James Barber, RIP
James Barber, best known in Canada as host the television programme The Urban Peasant, recently passed away. Here is a link to an obituary.
I loved The Urban Peasant, a very accessible program for me in my early cooking days. I can still recall a 'comfort food' episode, where James wore a housecoat throughout the show and made some wonderful recipes I still make today.
I watched the Urban Peasant as a kid too and thought it was great.
I also had the great pleasure of meeting James and seeing him at Food and Wine events numerous times. He remembered my name, after meeting a couple of times.
Wonderful man, will be sorely missed. A blow to the foodie community of Vancouver nad Victoria (Vancouver Island).
I'll add my reminiscence... as a kid, I was able to catch his show after school sometimes. In later years, as I learned more, I learned less from him. His technique was often a bit rough-hewn, the dishes fairly simple and occasionally suspect. BUT, he was a great introduction for the neophyte, with his occasionally salty affability. and if there was one great lesson of his, it was to be fearless. I got the sense that if the dish wasn't perfect, add more sauce, serve more wine, and everyone will still have a good time. All that said, I still have in my repetoire a dish I learned from him, and it's *really* good... chicken with white wine, lemon, green grapes, and tarragon. YUMM.
I learned how to make really good creamy scrambled eggs by watching his show and I sometimes still think of him when I'm cook them. He was entertaining and I ended up buying of few of his books. He was a character.
I used to love that show when I was a kid! My mom used to HATE that I watched that show because he had some less than hygenic kitchen habits. But how I loved him. Haven't seen that show in years... I wonder if some far flung cable network has reruns....