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Lilith's cooking with the stars - Virgo

Let’s wish all our health conscious Virgo cooks Happy Birthday, because cooking can be a soothing, down to earth activity for nervy Virgos, so long as they don’t get overcritical of the result, which of course they often do. Because they’re fussy about food.  They’re fussy about most things because Virgo is the sign of the perfectionist which can produce food purists against genetic engineering, harmful pesticides and carcinogenic chemicals, who like their food fresh, additive-free, top quality, free range and certified organic. It should also keep them lean as a bean, slim, trim, vitamin supplied, mineral enriched and ph balanced.

Being an earth sign, they have an affinity with the plant world; if you want to know what’s in season at the farmers market ask a Virgo.  This is the sign of healing herbs and vegetables, and the clean green perfume of fresh herbs is culinary aromatherapy for Virgs. They don’t care for aggressive flavour combinations, they like their dishes elegantly presented, their favourite kitchen colour, no surprise, is white, and they like having everything prepped ahead of time, because these are the organizational geniuses of the zodiac.

Guillaume Brahimi of  Bennelong restauraunt is young enough to do lighter, fresher French dishes, very spare on the butter and cream, like his crudite plate of soft-boiled leeks in a vibrant sauce grebiche; beetroot segments dressed with soft fresh goat’s curd; finely shredded celeriac in a creamy rémoulade; sliced tomato and avocado with a balsamic reduction,mozzarella with confit red pepper and pistou.

The ultimate example of a Virgo superchef is the master of nature-based cuisine, understated elegance and impeccable presentation Peter Gilmore,creator of the fabulous snow egg dessert, more about that in the recipe section.  A Sydney boy whose career was inspired by his mum taking him to a gas cooking class at age four, Peter apprenticed in the UK, then Australian country, city and beach restaurants, ending up head chef at Sydney’s acclaimed Quay restaurant, where he works closely with farmers and food producers to source exceptional ingredients for his culinary creations that celebrate nature’s beauty and diversity in disheslike his exquisitely refined signature dish of spring vegetables with herbsand flowers.  Peter has his white plates specially made, and his advice to the home cook is: have your own herb garden, there’s nothing like ducking out the back for that fresh basil leaf or freshly snipped chives.

Virgo is one of the hardest working signs and especially talented at organizing money like the first French chef to go global, Virgo Alain Ducasse, also the first chef to hold a staggering 19 Michelin stars. Born in southwest France, his introduction to the culinary arts came via his gran -his bedroom was above the kitchen, his first memory was the smells and his second the taste of her food.  At sixteen he apprenticed to legendary chef Roger Verge, creator of  Cuisine du Soleil, who introduced him to the robust flavors of Provençal cooking; he was hired by the Hotel de Paris in MonteCarlo , and went on to open his own multiple Michelin starred restaurants and country inns, ending up with 14 restaurants in 7 countries including France, the UK and US, Beirut, Tokyo, Saint-Tropez, Mauritius, Hong-Kong and Italy ­ opening in the Caribbean this year and St. Petersburg next year.
He wrote numerous cookbooks, opened his own training center to ensure his restaurants were stocked with well-trained professionals and works with the European Space Program developing astronaut meals to be taken into space.All of which in 2002 brought in sixteen million dollars, and like a true French Virgo, he took Monegasque citizenship in order to enjoy the principality’s very low tax rates.  If this all sounds a bit dull, remember Virgo’s an earth sign with a decidedly spunky, sensual side.  A site called ASKMEN rated Ducasse’s chick magnetism at 80 as a charming, successful millionaire capable of satisfying the most discerning appetite, on the premise that sex is over in a matter of minutes and a good meal can be enjoyed for hours – who are these men, and why is anyone asking them ­ well they probably aren’t and they’re just posting opinions.

And only gave a 70ish score to sexy Virgo lady chef Giada De Laurentiis, grandaughter of movie producer Dino De Laurentiis and Italian film star Silvana Mangano , who studied at Cordon Bleu, married a fashion designer and worked as a food stylist which got her a cooking program on the US Food Network who then received emails accusing them of hiring a model pretending to cook instead of a real chef.  A Californian wannabe Nigella relying on cleavage rather than curves, she’s most famous for her Esquire photo shoot wearing a skintight white dress in a sea of crushed tomatoes.  On an episode of Iron Chef America, Giada and Sagittarian chef Bobby Flaywere defeated by two other US Virgo media chefs Mario Batali and RachaelRay.  I gather from the Rachel Ray Sucks site, she’s the tv chef people loveto hate, quite probably other Virgos furious at her tarnishing the pristine, capable image so spectacularly by refusing to measure anything because it takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking, and banging onabout not being able to make coffee or bake anything (involves measuring),and being completely unqualified for any job she’s ever had.
She’s married to the lead singer of the rock band The Cringe and one does hearing Ray describe “entréetizers” (entrée-sized appetizers) and “stoup” (across between a stew and a soup).  Rachel Ray’s charity, The Yum-O!Organization for educational programs to help children eat healthier is a frightening thought watching her at work in the kitchen or endorsing Dunkin’Donuts, which the ever charming Anthony Bourdain described as like endorsing crack for kids.   Virgs tend to prefer fruit desserts and the most quintessentially Virgo dessert would have to be Peter Gillmore’s edible artwork the Snow Egg – a deceptively simple looking but exquisitely complex piece de resistance of poached meringue, blowtorched maltose tuilles, guava puree, guava granita,custard apple ice cream, vanilla custard, vanilla cream and guava fool.Take about a week to read out the recipe but its easily googled and downloaded.

by the fabulous belly hula queen and astrogourmet LILITH

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