© Mike Easton
Sage mafalda pasta at Il Corvo.
There’s a good reason why we’re not all eating fresh pasta every night: Making it (or making it well, anyway) is not as easy as the pros might lead you to believe. But Seattleites with pasta intimidation can now conquer their fears at Il Corvo, the brand-new pasta shop and lunch counter within Procopio Gelateria at Pike Place Market Hill Climb. Starting this weekend, chef Mike Easton will lead pasta-making dinners (make reservations here) the last Saturday of every month, teaching guests to roll out pastas like a delicately flavored sage mafalda (my favorite of the different pastas we sampled here at F&W's Test Kitchen). "The classes are hands-on," says Easton, who pairs wine with each dish to shake out kitchen inhibitions. “They're more like a dinner party where you’re going to get your hands dirty in the kitchen." And those who still feel shy with the pasta roller can pick up ready-made packs of his fresh pastas at Il Corvo, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
© PIKE MICROBREWERY MUSEUM, SEATTLE, WA
Sneak peek inside: c. 1933, Prohibition caused a lack of public knowledge of how to serve alcoholic beverages, an issue addressed in this nationally syndicated photograph.
© PIKE MICROBREWERY MUSEUM, SEATTLE, WA
A closer look reveals various beer glass shapes.
What other categories are you breaking ground in? Sour beers. Barrel aging:There's a huge movement all over the world now interested in deriving flavors from wooden barrels. You will read about Amarillo, a hop variety: where it comes from, how it developed, what its genetic parents are, how it grows in a field, and how people tend to use it. But then, right before that, you'd read [an entry called] Ale House, about the history of the ale house from Roman times to its development into the modern pub. So it really covers not only things scientific and technical, but also cultural and historic things.
What's the most surprising country making beer? Of course when we think of Italy, we think of wine. But Italy has 350 breweries, and Italian brewers are really excited, creative and using a lot of their background in food to inform what they do on the beer side. Scandinavia is also a big story. We might think of one or two beers, like Carlsberg, but there are many dozens of breweries in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, etc.
Do you cover foods to eat with beer? What's your favorite pairing? There are sections on food-and-beer pairing. I've done about 700 beer dinners in 12 countries, and I wrote a 360-page book on beer-and-food pairings. But this time of year, for example, I love saison, which is a Belgian-style wheat beer. [At Brooklyn Brewery] we have a new one coming out called Sorachi Ace, based on a particular hop variety of that name, and I think it's really great with grilled salmon and shrimp dishes—lighter dishes you might grill in summertime.
How much has beer culture evolved in the last decade? It's really pretty incredible. When I first started traveling, I would go overseas and say, "Oh, I'm an American brewer," and people would just be dripping with disdain: "Oh, yes, we have heard of your American beer." Because they were thinking about just the mass-market beer. We now have over 1,700 breweries in the United States, and we have the most vibrant beer culture in the world, bar none. What's amazing is that now, we go to Germany and Belgium and Italy and, to a large extent, brewers all over the world look up to the United States. Twenty years ago it was exactly the opposite.
© Dean Roman
Masaharu Morimoto in Action at Chefs Cook for Japan fundraiser.
© Planet Green
Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge are The Beekman Boys.
I'm a fanatic for The Fabulous Beekman Boys (look for a feature on them in the August issue of F&W) and am super-excited for tonight's season finale at 10 pm ET on Planet Green. Just two seasons ago the duo made their TV debut as a couple of professional Manhattanites-turned-goat-farmers and already they've become an inspiration for anyone (including me) who has ever dreamed of leaving the big city for the simple life. Although if you ask me — it's really not so simple!
I reached out to the Boys — aka Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge — who shared a few thoughts about season two and their future plans. Here are the highlights:
What's your favorite moment from season two?
We loved the barn-raising episode, "Food and Whine." It showed how wonderful the community of Sharon Springs, New York really is.
What is your most memorable meal from season two?
[BRENT] It had to be when we first started working on our forthcoming book, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Cookbook, and Josh was trying to convince me that we needed a recipe involving eggplant. Personally I have never found a recipe that I liked that used eggplant as a main ingredient, though Josh did end up sneaking one into the book.
If you had to summarize this past season in one sentence, what would you say?
A million dollars is just not what it used to be.
What is the most significant lesson that you learned during season two?
That dreams sometimes do come true, but more often than not it takes longer than you would like.
What are you most excited for in the upcoming year?
In the fall and through the holiday season (when things on the farm start to slow down), we'll get to tour around the country with our cookbook and hopefully learn about a lot of regional heirloom recipes (every family has at least one).
Bloggers around the country are turning off their computers and getting their hands floury this weekend to raise funds for Share Our Strength, a D.C.-based nonprofit that fights childhood hunger. The Great American Bake Sale, now in its ninth year, has raised over $6 million to date to support S.O.S.’s mission to make sure no child in America goes hungry. A huge network of fantastic bloggers are hosting bake sales, like the folks behind Peanut Butter and Julie in Nevada, Green Eats in Durham, NC, What’s for Dinner Mom? in Alaska and Rhubarb and Honey in St. Louis. You can find a bake sale near you on the Great American Bake Sale website.
© Justin Chapple
Bob Kramer sharpening his knife.
I would hardly consider myself a knife connoisseur, but when I see a shiny new blade, I can’t help but want to take it for a test slice. When I learned that Bob Kramer, master bladesmith and knife designer, was partnering with Zwilling J.A. Henckels to create a top-of-the line series of chef knives made with straight carbon steel (a material that produces a hard, thin and ultimatelysupersharp blade), I had to experience it for myself.
I recently joined our fantastic editorial assistant Maggie Mariolis at a preview party. We watched in awe as Kramer cut through a two-inch-thick rope with one swipe and then proceeded to slice a tomato with sheer perfection. Perhaps the most fascinating portion of the demonstration was witnessing him seemingly destroy his knife’s edge by roughly scraping it across a honing steel—as I clenched my teeth in pain—and bringing it back to life with a few swift strokes on his sharpening stone. It was magic!
Prices range from $139.95 to $349.95. The knives will be available at Sur La Table next month and in the rest of the US market in September.
© Frappé Inc.
The Vongerichtens and Jackmans Cook Together.
© Frappé Inc.
Bibimbop, one of Marja Vongerichten's favorite dishes.
Kimchi Chronicles premieres on Sunday, May 8 in NYC on WNET (channel 13) at 4 pm EST.
© kate krader
Inaki Aizpitarte Helps Count Down the Beard Pop-Up Dinners.
© kate krader
Momofuku Milk Bar Team plus Dave Chang.
Former F&W intern extraordinaire Jessica Rivera files this report from a delicious art event in Brooklyn:
They say you are what you eat, and last Friday at the Something I Ate event, the attendees became artists. The melding of food and art is not always so intentional, but that was the point of the evening: To sniff, gaze at and even eat the temporary pieces at Rouge58 Gallery in Brooklyn.
Not all of it was edible, of course. Curators Kat Popiel of On Plate, Still Hungry and Sam Kim of SkimKim Foods included paintings, sculpture and a photography piece documenting what one artist ate for an entire week, a la Bill Rogen’s Digerati Food Journal. However, the gallery showpiece was a large table entitled “Don’t Talk to Me Before I Get My #$%! Coffee.” It was a communal potluck of the featured artists’ favorite foods, such as tamarind carnitas tacos and "faux gras" banh mi.
My favorite, though, was the Plexiglass installation of homemade lollipops spelling out #sweet—an ode to how Twitter has taken over the food world. Standing near the piece, licking a delicious salty-maple pop, several people asked me, "Can I really eat the art?"
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.