Check out my latest article online at EAT magazine, about a highly entertaining and inspiring evening with Bob Blumer at Cook Culture on last past Friday. Blumer is the creator and host of two Food Network shows The Surreal Gourmet and Glutton for Punishment. He was in town promoting his latest cookbook Glutton for Pleasure, a collection of trademark recipes from his TV shows and previous books.
The event included a copy of Glutton for Punishment and after the official proceedings, Bob was kind enough to stay a little longer to sign copies!
From the centre of the demo kitchen, Blumer welcomes us and sets the tone by saying “someone has donated three cases of wine and no one leaves this place until every bottle is finished.”
The first culinary throw down of the evening involved proving it doesn’t take a long to prepare a great meal. Blumer invites someone from the audience to heat up a can of Heinz spaghetti while he cooks fresh pasta in a garlic, shallot and chili tomato sauce. There was no doubt who would come first in this friendly competition, it was only a question of by how much. Throwing down his plate first, Blumer gives us a wink and quips, “If I had 30 more seconds, I’d have added a splash of wine.”
In-between the cooking demonstrations, there are stories: of a stunt man named Eddy and an Australian late night show appearance, of a scuba diving mishap during a previous visit to B.C. and of cycling a stage of the Tour de France.
The showstopper came towards the end of the evening when the Surreal Gourmet demonstrated his Salmon Cupcakes. The inspiration behind this recipe comes from the desire to present creations nothing like what they are. The Salmon Cupcakes are beautifully presented, baked in cupcake liners and topped with either fresh dill mashed potatoes or roasted beet mashed potatoes. The potato mixture is piped on the top of the salmon cupcakes like a swirl of delicious icing.
The evening was highly entertaining, inspiring and a good reminder of how much fun cooking can be. Blumer finishes the evening by saying “I’m a walking testament that you can really teach yourself to cook.” And I left Cook Culture in full confidence that I could do just that.