Dear Local Gourmands,
Isn’t this just the heart of February? Just when you think you can tuck away the winter coat for good, a harsh wind picks up outta nowhere and buttons you right back into place. And so, we’ve got a few more weeks to revel in comfort food and wool socks, and everything that comes with being cooped up when it’s too cold to go outside. But we’re getting antsy. I’ve been noticing that out of antsiness comes creativity. Lately I’ve been consumed by incredible civic actions happening all around me– serious meetings to organize for the legalization of keeping bees in the city (sign the petition here), CSA enrollment, the ever-so-committed planning sessions for the Brooklyn Food Conference that will take place in May. Last weekend’s fund-raiser for the New Amsterdam Public was a smash hit, and over hometown brews and plenty of oyster shells, all kinds of foodie schemes were revealed for the months ahead. Eventually we will put those coats in the closet for good and unleash ourselves to the rooftop gardens — we might even wish we’d had a few more weeks to plan. Enjoy the celery roots while they last…soon enough we won’t just be dreaming of greens anymore.
From my soup pot to yours,
P.S. Happy Mardi Gras!
Open through May 3
Over Spilt Milk
NY Food Museum at the City Reliquary
The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
The visionary Nancy Ralph, director of the roaming NY Food Museum, has brought us pickles and preserves, tours of Brooklyn candy factories and now– just in time for the whispered conversations about where to get a good source for the still-illicit out-of-state raw milk that are sweeping the city’s dining rooms this year– you can visit the museum’s site for a healthy drop of history to go with your café au lait. “Over Spilt Milk,” an exhibition that will be housed through May 3 at the City Reliquary in Williamsburg, exposes the long story of where milk sold in the city has traditionally come from and how the heck it got to be so expensive.
Tuesday, February 24, noon
Mark Bittman on the Leonard Lopate Show
Leonard Lopate hosts Mark Bittman whose new book, Food Matters, gets beyond the minimalist fare, and on to the larger issues that come up when we explore where the food on our table is coming from, how it got here, and who produced it for us.
Tuesday, February 24,
%10 Night at Jimmy’s No. 43
Food Systems Network NYC
43 E. 7th St.
“Food Systems Network NYC is a membership based organization designed to foster communication and cultivate community amongst various stake holders and professionals working across the food system. Members gather monthly for Open Networking meetings to encourage collaboration; share information; discuss public policy; and promote opportunities for individuals to partner on specific projects. We are pleased to launch our website to better fulfill our mission and to provide tools for our members to share resources and grow stronger.” Have a beer and some mid-week nibbles at Jimmy’s No. 43 to help support the good work this organization is doing in the community.
Wednesday, February 25, 6:30pm
“Pork Bellies: The Secret Financial Life of Your Food” lecture by Kara Newman
Culinary Historians of New York
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th Street, Downstairs (btwn 2nd/3rd Aves)
Note: this venue is NOT handicap-accessible; it’s down a steep flight of stairs.Fee: $40 Non-Members and Guests | $25 CHNY Members | $22 CHNY Student & Senior Members
**MUST reserve in advance
Join the Culinary Historians of New York at Jimmy’s No. 43 Kara Newman’s lecture “Pork Bellies: The Secret Financial Life of Your Food.” It seems hard to find a menu in this city that doesn’t feature pork belly these days, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s not a bad thing at all. Newman, who has written on both food and the economy for the last decade, will shed a light on how the cut got its name and saved the Chicago Merchantile Exchange from near-extinction. From curbside trading in the late 1800s to heritage pig breeds that are all the rage, Newman will examine the history of this favored piggy product.
Friday, February 27, 6:30-8:30pm
Chefs and Their Publics
Dan Barber, Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, Bret Thorn, and Frederick Kaufman
Menus in the Media Working Group
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor, Institute for Public Knowledge
“This event is part of Menus in the Media, a 2008-2009 working group that aims to study the culture of cooking by bridging the traditional barriers between serious scholarship and purveyors of popular culture, while recognizing the limits of both. Menus in the Media is directed by Krishnendu Ray, assistant professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at NYU, and it is sponsored by the Institute for Public Knowledge.”
Saturday, February 28, 2-3:30pm
The Educated Eater: Urban Farms
CENYC at First Presbyterian Church, 12th St & 5th Avenue, Manhattan
Tickets $5 (which includes Greenmarket snacks and New York State wine)
“Did you know there are eggs and wheatgrass from Brooklyn, rooftop beehives in the Bronx, a thriving 2.5 acre community farm in Red Hook and livestock roaming on 47 acres in Queens? These are just a few examples of what urban pioneers are doing to revive agriculture in the city. Join us for an engaging conversation with leaders and innovators in the urban agriculture movement followed by a Q&A, moderated by Greenmarket Director and Co-founder of Added Value (Red Hook Community Farm), Michael Hurwitz. Panelists include Greenmarket farmer and wheatgrass grower Stewart Borowsky of Greener Pastures, Greenmarket farmer and beekeeper David Graves of Berkshire Berries, Greenmarket farmer Michael Robertson of Queens County Farm Museum, Dan Wood of Work Architecture Company and Red Hook egg farmers Maria Mackin & Declan Walsh.”
Of note a few weeks down the road…
March 4, 7-9:30pm
Mari Fujii Visits Counter
105 1st Ave
“Chef Mari Fujii is one of the foremost practitioners of Shojin-Ryouri, the traditional vegetarian cooking in Japan’s Buddhist temples. Mari runs a cooking school with her husband, a Buddist monk, where she teaches classic dishes created with wild greens, seaweed, tofu, and produce from local farmers. She is also an expert in Chinese-style temple food and yakuzen, a type of Chinese cooking which uses ingredients with medicinal properties. Counter is proud to host Mari’s first appearance in New York City on Wednesday March 4th from 7:00 to 9:30 pm. The four-course meal is $50, with an additional $15 for a drink pairing; telephone 212-982-5870 for reservations. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Japanese Culinary and Cultural Association of America (JCCA-AMERICA), exempt under section 501 (c) (3).”
Saturday, March 7, 1-4pm
Past, Present, and Future of Food: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Public Library Bushwick Brooklyn
340 Bushwick Avenue, L train to Montrose stop
As part of the Arts in Bushwick SITE Festival, this self-described “A(n Urban) (Farm) Salon” will explore the history of how Bushwick went from being the agricultural supply for New York City to drying up into the food desert it is today. “We’ll talk about what people can and ARE doing to grow food here. We have rooftops, streets, empty lots, and plenty of light. We have water. What can we grow? What would happen if we ripped up Metropolitan Avenue and planted corn and potatoes? What would happen to the community? The price of homes? Could we raise fish in English Kills? Would people in Woodhull Hospital benefit fig trees in front of the building? Would juvenile crime decrease if teens had beans and beets to take care of or knew how to make bread out of the wheat they grew?” Come talk with your neighbors, share some eats, and discuss the possibilities.
Sunday, March 8, 10am-6pm
CSA in NYC Annual Conference
Register on-line now!
“The Just Food Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in NYC Conference is an opportunity for CSA members from around the city and farmers to come together for a day of workshops and discussion. This year’s guest speaker is black-dirt farmer and MacArthur “Genius Award” Winner Cheryl Rogowski as our Keynote Speaker. Rogowski is, as cited by the MacArthur officials, “an entrepreneur who has revitalized the character of family farming as a commercial enterprise and as an engine of community development.” For more, visit THE BLACK DIRT BLOG, or tune in to her radio program on WTBQ.”
Saturday, March 14, 5pm
Spring Benefit Dinner and Rabbit Raising for the
Queens County Farm Museum
“This event, taking place just before the Vernal Equinox, will gather diners to celebrate the arrival of spring and the success of the coming season on the farm. Guests are invited to arrive early to tour the farm and attend a free field workshop on pasture-raising rabbits with farmer Julie Engel, and then settle into a cozy five-course supper amongst the many farmhouse fireplaces. Farmer Julie Engel will provide her pasture-raised rabbit, raised with a unique system unlike any other in the US. QCFM Farmer Michael Grady Robertson will provide pork, eggs, vegetables, and honey all produced on-site at the Queens County Farm Museum. Dinner will be served by the GradyWood supper club team and NY State wines will be poured throughout the evening.”
Monday, March 23, 6pm
“From the Garden onto the Plate: One Writer’s Path”
Columbia University Low Rotunda
116th St. and Broadway
“He has been called a “post-wilderness nature writer” for his articles and books about the messy places where the natural and human worlds intersect – places like the garden, buildings, domesticated plants and agriculture. In his talk, he will trace the path of his writing from his graduate school encounters (here at Columbia) with Thoreau and Emerson through his work on the ecology and politics of eating.”