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Almost Famous and $150 giveaway for Lee

This time last year I had the pleasure of judging the Canadian regional for the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition. They’ve generously given me another opportunity (like last year) to give away a gift certificate to a Toronto restaurant. You can find details on that at the bottom of the post.

As well, they connected me with Cole Nicholson, one of the George Brown culinary students who is competing this year. It was obvious from our discussion that Cole is taking his entry seriously and putting in the time at six a.m. practice. Between that and the support he gets from his coaches and other instructors at George Brown I wouldn’t be surprised if he matches Jean-Francois Daigle’s success from last year and repeats for GB.

Much of Cole’s culinary inspiration comes from the time he spent last summer cooking in a small Italian town. Though he did pick up an aversion for guanciale from a bad batch of pasta carbonnara. (I, on the other hand, have whatever’s the opposite to an aversion for guanciale and am distressed at how easy it is to avoid in Toronto.)

Cole works in the kitchen at Toronto stalwart, Scaramouche, and has nothing but good things to say about cooking under Chef Froggett. Perhaps sensing my intense love of offal he also mentioned that his most-recent, delicious restaurant experience was at The Black Hoof.

Near the end of my chat with Cole I asked him what cookbooks he’s getting inspiration from these days. He gave the very good (very chef-ly) answer of Chef Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park. I’d like to know what is your most recent cookbook find.

Tell me in a comment below  and as an added incentive one winner will be chosen to receive a $150 gift certificate towards a dinner for two at Susur Lee’s King West restaurant, Lee, courtesy of S. Pellegrino. The winner will be randomly selected from all eligible comments posted between now and 5 PM EST on Monday, January 30, 2012. So that I can get in touch with you to work out prize delivery you need to include a functional email address but these will not be published or used for any other purposes.

Good luck and happy commenting.

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  1. Steven Wilson says:

    “Grace The Table” by Alexander Smalls. It’s a great book of southern food and wonderful stories as well.

  2. Bryan says:

    My most recent cookbook find was Odd Bits after my aunt and brother gave it to my cousin for the holidays and I ended up with spare copy.

  3. Carol says:

    The Food Matters Cookbook by Bittman. The recipes are simple and adaptable and provide a guideline to get started on healthy eating.

  4. Ian says:

    Really been enjoying Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook. Tons of solid recipes.

  5. CallieK says:

    The Ontario Table by Lynn Ogryzlo. I bought it for the info on where to buy local pantry ingredients like flour but feels it more coffee table than cookbook – I’m loving the photography!

  6. My most recent cookbook find is Wild Sweets: Exotic Dessert & Wine Pairings by Dominique and Cindy Duby. Published in 2003, it was easily 5 years ahead of its time.

  7. Kind of digging “Thai Food” by David Thompson. Was at first intimidated by the complexity but the results are worth it.

  8. Colleen C says:

    The most recent cookbook I was given is called Bite Me Too, and it is written by two sisters in Toronto. It is filled with homey dishes that are easy to make and is the cheekiest cookbook I own – or it would be – except for the fact that I already own Bite Me and it’s pretty darned cheeky! Have a look a the chapter titles for a clue of what the cookbook is really like: “Crave Me”, “Gobble Me” and “Fork Me”! This isn’t your Mom’s cookbook, that’s for sure!

  9. Natalie says:

    My boyfriend gave me a copy of “Mission Street Food” for Christmas and I love, love, love it. Read it cover-to-cover in about a day.

    More of an examination of how they first began, I found it an inspiring read. Anthony Myint also offers easy tips on how to elevate home cooking to restaurant levels. Best tip? Don’t use oil, cook all meat in rendered fat. YUM!

  10. Cathy says:

    I’ve been using the ladies’ cookbook from St. Mathias Anglican Church in Montreal a lot recently. Sometimes these old church cookbooks are great finds. In this one, I’m particularly addicted to the sweet & spicy tomato sauce.

  11. Andrew Jackson says:

    Having a lot of fun doing a triage between the Pepin cookbook you recommended, Winter favourites, and the new crock pot… Which boils down … Pun intended .. To braised beef and daubes, pork stews, plus cabbage, bacon and sausage combos. Should hold us till Spring.

  12. Peter says:

    The ever popular Momofuku book is certainly not a new book, but still very exciting and opening new doors in my day-to-day way about thinking about food.

  13. Margaret says:

    We spend every December travelling in Asia…. inevitably every dreary January and gloomy February we long for Asian food to transport us back there even if for only an hour. “Seductions of Rice” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid is the cookbook I reach for year after year when these cravings hit.

  14. Matt says:

    Ad Hoc at Home, by Thomas Keller – I got it for Christmas and am loving it. It’s got lot’s of helpful tips. The recipes are definitely more for hosting than everyday cooking.

  15. Sarah says:

    I’m absolutely obsessed with Rachael Ray. I recently got her cookbook Look and Cook for Christmas, which shows step-by-step pictures for recipes. I’m not a beginner cook by any means, but what a difference the pictures make for recipes I’m not familiar with or trying for the first time.
    Makes me much more willing to try new recipes during the workweek (they’re all pretty quick and easy too) when there’s less sense of doubt in how it’ll turn out. I’m making a spin on her mini meatloaves tonight, actually. :)

  16. Vanessa says:

    I’ve just read through and then had the fun of using the Fannie Flagg Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook – I made a nice southern meal this weekend from the book, and everything turned out really nicely, with some unusual flavours and a ridiculous amount of fat. The book is written very conversationally and has little southern tidbits everywhere. Would recommend as a fun addition to the library, though it doesn’t have enough substance to be a staple.

  17. Nic says:

    For the Love of Food by Dennis Cotter has some absolutely fantastic recipes, plus he’s from Cork like my boyfriend!

  18. Megan Siegel says:

    My most recent cookbook find was the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. It is FULL of great desserts from the popular NYC spot. Yesterday I noticed that you can buy the cookbook at the Drake General Store.

  19. Eoin says:

    It’s not really just a cookbook, but I’ve just gotten to the recipe section of The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier and there are some unique recipes. Favourite so far is Beet Crust “pizza”!

  20. Michelle N. says:

    Fuchsia Dunlop’s “Revolutionary Cookbook” is my most recent purchase. Authentic Hunanese cuisine in ENGLISH!! :D

  21. foodwithlegs says:

    Thanks to all who entered. The contest is closed. I’ll get in touch with the winner shortly before posting their name.

  22. [...] also happy to announce that we have a winner for our contest on Food With Legs. I used to select the fifth commenter, CallieK, as the winner of a $150 gift certificate [...]

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