Happiness as Anarchy #154: Watching Chefs Cook

I love a seat at the bar in an open-kitchen restaurant. Casa San Juan has one of these and I had the pleasure of sitting there this evening. Not only were wine and food delicious (an oaked Chardonnay followed by a Pinot Noir by Salentin in the Valle de Uco in Mendoza, accompanying the gnocchi with tomatoes, beetroot, broccoli, bocconcini, mushrooms, garlic, pesto and cheese) but I watched it being cooked. My chef, Juan, was skilful and cooked with precision and care. He was also smiley and answered all my culinary questions. I sat there mesmerised by the theatre of the kitchen for hours (and to be honest, I enjoyed it more than a film or play!).

Happiness as Anarchy #63: Ruby Grapefruit

One of my favourite fruits is Ruby Grapefruit. Grapefruit is an accidental hybrid that originated in Barbados when the sweet orange cross-pollenated with the pomelo. Apparently the ‘grape’ part of the name refers to the way the fruits hangs in clusters. Like many, I always thought it was a terribly bitter fruit until I learned that if you remove all the membrane you also remove the bitterness. Thus, there is serious commitment involved – it takes a good ten minutes to segment and remove the membrane of a grapefruit (significantly longer than it takes to eat it), but it is a surprisingly satisfying task and worth the effort to have a plate full of jewel-like segments bursting with flavour, zing and citrus juiciness.