Since Anne Saxelby first opened her eponymous stall in the Essex Street Market in 2006–essentially redefining American cheese–she’s taken strolls or bike-rides around and down all the crooked streets that define this part of Lower Manhattan, which sits in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. Consider it her way of meeting her neighbors, and soaking up the diversity, edible and otherwise, that still haunts this nabe.
We’ve been making the rounds of winter farming conferences in the region–from NOFA to PASA–and we just got back from the most urban of these, Just Food’s 2012 conference at the High School of Food and Finance in Hell’s Kitchen, which included a job fair organized by Good Food Jobs and workshops advising on how to start a career as a farmer, raise money for your food startup, or launch your food-related nonprofit.
I’ve been thumbing through the short, final chapters of Joan Gussow’s most recent book, Growing, Older. They’re humorous even if the themes include dying, lifelong regrets, sea level rise and climate change. The later geological preoccupations are shared by both of us—we both garden in floodprone areas—and the balmy, 60-degree afternoons this past weekend reminded me that the future-oriented predictions of climate scientists seem more and more to have arrived in the here and now. (And, my colleagues at Edible Brooklyn tell me, the annual winter festival at Prospect Park was just cancelled, due to weather too warm to make snow.)
For two decades the international movement to preserve taste called Slow Food has produced a guide to Italian wine in conjunction with Gambero Rosso– an Italian Zagat that puts out food and wine guides and produces massive wine tastings around the world. Now, to encourage a new era of sustainabile wine sipping , Slow Food has rolled out a wine classification system and bringing it to America for the first time, along with a sampling of Italian Slow Wine-designated producers that will visit New York on January 30. (Get your tickets here.)
As the New Year approaches, with its cavalcade of “best of” and “top 10” lists, we invite our readers to vote in a very Edible way–for your favorite farmers, brewers, bartenders and food systems innovators as part of Edible Communities Sixth Annual Local Hero Awards. The process is already underway and ends this Friday, December 16, so nominate your favorite farmer, chef, eatery, food shop, food artisan and non-profit now.
Now that we’ve tested our spud-mashing skills at Thanksgiving, it’s time for those of us celebrating Hanukah to turn our attention to the potato pancake. Specifically, the third annual Latke Festival our sister publication Edible Brooklyn is putting on with Great Performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on December 19th. (If you haven’t snagged your ticket here, now’s the time.)
For this Long Island boy Brooklyn sometimes seems endless. Like when you can exit the Bedford Avenue L station in Williamsburg, as we did last week, and head half a mile south on Wythe Avenue and come upon a whole neighborhood of little food shops and new and renovated condos that didn’t seem to exist a few years go. Perhaps its this vast newness–realtors citywide, we’re told, are now pushing the part of Williamsburg called the Southside–that was part of the inspiration for Isa on South Second Street.
On Wednesday night, at Guastavino’s under the 59th Street Bridge, we tasted the new face of Italian food in New York, like salumi from Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rosi. What tied all these dishes together wasn’t just their Old World inspiration, but their locavore sensibility: They were all made from mostly New York grown ingredients: In fact this batch of sopressatta was Casella’s first made with Empire State meat.
On Wednesday night at our Edible Escape at the Angel Orensanz Center there will be wine, spirits, cheeses and veggies from across the state. ILOVENY will be bringing some swanky farmers market totes and t-shirts to give away. And, to sweeten the pot, we will be giving away prizes to attendees. We’ve already told you about the mixed case of New York State wines, and some other lucky ticket holder will get two gallons of Organic Valley New York Fresh milk. In other words, something for the evening and something for the morning.
As a teaser for all you ticket holders to Edible Escape–our mouth-watering, border-crossing food and drink party next Wednesday, we’ve been leaking selected menu items over the past weeks. But now we’d like to tell you about some giveaways that a few lucky attendees will receive. (Yes, tickets are still available here. Our first prize is a mixed case of wines and the Cape Wine Braai Masters recipe book, courtesy of our friends at Wines of South Africa. We have two of these to give away, and we’ll be choosing winners at random from our ticket holders.
Honest Man, the restaurant group that comprises Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton, Nick & Toni’s Café on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, Rowdy Hall in East Hampton, La Fondita in Amagansett and Townline BBQ in Sagaponack, will cook dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at the James Beard House in New York. This “Hamptons Classic” dinner will feature tastes from all five restaurants in a six-course meal of Long Island ingredients–Montauk lobster, Iacono chickens, North Fork peaches, Balsam Farms strawberries–paired with Long Island wines.
I’ve been a fan of Mark Bittman’s cooking and eating advice since I first saw his quirky, easy-to-follow “Minimalist” recipe videos. But he really knocked it out of the park with his latest column in the Sunday Times where he argues decisively, with nifty infographics, that good, healthy food can in fact be cheaper than the fast food alternative.