I got an email from Michelle Eliot in Vancouver. Sheâ€™s the associate producer of Sounds Like Canada on CBC Radio One.
They were producing a summer series about a teen chef prodigy named Neil FlambÃ© (their answer to Harry Potter, she said). They were looking for some veteran chefs to interview them about the dish they would consider to be their Everest, the dish that perpetually eludes perfection for them. It could be some very complex, or very simple and common.
So I got very exited about the whole thing. The interview took place on July 10th and was done by Kevin Sylvester, who was sitting in for Shelagh Rogers, and was broadcast nationally the next day.
My dish was the Venezuelan classic, pan de jamon, which literally means â€œham bread.â€ Essentially, itâ€™s flat piece of bread dough thatâ€™s covered with jamon Serrano, a prosciutto-style ham, cheese, olives, raisons and capers. Itâ€™s then rolled and left to rise so that when you slice it, you get lovely layers of filling and bread.
We would only ever have it once a year, at Christmas, so it was very big deal â€“ also because of how delicious it was.
It doesnâ€™t sound much like an Everest, especially nowadays, when you can buy the dough ready made, or even use puff pastry if you wanted. But I wanted to make it the same way it was made in this pastry shop in Lecherias, a Venezuelan town between Barcelona and Puerto La Cruz.
Pan de jamon brings me a rush of childhood memories, which is why I have to have it every Christmas, and buy it from a Venezuelan friend who makes loads of them for other sentimental Venezuelano friends.
I have the whole interview available as an mp3 file, large at 6.3MB, but it should start playing on its own after a minute or so. Check it out
PS: If you want to download it to listen to later, just right-click on it (ctrl-click if you have a Mac) and “Save File As..” to your desktop.
Your in good food,