Dear Local Gourmands,
This weekend Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, visited the Union Square Greenmarket, and although I didn’t have a chance to speak with him personally, I did witness some of the farmers I most admire shake his hand and share meaningful words about why they do what they do. I was touched watching them express their own humble admiration and it made me appreciate the way in which our collective food movement is evolving. But the momentum of this very movement felt all but slow when I awoke the next morning to the Food Issue of the Times magazine, which pegged the moment we’re living through in food history perfectly. I read the magazine cover to cover, racing through the stories, the overarching theme of which were the new communities that have sprung up around a common appreciation for good food. These are communities whose members take care of each other (The Catch), riff off each other (Recipe Redux: The Community Cookbook), and most necessarily feed each other (The 36-hour Dinner). I like to think of Local Gourmands both as a bulletin board for the food community I’ve come to know in New York City, as well as a record of its growth– evidenced by the fact that there are now so many happenings featuring local food each week that it’s as unlikely for any reader to be able to make it to everything listed as it is for me to send this note out on time at the beginning of the week. That said, this coming weekend I’ll forgo this little writing exercise to work on my pie crust technique: Greenmarket is hosting a pie bake off to raise funds to send a delegation of farmers to Terre Madre. I hope to see you there– either with your blue ribbon best, or just an empty stomach. Details below.
Tuesday, October 12, 6pm
The Complete Mushroom Hunter: A Lecture and Workshop with Gary Lincoff
The Horticultural Society of New York
148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor
Tickets, $10 (members) $25 (non-members)
Author Gary Lincoff presents an illustrated lecture on his new book, The Complete Mushroom Hunter: An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms, inviting readers to connect with a hobby that will enrich their understanding of the natural world. Lincoff escorts the reader from the mushroom’s earliest culinary awakening, through getting started and equipped for mushroom forays, to preparing and serving the fruits of the foray, wherever you live. A workshop on how to create your own mushroom spore print follows the lecture.
Thursday, October 14, 6pm
Food Justice: A New Social Movement Takes Root
Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang Building
65 West 11th Street, 5th floor (enter at 66 West 12th Street)
In conjunction with New School’s Living Concrete/Carrot City exhibition, professor Robert Gottlieb, director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College, discusses the increasing disconnect between food and and the rising resistance movement. He is the author of a dozen books, including most recently Food Justice (with Anupama Joshi, MIT Press) and a long-time social/environmental activist and historian of social movements.
Friday, October 15, 5-10pm
October BBQ at Queens County Farm
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, NY
Queens Farm gives the grill one last go for the season at this autumnal barbecue. Make merry around the fireplace in the farm’s historic Adriance farmhouse while noshing on Queens Farm sausages and Brooklyn Brewery beer.
Friday, October 15, 7-9pm
Art Directors Club
106 W. 29th St.
With the goal of bringing together changemakers from across industries to have a conversation about good food while breaking bread together, the evening will include exploration around innovative new models for food entrepreneurship like the Greenpoint food market incubator, keynote speeches by leading thinkers, and conversations with vendors and farmers. Hosted in the Art Director’s Club of New York, the evening will feature a farm to table dinner by guest chefs, supper clubs, and vendors that celebrate and exemplify the spirit and energy of the city’s burgeoning food movement.
Saturday, October 16, 10am-5pm
Added Value Harvest Fest
Red Hook Community Farm
580 Columbia Street, Red Hook
Whether it’s raining, or shining, come celebrate the harvest bounty at Added Value this Saturday with kids activities, pumpkin carving, food from the Good Fork, iCi, Rice, Kevin’s and the Brooklyn Lobster Pound. Draw inspiration from cooking demos, then pick up some produce to take home for a farm-sourced fall dinner.
Saturday, October 16, 1-3pm
Terre Madre Pie Bake Off
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
Whether you like to eat ’em or bake ’em, fall is a great season for pie. Make your way to this pie party and bake-off at Jimmy’s No. 43 to help raise funds to send a local delegation of regional farmers and local food advocates to Terra Madre, Slow Food’s international consortium of food producers, cooks, advocates, and students. Sweet and savory entries welcome, and extra points for any baker who incorporates New York State flour into his or her crust. Whether or not rolling out a perfect crust stops you cold in the kitchen, every one is welcome to cast a vote for best in show. If you’d like to bring your blue ribbon winner in for the judges to try, e-mail email@example.com to sign up.
Saturday, October 16, 6-8:30pm
Second Annual Hummus Cook off
119 Ingraham St (at Porter Ave)
For the second year, this cook-off honors Craig Murphey, a true-blue hummus lover. Enter your best bean dip and help raise funds for the NYC Coalition Against Hunger Craig Murchey Fellowship Fund. Info on entries and prizes here.
Sunday, October 17, 11am-4:30pm
Tenth Annual New York International Pickle Day
Broome St., btwn Essex and Ludlow
Pucker up, it’s time for New York International Pickle Day! Sample sours, learn how to make your own, and even take home some pickle compost from Annie Hauck-Lawson. From kapusta to kimchi to Kosher dills, Pickle Day is one of the best ways to taste the culinary diversity and history of New York City, a town practically founded on fermentation.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Monday, October 18, 6pm
Meet the 2010 Harvest Award Winners at a public forum in Manhattan
200 Hudson Street
Hear from this year’s Glynwood Harvest Award winners, and learn how they have created innovative models to support their local food systems, and how others can use these ideas to further the movement in more communities. To reserve your place, email firstname.lastname@example.org; a confirmation will be sent to you.
Tuesday, October 19, 6:30pm
Heirloom Seeds and Heritage Breeds: How Our Agricultural Past Informs the Way We Eat Today and A Tribute to Betty Fussell: Indefatigable Cook, Writer, Researcher, and Culinary Trailblazer
Culinary Historians of New York
Tickets, $40 non-members and guests, $25 CHNY members, $22 CHNY students and senior members
Culinary history is being re-lived today as the seeds and breeds of yesteryear are appearing in farmers’ markets and gardens around the country. How is our agricultural past shaping the way we are eating today? What is the future of heirloom seeds and heritage breeds in the modern agricultural landscape? What lessons have been learned from large-scale commercial agriculture? Join the discussion about foods that are once again sprouting up around the country. Panelists include Patrick Martins, Founder of Slow Food USA and co-founder of Heritage Foods; Diane Ott Whealy, Co-founder and Vice President of Education of the Seed Savers Exchange; and Judith LaBelle, President, Glynwood. Karin Endy, Chair of The Culinary Trust and owner of Edible Resources, moderates.
Wednesday, October 27, 7:30pm
Harvest Time Dinner Benefit for Auto High
Egg hosts the third annual Harvest Time in Schools benefit dinner to raise funds for Automotive High School in Brooklyn. Now in its fourth year, The Harvest Time at Auto High program includes an organic edible garden, a cooking program, trips to local farms, and the course ‘Food, Land, and YOU,” which introduces students to current debates about food policy and helps the learn the true story about what they eat. Auto High students will help plan, harvest, plate, and serve dinner and will talk with guests about their learning experiences with the program.
Tuesday, November 2, 7-9pm
Book Launch Party and Tasting Event for The Essential New York Times Cookbook and In the Kitchen With a Good Appetite
New York Times writers Amanda Hesser and Melissa Clark team up for a joint book launch event celebrating 20 of the city’s best chefs. Each chef will prepare delectable bite-size nibbles of their favorite New York Times recipe, while Sixpoint Craft Ales, Russ & Daughters, and Cienfuegos will quench your thirst with beer, egg creams, and good ol’ fashioned punch. Proceeds will benefit the Wellness In The Schools program, a New York City community based organization that works to improve the environment, nutrition, and fitness in NYC public schools.