Lilith’s Cooking With The Stars 10 – SCORPIO – on air on bayfm’s belly show on 15/10/10
Today we’re wishing happy birthday to the Shire’s strong, sexy Scorpios, who as we know are certainly no lightweights – their sign’s associated with strong flavours, underground edibles, blood colored fruit and veg, dark foods with attitude: truffles, mushrooms, plums, black grapes, beetroot, licorice, prunes… and they fear not the garlic. Not into pretty pastels, Scorpios tend to be black and white extremists with very definite views – dramatic, determined, organized and controlling, often with a revolutionary or crusading edge.
Not giving a rats what people think is also one of their traits, incomparably modelled by foul mouthed Scorpio Brit bad boy superchef Gordon Ramsay, recipient of 12 Michelin Stars and star himself of international TV cookshows Hell’s Kitchen, Boiling Point, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and The F-Word, which featured a project of raising turkeys for the main course in the series finale which Ramsay named Antony, Ainsley, Jamie, Delia, Gary and Nigella after fellow celeb chefs.
Scottish born Gordon trained under famously temperamental Marco Pierre White, whose bullying rages Ramsay claims drove him to the kitchens of Michelin-starred mentors Albert Roux, Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon. After Ramsay opened his first restaurant where six bankers spent over £44,000 on wine in a single meal, his empire expanded to restaurants and gastropubs in UK, US, Europe, Middle East and Oz, with his ferocious temper and fierce personality scoring him the vote of TV’s most terrifying celebrity. His charitable events are headed “What’s your favourite F Word, Gordon’s is Fundraising” and true to type his cookbook titles include Playing With Fire, Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen and Just Desserts.
An example of Scorpio discipline would have to be legendary chef and culinary writer Georges Escoffier who simplified elaborate traditional French cooking by reducing the number of courses served and emphasizing the use of lighter sauces. He also revolutionized kitchen organization, developed the first à la Carte menu and his Guide Culinaire remains a major reference work. Escoffier created one of his most famous recipes, Peach Melba, in honor of Australian singer Nellie Melba.
Another organized Scorpio, Marguerite Patten’s career lasted more than 60 years from the second world war when only a quarter of British households owned a fridge, and her work with the Ministry of Food taught people how to keep their families healthy on the rations available. Britain’s first ever TV celebrity chef, her 170 cook books sold more than 17 million and included The Spam Cookbook detailing the history of SPAM and why it was so popular during rationing and with Armed Forces the world over – including poems and quotations , its on my must-have list. Marguerite also worked with Soundaround, a monthly audiomagazine dealing with the cookery problems of blind chefs.
When flamboyant, theatrically trained American born Scorpio celeb chef Robert Carrier hit London surviving on this wartime diet of leftovers and Spam, his food columns in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and the Sunday Times featuring lashings of Calvados, cream, butter, eggs, salmon, caviar, foie gras and truffles were an instant hit and his first lavishly illustrated cook book Great Dishes of the World, priced at the present day equivalent of £100, sold 11 million copies.
In the late 70s, dubbed London’s gayest gourmet for his camp style and shameless self-promotion, he launched two Michelin starred celebrity restaurants, a cookery school in Suffolk and a TV series introducing luxurious Continental cooking to a nation still suspicious of garlic and spaghetti. By the early 80s with a liver he boasted was as big as a football, Carrier sold up and decamped to a palace in Marrakesh, eventually returning to London TV, where those expecting a revival of 12-course cream-soaked extravaganzas were disappointed by a slimmer Carrier touting the virtues of economy and vegetarianism, who went on to commit commercial and culinary suicide by republishing New Great Dishes with old favourites wiener schnitzel, duck casserole and rum baba replaced with eggs in lemongrass bouillon and wilted salad greens.
Scorpio Nora Pouillon, champion of conscious cuisine was born in Austria to parents who prepared simple seasonal foods. Coming to the US in the late 60s she was appalled by processed American foods loaded with growth hormones and covered with pesticides, and began her organic food crusade, a lifetime commitment to nutritious food, responsible eating and sustainable agriculture.
In 1979 she opened Restaurant Nora, and worked to create certification standards that twenty years later made it the nation’s first certified organic restaurant. A demanding perfectionist who triple filtered water and wouldn’t serve foie gras or fish in danger of being overfished, Pouillon had problems retaining chefs as her organic emphasis limited the ingredients they could work with..
Let’s finish with sexy Scorpio Curtis Stone, current generation young gun Aussie celeb chef, whose cooking passion was ignited by his grandparents vegie garden, and the realization at a young age that food brought his family and friends closer together.
Classically trained in London under aforementioned notorious Marco Pierre White, Curtis’ secret ingredient is his toothsome and tasty visual appeal, so not unsurprisingly his forte’s international TV cooking programs. I’m a Scorpio he says – we don’t think with our heads. We just go for it, no over-analysing. Just dive in…
Which he’s done on just about every TV show going, including Masterchef, Iron Chef, Biggest Loser, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, and his own shows Surfing the Menu and America’s Take Home Chef where he asks someone in a supermarket if they’d like to take him home to cook a meal. To which men inevitably reply their wife wouldn t allow him in the kitchen – who d blame them when People magazine voted Curtis one of the sexiest men alive alongside George Clooney.