Sunday, August 16, 2009

Joanne Weir: A Culinary Virtuoso














Joanne Weir Chef, Author and Television Personality has achieved what most culinary professionals could only aspire to, a place with the elite. Her accomplishments include, A James Beard Award. IACP Julia Child Cooking Teacher Award of Excellence and Gourmand World Cookbook award to name a few. She has her own book series for Williams Sonoma and very own television series “Joanne Weir’s Cooking Class.” It appears that when it comes to the many facets of the culinary arts Joanne Weir has her fingers in it. We were fortunate enough to land this interview with her between her busy schedule and world travels.
--JRG

JRG: You have such an exhausting schedule when do you ever rest?

I rest. Don’t worry! I am going to Greece for my honeymoon in 3 ½ weeks and I will certainly rest there!

JRG: Congratulations! Wow Greece how fun so traveling the world and enjoying the many culinary delicacies it has to offer, how would you rate the bay area and did that influence you to make it your place of habitat?




I love the Bay Area for its resemblance to the Mediterranean. I love the olives, olive oil, citrus, wine, grapes, herbs, tomatoes, garlic, everything that speaks to that kind of food.







JRG: This week is a pretty significant host to an icon in the culinary industry Julia Child her birthday being on the 20th. How was it to get praised by this Culinary Legend?

Amazing! Absolutely incredible. I was so very happy and honored.

JRG: Did you ever meet Julia Child?
Of course, I met her many years ago when she sat and had lunch with me at an IACP conference.

JRG: How was she like and what did she have?

She loved the crispy skin of duck and the perfect Tart au Pomme but what I love most was her love of her sweet husband, Paul. She taught me what balance is!

JRG: Julia Child also selected your first Cook book, out of 1000 selected “From Tapas to Meze,” as one of her 12 personal favorites. How did you find out?




I was watching Good Morning America and she held up my book and said how much she loved it. I almost fainted! It was my first book and to see my first born on TV was really exciting.



JRG: Can you let us in on your writing process and how you get your ideas?

I get ideas for recipes from my travels and by eating at my favorite places. I jot down an idea and then in my office I write the recipe. Then I test every recipe at least once but usually more times. I love being immersed in writing a book. It is all encompassing. Writing is very creative and very therapeutic for me!

JRG: As I was going through your blog and site I found myself getting hungrier and hungrier (tantalizing images) how do you keep so fit?

I walk or work out every single day. I have lots of energy.

JRG: Your most recent book Tequila: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails, and Bites has been the talk of the town with Tequila enthusiasts. What inspired you to do a book on Tequila?



I started a group called Agave Girls, for women who appreciate tequila, and the idea took off. The first event we invited 45 women and 90 came. Ten Speed asked me to write a book and the rest is history.


JRG: In your opinion why is Tequila such a popular drink/ingredient around the globe or is it?


It is the purest spirit produced today, with two distillations and no hangover. We’re not talking about mix to tequila which is 51% agave tequila and 49 % caramel coloring and sugar. We are talking Blanco, Reposado and Anejo, 100% blue agave tequila. Also because of all three types, there is a tequila for everyone.

JRG: How did you come up with all those Tequila recipes?

This is my 19th cookbook, the recipes for food were the easy part. The cocktail came from the best tequila bartenders in the country.

JRG: You mentioned in your blog that tasting 100% agave tequila is like tasting wine is their a proper methodology to appreciate the aesthetics of this potion from the gods?

Do a vertical tasting , Blanco, Reposado and Anejo or a horizontal tasting of highlands and lowlands blanco to really see the differences.

JRG: I had no idea there were three types of Tequila? What makes them so distinct?

Blanco is the first tequila that comes after the two distillations and is the purest expression of the agave plant. It expresses what the distiller is trying to do. Reposado is age in bourbon barrels for 2 to 12 months and Anejo is aged 1 to 3 years.

JRG: What advice would you give to someone who enjoys tequila but really wants to become a connoisseur of the spirit?

Read my book first to understand tequila. There’s lots of lore, lots of history. Understand the product first and then taste! Let the tequila do the talking.

JRG: Do people really eat the worm or is that just a myth and if so, do you have a recipe that features the tequila worm?

The worm comes from Mezcal and it’s a gimmick to get people to drink Mezcal.

JRG: Oh good, I can take that out of my list of things I have to do to become a renaissance man. Hey there’s actually a Tequila day July 26th. What did you do to celebrate it?

I was on the Martha Stewart show talking tequila celebrating National Tequila day.

JRG: Alright lets shift topics again what other cookbooks do you enjoy.


I love anything Chez Panisse where I was a cooked for 5 years. I love River Café books, Zuni and anything about the Mediterranean

JRG: And the last question I WANT TO BE IN YOUR SHOW. Ok enough graveling how does one becomes a guest on your show.

Go to my website and write to me at jw@joanneweir.com and express that.

JRG: Alright I lied this is the last question. If you were a cuisine what would it be and which recipe would best describe you?

I would be Mediterranean. It has so many flavors, loves life and looks towards the sun! As for a recipe… I’m going to leave that to your imagination!


                                   About the Blogger

John Ray Gutierrez is a beat blogger for Book flip. He is the winner of The Fundatia Alviqute Award of Romania for Best Screenplay, Don’t Drink The Water, nominated for BACE (Bay Area Cable Excellence Award) The GenX Show for Best Entertainment Series and a finalist for Best Screenplay The Lucid Dream Of Eric Butterworth at the Beverly Hills International Film festival 2009. He is currently directing a Trailer for Nick Cave’s new book The Death of Bunny Munro. And just finished his second screenplay Flan.









4 comments:

Shellie said...

This sounds like it was a fun interview, and congrats to the author on her marriage. I miss the bay area...love it there.

Kepler's said...

It was really fun, just wait for the next interview its on a person who see's angels :)

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