensive these ingredients are… and I don’t agree. This year, local farmers teamed up with Executive Chef Herve Fucho (from the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong) to prepare small burgers made from local ingredients and sustainable beef. Also Caprice restaurant chef Vincent Thierry demonstrated how food coloring changes the perception of taste – for example he used poached purple carrots mixed in plain yogurt, with purple coloring and sugar and asked the kids what it was, the answers was blueberry yogurt. Then they tasted a real blueberry yogurt and the differences were discussed – I love that idea – It’s a stunning experience to do with anyone and it shows us how the industry fools us everyday with coloring and flavoring.

On the bakery side, Mark and I brought over whole wheat sourdough baguettes.

The importance of the flavors origin in bread is as important as the origin of its ingredients. The last time we visited the school, we emphasized on the importance of real bread. This time, we shifted our efforts on the values of whole grain and natural breads. I explained to the children the origin of flour by showing them wheat grains, whole wheat flour and wheat bran. We even brought with us a jar of fermenting raisins in water to show them actual lacto-fermentation in the making. The kids were amazed to discover the aromas from our mother sourdough and after all those discoveries, they all had to practice the shaping of baguettes on their own – yes, our dough is awfully sticky; yet another factor the kids discovered.

Finally, to add a decadent touch to our whole grain bread, we brought in some homemade chocolate praline spread, very much like Nutella, but without the fear-factor of getting fat clogs in your veins from the palm oil – just plain natural and wholesome ingredients.

Zen Organic Farm seasonal vegetable; all grown in HK!

In my opinion, the journee du gout has every reason to exist and it is very much needed. Whilst we are in a country where 4000 years old handmade millet noodles were discovered (isn’t that awesome?), the century we live in seems to worship cup-noodles as a staple food; all that to say that a bit more discovery and sharing of good food would help. I find the fact that the journee du gout being held only in two schools sad. I wish an organization like the HK Chef’s association would be approached by the government to launch a city wide campaign on eating more balanced and healthier food.  The pyramid of food portion intake that we see on TV ads from the government is equivalent to throw money away and tells children nothing about their food culture or describe in no way what is wholesome food and why is it good for you.

Photo of students credit from ESF School; more photos here…

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