The first F1 race of the season is exactly one month away, and if you follow this little blog you may know that DP and I are avid fans. I’m determined this year to commemorate each race by preparing food inspired by each track’s locale. It’s something I’ve been toying with for years, but my restaurant schedule didn’t always allow.
Then in late 2019, I made the move from traditional restaurants to corporate catering. In my current position I’m not only able, but expected to serve a new menu every day that represents a wide variety of international cuisines. Now with most weekends off, I’m taking every opportunity to further expand my arsenal of recipes from around the world, and share my favorites here.
Since DP and I follow the races anyway, I chose to use the F1 calendar as a starting point. 2020 was a weird season, but 2021 looks closer to normal. With races taking place in 21 countries, there’s a good amount of geography to work with. This year’s calendar include: Bahrain, Italy (twice), Spain, Portugal, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Austria, Great Britain, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Japan, USA, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi.
I can’t possibly travel to every one of these far flung locales, so I’m conducting research and recipe testing through online sources and cookbooks. Until this year I had no idea what the cuisine of Bahrain is like, but via Tess Mallos’ classic, The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook, I’ve learned how to make Baharat spice and used it to make Samak Quwarmah, the region’s fish curry.
Poring through digital collections of menus and cookbooks from the public library, I’ve been discovering all the beautiful nuances in ingredients and techniques that go into preparing the foods of each region. It’s been especially meaningful for me to see how much all our cuisines have in common, yet how centuries of migration and human adaptation have created food cultures that are also unique and distinct to each region.
I hope you’ll join me on this personal journey. If you have any favorite recipes, advice, or food stories from any of these regions I am happy to share it. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly via the contact page.
Now let the countdown begin.