A Word On Food: Guavas

She stood at a bus stop … waiting. There was no room left in the canopied area of that bus stop. She was holding … something over her head with one hand to block the direct sunlight. As our car got closer I could make out her makeshift “parasol”. It was actually an air filter… The kind you normally have in your home’s AC unit. She held it with conviction. I could see it had been on the earth awhile… carried from place to place. In her other hand a clear plastic bag bulged with at least a dozen guavas…. These quotidian scenes are the postcards I collect in my mind as a make my way in the ever fascinating population mix we call home in South Florida. 

One of the great honors I’ve had was to represent the state of Florida for the “Milan Expo; American Food 2.0”. The nationwide chefs selected … known as the USA’s “Culinary Dream Team”; all have been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and the International Culinary Center, and are also members of the American Chef Corps, an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of State to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts. Dean Fearing of Texas, Mary Sue Milliken of California, Hugh Acheson of Georgia and Daniel Humm of New York City all cooked there as well. 

Where we cooked was a temporary James Beard Restaurant there within the historic, “Il Duomo” located in the heart of Milan on the rooftop of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. For our main course we cooked my Guava Glazed Cornbread Stuffed Roasted Quail. I loved seeing our Italian chef counterparts taste the guava glaze we had lacquered those plump birds with. Bright eye’d smiles and ‘thumbs up’! are a universal language. 

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Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show! Please check out my Instagram photos and my new IG TV cooking videos @normanvanaken 

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