Cod with mushrooms and lingonberries, a Finnish experience.

I was in Helsinki for the past week. Arrived there while it was still snowing and I couldn’t have had a bigger gift! It was beautiful!

I can talk about Helsinki for a week and still more…suffice to say that I love the city and the people, their way of living, their love for their culture and traditions, including their food. They are creative, elegant, individual, all the while being gay in their welcoming. It was an enriching experience and one I hope to repeat.

I have enjoyed the most delicious meals, all fish and I felt great, even though they love their creams and butters and potatoes, but their portions are small, their food is extremely healthy and flavourful and a feast for the eye.


The first night I had cod with roasted sweet peppers on pureéd potatoes at The Fishmarket which was beyond wonderful. So back here at home, with my spirit still high up in the north with it’s snow and lights, I created the following: some cod again, with mushrooms and cranberries(wanted lingonberries, but I couldn’t find any).  The clean flavour of fresh cod, with the aroma of dill, the bite of finely chopped red onions and the tartness of the berries turned a simple meal into a a gastronomic experience. Typically Finnish.


…helsinki in the snow…helsinki2-11-24-2008-8-30-57-pm1

…lutheran cathedral on senate square…


…uspensky orthodox cathedral…helsinki6-11-26-2008-9-29-42-am

…winter wonderland on pohjoisesplanadi…helsinki3-11-24-2008-8-32-16-pm

…some colour on a grey sea…helsinki8-11-26-2008-1-31-02-pm

…in the distance…helsinki10-11-26-2008-1-31-56-pm

…in the icebar…helsinki9-11-26-2008-8-52-26-pm

“Pain perdu” with red berries – painting the canvas

Today was a romantic day. A soft rain was misting over the Loire, colouring the light to a translucent gray. It was a monochrome painting, a grisaille, an underpainting preparing the canvas for colour. Much like art. It was a day of tones and values. The shadows were deep, the lights were light, the air was soft, feathered. A day of dimension whithout hues.

And so I took out the colour palette and started painting. A spattering of bright reds and luscious velvety burgundies, a drop of sensual translucent syrup. A dollop of stark white cream…a highlight…a shadow. Making food is preparing the canvas. Serving food is painting the canvas. Eating is appreciating the art.




loiregrey1-11-19-2008-2-40-03-pm loiregrey2-11-19-2008-2-51-26-pm