Pastry chef of year says pleasure comes first

By Olga NEDBAEVA PARIS, Nov 13, 2023 (AFP) – Nina Metayer, the first woman to win one of the world’s top pastry chef awards, doesn’t believe in cutting back on the butter. Metayer’s cakes have just won her the coveted “World Confectioner” award from the International Union of Bakers and Pastry Chefs. This is the first time the award has gone to a woman in its 92-year history. But you won’t find the 35-year-old following […]

Pakistani biryani: a spicy recipe for delectable debate

By Ashraf KHAN, Joe STENSON KARACHI, Sept 28, 2023 (AFP) – Eying each other across a stream of traffic, rival Pakistani biryani joints vie for customers, serving a fiery medley of meat, rice and spice that unites and divides South Asian appetites. Both sell a niche version of the dish, steeped in the same vats, with matching prices and trophies commending their quality. But in Karachi, where a biryani craze boomed after the creation of […]

S.African chickens hit by ‘worst’ bird flu outbreak

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 22, 2023 (AFP) – South African poultry farmers have warned of possible chicken and egg shortages as they battle what the industry says is the worst bird flu outbreak ever to hit the country. Producer Quantum Foods said on Friday that this year it had lost almost two million chickens — worth a total of more than 100 million rand ($5.3 million) — because of the disease. “The bird flu outbreak is the […]

In war-scarred Iraqi city, food business gives women independence

By Mohammad Salim Abir Jassem is busy preparing stuffed vegetables at a kitchen in Iraq’s Mosul, where after years of unrest a women-run catering service has helped single mothers like her achieve financial security. The 37-year-old, who lost her husband while the city was under the control of the Islamic State (IS) group, said she had to get a job to put food on the table for her and her children. “If I didn’t work, […]

Robot fried chicken: entrepreneur seeks to improve S. Korea’s favourite food

By Claire LEE In fried-chicken-obsessed South Korea, restaurants serving the nation’s favourite fast-food dish dot every street corner. But Kang Ji-young’s establishment brings something a little different to the table: a robot is cooking the chicken. Eaten at everything from tiny family gatherings to a 10-million-viewer live-streamed “mukbang” — eating broadcast — by K-pop star Jungkook of BTS fame, fried chicken is deeply embedded in South Korean culture. Paired with cold lager and known as […]

Japan PM eats ‘safe and delicious’ Fukushima fish

  TOKYO, Aug 30, 2023 (AFP) – Japan’s prime minister ate what he called “safe and delicious” fish from Fukushima on Wednesday, days after wastewater was released from the area’s crippled nuclear plant into the Pacific. A video clip showing Fumio Kishida eating Fukushima fish, published on social media by his office, comes after China banned all seafood imports from its neighbour following the discharge that began on August 24. “This is very good,” Kishida […]

Foreign chefs conquer Paris with childhood flavors for French cuisine

By Olga NEDBAEVA Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — “My mum doesn’t agree with what I do here: at home, we don’t eat like this,” laughs Alan Geaam, the first Lebanese chef to earn a Michelin star in Paris. The self-taught chef, who fled his country’s civil war in 1999, nonetheless believes that promoting Lebanon’s culinary riches means combining them with some of “the elegance and refinement” of French cuisine. At his self-titled restaurant in […]

Meatball from extinct mammoth unveiled by food tech firm

by Jan HENNOP Agence France Presse Amsterdam, Netherlands (AFP) Food scientists on Tuesday unveiled a giant meatball made from lab-grown flesh of an extinct woolly mammoth, saying the protein from the past showed the way for future foods. The glistening meatball was displayed under a glass bell jar by Australian-based cultivated meat firm Vow at the NEMO science museum in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. But it is not ready to be eaten just yet, with […]

Steam cuisine: cooking in Japan’s hot springs

BEPPU, Japan (AFP) — Using geothermal resources to generate electricity is a divisive prospect in Japan, but there is little disagreement about another use for it: natural steam for cooking. The geothermal sources that make Japan a haven for hot springs or onsen are also used to produce a range of delicacies. There’s the “onsen tamago” — eggs cooked in geothermally heated water at around 65 degrees (149 degrees Fahrenheit) to produce a relatively firm […]

Coffee so cold it’s hot: South Korea’s love of iced Americano

by Cat BARTON Agence France-Presse Seoul, South Korea (AFP) — K-pop stars BTS drink it. It appears in K-dramas. Fans are so dedicated to consuming it year-round they’ve coined a new South Korean proverb: “Even if I freeze to death, iced Americano!” The humble coffee — shots of espresso served over ice, topped up with water — has become South Korea’s unofficial national drink, outselling its hot counterpart even during the depths of winter, Starbucks […]

Sushi conveyor belt pranks spark outrage in Japan

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A handful of unhygienic pranks at sushi conveyor belt restaurants in Japan have sparked stock slumps, venue overhauls and legal action, along with furious social media commentary. Several videos dubbed “sushi terrorism” have emerged on social media including Twitter and TikTok in recent days, some of them apparently weeks or even years old. In one, viewed nearly 40 million times on Twitter, an apparently teenaged customer licks the top of a […]

Handshakes, shoes and coffee cups: Qatar etiquette essentials

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) – Home to gleaming skyscrapers and upmarket shopping malls, World Cup host Qatar is also a conservative Muslim country deeply attached to its customs and traditions. Here are some of the cultural conventions football fans should know when visiting the gas-rich Gulf emirate, which, like other Arab nations, prides itself on its hospitality. – Greetings and handshakes – In public places, it is customary to stand up when greeting others, particularly the elderly, […]