Dear Local Gourmands,
Last night, as a pot of rhubarb simmered on my stove, I read about the Obamas dining at Blue Hill on Saturday. Much has been blogged about regarding their choice of resto, Bruni’s alternate suggestions, and Michelle’s recent quote about happily handing over her cooking responsibilities to the White House staff. In all the back and forth I’d like to say that I was treated to a meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns last weekend, and it was one to remember. I hope the pres and his lady got a taste of the troutlings, the lettuce soup, the rhubarb marmalade, the soft boiled, breaded egg breaking onto a bed of perfect asparagus tips, because it all felt very special, and local, and good to me.
Later last night, when I went out in search of frozen yogurt to go with my homemade rhubarb sauce, I discovered that the neighbors were throwing out quality cookbooks, including a dusty old copy of The Art of Cooking Omelettes, a true gem. One friend needs help lugging soil to her rooftop garden, another couple of friends have just moved into a place with a back yard plot for an urban garden– suddenly compost, chickens, maybe even a fruit tree, all seem amazingly possible. I’m drinking Red Jacket Orchards’ cherry juice for breakfast and looking forward to strawberries for lunch. June, you are a wonder.
Tuesday, June 2, 6-10pm
1 Dominick St. at 145 6th Ave., near Broome
1 Dominick launches its new aperitivo and wine cocktail menu in style with a little Tuesday night fete on the house. Expect Italian aperitivos like Punt E Mes and soda and Chinato to go along with Jimmy Carbone’s signature local, seasonally-inspired appetizers and farmstead cheese plate.
Wednesday, June 3,
Beer and Cheese Tasting at Beer Table
Food for Thought Tours
427 B 7th Ave., Park Slope
The latest installment of the Food for Thought local dinner series brings Anne Saxelby, champion of American-made artisanal cheeses, to Beer Table where she and Justin Phillips (owner of Beer Table) will set you up with plenty of beer ‘n cheese tastings to provoke your thoughts.
Wednesday, June 3, 7pm
Meet-the-farmer Dinner at Applewood
Call for reservations (718.788.1810), $85
Applewood puts on a four-course tasting menu with wine pairings to showcase the products from Hardwick Beef Cooperative. Chat it up with farmer Ridge Shinn, “the nation’s foremost authority on grass-fed and grass-finished beef,” over a lovely meal. Also meet chef David Shea, who will expound on the farmer-restaurant connection, and why he chooses to partner with small, local farms.
Thursday, June 4, 4-6pm
New York Farm Connections:
Five Boroughs as Farmland and Marketplace
Fales Library Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, third Floor
70 Washington Square South
Moderated by Clark Wolf (food and restaurant consultant), with panelists: Louise Calderwood (agricultural producer, former Vermont Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Lecturer, Sterling College), Bob Lewis (New York Department of Agriculture and Markets), Gabriella Petrick (Assistant Professor, NYU Department of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health), Gus Schumacher (Former Undersecretary for Farm & Foreign Agriculture Service, USDA)Saturday, June 6, 10am-1:30pm
Thursday, June 4, 7:30pm
New York Premiere: Food, Inc.
With Eric Schlosser, Robert Kenner, Alice Waters, and others
The Times Center, 242 W. 41st Street, Manhattan
“2008, 94 mins. Magnolia Pictures. Directed by Robert Kenner. With Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser. The Museum of the Moving Image is proud to present the New York premiere of this riveting documentary about the preparation and selling of food in today’s world. The film includes interviews with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), and explores the way our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Owen Gleiberman, film critic for Entertainment Weekly, wrote “I’m not generally in the habit of praising documentaries for being good for you, but Food, Inc. is more than a terrific movie—it’s an important movie, one that nourishes your knowledge of how the world works (or, in this case, has started not to work).”
Saturday, June 6, 10am
Greenmarket Chef Tours and Tastes with Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern
Follow Chef Anthony on his route through the Union Square Greenmarket, then head back to Gramercy Tavern for a private four-course lunch with wine pairings. Proceeds from the day’s excursion benefit Greenmarket’s mission to “promote regional agriculture, preserve farmland, and ensure a continuing supply of fresh, local produce for all New Yorkers.”
Saturday, June 6, 3-5pm
Local Cheese and Wine Tasting
Artisanal Cheese Center
500 W. 37th St.
“Celebrate the rich bounty of our region with a guided tasting of great farmstead and artisan cheeses accompanied by specially selected New York State wines. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Harvest Time good food educational school programs of Slow Food NYC.”
Saturday, June 6, 6-9pm
Hapa Kitchen ‘Cue at The Yard
388-400 Carroll St.
$7/plate of BBQ
Ladies of the Hapa Kitchen, Kathy Erway and Akiko Moorman, serve up local produce from Tamarack Hollow Farms at an epic barbecue at The Yard, on the bank of the Gowanus. Desserts from the Treat Truck to follow main course, just like the friends who will surely follow your trail when they get a whiff of how delicious this party will be.
Sunday, June 7, 4-6pm
Seed Saving: True Food Security with Ken Greene
LGBT Center 208 E 13th St
(For room assignment check calendar in lobby for Easton Mountain)
Local Energy Solutions, 718.441.0246
“Every seed has a story. Whether grown by native peoples or brought from abroad by immigrants, heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers that we eat, savor, and enjoy come with unique genetic and social histories. Through slides and hands-on activities we will discover the stories behind New York heirlooms and discuss the modern day importance of preserving the genetic diversity they hold. Our discussion will take us from the dawn of agriculture to modern food politics. Ken Green is co-founder of Hudson Valley Seed Library, a small seed company that produces organically grown seed and fosters a regional seed-saving community.”
Sunday, June 7, 1-5pm
The Brooklyn Beer Experiment
The Bell House
149 7th St.
Brooklyn brews! In the latest installment of taste test parties, self-starter home brewers bring their best batches to the Bell House this Sunday for the Brooklyn Beer Experiment. Sample over 25 beers along with local snacks.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Monday, June 8, 7-8:30pm
The Story of Schmaltz
427 B 7th Avenue (Btwn 14th & 15th Sts), Park Slope
Matthew Polacheck comes to the table to share the story of a Coney Island gem, the Schmaltz Brewing Company. Pull up a seat and nurse a pint while a sudsy story hour ensues.
Tuesday, June 9, 3:30
Reading / Reception for Libation: A Bitter Alchemy
Blue Ribbon Wine Bar
34 Downing Street
Author Deirdre Heekin reads from her book, Libation: A Bitter Alchemy, a travel narrative about a trip around Italy with her husband, Chef Caleb Barber, and their attempts to import the secrets they learned about Italian wine and spirits home to Pane e Salute, their acclaimed restaurant in Vermont.
Wednesday, June 10
Krishnendu Ray: Ethnicity and American Restaurants
Culinary Historians of New York
NYU Department of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health
35 West 4th Street, 10th fl.
“America’s dining landscape is spangled with ethnic restaurants — Chinese, Indian, and Mexican for starters. But how is it that immigrants become restaurateurs? What are their motivations in designing their restaurants? Are they driven by economic need, innate habits, or conjectures about demand? And how has the popularity of various ethnic cuisines waxed and waned over the years? Join Krishnendu Ray for a lively and entertaining exploration of the history, habits, and hopes of immigrant restaurateurs, drawing on his research of documents dating back to 1850 and on his own interviews with dozens of current restaurant owners in New York City. Homemade versions of ethnic restaurant favorites will be served!”
Thursday, June 11, 6:30-8:30pm
In the Taverns of Lost Time: A Discussion and Tasting of Lost Liqueurs
“Join Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber as they walk you through the history of long lost liqueur recipes and show you how they’ve been able to rediscover them in their own kitchen. To kick off the evening, Deirdre will treat you to an excerpt from her new book Libation: A Bitter Alchemy, a collection of linked personal essays on wine and spirits. Caleb and Deirdre will demonstrate and prepare hors d’oevres from their collection of recipes to serve with a taste of one of Deirdre’s own rosolii (an intriguingly complex Sicilian spirit made from fresh vanilla bean and rose petals), as they discuss their numerous travels in search of these undiscovered gastronomic gems.”
Thursday, June 11, 6pm
Craig Claiborne and the Invention of Food Journalism
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnold Hall
55 W. 13th St., 2nd floor
Panelists include: Molly O’Neill, Betty Fussell, Anne Mendelson, David Leite, John T. Edge, and Andrew F. Smith. “Called the nation’s preeminent food journalist, Mississippi-born Craig Claiborne trained in Switzerland as a chef on the GI bill after World War II. On his return to the United States, he began writing articles for Gourmet and became an editor at the magazine. His career skyrocketed when The New York Times hired him as its first food columnist in 1957. Claiborne’s columns, reviews and cookbooks introduced Americans to a wide range of international and ethnic food. Other newspapers followed The New York Times’s lead, and soon a cadre of authoritative newspaper food writers helped attune millions of Americans to the finer points of good food and cooking. Our panel explores Claiborne’s life, work, and his seminal influence on food journalism in America.”
June 20, 2-10pm
a benefit for The Greenhorns
513 Henry at the corner of Sackett/Henry St.
The bike-powered goat spit gets fired up for this young farmer film fundraiser. Rooftop movies, beer, sunshine, pedal-powered band, goat sandwiches, and of course “assorted acts and performances,” not to mention the Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. More info: email@example.com.