Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Foodie Facebook: Kevin

When he's not standing in line at Cafe Art Java (far right guy in the photo) brushing up on his coffee geek skills or destroying spice grinders while cooking Indian, Kevin can usually be found packing around his three-month-old son, Owen. We're glad he took some time out to be interviewed and you will be too, as soon as you check out his answers.
Oh, and today happens to be his birthday.
Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Name: Kevin

Place: Montreal

Occupation: Clean Energy Engineer

Under The High Chair: What is your earliest childhood food memory?

Kevin: I don't really know if I have a single distinct "earliest" memory about food. I remember awesome birthday cakes (cars! spiderman! pumpkins and Halloween!) I remember returning home from church on Sunday morning and stopping by the bakery to buy a fresh, hot miche and passing it around to all my brothers and parents, pinching off a two-bite piece and devouring it until the loaf was mostly gone. We called this "pinch bread". On special occasions, the timing of which was an eternal mystery -- not birthdays, holidays or any other calendar-related day -- we would get one pastry each. I guess today I would call them "petit gateaux", but the most memorable part was the animals made from pastry cream and covered in coloured fondant. There was pink (pigs), yellow (birds) and more I'm sure. I was partial to the green frog petit gateaux. My parents bought rum balls which we were NOT allowed to eat. To this day rum balls are mysterious to me.

UTHC: What did you eat today?

Breakfast: I would love to say that I had fresh croissants from the bakery around the corner. Or my wife's incredible Scottish Oat Scones with apple jelly or peach preserves. Instead, I have an embarrassing admission. Ahem. McDonald's Egg McMuffin. But I must explain. This is highly unusual. I woke up with 5 minutes 'til my first bus and rushed out the door. The bus ended up being about 15 minutes late, meaning I would soon be waiting over an hour for my second bus. With only 4 minutes to spare, and a McDonald's coupon in my bag which I found in the mail and must have forgotten to throw it out, I knew that this was my last chance to put something in my tummy for the next hour. I'd already been awake on public transportation for 50 minutes and I caved. As soon as I got to work I made myself some wonderfully strong steaming press-pot coffee from freshly ground beans. This erased all memories of McDonald's and (sorta) redeemed my morning.

Lunch: Toasted pumpernickel sandwich with Dijon mustard, cilantro, smoked turkey and Montery Jack cheese melted on top. Two yogurts, a banana and some yummy homemade chocolate chip banana bread my wife made me (as a snack in the late afternoon).

Dinner: Indian dal (bean and lentil-based curry) on steamed basmati rice and gratin cauliflower with Dijon and melted-leek sauce.

Before-bed snack: Chocolate-chip cookie dough. Home made. Straight out of the container. With a spoon. Oh yeah!
UTHC: What will your kids never be allowed to eat?

Kevin: Nothing. Everything's fair game and will be a personal option at least once. Now I'm not promoting root beer at age 2, but I want them to know and experience everything, from bad to good. Also, I won't be promoting or serving anything and everything. But I love food, and like most foodies, enjoy the good, the unusual, the special, the unique, the one-off. I believe that part of truly enjoying these things also means knowing what the unspecial, the usual, the downright basic Belle Province hot dog and poutine is like. It's a question of setting benchmarks. I don't want my kids to become food snobs. Kraft Dinner is consumed by millions, and although I don't want them to eat it weekly, I think it would be good for them to know what it's like so that they learn what the good stuff is. Ever make your own macaroni and cheese? It's out of this world!

UTHC: What do you always have on hand in your fridge?

Kevin: Chilled white wine, chilled beer, Dijon mustard, strong cheddar cheese, olives, capers, yogourt. Also, I usually have wilted lettuce, some slimy spring onions, eons-old hoisin sauce, simple syrup and a 3-year-old frozen French Onion soup in the freezer. Hey, at least I'm honest; I know you all have these embarrassing items in your fridge too, or some equivalent!

UTHC: What is your beverage of choice?

Kevin: Gin and tonic, always. Red wine is a close second, but lately I'm on a wheat beer (white beer on lees) kick. I could go on and on about gin. But perhaps that is for another post.

UTHC: If you could have dinner with anyone in the history of man, who would it be?

Kevin: Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin or Henri Poincaré. Mainly for the conversation and the ideas. If it had to be food-related, as in a foodie bonanza, I think I'd love to have a dinner party with the loudest, most obnoxious food-celebrities out there: Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain, Martin Picard, Rocco, serve a few martinis to warm everyone up, then let them duke it out and just sit back and observe. Man, that would be wild! However, if the dinner party was to be more enjoyable, just for me and some close family and friends, I think Jamie Oliver. I have a serious guy-crush on Jamie Oliver.

UTHC: OK, it's your last meal ever, what do you have?

Kevin: Boy, this is a scary thought. I find I'm focusing more on the fact that I'm about to die, or at least never eat again, rather than what I would actually like to eat. I think I'd have to go with spaghetti with meat sauce, hot garlic bread (not gratiné), spicy red wine -- like some deep, complex Shiraz -- and vanilla ice cream with caramel, or fudge, sauce. Or both, 'cause hey, it's my last meal.

Thanks Kevin! Interesting fact about Jamie. Oh, and let's get together and demystify rum balls sometime, OK?
You can read more about Kevin at his (seldom updated) blog.


abigail @ Paper and Cake said...

great interview... although i think my last meal would be pie :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Kevin has some great food ideas Aimee:D

Anonymous said...

Ah my McDonald's eating it's out in the open! No denying it! Great post! All those meals were good.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Happy birthday, Kevin! Love this interview.

Emily said...

Happy birthday, Kevin.

The only thing I had at McDonald's breakfast were the pancakes, and they were pretty good. I've never had McMuffin or whatever you had.
Your lunch sounds great. I love pump.

Sara said...

Great interview! And a hot dog from Belle Province is a guilty pleasure of mine too whenever we visit my husband's grandparents in Chateauguay.

kevininspace said...

@abigail: mmm... pie.

@everyone: thanks for the birthday wishes!

Update: My wife, Melanie (in these comments she's the "anonymous" one) made me pasta, with red wine, a cheese platter (a bleu, brie with truffles, and superb cheddar), garlic bread, and a molten chocolate cake for my birthday last night. Not my last meal, but surely one of the best. Thanks Melanie!

Cheryl Arkison said...

This is a great idea!
I do disagree about letting the kids eat KD - it is my mission to never have it touch my kid's mouths. Call me a snob.

Aimée said...

Hi Abigail- not a piece of cake? ;-)

Hi Val- I know! We've just got to keep him away from the Golden Arches.

Hi Mel- We all suspected anyway...:)

Hi Lydia- He did great, eh?

Hi Em- I've never had one either, although after talking with Kevin, I may have to one day. and there is an article about them in this
month's Saveur.

Hi Sara- Add a poutine with mine!

HI Kev- sounds gooood.

Hi Cheryl- I hear you. One they try stuff like KD, chips, pop, there is NO going back to the good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Very thorough answers... love it!


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