I am so looking forward to meeting and interviewing one of Estonia’s most beloved chefs in Los Angeles next week! I will be with her as she shops for ingredients and prepares the food that will be served at the 2012 Taste Awards reception next Thursday.
By special invitation, Chef Marika Blossfeldt, author of the best-selling, Essential Nourishment, Recipes from My Estonian Farm (Gourmand World Cookbook Awards nominee, 2011), will be participating & preparing food for the 3rd Annual Taste Awards & VIP Reception, introducing Estonian cooking to the global culinary stage for the first time.
The Taste Awards, also known as the TASTY Awards, is the premier broadcast awards show to celebrate and recognize the year’s best achievements in food, fashion, and home lifestyle programs on television, in film, online, and on radio.
Chef Marika will be preparing two items for the reception: a cranberry pecan barley bread, inspired by the traditional Estonian “karask,” and a quinoa beet salad, featuring boiled beets as the “Estonian” ingredient – in traditional Estonian cooking there are several versions of beet salads – Chef Marika gives it a new twist that pairs beets with a cooked grain.
Joining her at the Awards reception will be Estonian cocktail masters, Heinar Oispuu and Kristo Toomingas, of Tallinn’s Butterfly Lounge, the biggest and most popular cocktail bar in Estonia. Drinks International Magazine awarded Butterfly Lounge as the second best cocktail bar in Baltics of 2011 (the first place was given to B Bar in Latvia) and it was also nominated to “Silver Spoon 2011,” the Estonian gastronomy award of the year.
Delighted to be introducing Estonian cuisine at the Taste Awards, Chef Marika says, “My culinary philosophy is a perfect fit for what the Taste Awards seek to encourage and for what California cuisine is known for. What I have added is an emphasis on the local and the natural.”
Chef Marika is also the proprietor of an old, renovated Estonian herb and vegetable farm near the western coast of Estonia, Polli Talu. The farm has evolved into an international art and wellness center. Chef Marika has focused her life on practicing and teaching a holistic lifestyle where body, mind and spirit are integrated and deeply cared for.
Indicative of the great interest her appearance at the Taste Awards has generated in Estonia, Estonia’s ambassador to the United States, Marina Kaljurand, will be attending the ceremonies and the gala reception.
During her stay in Los Angeles, Chef Marika will also visit the Estonian House cultural center in downtown on Saturday, January 14 for a meeting with Ambassador Kaljurand, followed by lunch and a presentation about her farm and book.
Chef Marika’s website: www.MarikaB.com
Polli Talu Arts Center: www.pollitalu.org
Chef Marika’s book: www.facebook.com/EssentialNourishment