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Archive for February, 2010

Home Brew

On a sweltering day last June, once the last box had been carried up the stairs, the U-Haul returned, and my moving helper (i.e. BEST friend ever) had headed on his way, I unearthed a clean shirt in one of many bags and hopped on my bike to go interview a young couple who had started up a brewing supply shop. And it was well worth the hustle to get there: not only did Erica and Stephen ply me with home brew, they regaled me with tales of how a trip across Europe had lead them to start their own home brewing supply shop here in Brooklyn, and then they told me how to make my own suds. (My new roommates had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into.)

It’s been such a pleasure to watch Brooklyn Brew Shop gain press, notoriety, and help expand the circles of curious cooks who have turned to fermentation as their new obsession. As a nice companion piece to this week’s craft beer article in the Times, I thought I’d pass along the Brooklyn Brew Shop’s new video on how to bottle your own creations.

I think snow and beer go together just fine– if you’re inside anyway, why not wait for the yeast to wake up and start working its wonders? Stop by the Brooklyn Flea at 1 Hanson Place to visit Brooklyn Brew Shop and pick up your own supplies to get hopping. (Pun fully intended.)

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Compost Party

Out on Seeley St. in South Brooklyn Annie Hauk Lawson was preaching the gospel of composting. You’ll notice the camera crew relied on tin covers for casserole containers to catch the light. I thought this was the perfect touch for the making of a food film.

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2/22/10-2/28/10

Dear Local Gourmands,

My friends have taken to rolling their eyes when I gab about the pizza parties, sandwich parties, pickle-making extravaganzas, and tofu take downs that fill my calendar, but when I mentioned that I’d spent Sunday afternoon at a compost party, they took note. Out in Ditmas Park, Annie Hauk Lawson (co-author of Gastropolis) was building a completely sustainable, biodegradable compost bin and cold frame in her front yard. A circular fort had been constructed with bales of straw (leftovers from a church’s nativity scene), then we lowered in a wooden frame (another leftover from a nearby construction site), and finally added a wire bin full of wet leaves and kitchen scraps. Next to the base of the wire bin we filled the repurposed wooden frame with more wet leaves, already decomposed “black gold” soil, and then planted three rows of seeds– lettuce, arugula, and crumple cress. At last Annie added on an old window pane, just above the seeds, to protect their early beginnings in these trying days of late winter. We were neighbors, food friends, colleagues, a baby, a cat, a collie, and a camera man. Annie’s aim is to film a series of DIY composting how-to videos for urban homesteaders. Think of her as Brooklyn’s answer to Martha Stewart. She dons fitted, vintage white gardening gloves as if her front yard is the church of composting. You can check out Annie’s first compost demo on YouTube, and see pics from Sunday’s filming on our blog.

Happy turning,
Jeanne

Tuesday, February 22, 7-9pm
The Brooklyn Slur
Lodge
318 Grand St., Williamsburg

Snuggle up at the Lodge in Williamsburg for $3 beers and all you can eat wings at this month’s edition of the Brooklyn Slur. Learn all you ever wanted to know about your local Slow Food chapter, kick a few back, and befriend fellow Slow-minded folks. “Built from wood re-purposed from a 19th century Adirondack camp, Lodge is a bar and restaurant that offers regionally grown and sustainably produced foods. The menu features comfort classics like pulled pork with mac and cheese, and the drink list includes cocktails made with organic vodka, Six Point and Brooklyn beers and biodynamic wines.”

Tuesday, February 23, 7-9pm
Bushwick Food Co-op Film Night:
Food, Inc.
Tandem
236 Troutman St.

I for one am glad this is the fourth and final week of February, but this also (sadly!) means it’s the fourth and final installment in the Tuesday night film series the Bushwick Food Co-op has been holding at Tandem. We’re one month closer to spring, so come out of hibernation and meet some neighbors who are working to bring more good food to Bushwick. This week’s selection is Food, Inc.– let it get you all fired up, then talk with Co-op cohorts about how to make a difference in your local food system. Free Advice, your fave local banjo duo will pull strings, the cocktail mavens at Tandem will mix elixirs and pull drafts, and the Bushwick Farmer’s Market folks will be on hand too, to round out the neighborhood meet and greet.

Tuesday, February 23, 7pm
Hungry Filmmakers
Anthology Film Archives
Tickets, $15 (proceeds benefit Just Food)

Kerry Trueman, blogger extraordinaire of Eating Liberally and the Huffington Post, hosts this month’s Hungry Filmmakers screening at Anthology Film Archives. The roundup of six new films and shorts focus on furthering a conversation about sustainable food in a social and welcoming environment. A panel discussion with the filmmakers follows.

“Throughout the films in this lineup, our filmmakers explore the dire effects of over fishing and the underlying causes of food-borne illnesses, the lack of fresh food in underserved communities, and the growth of sustainable food production practices that are inspirational to all.”

Films: FRESH Ana Sofia Joanes, MAD COW INVESTIGATOR Nancye Good WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE? Catherine Gund, THE END OF THE LINE Rupert Murray, FLY ON THE WALL Jenny Montasir.

Thursday, February 25, 7:30-9pm
The Art of Eating In with Cathy Erway
WORD
126 Franklin St.

Blogger extraordinaire Cathy Erway of Not Eating Out in New York has triumphantly burst onto the literary scene with her début, The Art of Eating In. Tonight she reads to a hometown crowd of friends and loyal CSS subscribers at Greenpoint’s lovely WORD bookshop. Oh, and you better believe there will be treats on hand.

Friday, February 26, 6-9pm
Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference
The Horticultural Society of New York
148 W 37th street, 13th floor
Tickets, $25/farmers and gardeners, $50/supporters

Celebrate Black farmers past and present at a mid-winter night of revelry/fundraiser to benefit the City’s first Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference, scheduled for April 10, 2010 at Brooklyn College. Guest speakers include Kolu Zigbi (Program Officer for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation), Karen Washington (President of the NYC Community Gardens Coalition and Co-Founder of La Familia Verde Gardens Coalition), and John Francis Ficara who will present his award winning photographic documentary project, “Black Farmers In America.” Refreshments and Appetizers by Anderson´s 1949 (French Culinary Institute Alumnis), musical stylings by DJ Nickolai.

Saturday, February 27, 1:30-5:30pm
The Food Print Project
Studio-X
180 Varick St., Ste 1610

“Foodprint NYC is the first in a series of international conversations about food and the city. From a cluster analysis of bodega inventories to the cultural impact of the ice-box, and from food deserts to peak phosphorus, panelists will examine the hidden corsetry that gives shape to urban foodscapes, and collaboratively speculate on how to feed New York in the future. The free afternoon program will include designers, policy-makers, flavor scientists, culinary historians, food retailers, and others, for a wide-ranging discussion of New York’s food systems, past and present, as well as opportunities to transform our edible landscape through technology, architecture, legislation, and education.”

Saturday, February 27, 7pm-midnight
Growing Chefs Benefit Party
Urban Rustic
236 North 12th Street, Williamsburg
Tickets, $40

“Join us on Saturday, February 27th as we gather foodies, green thumbs, and chefs to celebrate the art of eating well from field to fork. Hosted by local foods based specialty shop Urban Rustic, the evening will include an endless sampling of seasonal local treats prepared on site by the culinary team at Growing Chefs in partnership with Brooklyn Standard. Look forward to live music to get your foot stompin’ and a spectacular auction guaranteed to make your green thumb start itching to grow.”

Sunday, February 28, 8:30am-6pm
Just Food’s Annual CSA in NYC Conference
Just Food
Teacher’s College, Columbia University

The great thing about the off season (as it were) is that it gives us all a little down time (or at least time indoors) to plot and plan for the year ahead. Take part in Just Food’s annual CSA in NYC Conference on February 28 to converse with farmers, food activists, and advocates from around the city and state to talk about how to start a CSA, how to strengthen the one you are a part of, issues facing regional farmers, and how we can all maximize our roles in the movement to increase access to locally grown food throughout the city.
________________________________
Of note a few weeks down the road…

Wednesday, March 3, 8pm
Rock ‘n Grow
Greenmarket Benefit Concert
Sullivan Hall
214 Sullivan St.
Tickets, $20

Greenmarket kicks off their 40th anniversary with a concert to benefit their youth education programs. Turn out for bands Davey and the Trainwreck, 2/3 Goat, and Pie Boys Flat, plus complementary Greenmarket snacks.

Wednesday, March 10, 7:30pm
Dixon Place Presents: Pitom and Pie Tasting
Dixon Place
161 A Chrystie St.

Dixon Place shines a light on all-American pies tonight when local talent, Pitom, takes to the stage at the famed Lower East Side music joint. Food writer Leah Koenig will be in the audience serving up slices of goodness while the band wails away.

March 10, 5:30-8:30pm
Prospects, Pitfalls, and Prodigies: The Hudson Valley Dairy Industry
An Evening with Ag 2.0
The Smith
55 3rd Ave.
Tickets, $10 (advance) $20 (at the door)

This month’s return of the tremendously successful Ag 2.0 holds court at The Smith where sustainable food folks from all over the city will gather to talk shop, swap ideas, and no doubt trade business cards like professional poker players. Guest speakers include dairy farmers Jessica and Stuart Ziehm of Tiashoke Farms, Dante Hesse of Milk Thistle Farm, and John Friedman, attorney and advisor to sustainable agriculture businesses. “Attendees hail from investment and consulting firms, farms and greenmarkets, universities, food-related non-profits, food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants. We’ll come together to network, talk food and ag, and catalyze the movement to a more sustainable food system. If you work in food and agriculture — or would like to — don’t miss this gathering of like-minded and local professionals.”

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2/15/10-2/21/10

Dear Local Gourmands,

This weekend I escaped the city for a long-overdue visit to a friend’s house in Amherst, MA. Though the familiar farms along the winding roads were quietly awaiting spring, local food enthusiasts were keeping Wheatberry Café hopping on a Saturday morning. The bakery that uses locally grown grains to bake bread and pastries boasts an open kitchen where a wooden hand crank mill presides. Wheatberry has partnered with a nearby farm in Hadley to establish a grain CSA, and as my friend and I munched away on locally raised turkey and pulled pork sandwiches, CSA members drifted through to grind their shares and take home fresh flour. I’m not sure about the ratio of New Yorkers who store sweaters in their ovens versus the number of those who bake bread regularly, but I wonder if there would be a market for a grain CSA in the city. At Just Food’s annual CSA in NYC conference last year, guest speaker and renowned farmer Cheryl Rogowski urged the audience to not just think outside the box when it comes to new ways of making farming possible and profitable, but to think “wild and willy.” At this point, anything goes. This year’s conference will take place on February 28. Bring your ideas, your questions, your straw hats/thinking caps.

Best,
Jeanne

Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-8pm
Eat What You Grow, Grow What You Eat
The Brooklyn Kitchen Labs
100 Frost St., Williamsburg

Rooftop farmer and founder of Growing Chefs, Annie Novak, leads a series of classes at the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs on how to start your own edible urban garden. Over the course of four class sessions she’ll guide students through the necessary winter-time tasks, seed ordering, and plot preparation to make way for a successful growing season ahead. Sign up now as this course is sure to sell out fast!

Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-11pm
Mardi Gras at Back Forty with Sixpoint Brewery
Back Forty
190 Ave. B at 12th St.
Reservations, $55

Let the good times roll at local-leaning Back Forty where Mardi Gras is fetted in style with a Cajun feast by chef Shanna Pacifico. Jeff Gorlechen and Ian McConnell from Sixpoint Brewery will be on hand to talk up the night’s selection of suds, and celebrate their little brewery that could as it turns five. The four-course Big Easy menu will be paired with Sixpoint’s finest, the tables will be communal, the party as gritty as we northerners know how.

Tuesday, February 16, 7pm
Bushwick Food Co-op Food Film Fest: The Real Dirt on Farmer John
Tandem
236 Troutman St., Bushwick

Make your way to Bushwick for a screening of The Real Dirt on Farmer John, “the epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer.” Mingle with fellow farmers and good food fanatics, delight in Tandem’s hot cocktails, and get to know the folks who are heading up the Bushwick Food Coop. Tonight’s screening is co-hosted by NewSeed Advisors.

Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-8pm
What to Eat: Diet, Nutrition, and Food Politics:
An Evening with Marion Nestle

The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor

“This evening, Marion Nestle will address the science of nutrition, explaining how hard nutrition science is to do and to interpret, and yet how easy it is for food marketers to confuse the science to sell products. Nestle will discuss the hot topics of sponsored science, functional foods, health claims, and self-endorsements, with plenty of time to answer audience questions.”

Thursday, February 18, 6:30pm
Southern Cooking in New York City
The Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave.
Reservations required, purchase tickets here
The Museum of the City of New York, in partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance and Mississippi Development Authority/Division of Tourism, will host a discussion focusing on how The Great Migration transformed the culinary culture of the North. Leading the discussion are Jessica Harris, author of a forthcoming history of African-American foodways, and one of the 50 founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance. In 2007, she took leave from Queens College (where she is a full professor) to assume the Ray Charles Chair at Dillard University in New Orleans. And Ted Lee, one of the James Beard award-winning Charleston Lee brothers. Ted, along with his brother, Matt Lee, is at work on a book of essays about New York City food culture. The work will certainly examine the influence that South Carolina natives have had on New York, but at its core, the book will be a celebration of the multicultural delights of our nation’s culinary capitol. John T Edge will moderate the discussion.

Thursday, February 18, 7-11pm
The Art of Eating In Book Launch Party
The Bell House
149 7th St., Gowanus
Tickets, $10

Join Cathy Erway, the brain behind the blog, Not Eating Out in NY, for the launch of her book, The Art of Eating In, which documents her two years doing just that. Join the author for a celebration complete with a home cooked crostini competition. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Just Food and Oxfam relief efforts in Haiti.
________________________________
Of note a few weeks down the road…

Monday, February 22
Get Fresh Dinner to Support BK Farmyards
Get Fresh Market
370 Fifth Ave., Park Slope
Tickets, $95-$125

Sup to support the creation of BK Farmyards’ 1-acre schoolyard farm at Brooklyn’s High School for Public Service. Feast on a three-course, locally-sourced dinner at Park Slope’s cozy Get Fresh Market.

Tuesday, February 23, 7pm
Hungry Filmmakers
Anthology Film Archives
Tickets, $15 (proceeds benefit Just Food)

Kerry Trueman, blogger extraordinaire of Eating Liberally and the Huffington Post, hosts this month’s Hungry Filmmakers screening at Anthology Film Archives. The roundup of six new films and shorts focus on furthering a conversation about sustainable food in a social and welcoming environment. A panel discussion with the filmmakers follows.

“Throughout the films in this lineup, our filmmakers explore the dire effects of over fishing and the underlying causes of food-borne illnesses, the lack of fresh food in underserved communities, and the growth of sustainable food production practices that are inspirational to all.”

Films: FRESH Ana Sofia Joanes, MAD COW INVESTIGATOR Nancye Good WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE? Catherine Gund, THE END OF THE LINE Rupert Murray, FLY ON THE WALL Jenny Montasir.

Saturday, February 27, 7pm-midnight
Growing Chefs Benefit PartyUrban Rustic
236 North 12th Street, Williamsburg
Tickets, $40

“Join us on Saturday, February 27th as we gather foodies, green thumbs, and chefs to celebrate the art of eating well from field to fork. Hosted by local foods based specialty shop Urban Rustic, the evening will include an endless sampling of seasonal local treats prepared on site by the culinary team at Growing Chefs in partnership with Brooklyn Standard. Look forward to live music to get your foot stompin’ and a spectacular auction guaranteed to make your green thumb start itching to grow.”

Sunday, February 28, 8:30am-6pm
Just Food’s Annual CSA in NYC Conference
Just Food

Teacher’s College, Columbia University

The great thing about the off season (as it were) is that it gives us all a little down time (or at least time indoors) to plot and plan for the year ahead. Take part in Just Food’s annual CSA in NYC Conference on February 28 to converse with farmers, food activists, and advocates from around the city and state to talk about how to start a CSA, how to strengthen the one you are a part of, issues facing regional farmers, and how we can all maximize our roles in the movement to increase access to locally grown food throughout the city.

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2/8/10-2/14/10

Dear Local Gourmands,

This week’s news is dipped in chocolate– there’s a tasting, talk, or tour nearly every day leading up to February 14. Though cacao beans aren’t grown locally, we have a pretty incredible roster of small-scale, local, artisanal chocolatiers in the city who are sourcing their product responsibly to make sure even the most conscious of eaters can still nip into a bag of nibs knowing their act of indulgence is part of a much larger circle of trade, and fair trade at that. Not to mention the superior quality of flavor! Learn a little, then try a little, noting how much better that truffle tastes when you know where it came from and a bit about the hand who crafted it.

Happy Valentine’s Day,
Jeanne

Monday, February 8, 6-7pm
Sustainable Pleasure for the Palate and the Planet
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
free

“The Rainforest Alliance presents: Sustainable pleasures for the Palate, An Open Discussion On Responsibly Produced Goods. The Rainforest Alliance connects businesses to consumers worldwide in an effort to bring responsibly produced goods and services to the global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is steadily growing. By transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior The Rainforest Alliance seeks to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. The Rainforest Alliance also works with tourism businesses, helping them succeed while leaving a small footprint on the environment and providing a boost to local economies.”

Monday, February 8, 6:30-8:30
Wine’s Best Kept Secret: Authentic Sherry
Culinary Historians of New York
International Wine Center
350 Seventh Ave., #1201 btwn. 29th and 30th Streets
Tickets, $40 (non-members), $25 (members)

Linda Lawry, Director of the International Wine Center, is an official sherry educator, certified by the Consejo Regulador in Jerez, the region of Andalucia, Spain, where sherry has been made exclusively over the last 2000 years. Sherry’s styles and flavors are more varied than those of any other wine in the world. Lawry discusses the history of this fabled wine, sheds light on where the grapes are grown, and leads a tasting of a wide array of different sherries, including a very rare vintage, 1978 Gonzalez Byass Palo Cortado.

Monday, February 8, 7-9pm
The Chemistry of Love
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
Tickets, $55

“Have you ever wondered why cheese and chocolate seem to put you in the mood? Well, they both contain phenylethylamine (PEA), a compound releasing endorphins into the brain and producing a mild feeling of euphoria, similar to the sensation of being in love. Rhonda Kave from Roni-Sue’s Chocolates and Anne Saxelby from Saxelby Cheesemongers will share with you some of these good feelings as you will taste their best sweet and savoury selections of the moment!”

Tuesday, February 9, 6-7:30pm
The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao
New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West, at 77th St.
Tickets, $10 HSNY members, $20 non-members
212.757.0915 x100

Culinary historian Maricel E. Presilla, author of The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao with Recipes, covers the trends in chocolate and cacao research in an illustrated lecture and tasting at The Horticultural Society of New York. Sample some of the country’s best new artisanal chocolates as well as the author’s collection of Latin American-inspired chocolate truffles. Savory foods laced with chocolate, cacao and hot chocolate will be served as well.

Tuesday, February 9, 6-7pm
Eating Local and Seasonal with Slow Food NYC
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
free

“Slow Food NYC is dedicated to the enjoyment of local and seasonal food and to celebrating real food as a cornerstone of pleasure, culture, and community. The Slow Food movement supports good stewardship of our productive land and water resources and biodiversity, engages in educational outreach, works with children in schools and with community-based food producers, and advocates for the availability of good, clean food in our community, particularly to our children.”

Tuesday, February 9, 7pm
Bushwick Food Coop Movie Night
Tandem
236 Troutman, Bushwick
Suggested donation, $5

During the month of February the Bushwick Food Coop is presenting a film series at Tandem bar on Troutman St., plying viewers with food films and talk backs with the filmmakers, as well as cocktails to ease the edge of February. This week’s selection is Two Angry Moms.

“It all started with my daughters’ lunch. My husband and I were packing healthy lunches for our kids, only to find that we were being undermined by the school’s offerings of junk food with no nutritional value. It made me angry. So I decided to do something about it. I made a movie. ”

Tuesday, February 9, 7-9pm
The Art of Artisanal Chocolate Making with Bespoke Chocolates
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
$45

“Join Rachel Zoe Insler, chocolatier and co-owner of Bespoke Chocolates, on her personal journey to making artisanal chocolate. Deeply inspired by her visits to European artisanal chocolate shops, Rachel decided to bring that experience to New York by opening Bespoke Chocolates. Each of Bespoke chocolates is made by hand, in small batches, but Bespoke’s unique perspective goes deeper than that. Rachel recognizes that much like good wine or coffee, fine chocolate is complex, and highly affected by its terroir and processing. To fully understand the Bespoke experience, we recommend to observe and smell before slowly closing your eyes while delicately putting each one of Rachel’s chocolates in your mouth. Let the chocolate melt on your tongue, enjoy the freshness of the truffles, and let the magic happen while sipping delicious local beer!”

Wednesday, February 10, 4:30-8:30pm
Our World 2030: Preparing a New Generation for a Sustainable Future
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue
Shepard Hall, Room 550
Register here, (the event is free)

This discussion will explore why the economic viability and well-being of every community depends on education for sustainability and the transformation to a green economy. Will examine the critical issues of education and workforce training needed to leverage the emerging green economy—including issues of inclusion that minority populations and communities face in tapping the potential of a sustainable future.

Wednesday, February 10, 6-7pm
Fair Trade Practices in Cacao Production with Annie Novak
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
free

“Annie Novak is founder and director of Growing Chefs, field-to-fork food education program; the children’s gardening program coordinator for the New York Botanical Gardens, and co-founder and farmer of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in partnership with Goode Green and Broadway Stages. Annie has worked with the Greenmarket, Slow Food, and Just Food advocating and growing urban agriculture throughout NYC. A lifelong vegetarian, Annie has spent many years traveling and investigating different ways people grow and eat their food around the world, from chocolate in West Africa to potatoes in Peru. She has appeared (talking about plants and food, of course) in New York Magazine, the Today Show, Edible Brooklyn and the Martha Stewart Show. She has farmed in nine countries and four boroughs.”

Wednesday, February 10, 6-10pm
Lower East Side Ecology Center’s Winter Warmer Happy Hour
Fontana’s
105 Eldridge St.
Suggested donation, $15

Warm up with your friends from the Lower East Side Ecology Center and talk big plans for the year ahead. These are the folks who teach the merits of composting to the urban masses, take your kitchen scraps, and sell terrific potting soil. Come to Fontana’s to connect with them and hear about their projects for 2010.

Wednesday, February 10, 6:30-9:30
Tastebuds NYC
Spuyten Duyvil
359 Metropolitan, Williamsburg

The Tastebuds NYC February meet up lures the crew to Spuyten Duyvil for good beer in Brooklyn. If you’ve never been, this is a terrific, and ever-changing group of food industry professionals, home cooks, and enthusiastic eaters alike who get together once a month to talk shop about projects, swap info for job connections, share titles of books, and always do so over good food and drink. Conveniently, Fette Sau is located across the street from Spuyten Duyvil. Make some new friends, then do some serious bonding over serious BBQ.

Thursday, February 11, 6-7pm
The Importance of Pollination with Andrew Coté
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
free

“Bees Without Borders is the brainchild of Andrew Coté, former high school dropout and vagabond turned Fulbright Scholar and professor. He was born into a beekeeping family in Connecticut and is (at least) the 4th generation to carry on this ancient skill. Through the U.S. State Department’s USAID, Andrew volunteered to go to Iraq to assist Iraqi beekeepers, and to Niger and India to bring beekeeping skills to village cooperatives.”

Thursday, February 11, 7-9pm
Local Eats, Global Buzz
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
Tickets, $75

“Let Chef Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez delight your tastebuds with a chocolate tasting menu including olive oil, local cheese, and honey, and orchestrated in duo with beekeeper Andrew Coté, who will excite your imagination with bee stories from all around the world.”

Friday, February 12, 6-7pm
New Farmer Development Project with CENYC
Chocolate & I, New York
511 W. 25th, btwn 10th and 11th Aves
free

“The New Farmer Development Project (NFDP) identifies, educates, and supports immigrants with agricultural experience to become local producers and establish small farms in their region. By training the next generation of regional farmers, the NFDP is helping preserve local farmland and rural farm communities, strengthen farmers, markets, and regional food security, while expanding public access to high-quality, locally-grown farm products.”

Saturday, February 13, 12-5pm
Greenpoint Food Market: A Food Affair
Church of the Messiah
129 Russell btwn. Nassau and Driggs, Greenpoint

Give your sweetheart some Brooklyn love with gifts from the Greenpoint Food Market’s Valentine’s Day edition. The market’s return this Saturday brings some of Brooklyn’s best artisanal purveyors together: jams from Anarchy in a Jar, Brooklyn Brine pickles, DP Chutney Collective, and many others represent plenty of local ways to spread the love around.

Sunday, February 14, 11am
New York Valentine’s Chocolate Tour
Starts at MarieBelle Chocolates
484 Broome St. at West Broadway

Spend Valentine’s Day sampling New York’s finest bonbons on this walking chocolate tour of the city.
________________________________
Of note a few weeks down the road…

Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-8pm
Eat What You Grow, Grow What You Eat
The Brooklyn Kitchen Labs
100 Frost St., Williamsburg

Rooftop farmer and founder of Growing Chefs, Annie Novak, leads a series of classes at the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs on how to start your own edible urban garden. Over the course of four class sessions she’ll guide students through the necessary winter-time tasks, seed ordering, and plot preparation to make way for a successful growing season ahead. Sign up now as this course is sure to sell out fast!

Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-8pm
What to Eat: Diet, Nutrition, and Food Politics– An Evening with Marion Nestle
The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor

“This evening, Marion Nestle will address the science of nutrition, explaining how hard nutrition science is to do and to interpret, and yet how easy it is for food marketers to confuse the science to sell products. Nestle will discuss the hot topics of sponsored science, functional foods, health claims, and self-endorsements, with plenty of time to answer audience questions.”

Thursday, February 18, 6:30pm
Southern Cooking in New York City
The Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave.
Reservations required, purchase tickets here

The Museum of the City of New York, in partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance and Mississippi Development Authority/Division of Tourism, will host a discussion focusing on how The Great Migration transformed the culinary culture of the North. Leading the discussion are Jessica Harris, author of a forthcoming history of African-American foodways, and one of the 50 founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance. In 2007, she took leave from Queens College (where she is a full professor) to assume the Ray Charles Chair at Dillard University in New Orleans. And Ted Lee, one of the James Beard award-winning Charleston Lee brothers. Ted, along with his brother, Matt Lee, is at work on a book of essays about New York City food culture. The work will certainly examine the influence that South Carolina natives have had on New York, but at its core, the book will be a celebration of the multicultural delights of our nation’s culinary capitol. John T Edge will moderate the discussion.

Monday, February 22
Get Fresh Dinner to Support BK Farmyards
Get Fresh Market and Table
370 Fifth Ave., Park Slope
Tickets, $95-$125

Sup to support the creation of BK Farmyards’ 1-acre schoolyard farm at Brooklyn’s High School for Public Service. Feast on a three-course, locally-sourced dinner at Park Slope’s cozy Get Fresh Market and Table.

Tuesday, February 23, 7pm
Hungry Filmmakers
Anthology Film Archives
Tickets, $15 (proceeds benefit Just Food)

Kerry Trueman, blogger extraordinaire of Eating Liberally and the Huffington Post, hosts this month’s Hungry Filmmakers screening at Anthology Film Archives. The roundup of six new films and shorts focus on furthering a conversation about sustainable food in a social and welcoming environment. A panel discussion with the filmmakers follows.

“Throughout the films in this lineup, our filmmakers explore the dire effects of over fishing and the underlying causes of food-borne illnesses, the lack of fresh food in underserved communities, and the growth of sustainable food production practices that are inspirational to all.”

Films: FRESH Ana Sofia Joanes, MAD COW INVESTIGATOR Nancye Good WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE? Catherine Gund, THE END OF THE LINE Rupert Murray, FLY ON THE WALL Jenny Montasir.

Sunday, February 28, 8:30am-6pm
Just Food’s Annual CSA in NYC Conference
Just Food
Teacher’s College, Columbia University

The great thing about the off season (as it were) is that it gives us all a little down time (or at least time indoors) to plot and plan for the year ahead. Take part in Just Food’s annual CSA in NYC Conference on February 28 to converse with farmers, food activists, and advocates from around the city and state to talk about how to start a CSA, how to strengthen the one you are a part of, issues facing regional farmers, and how we can all maximize our roles in the movement to increase access to locally grown food throughout the city.

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Garlic Soup

My roommate Erin and I met each other several years back when she came to my old house to eat a bowl of soup. Now we share a kitchen. On Saturday last week she burst in the door at 5pm, “WhatamIgoingtocook?? What am I going to cook?” she yelped, throwing open cupboards. Our house was about to host the second impromptu dinner party of the weekend. In no time flat she had it: garlic soup with an egg in it. While I poured wine and mixed drinks, Erin got to work peeling bulbs of garlic. No more than an hour later the house was full of guests, the table set, the candles lit, and one by one, beautiful bowls of clear, flavorful, herby broth made their way to the table, each with a gem-like egg in the center. See her recipe below. See Erin’s website for news on her up-and-coming baking company, Ovenly.

Erin’s Garlic Soup

10 cups water
One head garlic — skins removed from cloves
Three sprigs fresh thyme
One sprig rosemary
One bay leaf
10 peppercorns
1/4 cup oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Eggs
Shaved parmigiano
Crusty bread

Add water through oil to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Pour broth through a fine mesh sieve. Press solids through mesh, discarding any leftover that remains. Return broth to pot and maintain on a very low simmer.

In a separate pot, poach eggs. If you do not know how to poach an egg, read this helpful primer.

Pour hot broth into a soup bowl. Add one poached egg. Top with shaved parmigiano and serve with crusty bread.

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The Week in Soup

Just as I suspected, the groundhog spied his shadow this morning. Since winter is here to stay, I thought I’d post favorite soup recipes throughout the week, leading up to the Soup ‘n Bread party at the Bell House on Thursday.

In Italy, conical florettes of romanesco are traditionally sautéed with olive oil and anchovies, but in my kitchen in Brooklyn, these beautiful greens make it into a soup pot more often than not. They’re available in the Greenmarket from the fall through the winter, offering a nice break when you’ve had it up to here with root vegetables.

Cream of Romanesco Soup

1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
1 head romanesco
2 cups vegetable stock (or 1 cube bullion with two cups of water)
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ cup of cream, sour cream, or plain yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Two strips bacon (optional)

Sweat the onions in the olive oil or butter until translucent, then add the romanesco, cut into florettes. Add the two cups of stock and cover until florettes are steamed. Remove from heat and purée the soup with either a soup wand, or run it through a food mill, then return to the soup pot and turn the heat back on, very low. Stir in the cream and curry powder, add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle pieces of bacon on top of each bowl, and serve right away.

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