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Archive for March, 2009

Dear Local Gourmands,

I never cease to be amazed who you bump into when it gets warm again in New York. Spring brings the return of old friends, acquaintances come out of the woodwork. Blue Moon Fish showed up at the market this weekend, and just like that, one year has flowed right into the next. The rest of the returning farmstands are soon to follow, and the forsythia is paving our way to April. I feel like I haven’t seen those buds (yes, pun intended) in ages.

I recently wrote a blog post for the Eat Well Guide’s Green Fork blog and mention in the last paragraph that I heard Jimmy’s No. 43 would be hosting a CSA pick up. See below if you’re still looking for a share!

Wishing you many sightings of promising buds,
Jeanne

Get it while the gettin’s good!
With the help of some neighborhood friends (in three very different neighborhoods, I might add) Paisley Farm is building one more bridge between the city and upstate soil. Sign up now to join Paisley Farm’s new CSA! In addition to being experienced organic farmers, the folks at the Tivoli-based farm also run a regional distribution company called Upstate Farms that has been serving New York City’s best chefs for nearly 20 years. CSA members who commit to a season of produce from Paisley will be able to add weekly additions of fruits, dairy, eggs, and poultry from the other local farms in their network. Sign up now via the website, or attend one of three upcoming seed parties at the various pick-up sites where you can meet your farmer in the city.
Seed parties:
April 8, 7:30-9pm:
East Village, Manhattan: Jimmy’s 43, 43 East 7th St bet. 2nd and 3rd Ave.
April 7, 7:30-9pm: Williamsburg, Brooklyn: d.b.a., 113 N. 7th St., bet. Berry and Wythe
April 8, 6-7pm: Ft. Greene / Fulton Mall, Brooklyn: Metropolitan Exchange, 33 Flatbush Ave. (near BAM)

Monday, March 30, 6:30pm
Bread Salon at
The Brooklyn Kitchen
*free!

Follow the crumbs to a bread potluck at the Brooklyn Kitchen! Expert baker Nathan Leamy will be on hand to sample your homemade loaves and offer tips on how to hone your technique. Bring a loaf to share and enjoy the company of fellow yeast mongers.

Monday, March 30, 7pm
Reading: Randy Shaw “Beyond the Fields”
Bluestockings
172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington

“Please join Randy Shaw, the author of the new book “Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century,” for a telling of the story of the spirit of “Si Se Puede”. Beginning with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in the 1960s, this spirit still sets the course for our social justice movements. Shaw’s is also the author of “The Activist’s Handbook” and “Reclaiming America.””

Tuesday, March 31, 9-11am
The New York City Summit on Race and Gender in the Restaurant Industry 2009
Craftsteak Restaurant
85 10th Ave at 15th St
RSVP with Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York
212-343-1771 or summit@rocny.org

The New York City Restaurant Industry Coalition & the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) has extended an invitation to its 2009 New York City Summit on Race and Gender in the Restaurant Industry. The conference begins with a complimentary breakfast at Craftsteak and speakers include the following:

* Rosie Mendez, New York City Council Member
* John Liu, New York City Council Member
* Rinku Sen, President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and Publisher of ColorLines Magazine
* Ed Ott, Executive Director of the New York City Central Labor Council
* Katie Grieco, Vice President of Operations and New Developments of Craft Restaurants
* Dr. Marc Bendick, Jr., Employment Economist with Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants, Inc.
* Shailesh Srestha, Restaurant Worker
* Chantal Georges, Restaurant Worker

Tuesday, March 31, 10am-3pm
Volunteer with CENYC
270 E. 4th St. btwn. Aves B & C
RSVP to mrenzy@cenyc.org

Generation X Garden in the East Villag is ready for prep work! Hook up with CENYC and help build a retaining wall, get the ground ready, and even do some digging. Gloves and tools will be provided, so all you need to bring is yourself and some close-toed shoes. If you’re coming, RSVP to Mike Rezny at mrezny@cenyc.org. It’s supposed to be 57 and sunny on Tuesday!

Thursday, April 2, 7pm
Gastronomic Stimulation– Matzoh Madness
Bowery Poetry Club
$12

Part pre-Passover celebration, part art party, part dinner party, there’s no telling what to expect from Gastronomic Stimulation, except that it’s sure to be a raucous night for artsy foodies to make good on their best party tricks.
“Your ears are serenaded with virtuosic outlandish riffs from songs your elementary school choir used to sing. It is a holiday through the looking glass. It is a Celebration. It tastes amazing. It sounds like heaven. It is…Gastrophonic Stimulation.”

Friday, April 3, 10am-3pm
Volunteer with CENYC
270 E. 4th St. btwn. Aves B & C
RSVP to mrenzy@cenyc.org

If you can’t make it on Tuesday, your second chance to join CENYC at Generation X Garden in the East Village is on Friday. Lend a hand to help build a retaining wall, get the ground ready for planting, and even do some digging. Gloves and tools will be provided, so all you need to bring is yourself and some close-toed shoes. If you’re coming, RSVP to Mike Rezny at mrezny@cenyc.org.

Saturday, April 4, 6-9pm
Grillin’ on the Bay
Corner of E. 18th St. and Ave. Z, Sheepshead Bay

It’s the people’s choice chili contest– free to enter, $100 cash prize– your chance to show the world what you’re made of, or at least what your chili is made of. For the spectators, $10 gets you all the chili you can eat. If you’d rather flaunt your grill skills, protect your turf in one of four categories: chicken breast, fish, pork and Chefs Choice. This contest is $75-$125 to enter (“cash and fabulous prizes” are promised) and all proceeds benefit St. Mark School in Sheepshead Bay. Brought to you by The New England BBQ Society, Rub BBQ, and Butternuts Beer and Ale.

Saturday, April 4, 8am-5pm
Restoring Balance: New Visions for Food and Activity
Teachers College
Columbia University

This conference will be held on the 100th anniversary of the nutrition education program at Teachers College (the oldest in the country), and call for an overhaul of the system that will favor meals with a balance of fresh, whole foods. Speakers will include Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, whose office produced the landmark report “Food in the Public Interest” this past fall, and Joan Dye Gussow, who is the Mary Swartz Rose Professor Emeritus of Nutrition Education at Teachers College.
_________________________________
Of note a few weeks down the road…

April 11 & 18
Food Film Fest
Action Center to End World Hunger (April 11)
Columbia University Medical Center Office of Government and Community Affairs Alumni Auditorium (April 18)
*please visit website for screening times

This year’s Food Film Fest feature films include Asparagus: Stalking the American Life, Eating Alaska, and FLOW. And some local favorites will be given their due time on the silver screen in a great showing of shorts:Farm to Cafeteria: A Red Hook Lunch, New Amsterdam Market, Hotbread Kitchen.

Wednesday, April 15, 6:30pm
Betty Fussell: “When Aging Is Good: The History and Art of Great Beef”
Culinary Historians of New York
DeBragga and Spitler
826-D Washington Street (Enter through the doorway in the far corner of the courtyard and climb the stairs one flight to the main office area.)
Fee: $40 Non-Members and Guests | $25 CHNY Members |$22 CHNY Student & Senior Members

Nothing better illustrates how food gets to our tables than the complex process by which cattle are transformed into the beef. Betty Fussell, author of Raising Steaks: The Life & Times of American Beef (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008), will provide the history of this transformation in the commerce of New York City, from the founding of New Amsterdam four centuries ago to the present day Gansevoort Meat Market. The talk will be accompanied by George Faison and Marc Sarrazin of DeBragga.com who will lead a tasting of steak aged two ways, wet and dry. Talk, tasting, and discussion will be followed by a rare tour of the on-site aging room of DeBragga and Spitler. DeBragga and Spitler is one of the last and best purveyors of fine meat within the Market; DeBragga.com is their online consumer store. Please note: The beef tasting will begin promptly at 6:30.

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Dear Local Gourmands,

Just a little sweet, simple, good news this week when we could all use it– our President likes arugula, and he likes it grown in the garden by his house. Finally, a president we can agree with! But if you don’t have the time or space to grow your own vegetable plot here in the city, there are still openings in CSAs for this coming season. Check out Just Food’s list to find a community share in your neighborhood and support a farmer who will do the digging for you.

Jeanne

Monday, March 23-Thursday, April 2
Dine In Brooklyn!

Marty Markovitz and a whole slew of fabulous local joints invite you to dine in Brooklyn. Dinner deals are $23 for three courses! Make sure to make your reservations lickety split.

Tuesday, March 24, 6pm
Belgian-style Brews from Ommegang BreweryThe Bar Great Harry

Cobble Hill’s Bar Great Harry centers its focus on the Belgian-style brews from Brewery Ommegang this Tuesday night. Chocolaty, dark Belgian-style ales mask as imports from across the pond, but are really brewed in Cooperstown, New York. Local suds, local bar, and local drinking buddies make Tuesday a lovely night to raise a mug.

Thursday, March 26, 11am
Groundbreaking Ceremony at Phoenix GardenCENYC
2037 Fulton St. (btwin Somers St. and Rockaway Ave.), Brooklyn

Another day, another urban garden– just the news we’ve been craving– it’ll never get old. If Michelle got ya thinking about turning soil to turn up a veggie plot, join CENYC, for the groundbreaking ceremony at the Phoenix Garden this Thursday. “This 19,000 square foot urban farm serves over 45 community gardeners who grow food crops such as beans, collards, cabbage, corn, tomatoes and zucchini. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilmember Darlene Mealy and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe will join community farmers and gardeners to mark this official first day of construction.”

Saturday, March 28, 10am-1pm
James Beard Foundation Biannual Cookbook Sale167 W. 12th St., btwn. 6th and 7th Aves.

Get ready for the James Beard Foundation to serve it forth…cookbooks, that is, of the slightly used and easy-on-your pocket variety. Bring an empty satchel to the sale and expect it to go home stuffed full of $5 and $10 finds, pages brimming with potential and the occasional batter splatter from the previous owner.

Sunday, March 29, 5pm
Bacon Tasting
Radegast Hall & Biergarten113 North 3rd St at Berry St, Williamsburg

Hogs in heaven? Or heavenly hogs…depends on how you look at it. Either way, this Sunday you might put brunch on hold and get your locally-made bacon fix at Radegast Hall & Biergarten where 30 entrants will go snout to snout in what Time Out has deemed the great “Bacon Takedown.” $10 gets you in the door, and the audience choice garners the top piggie producer a $100 grand prize.


Sunday, March 29, 2-4pm
Passover Around the WorldZabar’s
Broadway at 80th St
2nd Floor Housewares Mezzanine

In my humble opinion, the best holidays are the ones centered around food. If you can squeeze into Zabar’s this Sunday, chef and author Jennifer Abadi will be leading a demo on Passover Seder sweets from around the world. “Learn to create mouthwatering Moroccan Charoset “Truffles” with Dates, Raisins, and Walnuts, delicious Flourless Persian Pistachio Cake with Cardamom Syrup and scrumptious flourless Italian Almond and Pine Nut Macaroons.”
_______________________________

Of note a few weeks down the road

March 30, 6:30pm
Bread Salon at
The Brooklyn Kitchen*free!

Follow the crumbs to a bread potluck at the Brooklyn Kitchen! Expert baker Nathan Leamy will be on hand to sample your homemade loaves and offer tips on how to hone your technique. Bring a loaf to share and enjoy the company of fellow yeast mongers.

Saturday, April 4, 6-9pm
Grillin’ on the BayCorner of E. 18th St. and Ave. Z, Sheepshead Bay

It’s the people’s choice chili contest– free to enter, $100 cash prize– your chance to show the world what you’re made of, or at least what your chili is made of. For the spectators, $10 gets you all the chili you can eat. If you’d rather flaunt your grill skills, protect your turf in one of four categories: chicken breast, fish, pork and Chefs Choice. This contest is $75-$125 to enter (“cash and fabulous prizes” are promised) and all proceeds benefit St. Mark School in Sheepshead Bay. Brought to you by The New England BBQ Society, Rub BBQ, and Butternuts Beer and Ale.

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Dear Local Gourmands,

It’s been an especially newsie Monday, what with catching up on internet streams of Alice Waters and Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes and holding my breath while Nick Kristof tells it like it is. Besides the headlines, my in-box was inundated with all kinds of juicy local gossip: The Brooklyn Kitchen celebrates the wonders and simple perfection of the egg and announces it’s April line-up of classes (home made brunch techniques taught by the masters at Egg in Williamsburg), Tasting Table lists good old fashioned local food delivery services (Hot Bread Kitchen at your doorstep!), and Bridge Vineyards of the North Fork sends word of a wine share to go hand in hand with Southside CSA. Despite the economic doom and gloom, little birds keep telling me this is going to be a very delicious season.

Happy Vernal Equinox,
Jeanne

Tuesday, March 17, 6-8pm
Starting Seeds Indoors
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
*Free to attend, but registration is required: 718.623.7220

“Feeling limited by the small selection of veggie starts available in local nurseries? Start your garden on the right foot this year by discovering the best methods to propagate tasty, beautiful varieties of plants from seeds. Learn what skills, equipment, and techniques are needed to start your own seeds at home while getting some hands-on practice right here at BBG.”

Thursday, March 19, 7-9pm
Volunteer Meeting for the Brooklyn Food Conference
Congregation Beth Elohim
Garfield Pl. btwn 8th Ave. and Prospect Park, Park Slope

The Brooklyn Food Conference will take place on May 2 at John Jay High School, and the doors are open to all. Already 2000 people are expected to attend lectures, workshops, and panel discussion. Get on board and join the volunteer staff to make the largest gathering for food in Brooklyn– ever– possible.

Friday, March 20
Community Chef applications due
Just Food

Become a community chef and share your knowledge of local food and your love for cooking through demonstrations in markets and schools around the city. Friday is the deadline to turn in your application– learn more here.

Saturday, March 21, 9am
GreenThumb Grow Together
Hostos Community College
149th St. in the Bronx
Sign up here

This year marks the 25th anniversary of GreenThumb’s Annual Grow together Conference. Join hundreds of New Yorkers who are working to grow a little more (or a lot more!) greenery in the city. Over 50 workshops and training sessions as well as plenty of opportunities to connect with others who could use your green thumbs to help out with their various gardening initiatives this growing season.

Saturday, March 21, noon-5pm
First Annual NYC Chowder Slam
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th Street, Manhattan

New Amsterdam Public is on its way, and it feels like the whole foodie community is pulling together to see the project through. Jimmy’s No. 43 (your local hotbed of activity for all projects sustainably food-minded) is hosting a chowda’ cook off on March 21 in effort to raise funds for the little market that could (and will)! Plus, the bar will have a smattering of good New England brews on tap to make the party just that much more merry. $20 at the door gets you in and shows your support for this organization that aims to bring sustainable, local food to lower Manhattan.

Sunday, March 22, 2-4pm
New York City Beekeepers Association monthly meeting
University Settlement
273 Bowery

Gotham loves its honey! At this month’s meeting city Parks Department Forester, James Kaechele, will guide a virtual tour through the urban forest that is New York City. Learn what’s blooming forth from our seas of cement for the bees to feast on. What kind of honey will you get out of your neighborhood? From lectures to workshops to equipment and the girls themselves, NYCBA will hook you up for the profits of a very sweet summer. Also learn how to request a free tree from the Parks Department and make your contribution to greening this jungle of a city.

Sunday, March 22, 4-8pm
The Great Greenpoint Mac-off
Red Star
The Habitat
Mark Bar
T.B.D.

A s’mac down mac-off in the wilds of Greenpoint puts any recent bar crawl you’ve been on to shame. Did they feed you free mac’n cheese along the way? Probably not. This Sunday, join the happy ranks of those who follow their bellies as you wind your way around northern Brooklyn for a mac-off competition set to take place at four of Greenpoint’s finest watering holes. Celebrity judges will call the final shots– order a pint and taste test with the best of ’em.
_______________________________
Of note a few weeks down the road…


Monday, March 23, 6pm
Michael Pollan
“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.”

March 30, 6:30pm
Bread Salon at
The Brooklyn Kitchen
*free!

Follow the crumbs to a bread potluck at the Brooklyn Kitchen! Expert baker Nathan Leamy will be on hand to sample your homemade loaves and offer tips on how to hone your technique. Bring a loaf to share and enjoy the company of fellow yeast mongers.

Saturday, April 4, 6-9pm
Grillin’ on the Bay
Corner of E. 18th St. and Ave. Z, Sheepshead Bay

It’s the people’s choice chili contest– free to enter, $100 cash prize– your chance to show the world what you’re made of, or at least what your chili is made of. For the spectators, $10 gets you all the chili you can eat. If you’d rather flaunt your grill skills, protect your turf in one of four categories: chicken breast, fish, pork and Chefs Choice. This contest is $75-$125 to enter (“cash and fabulous prizes” are promised) and all proceeds benefit St. Mark School in Sheepshead Bay. Brought to you by The New England BBQ Society, Rub BBQ, and Butternuts Beer and Ale.

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Dear Local Gourmands,

Every year I think I’ve got March figured out– all in like a lion and out like a lamb– a month of warm starts and chilly disappointments. No matter how clever I think I am, March still manages to catch me by surprise. That snow storm that closed the city’s schools and sent us into pools of slush last Monday was eclipsed by promising buckets of blossoms that showed up in the markets by Saturday. While we may still be working our way through the crates of winter apples and squash for a few more weeks, the daylight has shifted, and we’re creeping out of hibernation. March, you’ll be outdone by picnics and plant sales before long, but while your nights are still cool enough to keep us in, the Brooklyn Kitchen is paying homage to the skill and joy of bread baking. There’s time now to wait for the dough to rise, but looking forward to the months to come, the Brooklyn Kitchen will be selling deliveries of chicken and lamb from Awesome Farm in Tivoli, NY. Support a couple of young farmers and feed your friends! And if you enjoy mud season as much as I do, sign up to go muck around and help get the farm ready– a field trip to Tivoli is planned for the first weekend in April.

Warmly,
Jeanne

Tuesday, March 10, noon
Open Networking Meeting at City Harvest:
Economic Stimulus & Recovery Act, Retail Infrastructure and More
Food Systems Network NYC
City Harvest
578 8th Ave., 4th fl (btwn. 38th and 39th Streets)

“Gather with FSNYC at City Harvest for a double bill on March 10th: an update on what’s cooking in Washington for NYC and further discussion of retail as food systems infrastructure. Kate Mackenzie, Director of Program and Policy, City Harvest, will introduce the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Act, the new Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, and Obama’s proposed increase in the child nutrition budget: all big news for us! Infrastructure topics will include the latest on the Supermarket Commission, the Healthy Bodega Initiative, and Green Carts. With Donya Williams, Program Coordinator, Healthy Bodega’s Initiative, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Sabrina Baronberg, Deputy Director, Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, NYC DOHMH, and others.”

Tuesday, March 10, 7pm
Annie Hauk Lawson reads from Gastropolis
Community Bookstore
143 7th Ave., Park Slope

Annie Hauk Lawson, a Brooklyn girl to the bone, reads from Gastropolis, a collection of personal histories that document deep connections to the city’s rich food heritage. Hauck Lawson, a native Park Sloper and acclaimed food writer, will read her chapter “My Little Town: A Brooklyn Girl’s Food Voice”. Along with the reading enjoy wine and cheese from neighborhood favorites Shawn’s Wine and Blue Apron.

Wednesday, March 11, noon
Beard on Books presents:
Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters
The James Beard House
167 W. 12 St.

Old and faded favorite family recipes are revived in Marilyn and Sheila Brass’ latest book, Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters: Recipes You Know and Love. Join the authors for this month’s installment of Beard on Books to hear about the resurfacing of the classic recipes that will offer comfort in a time when we could all use a little reassurance. Refreshments from Three Tarts to follow discussion, and, as always, feel free to bring your own bag lunch.

Wednesday, March 11, 6:30-9:30
Tastebuds NYC with Green Edge Collaborative
Counter
105 1st Ave. (btwn. 6th and 7th Street)

Tastebuds NYC, an open group of people who work in the food industry on all levels– as waiters, writers, policy wonks and enthusiastic eaters. For this month’s gathering the group has partnered up with Green Edge Collaborative to carry on a conversation about sustainable and delicious ways of life. Converge at Counter for bar snacks and drinks, networking, and epicurean banter.

Wednesday, March 11, 7pm
The History of Chocolate
The National Arts Club
15 Gramercy Park South
*free

Professor Rosemary A. Joyce from University of California Berkeley will give an illustrated lecture on the history of chocolate. From the early history of the Theobroma cacao plant and the communal interaction that food commands of its audience to advances in archaeological technology, Joyce offers a unique perspective on the back story of this popular treat.

Saturday, March 14, 12:30-3:30pm
Cassoulet Festival
Savoy
70 Prince St.
$55, call for reservation 212-219-8570

Chefs Collaborative, an organization that collaborates with chefs and the greater food community to promote local foods and build the market for a sustainable food supply, benefits from a cassoulet festival-cum-fundraiser at Savoy. Taste test the comfort food of Southern France put forth by chefs from seven New York restaurants including Cookshop, The Grocery, Mas, and Diner, among others.

Saturday, March 14, 5pm
Slow Food NYC’s Spring Benefit Dinner and Rabbit Raising for the
Queens County Farm Museum
Tickets $95

“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.”
________________________________
Of note a few weeks down the road…

Satruday, March 21, 9am
GreenThumb Grow Together
Hostos Community College
149th St. in the Bronx
Sign up here

This year marks the 25th anniversary of GreenThumb’s Annual Grow together Conference. Join hundreds of New Yorkers who are working to grow a little more (or a lot more!) greenery in the city. Over 50 workshops and training sessions as well as plenty of opportunities to connect with others who could use your green thumbs to help out with their various gardening initiatives this growing season.

Saturday, March 21, noon-5pm
First Annual NYC Chowder Slam
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th Street, Manhattan

New Amsterdam Public is on its way, and it feels like the whole foodie community is pulling together to see the project through. Jimmy’s No. 43 (your local hotbed of activity for all projects sustainably food-minded) is hosting a chowda’ cook off on March 21 in effort to raise funds for the little market that could (and will)! Plus, the bar will have a smattering of good New England brews on tap to make the party just that much more merry. $20 at the door gets you in and shows your support to this organization that aims to bring sustainable, local food back to a market on the seaport.

Monday, March 23, 6pm
Michael Pollan
“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.”

March 30, 6:30pm
Bread Salon at
The Brooklyn Kitchen
*free!

Follow the crumbs to a bread potluck at the Brooklyn Kitchen! Expert baker Nathan Leamy will be on hand to sample your homemade loaves and offer tips on how to hone your technique. Bring a loaf to share and enjoy the company of fellow yeast mongers.

Read Full Post »

Dear Local Gourmands,

Just this morning in the Times I was reading about how glossy food mags are rejiggering to fit the shifting economy. Last week I heard Ruth Reichl speak, and she was as charming as ever, recounting her day very honestly: she Twittered, she looked at layouts, and then she had an awkward conversation with an employee she bumped into in the hallway– a woman who had just been laid off from the Gourmet staff. Still, Reichl is quoted all over this morning’s Times article and it’s apparent that she’s an optimist (which is really all anyone can be at this point: we only have one direction to go, and that’s up). The glossy mags are backing us up more than ever: it’s time to grow vegetables, time to cook your friends dinner; the celebration has swung back to the wonders of the home kitchen, away from fancy dining, and if you’re an optimist, you’re finding a way to embrace the shift. Food has always brought people together (check out Thursday’s lecture at NYU “Food and Celebration”) and what better time to stick together?

Like peas and carrots, yours,
Jeanne

Monday, March 2, 6-9pm
Home Brewing Class
Beer Table
427B 7th Ave. at 14th St. Park Slope
718-965-1196

The first in a series of three classes on how to brew your own suds takes place tonight at Park Slope’s Beer Table. Subsequent classes will follow on March 16 and 30. The three-part course is $150. Call for registration information.

Wednesday, March 4, 7-9:30pm
Mari Fujii Visits Counter
Counter
105 1st Ave
jcca-america.org

“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 Buddhist 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).”

Thursday, March 5, 4-6pm
Food and Celebration: A Long History of What Brings Us Together
The Fales Library and Special Collections NYU
Fales Library Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Third Floor
70 Washington Square South
RSVP to rsvp.bobst@nyu.edu, $10 suggested donation

This panel discussion, moderated by Clark Wolf, will explore the intermingling between food and celebration through the ages. Panelists include cookbook authors, food historians, and NYU Food Studies faculty: Joan Nathan, Scott Peacock, Krishendu Ray, and Marlena Spieler.

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
Just Food
Teachers College
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.”

Sunday, March 8, 5-8pm
Swamp Cabbage Wild Game Tasting Fundraiser
HUGS Saloon
106 N. 6th St. Williamsburg
RSVP to swampcabbagethemovie@gmail.com

Venison jerky, wild boar sausage, “gator bites” and plenty of other gamey delights are on offer at this pay-what-you-can fundraiser for the film Swamp Cabbage, a collaboration of two native Floridians-turned-Brooklyn-based-film makers. At its heart Swamp Cabbage is a story about how our habitat affects our connection to the food chain…since it takes place in the wilds of Florida you can only imagine the rest. Or you can go to HUGS on Sunday and eat some alligator to find out what the story’s all about.
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Of note a few weeks down the road…

Open through May 3
Over Spilt Milk
NY Food Museum at the City Reliquary
The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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 NY Food 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. The exhibit was researched by Hi’ilei Dye and designed by Jake Hobart.

Saturday, March 14, 12:30-3:30pm
Cassoulet Festival
Savoy
70 Prince St.
$55, call for reservation 212-219-8570

Chefs Collaborative, an organization that collaborates with chefs and the greater food community to promote local foods and build the market for a sustainable food supply, benefits from a cassoulet festival-cum-fundraiser at Savoy. Taste test the comfort food of Southern France put forth by chefs from seven New York restaurants including Cookshop, The Grocery, Mas, and Diner, among others.

Saturday, March 14, 5pm
Spring Benefit Dinner and Rabbit Raising for the
Queens County Farm Museum
Tickets $95

“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.”

Saturday, March 21, noon-5pm
First Annual NYC Chowder Slam
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th Street, Manhattan

New Amsterdam Public is on its way, and it feels like the whole foodie community is pulling together to see the project through. Jimmy’s No. 43 (your local hotbed of activity for all projects sustainably food-minded) is hosting a chowda’ cook off on March 21 in effort to raise funds for the little market that could (and will)! Plus, the bar will have a smattering of good New England brews on tap to make the party just that much more merry. $20 at the door gets you in and shows your support to this organization that aims to bring sustainable, local food back to a market on the seaport.

Monday, March 23, 6pm
Michael Pollan
“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.”

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