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Lilith's Cooking With The Stars : Libra

With the Sun in the sign of charming, artistic, party loving Librans, we’re here to wish the zodiac’s people pleasers another delicious year in the kitchen.
Libra’s the sign of partnerships and it’s ruled by Venus which makes Librans people people, and the common flavour of Libran masterchefs, along with most other Librans, is they don’t mind a drop of fine champagne, they’re major flirts and they have the beauty meme, a genetic predisposition to make things beautiful.
Beautiful being the Libran buzzword means that besides good food they also need their visual appetite satisfied with tasteful décor and aesthetic table settings, ­ these are the master food artists of nutritional elegance who’ll whip up a radish rose or cucumber lotus in a flash.
An outrageously flirty 74, typically Libran French superchef Albert Roux sips Krug at interviews, oozes charm and claims his greatest extravagances are champagne, butter, cream and women. He moved from France to London at 18 to work for Nancy Astor, the country’s first female MP, and in the swinging sixties with his brother Michel opened Le Gavroche, Britain’s first Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea, revolutionizing British cooking and earning him a swag of awards, Michelin stars and an OBE.  Now has a string of prestigious restaurants, brasseries, pubs, bakeries and trained up a second generation of Michelin star winners including the ever charming Gordon Ramsay. Roux was 70 when he met his second wife Cheryl, who refused to marry him until he dispensed with his harem of seven women.
Every day’s a Party is the title of one of the many cookbooks by New OrleansLibran celeb chef Emeril Lagasse, whose media, products and restaurant chains generate an estimated US$150 million annual revenue ­ a generous slice of it spent on children’s culinary arts programs, educational projects for special needs students and at-risk youth and edible schoolyards.
With a French-Canadian father and Portuguese mother, Lagasse understandably gravitated towards New Orleans for its culture, music and food and where up until recently the good times rolled.  His first Creole /Cajun style restaurant, Emeril’s in the Big Easy, was instantly successful and he’s now proprietor of thirteen restaurants, has hosted over 2000 of his own tv shows on the Food Network, built solid relationships with local fishermen and farmers and helped put many of them in business.  He says his most popular menu creations are Pork Chops with Tamarind Glaze and Green Mole Sauce, Barbecue Shrimp with homemade rosemary biscuits, and confit duck with seared foie gras and wild mushroom bread pudding.

Thomas Keller is a Libran U.S. chef  and cookbook author who started as a dishwasher in his mother’s restaurant, was mentored by French masterchef Roland Henin, apprenticed in France and went on to open his own multiple award winning restaurant The French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley,which perennially makes the Top 50 Restaurants of the world.  He now owns eight restaurants and two bakeries, designs his own Limoges dinnerware and silver, was consultant on the films Spanglish and Ratatouille, and insists that the key to his success is people ­ his relationships with his financial backers, suppliers, staff and ultimately his guests.
Masterchef judge George Calombaris who grew up with a Cypriot mother, Greek father, two siblings and 21 cousins, says in a Greek family, food is cultural, seasonal and religious, it’s eating lentils during Lent, octopus and calamari and beautiful cakes and pastries at Easter.  Unlike many modern Australian restauranteurs, George doesn’t use Asian flavours.  He says: I use feta as my salt, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, lots of fish and pulses. Greek cuisine is ancient, simple, elegant and healthy.
After training in modern French cooking in Melbourne under Raymond Capaldi, he opened Fenix restaurant in collaboration with Capaldi and fellow Masterchef judge Gary Mehigan, and at the age of 24 won Young Chef of theYear, Best New Restaurant and was voted one of the Top 40 chefs of influence in the world.  In 2006 he opened his own Melbourne restaurant The Press Club, and three more in 2008 including his first international restaurant on the Greek island of Mykonos.
At 31, George has more accolades for his work than many chefs get in a lifetime, and says the secret to managing so many restaurants, especially when they’re abroad, is his staff – and he treats the whole 130 of them like family.  Will we ever forget him earnestly imploring Masterchef contestants to channel their inner Libran and Make it Beeeeooootifffuuul!  Check how many times he uses this word in each episode.

by the fabulous belly hula queen and astrogourmet LILITH

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