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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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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.

Wine

Funky Sicilian Wines at Anfora

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Anfora, the new wine bar from the team behind Manhattan’s L’Artusi and Dell’anima restaurants, has become my new favorite place for stepping out of my wine comfort zone and experimenting with more esoteric, edgy bottles. Sunday night, sommelier Joe Campanale hosted a casual tasting with Frank Cornelissen, a pioneering natural winemaker from Mount Etna, Sicily. “Mount Etna is one of the most interesting places right now for winemaking,” says Campanale. “There’s a lot of terroir-specific wine and a lot of very natural wine, which I get excited about. Wine should taste of a place.” Cornelissen was hesitant to label his wines as natural and instead referred to them as “territorial” wines.

I gravitated toward the MunJebel Rosso, made with Nerello Mascalese grapes from various vineyards and various years. Equally fascinating, though a bit too edgy for my palate, was Cornelissen’s Rosso del Contadino, a blend of local grapes—both red and white—from different vineyards.

Cornelissen’s MunJebel Bianco, a blend of Carricante, Grecanico Dorate and Coda di Volpe, looked and tasted more like a craft beer. Cloudy and golden and served at room temperature, it was pure funky-ness. This was Campanale’s favorite. “It has the smokiness from the volcanic soil and an umami quality to it,” he says.

For a taste, head to one of Campanale's restaurants or wine bar.

Restaurants

How to Eat like a Film Star in Toronto

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The 35th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) just got underway and runs until September 19th. During these 10 days, film lovers descend upon Toronto from around the globe to see the best from international, Hollywood and Canadian cinema. And the stars come to eat and play, too. As a helpful outreach program, I've come up with suggestions for where and what to eat for some of the biggest names attending the festival:
Natalie Portman: The star of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan will love the delicious, raw, gluten-free and vegan dishes served at Live Organic Food Bar. Must try: garden lasagna, a raw main dish full of herbed "ricotta cheese,” fresh pesto and marinated tomatoes sandwiched between zucchini “noodles.”
Ryan Reynolds: After the premiere of Buried, I picture him tucking into a steaming-hot take-out carton of Canada’s unofficial national dish poutine—hand-cut Yukon Gold french fries topped with gravy and squeaky Quebec cheese curds. The version from Smoke’s Poutinerie is stellar.
Marion Cotillard: Here to support Les Petits Mouchoirs (Little White Lies), she should head for the elegant Italian dishes served at Buca. Must try: crisp Roman-style pizzas served on large wooden cheeseboards, some swathed with house-made charcuterie, all accompanied by a pair of scissors for pizza-snipping.
Will Ferrell: Everything Must Go is the name of his latest film, but Caplansky’s Delicatessen is where the comedic star should stop for lunch. Must try: hand-sliced pickled tongue, served hot on rye bread.
Freida Pinto: Julian Schnabel has eclectic tastes, as does the star of his film Miral. I’d send them both to Origin for international small plates. Must have: spiced chocolate pudding with fromage frais and frozen aerated milk chocolate. 
As for TIFF actor attendees Clive Owen, Ryan Gossling, Jon Hamm and James Franco? Well, they’re all invited to dine at my house!
Check back here later this week for great spots to eat and drink, in between film-going and star-gazing.

Restaurants

Fashion's Night Out Cheat Sheet

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jim denevan

© c/o Anthropologie
Jim Denevan creates art in Siberia.

While fashion editors are sprinting from tent to tent during Manhattan’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, food lovers can hit up these supercool fashion-food partnerships for Fashion’s Night Out on Friday, Sept. 10.

Anthropologie recently sent Jim Denevan, founder of Outstanding in the Field, to Siberia, Russia, to create the world’s largest piece of art. Between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., in front of Anthropologie's Chelsea Market location, Denevan will be making a giant street drawing inspired by the project. For a sneak preview, click here.

Scott Sternberg, the owner and designer of Band of Outsiders, is so obsessed with cookies that he’s even started a cookie blog. On Friday, the Ace Hotel lobby will be turned into a French flea market where Sternberg will have a cookie-themed booth with dessert genius Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar.

Vogue food critic Jeffrey Steingarten and Momofuku chef David Chang will be at the new Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel, hosting an artisanal-whiskey tasting paired with some of Momofuku's cult-favorite dishes.

Guest bartenders from the Taj Mumbai will be pouring Indian-inspired cocktails at a fabulous India event at designer Charles Nolan's boutique. Designer Radhika Gupta is curating acollection of folk are created by the "Gondh" tribal group who live in Indian jungle villages; Suki Cheema will be showcasing his fabulous new Indian-inspired home collection; and Vosges will be supplying curry- and spice-flavored chocolates.

Restaurants

Sneak Peek: LIncoln's Signature Lasagna Verde

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© Kate Cunningham

Here’s a question Jonathan Benno gets a lot: Why is he changing from the French-influenced kitchen at Per Se to cook a 100 percent Italian menu at Lincoln (opening September 26rd, give or take a few days). After all, he worked in France, not Italy, and cooked in French restaurants. “I always liked Italy the best,” he says. “I wanted to focus on one cuisine and represent it as well as I can.” At Lincoln, he’ll take traditional Italian dishes and tweak them—sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little bit. A case in point: his outstanding lasagna verde Bolognese, with layers of rich three-meat Bolognese sauce and plenty of gooey mozzarella, which he’ll pretty much bake to order in individual springform pans. He makes the delicate pasta with dehydrated spinach (he gets it in 50 pound bags from Ohio; he says it’s the same place Ronzoni sources its spinach from). He’ll probably make it for his old boss Thomas Keller when he comes to check out Lincoln. Is he nervous to cook for Keller? No. “It’s easier to cook for him than a lot of other people,” says Benno. “By now, I pretty much know what he likes.”

An adaptation of Benno’s elegant and delicious lasagna verde Bolognese, for home cooks, after the jump.

And for more pasta recipes, check out 's just-out October wine issue, featuring all things Italian-American. 

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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.