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CULINARY GREAT FEEDS WINSTON

by Kristi Maier

| @TriadFoodies

Winston-Salem food lovers and fans of the Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Iron Chef America” welcomed celebrated food expert and author, Simon Majumdar, last week to a Backyard BBQ at The Porch, Kitchen & Cantina in Winston-Salem. Majumdar’s latest book, “Fed, White and Blue” is the latest in a trio of books by the British ex-pat chronicling his food experiences over the years. “Fed White and Blue” in particular, catalogues his journey to American citizenship through extraordinary food experiences across the USA.

“This book is really about trying to discover my new homeland. I decided when I married my wife, Sybil, that I wanted to become an American citizen, not just a green card holder. I wanted to be a part of the process, the vote, everything. Before I did that I wanted to find out what that meant.” He says food is the way he looks at everything. “I invited people to show me their favorite food experiences. I fished for salmon in Alaska and lobster in Maine. I made beer in Seattle and roasted peppers in Santa Fe. I judged BBQ competitions and even got to cook with Richard Petty at the Daytona 500 and watch the race with him.”

Majumdar says for the book tour itself, he and Sybil decided they wanted to replicate those experiences, but not in a typical “PR” book tour fashion. The trip is husband, wife, an SUV and a U-haul full of books and cooking equipment where they turn out and cook for guests in unexpected places. “This area is what I would call a culinary ‘who knew’. I didn’t even know there was a Saxapahaw. But we visited there and met such hospitable people and the food was great. And the same goes for Winston-Salem with Sweet Potatoes, Foothills Brewing and here at The Porch. That’s the beauty of food. It’s the great unifier. It’s very hard to have an argument with someone with your mouth full of ribs.”

Majumdar was treated his first night at Foothills Brewing with a more intimate event, but the second night he got to do some cooking and shared meals from his heritage, Tandoori Chicken, Smoked Pork Vindaloo and Housemade Naan that was fire cooked in a mobile pizza oven with the help of chef David Nicoletta of Gianno’s in High Point and Giada’s Trattoria in Kernersville. Other restaurants sharing flavor were Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar with a Hot Smoked Salmon on Fennel & Leek Soup with Tomato Jam; and Small Batch Beer with Pickled Shrimp on Grilled Ciabatta with Texas Pete SriraCHA Aioli.

Chef, blogger and food writer, Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks blog was the host for the event. She met Majumdar last fall in Las Vegas at a food competition. “He told me his favorite barbecue in the world was Lexington style and I told him I lived 20 minutes away from there,” she says. “I saw later on social media that they were looking for towns to host their book tour. After talking to them, I learned what the spirit of “Fed, White and Blue” was all about. I wanted it to be a signature event, different than going to a bookstore or doing a demo at a culinary school. I wanted us all to be able to spend time together, for him to be able to relax and to cook together and I wanted to show off Winston-Salem as well.”

Although Majumdar is known as “The Food Network’s Toughest Critic,” he says it was a treat to be cooked for, but also to get to cook for, and with, people from all walks of life. “I like to call myself a food writer, broadcaster and itinerate philosopher. I really want to spread this message of– be good to one another, share great food and have fun. It’s really become my passion and my life’s work. And I’m going to keep doing it until the good Lord calls me.” !

WANNA go?

Wanna read it? “Fed, White and Blue” is available online and at most major retailers. For more information OR if you know of someone in a town who’d like to host Simon, visit www.simonmajumdar.com. You’ll also find lots of recipes and other chow related tidbits on the site.

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