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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Farms

Farmer Fundraiser Dinners in Vermont

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Super star home cook Andrea Todd in the kitchen.

© Andrea Todd
Super star home cook Andrea Todd in the kitchen.

While the New York food community continues to support the farms that suffered damage in the wake of Hurricane Irene, in hard-hit northern New England, entrepreneurial home cook Andrea Todd is galvanizing support in Burlington, Vermont, with a Farmer Fundraiser Dinner series. The three donation-based events, which began on Friday, September 16, and continue on September 25 and October 19, feature live music, local baked goods like rose petal shortbread from Nomadic Oven in Burlington and produce from superstar farms such as Pete’s Greens in Greensboro. Details are available through Todd’s supper club Café 51 on Facebook or by contacting her at andreatodd77@yahoo.com.

Recipes

Award: Best Dish of the Weekend

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© kate krader
Bad Pic of a Great Dish: Inaki's Beef with Chive Salad

In honor of Emmy Awards Sunday, I'm handing out a prize of my own: best dish of the weekend.

Competition was stiff: By my count, there were a trillion excellent food–related events in NYC on Saturday and Sunday.

Among the highlights: Brooklyn Local, which brought together top Brooklyn purveyors (shout out to Ample Hills Creamery’s aptly named Salted Caramel Crack ice cream), and restaurants (such as my local spot Seersucker), all to benefit City Harvest. Also the Travel + Leisure Global Bazaar which starred chefs like José Andrés and Marcus Samuelsson. And don't forget the Feast of San Gennaro, featuring sticky ribs from Torrisi Italian Specialties and a short rib patty melt from Dewey Dufresne, the dad of WD-50’s Wylie Dufresne.

But I cast my vote for the absolute best-tasting dish of the weekend to one served at Le Grand Fooding Campfire Session: beef with chive salad. There was no campfire in sight; then again, the French-based Le Fooding’s events don’t always make sense. Who cares: The “campfire” featured Inaki Aizpitarte from Paris’s Le Chateaubriand. Inaki seared the beef beautifully but the chive salad made it, and here’s what was in it: chives, yes, and coriander seeds, buckwheat, flax seed, cocoa nibs, lemon juice and browned French butter, which worked better than American butter. It was crazy good, and I’m not even factoring in how cool it was to have LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy acting as saucier.   

Beer

NYC Craft Beer Week Kicks Off Today

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Passport

© NY Beer Week
NY Beer Week Passport

The 4th Annual NY Craft Beer Week starts today and goes through Sunday, September 25. Beer Passports are available for $10 online, or as an iPhone or Droid app, and include a complete list of events as well as coupons for $3 beers at hundreds of local bars. Some highlights by the numbers:
 
- 6 courses of chef Bobby Hellen’s fantastic Belgian-inspired food at Resto on Monday 9/19 for the Ultimate Brewmaster's Degustation Beer Dinner, with two beer pairings per course. Call 212-685-5585 for reservations.

- 10 days to take part in Beer Week events that include tastings, music festivals and pub crawls.
 
- 21 breweries pouring special beers paired with charcuterie, cheese and chocolate at the Brewer’s Choice pairing event at City Winery on the 22nd.
 
- $40 to attend the September 24 Have Beer, Will Travel event at Hudson Terrace and taste 50 obscure beers from NY and Canada.
 
- 150 mile radius of NYC: Eight breweries in this range will participate in the Just Food: Let Us Eat Local Annual Fundraiser on the 21st. Restaurants providing food include ABC Kitchen, Gramercy Tavern and the Spotted Pig, among others. A portion of proceeds from the evening will go to farmers impacted by Hurricane Irene.

Related: Great American Beer, Bourbon and More

Farms

Eating Spanish Food at Tertulia Supports Vermont

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© Colin Clark
Chef Seamus Mullen

Vermont native Seamus Mullen takes a seasonal, product-driven approach to Spanish food at his new NYC restaurant, Tertulia, and starting tonight he's showing support for farmers and residents in his home state, where Hurricane Irene caused serious damage. From September 14 through 17, guests can donate any amount on their checks and the restaurant will match a portion of it, up to $50. It's a nice excuse to try Mullen's Asturian-inspired menu, with dishes like mackerel with white beans and roasted and pickled peppers, or chorizo with garbanzos and Cabrales cheese—plus there's cider on tap. Proceeds go to Upper Valley Haven, a leader in the relief efforts.

News

A Mouthwatering Fall Film Festival

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A full house at the 2010 NYC Food Film Festival.

© Ryan Jensen
A full house at the 2010 NYC Food Film Festival.


This fall’s NYC Food Film Festival, which just announced its October 13–16 lineup, promises to be another awesome year of food obsessions, both on-screen and off. Non-celluloid food notwithstanding (which will surely be awesome, with a new Taco Takedown and something they’re calling a Food Porn Party), the film selections look killer — Truck Farm, on the inspiring mobile garden project F&W reported about a few months back, Mistura: The Power of Food on the Peruvian food festival that chef Dan Barber is raving about and a profile of beloved Brooklyn pizza legend Dom DeMarco of DiFara, entitled Best Thing I Ever Done. We’ll be there, but we’re leaving the stale popcorn at home: If the food offerings are anything like last year’s (pig’s blood popsicles, anyone?), we know we’re in for some good movie-watching munchies.

Farms

Dine Out Irene

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© Dine Out Irene

Hurricane Irene may have been just an inconvenience for a lot of New Yorkers, but for many farmers in upstate New York, New Jersey and Vermont—who supply our local green-markets and restaurants—it has threatened their very livelihood. According to the New York Times, 140,000 acres of farmland in New York state alone were damaged by the storm. GrowNYC, which organizes many of the city's green-markets, estimates that 80 percent of its farmers have been affected.

What can you do to help? On Sunday, September 25, restaurants across New York City will participate in Dine Out Irene, with up to 10 percent of sales going toward helping local farmers. The funds will go to GrowNYC and Just Food, which will then distribute the funds directly to the farmers in need.

So far (and keep checking for updates), the list of restaurants includes: Aldea, A Voce Columbus, Buttermilk Channel, Kefi and Salumeria Rosi. A great meal and helping out our farmers? I'm in!    

Restaurants

Just Food's Let Us Eat Local Benefit

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2010's Let Us Eat Local Event

© Just Food
2010's Let Us Eat Local Event

On September 21, NYC nonprofit Just Food is hosting the fourth annual Let Us Eat Local benefit at the Altman Building on West 18th Street in Manhattan. Accessibility and expense are two of the looming reasons why it's difficult for impoverished communities to get local and sustainable produce, but Just Food helps by launching CSAs, opening new farmers’ markets and developing community gardening programs. The nonprofit even connects soup kitchens and food pantries with small farmers and hosts cooking demonstrations to help spread food education. Like many fall benefits, the cause is worthy, but the $175 ticket also secures tastings from some of the city's best restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, the Spotted Pig and Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen. For VIPs, Rouge Tomate sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier will lead a wine-pairing workshop featuring bottles from Long Island and upstate New York vineyards. Tickets are available here.

Beer

Wines to Root for the Top US Open Contenders

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During the US Open Tennis tournament in New York, there's one question on the minds of the sport's elegant spectators: What can I drink at home (or smuggle into Flushing Meadows like this guy) to show appreciation for my favorite player? Many of the top contenders come from prolific wine-producing nations (though good luck finding Danish bottles, Wozniaki supporters). When in doubt, there's always beer. Here's what to buy:

Tennis star Kim Clijsters with wine on the sidelines.

© AFP/Getty Images
Tennis star Kim Clijsters with wine on the sidelines.


Rafael Nadal: If it's typical summer weather in Queens, Spain's Rafa would probably go for a bracing, vibrant Albariño. Open a really good one, like the single-vineyard 2010 Saiar from Benito Santos ($16).

 

Serena Williams: A toe injury forced Williams to exit the Cincinnati Open early, but she has reportedly recovered and might actually benefit from the rest. Drink an equally fresh American rosé, like the 2010 Copain Tous Ensemble ($20), to cheer her on.

Novak Djokovic: For more than a millennium, Serbians have been making wine—and consuming most of it within their borders. Look for a lush, Zinfandel-like Plavac Mali from nearby Croatia, such as the 2007 Lirica ($20).

Li Na: Though China produces wine, its high-end consumers are now famous for buying up tremendous amounts of top-dollar Bordeaux. Avoid sticker shock with a bottle from the overlooked 2006 vintage, like Chateau Gloria St-Julien ($40). 

Roger Federer: Swiss wines can be excellent. Robert Gilliard's 2009 Les Murettes Fendent ($26), a minerally white, is both delicious and available in the US.
 
Francesca Schiavone: Choose an in-vogue grape—Moscato, whose US popularity is skyrocketing—to represent the player who hails from Italy's fashion capital, Milan. Tintero's 2010 Sori Gramela ($12) is a light, limey Moscato d'Asti.
 
Andy Murray: UK wine made news recently when outspoken French winemaker Michel Chapoutier declared that he was looking to buy vineyard land in England. Try one of Chapoutier's existing bottles, like the dependable, berry-rich 2009 Belleruche Côtes du Rhône ($10).

Andrea Petkovic: Leitz's Dragonstone ($16) is one of the best Riesling values out there. Drink the crisp, peach-scented 2010 to support Germany's Petkovic.
 
Richard Gasquet: Food & Wine's October issue calls out an incredible number of brilliant new French wines. Until the issue arrives, plan to acknowledge Gasquet's hometown in the Languedoc region by drinking the exceptional 2007 Leon Barral Cuvee Jadis Faugeres ($40).
 
Kim Clijsters: Salute the reigning women's Open champ, who is sitting out due to a stomach muscle injury, with a Belgian beer. A caramelly Quadrupel, like the 10 percent-alcohol St. Bernardus ($8), is a delicious painkiller.

Related: Sports Star Wines

Summer Wines

Summer Party Foods

Restaurants

Preview: Le Fooding's 52 Hour Dinner

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Brooks Headley gets ready to cook at 5 am for Le Fooding.

In NYC, you can do so many exciting things all day and all night, and one of the best things to do is eat. Le Fooding, the irreverent, globe-trotting French food festival, gets that about my city in a big way. As part of their third annual NYC event, Le Fooding will premier The Exquisite Corpse rotating meal. Starting at 9 pm on September 23rd, and for the next 52 hours, 13 terrific chefs from around the world will cook in four-hour shifts, using something left over from the preceding chef. (The term 'exquisite corpse' will mean something to you if you're familiar with French Surrealism.)

Food & Wine has a pre-sale link to those Exquisite Corpse tickets, here. (They're $100 for each meal, plus a half-bottle of Veuve Clicquot and there's only 40 tickets available for each dinner.) Among the rotating chefs are Italy's Massimo Bottura, France's Adeline Grattard of Yam'Tcha and New York City's Andrew Carmellini.

To get a sense of just how cool this Exquisite Corpse dinner is going to be, let’s spotlight Brooks Headley, the awesome pastry chef at NYC’s del Posto. He’s got the 9th shift of the series, starting at 5 am on September 24th. “That's totally the witching hour in New York City,” says Headley. In keeping with that thought, Headley is making dishes like Green Fennel Ravioli-Filled Live Potato Ears in Tomato Broth. And then, for his main course, a vegan chocolate staff meal, which might look a little like the amazing (vegan) chocolate crème brulee he made with the band No Age for Eater a few weeks ago. Here’s more from Headley: “Since it will be like, 7 am, by the time we get to chocolate staff meal, it will be served (and some of it even made) in the style of a Del Posto staff meal. Which will be hands-on interactive, and hopefully kind of hilarious.”

I can't wait to be part of Headley's vegan staff meal. And see how many of Le Fooding's 52-hour meal I can stay up for.

Menus

A Menu Edward Scissorhands Would Love

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Tim Burton (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Edward Scissorhands), 1990, Pen and ink, and pencil on paper, 14 1/4 x 9" (36.2 x 22.9 cm), Private Collection

© Twentieth Century Fox, © 2011 Tim Burton
Tim Burton (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Edward Scissorhands), 1990, Pen and ink, and pencil on paper, 14 1/4 x 9" (36.2 x 22.9 cm), Private Collection


As I reported a few weeks back, museum restaurants are undergoing a new wave of innovation—a happy trend for those equally obsessed with food and art, like the amazing trendsetters we profile in our September 2011 issue. In Los Angeles, chef Kris Morningstar geeks out on the chance to get creative with the menu at Ray’s & Stark Bar, the new Renzo Piano–designed restaurant at the L.A. County Museum of Art. For the current Tim Burton exhibition, Morningstar consulted with the famously kooky director to develop menu specials like White Rabbit with Tea in a Mushroom Forest, a bacon-wrapped saddle of rabbit with chanterelle mushrooms and pistachio crumble. “Our goal is not to be pretentious,” says Morningstar, “but we felt that, for Tim Burton, the menu should be a little bit off the wall.” The Burton classic Edward Scissorhands (my personal favorite) meets its culinary counterpart in a dish of razor clams (ha ha) and burnt octopus in squid-olive broth, garnished with a trimmed “hedge” of fresh herbs. If you need a cocktail to get into the macabre mood, try the Dr. Burton at Stark Bar: The rum-and-amaro-based concoction evokes the flavors of Burton’s favorite soda, Dr Pepper. The specials will be available through the exhibition’s close on Halloween. Next up: architecture-inspired plates to celebrate the upcoming California Design exhibit this fall.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.