2014 in Review

2014 was a great year, and here are the highlights:

In January I bought foodundercontrol.com and things were lit on fire in celebration!

Fire Monster

February was the one year bloggiversary and I found myself focusing on the little details.

Dragonfruit, Figs, Currants and Blueberries in Thyme Syrup

March was full of inspiration and possibility. I found myself starting to shoot at home more often, excited about food and photography more than ever.

Shitake, Chive, Radish, Short Rib

In April it was hard to pick a favourite. The inspiration of spring is evident all month including photos of the process of fresh pasta or this ode to spring

Fresh Pasta
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May was a big month! A trip to Montreal and the excitement of starting school made me start to define my culinary philosophy more. While running Nellie James for 3 days I had the chance to execute that philosophy and vision.
Wilted bok choy with artisan Bella vitano cheese and thai basil

June included school’s baking inspiration, and more experimenting with photography and writing recipes for the blog.

Gamay Noir, Star Anise, Cinnamon Syrup (Red Wine Syrup)

I started at Tree House Kitchen in June and found a supportive, talented mentor as well as an exciting environment to cook and learn in. As well, for the first time I had the opportunity to help facilitate cooking classes and teach people. July found me focused in on school, finding inspiration in South Asian Markets as well as St. Lawrence Market and cooking on a vineyard for my 4th time at Vine Dining.

Lobster Stock with Mirepoix

The heat of summer in August included many food trips to Toronto, as well as camping, nature and fresh produce.

Ontario Local Produce - Hamilton and Dundas

September saw me starting a new job and leaving Nellie James after 4.5 years of crazy fun with food. There was more nature, food, fresh produce. Farmer’s market hauls abound!

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Adjusting to new jobs meant I had less time to blog, but in October I managed to work on soft pretzels, as well as photograph some beautiful produce. I feel like I started to develop a more unique vision of what I wanted to create, to photograph and to write about.

Local Radishes

November: another trip to Montreal. This time we managed to fit a lot into 2 snap-happy days. Wild spilling cappucinos, the warm feeling of walking into businesses alive with vision and passion. I am still thinking of the butcher shop full of ballontines, stuffed whole chickens; trussed beautifully, coated in sauces, sprinkled with pink peppercorns and herbs. Jean Talon Market: the respect for produce, piled high with care. Wanting to go home and cook everything that I saw.

Marché Jean-Talon - Les Jardins Sauavages Forest Mushroom Melange

Salon de thé Cardinal Tea Room

In December I continued the Montreal posts, and finished with some shots I have been waiting to share from thai fusion recipe testing.

Thai Fusion Pesto Ontario Pickerel

This year has seen a lot of growth for me personally, creatively and professionally. I went from leading hors d’ouevres parties of up to 44, to a wedding rehearsal of 85 to a party of 110. I ran the kitchen at Nellie James for 3 days completely solo including that catering. I finally got on the line, started to hone my breakfast cookery and gain exposure to scratch pastry. I learned to gain faith in and simultaneously challenge my palate, vision and skills. I will strive to continue growing, learning, chasing the craft of cooking.

How can 2015 top 2014? What are my goals?

-Gain more line experience. Continue my apprenticeship and learn more fundamental skills from Chefs at school and at work.

-Travel! Get out and get inspired! Make plans to visit some of the restaurants I most admire.

-Bake more at home and professionally.

-Connect and collaborate with peers, locally and globally using blogging and social media.

-Teach a cooking class for kids.

-Continue volunteering when possible!

-Buy more food styling props and shoot more at home when testing recipes.

-Develop my creative vision with food, photography and writing.

-Start an instagram account.

-Obtain my first aid certification.

-Work toward my Red Seal!

What are your goals, culinary or otherwise, for 2015?

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