A note to readers:
You will notice in the recipes not all measurements are confined to just one system. As a Canadian, bordering on the U.S., I’ve become accustomed to cups as opposed to deciliters, and teaspoons and tablespoons instead of milliliters. Temperatures, however, are listed in Celsius versus Fahrenheit, and weight is measured in grams and kilograms. Where appropriate, I’ll give you both units for clarity’s sake.
As a general guideline, I use the metric system. When I say cup, I mean a metric 250ml cup, NOT a 240ml US cup, or 227ml Canadian cup, 200ml Japanese cup or even a 284ml imperial cup. I mean 250ml METRIC CUP.
About the Blog:
The Migrant Chef is a blog that explores those time-honored dishes, those childhood favorites, and those ethnic gems that have become affixed to our repertoire of general food knowledge. My intention is not to set out to reinvent these classics. They’re classics because they work. My scope is to take a deeper look into the elements of these classic comfort dishes and add a touch of exclusivity.
Gourmet is a term thrown around by diners, chefs, and food companies that very seldom ever means the same. So let’s take a moment to define gourmet. By gourmet, I mean taking the highest quality ingredients available, some common, others not so much. And from there, cooking nearly every element from scratch.
Presentation is important, but let me just say up front, food styling and photography are not my forte. All I can promise is that I’ll do my best to make the recipes translate onto the plate.
My name is Andrew Chisholm and I live in Oslo, Norway where I work as an English teacher, a screenwriter, and a blogger. I was born and raised in Eastern Canada. In 2008 I moved to Norway after marrying my wonderful and very supportive wife, Hilde. We have a thee year old son, Benjamin.
My affinity for food runs deep. It all began at the age of seven when I cooked my first box of Kraft Mac & Cheese, or Kraft Dinner as it is better known in Canada. That’s right, I boiled the water, I added the macaroni and cooked it for the recommended 6 to 8 minutes. I drained it, and added milk, butter, and that infamous glowing orange cheese powder. And I did it all by myself.
During Christmas of 1991, my mother had been working on the traditional baked goods we would take to my grandparents every year. Seeing her stressed, tired, and covered in flour as the tedious egg tarts refused to come out to her perfecting standards, I decided to pitch in and offered to make the mushroom turnovers. She handed me the recipe and stepped aside. Not too far aside, I still needed some guidance. And there I went, full swing with this holiday favorite; the mighty mushroom turnover. The pressure was a bit much, but my mother reassured me, it was important I try. So I did. I baked somewhere between 50 to 75 of those little buggers. Each one evenly filled with a creamy blend of mushroom, sour cream, onion and thyme. Folded into a small circle of thin cream cheese pastry, turned over, and gingerly crimped with a dusted fork.
A few days later it was Christmas Eve and among the spread of delectables were my mushroom turnovers. Living up to my mother’s impossible standards was a daunting task, but as those turnovers were snatched up and devoured, I saw a glimmer of hope. When the extended family learned it was me behind those pillows of goodness, the praise poured in. I felt like an accomplished chef. And then my grandmother said something that changed my life forever. She said, “you should be a chef”. I was on the moon.
Well, I’m sorry to tell you Oma, I didn’t become a chef. At least not a skilled chef by trade. Years of experience working in kitchens has given me a wealth of knowledge and insight into the industry, but the passion for running my own brigade faded over time. Perhaps I was too lazy, or maybe I was scared of rejection. Either way, a career in the culinary arts did not feel like my true calling.
That said, a passion for cooking, eating, and a thirst for food knowledge burns as bright as ever. After some serious consideration, and heaps of encouragement, I’ve finally decided to start a blog where I can share my recipes, techniques, and point of view all related to comfort food. I hope you enjoy!