Who Is Chef Deb?Freelance food writer and personal chef Deb Rankine travels the globe in pursuit of new ingredients to write about and to incorporate into her themed cooking classes.
Says Chef Deb, "My focus at Culinary Caravan is to envelop my clients and students with the scents and flavours of other cultures. I comb both the world and my own backyard for authentic ingredients to integrate into my dishes. A Culinary Caravan cooking class is always a vicariously delicious way to educate oneself in the food, customs and traditions of other countries."
In April 2007, Chef Deb went on culinary caravan to Fez, Morocco. Discovering the souks of this country's most ancient medina and cooking with world-renowned Berber chef Lahcen Beqqi, Chef Deb returned to Canada with warm Moroccan memories and a case of "Fez Neck."
To read all about Chef Deb's adventures in Fez, as featured in East of the City Magazine's July/August 2007 issue, click on "Contact" and in the subject box write "A Foodie in Fez." Chef Deb will forward you the full story.
... about Chef Deb's Heart & Stroke Chef Challenge win:Going head-to-head with some of Durham's finest chefs, Chef Deb wowed the panel of industry insider judges with her amazingly delicious, low fat, low sodium dishes. The final round had Chef Deb creating—with just-revealed-start-the-clock secret ingredients—two incredible dishes in less than 20 minutes!
Says Chef Deb, "I entered the semi and final rounds with a pre-determined mindset. I wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to reduce fat and sodium from one's diet without compromising taste or the satisfying 'mouth feel' that comes with foods rich in animal fats and/or deep fried. To this end, I focused on East Indian and Mexican foods. I bumped up the flavours of my dishes using traditional Indian, Mexican and even Iranian spice mixes. Ponch Phoran, my homemade Tex-Mex rub and sour grape, a little-known spice powder used throughout the Middle East, dialed up the flavour without adding salt. I used extra virgin olive oil exclusively and in small quantities to dress each dish. I think it was my deconstructed guacamole—made with low fat yoghurt cheese instead of full fat sour cream—that I used as a flavour-packed drizzle on my final dish that won the judges over."