There are two kinds of people that make me uncomfortable: the preachy types and the Pollyannas. In this issue devoted to philanthropy in the food world, we’ve tried hard to avoid sounding like either of those stereotypes while sharing some incredible stories about chefs and winemakers who are doing good and trying to change the world. We also wanted to provide so many supremely excellent recipes and wines that you’d love the issue, no matter the context.
Throughout these pages, you’ll discover very different definitions of “world-changing.” F&W’s Ray Isle reports on fantastic Oregon wines made by producers who revere the environment as much as they do enology. Writer Nick Fauchald gives us the lowdown on a web documentary series called The Perennial Plate, produced by a young couple who drive around America to reveal the real meaning of sustainability—even when the truth makes us squirm.
The centerpiece of our issue is a 31-page story, “Star Chefs’ Dream Recipes,” that showcases spectacular dishes from 10 of the country’s biggest food celebrities, all of whom are philanthropist-visionaries. The recipes they gave us are in sync with their missions. For instance, Alice Waters’s squash soup with caramelized fennel, our cover dish, was inspired by her Edible Schoolyard Project at the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. A Dan Barber recipe features supersweet carrots, signifying the crucial role farmers play in creating delicious food. Art Smith (with me in the photo above) gave us a chili recipe that would certainly satisfy the children he teaches in his after-school cooking programs.
We’re proud to say that we’ve united these 10 superstars in a coalition called Chefs Make Change. Our goal is to help people in need—kids, farmers, families, communities. We invite you to join the fight on F&W’s Facebook page or at foodandwine.com/donate. I don’t want to be preachy or Pollyanna-ish, so let me just say that I hope you enjoy the recipes from these amazing chefs doing good.
Where I’m Coming From: My London Expedition
St. John Hotel
Fergus Henderson’s new hotel is about pared-down chic. My breakfast, a bacon sandwich on thick-cut toast, was over-the-top delicious. 1 Leicester St.; 011-44-20-3301-8069.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Blumenthal’s restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental has few of the hallmarks of his molecular gastronomy. Instead, the menu focuses on historical dishes, like a saffron risotto circa 1390. 66 Knightsbridge; 011-44-20-7201-3833.
The Connaught Bar
This may be my favorite bar ever. The spectacular cocktails include a fresh and fabulous Bloody Mary. Carlos Pl.; 011-44-20-7499-7070.
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