A Passion For Food

I have always had a love-hate relationship with ricotta cheese. I don’t know why, but I have had grainy, unappealing samples that turned me off. Also, most of the time I have to buy more than I really need, and the remnants turn into a science experiment in my fridge.

So I was leafing through a cookbook called Pucker by Gwendolyn Richards when I found a recipe for ricotta cheese. Four ingredients, milk, cream, salt and lemon juice, I always have in my kitchen. Needless to say, determined to solve the ricotta cheese problem, I bought the book.

Now I normally buy a cookbook, take it home, leave it on the kitchen counter for three weeks and then put in my cookbook bookcase for a rainy day’s reading. This time I turned to the ricotta recipe, assembled the ingredients and made the cheese!

The cheese was creamy (I doubled the cream content), a little sour, a little salty, in short, lovely. Of course then I had to have bread, so I dug out a great anadama recipe and voila! A real treat! I took it into Chef Joel and he loved it too. More than a month later, Pucker is still on my counter and I have grapefruit, limes and lemons in the fridge waiting for my next day off.

We all have food fears, often stemming from childhood, that inhibit us from trying new things. I was fortunate to grow up with foodies for parents, long before being a foodie became trendy. We tried all sorts of international dishes both at home and in restaurants. We also lived in a variety of places and embraced regional and national cuisines at home. Still, I developed food fears. Take parsnips. No, actually let’s just leave them. I have never learned to love them, although I can get them past my lips now without gagging. And squid ink? Not for me. Ditto tripe.

At the Star, we try to offer opportunities to expand our customers’ palates. A regular customer worked her way through the menu, even ordering things she was pretty sure she would not like, and marveled at the different flavours she learned to love.

We celebrate our different food traditions, we try new things, we test and tweak, and work with your feedback to make it better.

That’s why we say “food is our passion and our customers are the stars.”