The Art of Living according to Joe Beef
Authors: Frederick Morin, David McMillan, Meredith Erickson
Wow, where to start? They say on the dust jacket “A Cookbook of Sorts” and well, it is! It’s the philosophy you have to admire! We need a smoker…let’s build one! Can anybody weld?…No…OK, I’ll learn! You’ve got to love that, I also love the Health regulations, the home built smoker sits under a lean-to out the back of the restaurant, actually; out the back of one of the three restaurants they have in a row, side by side!
A ramshackle book as much about lifestyle as it is about trains, train-food, restaurant building and recipes, but it’s so much more than that! It’s a journey of inspiration, a leisurely stroll through the twisted food obsession of blokes who think outside the square. They care about food and food origins, their focus is on local suppliers and garden self-produced. These are my kind of guys, I’m so going to Montreal to suck up my share!
As I read through the book, I make up menus in my head, I’ll have this followed by that and two of those, it’s impossible dreaming, but that’s what this book will do to you! The Restaurant(s) must be a dangerous place! The lifestyle this conjures up is for me a kind of food littered Alice in Wonderland experience!
First Make your own Absinthe, (yes, you heard right) then Perhaps an appetiser of Beer Cheese or Scallops with Pulled Pork. Follow that with Whelks with Escargot Butter and Smoked Mackerel Benedict and then a pallet cleanser of Smoked Cheddar with Doughnuts (first smoke your own cheese) while you digest Fred’s theory of the Big Mac Equilibrium. Perhaps another Absinthe before a meticulously conjured Marjolaine, vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut and rummmmmm or an Éclair stuffed with home-made caramel and topped with sweetcorn and more caramel for desert? After your meal, you can follow the instructions to build your own smoker or perhaps just read about Canadian Trains.
For me this is a real treasure, there’s something timeless about the recipes, the ideas and the whole presentation, I guess in todays ultra mod world, the style police could say it looks a bit yesterday, but I think that’s the idea, and maybe todays yesterday is tomorrows today. Another Absinthe and that’ll make sense!
There is many a pleasurable hour of reading and dreaming slouched in your favourite chair to be had in this book. These guys are superheroes in the Gotham of unearthly delights. Everyone should practice the Art of Living according to Joe Beef!…..I’m going to start!
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 11, 2011)