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By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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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).

Farms

San Francisco’s New Artisan Hot Spot

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Smitten Ice Cream's new Hayes Valley home.

© Joseph Perez-Green
Smitten Ice Cream's new Hayes Valley home.


In San Francisco, unclaimed space never sits empty for long before fabulous food artisans move in. Since the city closed Hayes Valley’s Central Freeway off-ramp a few years back, it hasn’t been able to afford to develop the abandoned land—but now, it’s offering the space to creative people willing to accept a limited lease time before possible construction begins eventually. Hayes Valley Farm put down roots last year to explore sustainable urban garden strategies, and the supercool new Proxy project will infuse the funky neighborhood with pop-up cafés, art installations and retail shops. Ritual Coffee will soon begin serving seasonal espressos in one of the “pods”—repurposed metal shipping containers—along with newcomers like Smitten Ice Cream, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze flavors like Meyer Lemon Gingersnap and Brown Butter Candied Apple one amazing scoop at a time. Sadly, the rumors of a forthcoming Pizzeria Delfina pop-up are untrue—owners Craig and Anne Stoll say they’re just too busy opening up Locanda this weekend (so we’ll forgive them).

Farms

TEDx Manhattan: Sustainable Food…and Forks

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© Jason Houston for TEDxManhattan
Chef Michel Nischan

This past Saturday marked the first-ever TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat, a conference devoted to sustainable-food issues. The daylong series of 18-minute talks covered topics ranging from how farmers in Illinois are dealing with the environmental impact of industrial dairies to how organizations like the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger are creating amazingly productive community gardens. Elizabeth Meltz, an exuberant former cook who oversees food safety and sustainability for Mario Batali's restaurant group, talked about the challenge of educating the staff about green practices: "We can barely get them not to throw out the silverware." Michel Nischan of the Dressing Room Restaurant in Westport, Connecticut, described the efforts of his nonprofit, Wholesome Wave, to make produce accessible and affordable in poor communities. Food & Wine proudly supports Wholesome Wave, and we're raising money now with these awesome Green Passes to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June.

Farms

Nicaragua’s Best New Beach Retreat

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Baho, a local Nicaraguan dish, from Aqua.

© Jen Murphy
Baho, a local Nicaraguan dish, from Aqua.

 

On my recent trip to Nicaragua, I spent two days at a brand new beachfront, eco-treehouse villa retreat called Aqua. A little more than 30 miles north of the Costa Rican border or an adventurous 90-minute drive south from Granada (partly along a bumpy dirt road with feral pigs and cows dashing out into the road), Aqua is tucked away in the small village of Tola and is a yoga-foodie-surfer paradise. My treehouse villa had a super-luxe kitchen with a Bosch fridge and a wine fridge, plus a mini plunge pool on the deck looking down to the ocean. Top yoga instructors teach class on the huge yoga deck overlooking the beach and world-class waves are just one beach away for surfing. Aqua’s mission is sustainability. Juan, one of the local staff, took me on a spectacular three-hour nature hike up overlooking the nearby surfing beaches.

Much of the hotel's produce is sourced from a farm nearby Ometepe Island and there is talk of organizing sustainable cooking classes led by guest chefs from the States. There was a yoga retreat at the resort during my visit and I felt a blt guilty to be indulging in the organic Nica coffee, local brews and the incredible food like a local dish called Baho (orange-and-lime marinated carne, yucca and plantain steamed in banana leaf) while the yogis were spending the week eating vegan and even fasting some days.

A new spa and more treehouse villas are in the works for later this year. There’s also a huge golf resort, a paved road and an airport in Tola’s future. I’m guessing the secret about Aqua and this idyllic beach town in Nicaragua will soon be high on people’s travel radar.

Farms

A Hotel That Teaches Butchering

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Once a novelty, the concept of the hotel cooking class–or even in some cases cooking school–has become ubiquitous. It was only a matter of time before a resort tapped into the nose-to-tail obsession and started offering butchering programs. Starting next month the Sanderling Resort & Spa in North Carolina’s Outer Banks will hold monthly butchering workshops taught by German master butcher Frank Meusel and executive chef Joshua Hollinger (his family was in the butchering business for more than 100 years). The one-day workshops, held at nearby Weeping Radish Farm will educate guests on how to break down cuts of a whole animal with a focus on prime cuts. The first class, on November 20, focuses on breaking down a half steer and includes lessons in emulsion cooking and smoking and turning cuts of meat into sausages and hot dogs.

Farms

Fresh Ideas For Our Food System

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Truck Farm

© Wicked Delicate
Truck Farm creator Ian Cheney and IATP fellow and collaborator Curt Ellis

 

Last Thursday F&W's Features intern Chelsea Morse attended "Fresh Ideas for Our Food System," a reception hosted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food and Society Fellows. The IATP provides fellowships to individuals ranging from chefs to farmers to filmmakers, all working toward creating a healthier and more sustainable food system. Here, she reports on some of the most interesting projects they're working on:

-Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, co-producers of the documentary film King Corn, have created Truck Farm, a functional garden in the flatbed of a pickup truck. The duo completed an East Coast school tour this spring, encouraging kids of all ages to think outside the box about urban farming.

-Just launched last week, ParentEarth.com is a new clearinghouse of information to help parents make healthy choices about their children’s food. Short videos from experts like school chef Ann Cooper and Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish, address issues from teaching preschoolers how to compost to helping kids understand food advertising.

-Aiming to debut in early 2011, public service program FoodCorps will recruit young adults through AmeriCorps to work on farm-to-school projects, building classroom gardens and implementing nutrition education.

Farms

Santa Barbara’s Newest Food Stand

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farmstand

© Jen Murphy
Jalama Road Farm Stand

 

Last weekend I was in Santa Barbara County eating, drinking and trying to catch a few waves from an unexpected south swell. My friend and I drove out to Jalama Beach, which in addition to being a great surf spot is also home to the famous Jalama burger. The wind wasn’t working in our favor for surfing, but on the drive back we discovered the awesome new Jalama Road Family Farm Stand (look for signs along Jalama Road about one mile after the turn off of Highway 1). My friend and I had used the last of our cash for parking at the beach but offered to barter two bottles of wine for heirloom tomatoes, squash, peppers, pumpkins, homemade jams and sunflowers. The produce and artisanal goods all come from the Pata and Malloy families (that I later learned were the surf world’s legendary Malloys. The adorable packaging on the butter beans (which includes a recipe for hummus) and labels on the honey were created by Erin Pata, who also owns Butterbean Studios.  The stand is open Fridays through Sundays from noon to 5:00p.m.

Farms

Urban Freezer Composting

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F&W's features intern Chelsea Morse has found a new life for her kitchen scraps:


Since starting a small backyard garden in New York City this summer, I’ve been looking for a safe and sanitary way to create a compost pile—without smells, pests or any other unpleasantness. I’ve heard about various under-counter compost systems, but they all sounded potentially messy. A friend recently suggested freezer composting, and now I’m hooked.


Each week, my husband and I fill a plastic bag with our biodegradable kitchen scraps that we then put into the freezer (the cold temperature keeps food from breaking down). We then deliver the frosty bag to the Union Square Greenmarket, where the Lower East Side Ecology Center receives food waste for composting four days a week, year-round. We don’t get to reap the benefits of all that good dirt we’re helping to create (the LESEC processes the waste and then sells the compost at the market), but we feel virtuous about the trash we’re keeping out of landfills—and the urban gardens we’re supporting.

Farms

Rio de Janeiro's Markets

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Ipanema's Fishmonger

© Ross Todd

I was in Brazil earlier this week and fell hard for Rio de Janeiro and its feiras, or markets. I spent plenty of time wandering the aisles of Zona Sul, the local supermarket chain, picking up cachaça and cheese-filled pastries, but the best part was the farmers’ markets in Ipanema. The fishmonger's catch was incredibly fresh-smelling and beautifully displayed, with tiger-striped fish and pale pink eels. The fruit was also spilling over counters, the more exotic the better: papayas, coconuts and my new favorite, custard apples, which look like artichokes but are filled with large black seeds and a white, creamy flesh. We took one home and ate it in the morning with granola and yogurt for the perfect tropical treat. Does anyone know of any way to get them stateside?

Farms

Killer Tomato Festival Highlights

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© Michael Wall
No early tastings of Gerry Klaskala's winning grilled cheese-tomato sandwiches

Yes, there were thousands of pounds of tomatoes this weekend at Atlanta’s Second Annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. Anyone who—like my 6-year-old-godson Max—thought that meant the world's best tomato-throwing contest was out of luck. (Maybe next year?) Still, there was every other conceivable kind of tomato treatment at this super fun event which had the added benefit of supporting Georgia Organics. Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill and Top Chef fame made tomato ice cream sandwiches. Steven Satterfield of Miller-Union served an elegant tomato aspic. Five Seasons Brewing created a super refreshing Tomato IPA. I got to judge the event! And taste all 26 dishes! Here are the food winners, with a few honorable mentions thrown in. (Tomorrow, we’ll feature the cocktail winners.)

BEST TASTING: Aria’s Grilled Cheese with Roof Top Dried Tomatoes. Gerry Klaskala made stellar grilled cheese sandwiches using great long slices of Pullman bread and cutely-named dried tomatoes.

MOST CREATIVE: JCT Kitchen & Bar’s Killer Tomato Jelly Doughnuts. No, this didn’t sound like a good idea to me, but the doughnuts by chef Ford Fry and his team were perfect and the bacon custard on the side was genius.

BEST BOOTH: Holeman & Finch. F&W Best New Chef 2009 Linton Hopkins’ booth was tomatopalooza, with tomato plants in cages and 100 origami tomatoes hanging on a garland over the table.

(BONUS) MY CREATIVE RUNNER UP #1: Abbatoir’s. Hawaiian Shaved Ice with Tomato Herb Waters. They had a shaved ice machine going, and three kinds of toppings, my favorite being the sweet tomato chile. The finishing splash of Georgia moonshine did not hurt.

Here, 12 more food festivals from around the world, including another tomato celebration (more along the lines of what Max had in mind).

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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.