There are a few obvious benefits of having a brother who has dedicated his life to the culinary arts. First, he loves to feed people, and I'm a person. Second, in the spirit of about a million cooking competition shows, he loves a good challenge. And third, while cooking with him, I learn tons of new flavour combinations and techniques.
Late October and November is a busy time for my family, with my birthday, my sister's birthday, her husband's birthday, and their wedding anniversary all landing within a couple of weeks of each other. So, for the past 4 years, we've come together for a family celebration in which me (entree), my sister (appetizer), and her husband (dessert) come up with a food-based challenge for my infinitely talented and creative brother to execute for the birthday/anniversary dinner.
Three years ago, the challenge was to make a bite-sized dish for each of the Seven Deadly Sins. Two years ago, he turned kids birthday party favourite into gourmet dishes that adults would love. Last year, he randomly chose from a chart of Region/Feeling/Protein (for example, Lazy Indian Lamb) for his inspiration. And this year, I decided that I'd keep it super simple, what do I most want to eat? The answer was Meditterenean, a challenge that was more about the flavours than the tricky gimmicks. My sister chose root vegetables for the appetizer, and her husband went with maple for the dessert.
Although I'm one of the ones being celebrated, part of the gift for me is the chance to play sous-chef and prepare the meal with my brother. Yesterday, I joined him in his kitchen to throw together one of the best meals I've ever tasted in my life. Along the way, I took pictures of the process and the results. Fellow food-lovers unite and enjoy this delicious imagery.
These dishes were conceptualized and cooked by Jeffy Fantastico, photographs taken by Chessterr Hollowberry