Greetings, minions! Your Kitchen Overlord has decided to share her nefarious dossier on certain chefs of interest. These records are called the Food Blogger Interviews, or FBI Files for short. You can peek inside these confidential records every Thursday.
Today I’m sharing my findings on Bryton Taylor of Food in Literature. This Australian food blogger creates gorgeously photographed recipes based on everything from classic children’s books like Mary Poppins (who we all know was a secret Time Lord) to contemporary favorites like Harry Potter plus more adult fare ranging from Dan Brown’s Inferno to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If you’ve drooled while reading about it, she’s probably created a real life version.
Start off by telling the rest of my minions about your geekiest recipe and the inspiration behind it.
My Wonka Three Course Meal Gum is definitely geeky. Fruit and sweet flavoured gum is fairly unique. But the real novelty and challenge was to create gum that tastes of tomato soup, roast beef and blueberry pie. I was thrilled when it turned out so well.
What inspired you to start a food blog?
I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to write about food in literature. My blogging began with a craft blog (my first post was a pirate treasure chest) and detoured through gluten-free cooking. In 2011/2012 I threw several themed parties including an Alice in Wonderland brunch and a ‘Great Gatsby style’ murder mystery. I loved it so much I wrote about them, and the food-in-literature theme blossomed from there. It took a few years of morphing to the blog it is now.
What cuisine, technique, or trend has had the biggest impact on your cooking?
Imagination and curiosity are the main sources of my motivation and direction in cooking, more than anything else. When I’m creating food from fantasy, I don’t begin with a recipe. As I’m reading, my mind’s eye conjures up a vague image and then does a quick re-wind as I imagine how it really does look. I’ll begin with a quick sketch of the overall creation, then deconstruct and research each element to figure out how I can transform that image into substance.
What dish do you make that impresses you the most – the one that makes you step back and say, “Damn, I’m good!”? Is it the same dish that impresses other people?
My ice cream flavours have been devoured in seconds by my family. My peanut butter ice cream is deadly, and I just made a carrot cake ice cream that’ll be posted for Easter. Half of the carrot cake ice cream had disappeared when I returned to the freezer! Which is both good and bad — I suddenly found I didn’t have a whole bowl to photograph as I had hoped, but at least I knew the recipe was irresistible!
Joy of Cooking or Betty Crocker? Defend your answer.
When I need a basic understanding of a recipe to build on, Joy of Cooking is my ‘go-to’ bible. In saying that, I actually have a soft spot for old Canadian cookbooks and have been collecting them for a few years.
Slow food or molecular gastronomy? Defend your answer.
I believe you need to have an appreciation for both. Slow food is about having an awareness about sustainability and tradition, while molecular gastronomy is inquisitive and always pushing forward.
How do you feel about 3D Food Printers or other technologies bringing us closer to a Star Trek Replicator future?
My only thought is, how soon can I have one in my kitchen?
Sure, on some level they’re all your babies, but what’s your single favorite kitchen tool?
My sharp chef’s knife. The ease of using one versus when I used to hack away with an everyday steak knife was life-changing. It’s like discovering a Winsor & Newton finest sable brush for the first time, after years of only knowing a hog hair bristle.
Is there anything you just can’t make yourself try no matter how much other people gush about it?
There’s this tequila available with an edible scorpion in the bottom. I’ll try anything once, but I will not eat that scorpion!
If you had to fight a celebrity chef in our Thunderdome, who would you pick and what would be your preferred weapon?
Heston Blumenthal, just so I could meet him. We’d be armed with Espuma guns (aka cream whippers) because a) How wonderful does that name sound? and b) Expertise and age won’t matter, cream fights are always fun!
What’s your favorite geeky food blog?
If you love food from books and movies, you need to check out Food Adventures in Fiction. Diana does a variety of adorable foods from games, books and films. So there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.
Pimp the Food in Literature recipes Kitchen Overlord’s minions desperately need to check out:
- Harry Potter; Honeyduke’s Licorice Wands. Licorice wands that actually look like wizard wands.
- Wonka’s Whipplescrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. Wonka’s famous chocolate bar, in all its awesomeness.
- Wonka’s Marshmallow Pillow. Yes, it really is a pillow size marshmallow, complete with pillowcase packaging and printable label.
- Harry Potter’s Alcoholic Butterbeer. This is for adult Harry Potter fans, and what I imagine butter beer to really taste like.
- World War Z Biohazard Zombie Meat Pie. I think the title says it all.