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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Cheese, Beer and The Fabulous Beekman Boys

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Beekman 1802 Blaak

Justin Chapple

This week, the Beekman Boys (whose fabulous show is moving to the Cooking Channel in September) released their second batch of Beekman 1802 Blaak cheese at a party held at the unrelated Beekman Beer Garden in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport.

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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.

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.

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!    

Farms

Back to School: Culinary Classes

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The September issue reveals some of the hottest new culinary classes that teach amateurs how to make fresh pasta, martinis and more.

Culinary Classes: Pasta Crash Course

© © Antonis Achilleos
Culinary Classes: Pasta Crash Course

Pasta Crash Course: Flour + Water, San Francisco
In the restaurant's Dough Room, chef Thomas McNaughton teaches a three-part pasta curriculum, from beginner (flat noodles) to advanced (stuffed pasta). The fee includes dinner and pasta to take home. Pasta classes, $220.

Pop-Up Lessons: Flash Kitchen; Portland, OR
With sponsorship from Whole Foods, local chefs like Beaker & Flask's Ben Bettinger teach free cooking classes in parks and schools throughout the city. And plans are in the works to expand  to cities like New York City, Chicago and Oakland, California. Free classes; facebook.com/WholeFoodsMarketPortland.

Farm School: Love Apple Farms; Santa Cruz, CA
Blogger Pim Techamuanvivit and famed Manresa chef David Kinch offer tours of his kitchen-garden farm, plus cooking lessons and a meal. Cooking classes, $145.

Cocktails 101: Whistler, Chicago
On Sunday afternoons at his Logan Square bar, mixologist Paul McGee teaches students the cocktail basics—syrups, garnishes, tools. He also serves them three great drinks and sends them off with a copy of his recipe book.Cocktail classes, $95

Related: Gastronaut: How to Make Sushi with Morimoto

Farms

Coming Soon From a Foodie Filmmaker Near You

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The star of the new film Charcuterie.

© Christian Remde
The star of the new film Charcuterie.

Filmmaker Christian Remde didn’t exactly set out to chronicle Austin’s artisanal food scene when he began the Twelve Films Project, but any foodie could recognize his passion right off the bat. His 2011 New Year’s resolution was to create one film each month for the year, and so far it has yielded seven short pieces, ranging from a 90-second time-lapse homage to Austin’s Pennybacker Bridge to a narrative portrait of a couple debating the merits of turkey bacon. His love for his adopted hometown’s food scene really began to shine through in his May film, Farm to Trailer, which profiles 2011 Best New Chef Bryce Gilmore. "My wife and I moved to Austin from New York City a little over a year ago, and I really fell in love with Odd Duck," says Remde. "Seeing the amazing way Bryce fuses the food trailer scene with 100 percent locally sourced food sparked the idea for the documentary." Working on that documentary was so rewarding that Remde decided to make two more, starting with this month’s simply titled Charcuterie. “Charcuterie is near and dear to my heart,” he says, “and so I wanted to give people some insight into what it is, why it exists and why people love it.” Later this year, he plans to release The New American Farm, a meditation on the return to small-scale family farming. Now that he’s found his food-obsessed voice, we hope his 2012 resolutions will include another year of films. Click here to view each piece on his website.

Farms

Farm-to-Table Hotels Get Serious

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Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth's Blanche Neige with Chef Martin Paquet.

© Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth's Blanche Neige with Chef Martin Paquet.


When we predicted the advent of rooftop hotel farms in 2011, we had no idea we’d soon be seeing barnyard animals vying for prime real estate. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are now taking the farm to table movement to a wild new level, welcoming feathered and four-legged guests into the family. Fairmont Newport Beach’s seven adopted goats – Suzy Q, Snickers, Frankie, Lucy, Cali, Trixie and Taffy – will entertain frequent visits from the hotel’s executive chef, who will serve organic cheese made from their milk at the hotel’s restaurant. In Montreal, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth’s two goats are both named Blanche Neige – “Snow White” – and the mother and daughter duo’s cheese will be available both on the menu at The Beaver Club as well as at the Fairmont Store. The resident honeybees at Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac now have to share the view with a few new tenants: five Chantecler hens, who each produce one egg a day from June through October. Even farmyard guests have to pay for a rooftop garden suite, after all.

Farms

The One Really Dead Food & Dining Trend

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© Courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach.
Let's Retire the Farm-to-Fill-in-Blank Phrase

At Food & Wine, we might respectfully disagree with some of the items on Eater NY’s recent dead trends list (small menus are working quite well for NYC's Torrisi Italian Specialties and Mile End, among other spots). But there is a ubiquitous phrase that we’re very ready to say good-bye to: farm-to-everything. (Credit to Frank Bruni, the New York Times's newest Op-Ed columnist, for sounding the alarm on Twitter: “Today someone said, re cocktails, ‘from farm to tumbler.’ May be time we all retired the ‘farm to fill-in-blank’ construction.”)

Don’t misunderstand: We are not knocking the concept of fresh ingredients straight from the farm. We’re just tired of the very overused phrase. Here, then, is our list of just some of the farm-to-anything/everywhere claims, complied by F&W’s new senior digital editor, Alex Vallis.

Farm to Cubicle: A report from Crain's on corporate CSAs.

Farm to Cup
: “Delicious coffee straight from the farm” from Stanford Business School students.

Farm to Friends
: CSA cooking series at the New York Wine & Culinary Center. (They’re repeat offenders: They also offer the Farm to Plate series.)

Farm to Fuel: The Florida-based initiative to promote renewable energy from local crops.

Farm to Fork: A marketing stunt from the international seed company Pioneer Hi-Bred and the Soyfoods Council.

Farm to Bakery; Farm to Factory: Two mentions in one article from the New York–based community organizer Pratt Center about the honorable push to get New York State grains into New York City bakeries.

Farm to San Francisco: From the community-building, California-based organization Project Fresh.

Farm to Folk
: An Iowa CSA.

Farm to Consumer: A Virginia-based non profit that spotlights sustainable farming.

Farm to Glass: Cocktails featuring straight-from-the-garden ingredients.

And a dishonorable mention to our very own F&W for:
Farm to Bottle: An item about spirits infused with, you guessed it, ingredients from the garden, that you'll see in our upcoming August issue.

Farms

New CSAs around the USA

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This week's dreary weather has me longing to cozy up indoors, but my empty fridge means that until my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts delivering in June, grocery-shop I must. Luckily, a number of new CSAs and subscription delivery services are popping up nationwide this year, so one barely needs leave the house. New York City pork lovers can get fresh cuts (chops, ribs and more) and charcuterie, as well as meal ideas from chef Peter Hoffman, through Flying Pigs Farm’s new Snout-to-Tail CSA. For meat eaters and vegetarians around the country, The Scrumptious Pantry outfits bare cupboards with handmade pastas, Italian olive oils and fun extras like grappa-infused tomato jam, all sourced from family farms. And CraftCoffee.com distributes beans from excellent roasters like Stumptown, Ritual and Counter Culture to make even the morning coffee run obsolete. Suddenly I don't mind the rain quite so much.

Farms

Tonight's Fabulous Beekman Boys Finale

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Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge are The Beekman Boys.

© 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).

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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.

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