Thursday, October 8, 2009
5 Questions with Food Jammers
Food Jammers (L to R): Micah, Chris, Nobu
Revolutionizing my television these days are three Toronto-dwelling friends who use art, science, humour and food to create extraordinary culinary experiences. Food Jammers, also known as Micah Donovan, Nobu Adilman and Christopher Martin, bring a new energy to Monday night T.V. with their fantastic food show. Now in its 3rd season, Food Jammers continues to churn out amazing concepts such as ice fish and chips, wine and cheese puffs and an beeretzels. With a clear passion for food, art and building things, the food dudes cook up some crazy ideas that look and sound delicious! (If only smell-o-vision or taste-o-vision existed!)
I was lucky enough to get an inside look at what makes the Food Jammers tick, as they agreed to answer 5 Questions:
After the Harvest (ATH): On your show, you've made cider, homemade pop and freshly roasted coffee -- have you ever thought about making your own wine?
Nobu: Making wine is one of those sacred arts that I haven't yet dared to attempt.
Micah: We also made beer, and it was pretty good. The wine I grew up with in the south of France would be hard to pull off in a closet in Toronto. That said, I'm always game to try.
ATH: Speaking of wine and beverages in general, have you ever encountered a really delicious food and drink pairing that surprised you, and do you have any favourite food and drink combinations?
Nobu: I've never been in a position to try this but I think champagne, whipped cream and Madonna circa 1992 would really hit the spot.
Micah: Czech beer and bread, for breakfast. Even a Belgian will tell you it's impossible to top.
ATH: How important is it to you that you source local ingredients for your projects?
Nobu: A tomato grown down the road has always tasted better.
Micah: There was a study on tourism done in Scotland that showed the small villages that allowed the Gap and Starbucks to take over their main streets essentially destroyed the very differences between them and the next village, and therefore reasons to visit. When you think of the BBQ battle between Kansas City and Memphis, it's a regionalism that celebrates differences and diversity. The same way biological diversity is fundamental to the health of the planet, and our survival, there's a need to fight cultural homogeneity. We're making headway. I'm stoked on the amount of local food we're seeing in big stores in just the last 2 years. It's getting better, but it's all practice until we really have to grow locally because we can't afford to ship. Small scale and local is the way to go -- and it means if we like good food and drink, we'll just have to grow and make it here and get better at it.
ATH: If you were a food or beverage, what would you be and why?
Nobu: A hunk of Swiss cheese because my logic is rife with holes and my body is chock full of yang.
Micah: Apple pie with homemade ice cream 'cause nothing is happier.
ATH: If you had "the ultimate picnic", what would be in your basket?
Nobu: A bowl of blueberries, smoked salmon slices and wedges of lemon, a portable record player, a copy of the Bob James' Three album, an umbrella, some pillows, Stendhal's The Red and the Black, a whoopee cushion, a frisbee, tarot cards, fireworks and a polka-dotted blanket.
Micah: I had the ultimate picnic: my girlfriend told me to open an envelope for Valentine's and in it were instructions to leave my place of work and walk down into one of the ravines behind the building. I was instructed to follow ribbons tied to trees until I came upon a little encampment. There was a tablecloth draped over a mossy picnic table and on it was a butane burner with steaming Coq au Vin, apricot and pine nut pilaf, roasted red pepper soup, homemade bonbons and tea for dessert. Snow covered the ground, icicles hung from trees, vapour rose from the stew, and a battery powered record player played Ella Fitzgerald -- bundled in a comforter was our dog on the sled used to hike it all in. Pretty Ultimate.
*Chris fits Nobu into his fruit leather jacket while Micah soaks in all the fruit-leather happiness
If you haven't yet glimpsed the Food Jammers in action, tune your dial to Food Network Canada, Monday nights at 8 pm. Each week you can catch a new Season 3 episode back to back with an episode from previous seasons. It was fantastic to confirm my suspicions that eating locally and supporting a diverse, homegrown food economy are important to Micah, Nobu and Chris. You can find out more about Food Jammers here.
Extreme thanks to Micah and Nobu for their answers!
*Food Jammers photos courtesy of Micah Donovan
*All other photos via Flickr: Doll Fashionistas, Niamheen, musicpb