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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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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.

Recipes

Dream Cooking with Melissa Clark on GMA

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© Lucy Schaeffer

I don't get to spend much time in the kitchen—one pitfall of being a restaurant editor. But every Wednesday I dream cook via Melissa Clark's excellent Good Appetite series in the New York Times's Dining Out section. (I also cook vicariously when she contributes to F&W magazine.) Now Clark has given me 150 of her recipes in one place—100 of which are brand new—in the just-out cookbook In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. Each great dish comes with a great story; Clark is as good a storyteller as she is a cook. She’s also sympathetic to lazy cooks; a duck confit from Blue Ribbon's Bromberg brothers inspires her to make a super easy version with no additional fat (it’s called, fittingly, Really Easy Duck Confit). Should you need more evidence of how simple and great Clark's recipes are, you can watch her make her chicken fingers on Good Morning America on Friday, October 1 at 8.50 a.m. They sound so good, it just might get me into the kitchen.

Menus

Santa Barbara Cheat Sheet Part I

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A recent long weekend in and around Santa Barbara turned up some awesome food, quirky new tasting rooms and, of course, phenomenal wines. Here, my cheat sheet:

*Nothing makes me happier than a great breakfast (particularly after a morning surfing the 54-degree waters in Ventura). Locals hit Jeannine’s for the Stumptown coffee, eggs Benedict and a chance to potentially see star surfer Kelly Slater, who is known to drop by after a surf, and D’Angelo Bread for the most perfect triple berry scones.

* Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company is back at the helm of Wine Cask (he ran the wine shop–restaurant–wine bar from 1981 to 2007) with a new partner, Mitchell Sjerven, owner of Bouchon and Seagrass restaurants. The wine bar serves seasonal, local dishes like mushroom risotto, roasted beets and goat cheese and duck confit flatbread. There is, of course, an awesome wine list. Doug gave us a taste of a special Margerum M5 Wine Cask blend he’s working on just for the restaurant. The Wine Cask tasting room will most likely become a tasting room for Margerum wines.

*Emma and Justin West, the talented young husband-and-wife team behind the tiny two-year-old Julienne restaurant are getting a ton of buzz for their daring (by Santa Barbara standards) farm-to-table food. The restaurant uses all local seafood from boats out of the Santa Barbara and Ventura harbors; ranch-raised meats (they frequently butcher whole animals in-house) and local produce. Menu highlights include the braised lamb tongue with shaved radishes and roasted garlic; grilled squid with pickled French beans and radicchio, and abalone with potatoes, celery and onion in a saffron-sea broth.

Check back tomorrow for wine country highlights.

Cocktails

Highlights: Day 2 Le Grand Fooding

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© kate krader
Le Fooding celebrities Jeffrey Steingarten and Daniel Patterson.

Saturday night of Le Grand Fooding, the irreverent food event featuring chefs from NYC and San Francisco at PS1, had a different cast of characters, and its very own highlights.

Most-Worth-It Line/Heros of the Night
: Pizza Moto, the Brooklyn-based mobile pizza oven, made pretty much perfect margarita pies for a crowd that stretched across the length of PS 1. And they did so all night, making pizzas way past closing to feed all the event staff.

Celebrity Sighting: Vogue’s Jeffrey Steingarten who camped out for most of the night near San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson, where he critiqued the hay Patterson used to smoke his vegetables.

After Party: At the terrific nearby bar Dutch Kills, Jim Meehan and his crew from PDT previewed a new double shake-to-high-five that you might see if anyone ever does a remake of the movie Cocktail.

Added Benefit: All net proceeds from Le Grand Fooding went to benefit Action Against Hunger.

 

Cocktails

Highlights: Le Grand Fooding

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Aziz Ansari on line for fried chicken at Le Fooding.

For anyone who didn’t score a ticket to the two-day all-out foodie extravaganza at PS1 in Long Island City, NY, it’s hard to understand the allure of Le Grand Fooding. The lines are long, even by NYC Shake Shack standards. The NY vs SF theme was played out nine months ago. (A he said/he said blog between Momofuku’s David Chang and Daniel Patterson, chef at San Francisco’s remarkable Coi restaurant, devolved into nothing; Patterson said Chang was his best friend there.) So why is it such a super fun event? My main theory is that less, not more, top-flight chefs, pizza-makers and mixologists make them all the more memorable. Here are a few other reasons I loved Day 1. My Highlights of Day 2 coming tomorrow.

Most-Worth-It Line: For fried chicken, from Seersucker in Brooklyn, NY.  Some people said they clocked an hour waiting. Still, the chicken was outstanding, crispy and hot and well spiced.

Celebrity Sightings
: Jake Gyllenhaal (in full beard camouflage); Aziz Ansari, who smartly positioned friends in every line so he got to taste everything, then left to go to the secret Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs concert.

MVP: Jim Meehan, the brains behind F&W Cocktail books. He patiently shook about a million Belvedere Parkside Fizz cocktails to fortify the line-standers.

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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.