Author Archives: gentlemangourmet

About gentlemangourmet

My name is Mike and even though I’m not always a gentleman, it’s safe to say I am in love with food. Like my more famous namesake, the kid on the cereal commercial from the early 80′s, I had an ability to eat just about anything and “like it.” I’ve become a tad more discerning since my toddler phase: I prefer Pinot Noir to the customary Shiraz my parents liked, I no longer eat parmesan cheese sprinkled from a container, and can pick out which ingredients I like or don’t in a recipe by smell alone. I blame my Lebanese heritage, my large Lebanese nose (all the better for smelling with) and exposure over the past few years to some exquisite ethnic cooking styles and cuisine, as well as to some stunning, inspiring cooks who are family or friends. I’ve included a lot of their favourite recipes on this site, as well as a few of my own that have become my staples over the years. I hope you find something here that you like. Happy cooking!

Southwest Tuna with Black Beans


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 Anaheim chili, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbsp grated lime peel

3 tbsp lime juice

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans white tuna, rinsed and drained.


1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic about 2 minutes, stirring constantly until onion is softened.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot.


Spicy Cornmeal Cod


1 1/2 pounds cod, perch or other lean fish

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 eggs, beaten

3 tbsp butter, melted



1. Heat oven to 500 degrees F

2. Cut fish fillets into 4 x 2 inch pieces. Mix remaining ingredients except eggs and butter. Dip fish into beaten egg, then coat with cornmeal mixture.

3. Place fish on ungreased cookie sheet. Drizzle butter over fish. Bake 11 minutes, turning fish once.

Free falling – Skydiving on my Birthday

Skydiving is not for the faint of heart. Neither is it for the incontinent of bladder or shrill of voice.

As a spontaneous birthday dare, my girlfriend and I found ourselves pulling up to the Victoria Sky Diving Centre one otherwise pleasant Sunday afternoon in early August, to test my fear of falling from a moving aircraft (call me skittish) and also to experience firsthand the allegedly transformative powers of this sport’s exhilaration and fear.

I signed myself up for a tandem jump. Unsure what the word meant, and too lazy to do a bit of research beforehand, I envisioned this as me jumping with a troop of Elvis look-alikes and forming elaborate shapes in the sky – a web of falling gabardine. Tandem actually meant I would be harnessed to a stranger’s crotch and that in the event that our primary and reserve parachutes failed to open, my soft body underneath would protect his fall. I was determined to seek out the thinnest instructor in the room.

Inside the office were hung various safety equipment and harnesses, instilling me with a confidence that dissolved when hearing the good-natured banter between my tandem instructor Brian and a spandex-clad videographer about which piece of my harness connected to which.  The videographer’s job was to leap out of the plane milliseconds before me and capture my expressions of, in no particular order, a) Terror and Panic as I realize that I’m falling from a height higher than a tree, a response ingrained by our vine-swinging ancestors millennia ago, b) Anger as I realize this is actually worse than the teacup ride at Disneyland, as had been promised back at the office, c) Excitement, as the neurons inhabiting the fear centres of my brain exhaust themselves to submission and d) Disgust as I ingest a colony of high-flying bugs through my nose, as my body plummets at 9.8 metres per second square.

Feeling a little uncomfortable in the office about being so close to a man in purple spandex, I nervously quip that I forgot my Huggies at home, referring to a rumour I heard about first-timers from a friend at work. “Diapers are optional,” was the straight-faced reply from the receptionist.

Starting to get performance anxiety

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