Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.

    Announcing our Annual “Local Heroes:” The Cheesemongers, Farmers, Chefs and Activists We Appreciate

    A few months back each Edible publication around the country asked their readers to tell them about their favorite local heroes–the farmer who raises the most perfect ruby radishes and pastured pigs; the chef who rocks not just the kitchen but a sense of community; the non-profit that’s changing the way people eat in parts of the borough that need it most; the cheesemonger with a heart of gold and even better Gouda.

    From Queens, A New Farmstand in Morningside Heights

    Good news for Morningside Heights: Michael Grady Roberson, the former farmer of Queens County Farm Museum (you can read about him in Edible Queens) has started selling at the Sunday Columbia Greenmarket on Broadway and W.115th Street, right outside the gates of Columbia University.

    Art of the Heirloom at the Horticultural Society of New York Opens Tonight

    Even if you have brown thumbs and prefer concrete to cultivation, we’re going to bet you’ll agree the 23 heirloom seed packets commissioned by the Hudson Valley Seed Library are real beauties. Starting tonight their Art Packs will be on display until March 2 at The Horticultural Society of New York at 148 West 37th Street in an exhibit called the Art of the Heirloom. (There’s a preview talk from 6 to 8 pm tonight, to attend, RSVP in the comments of this page.)

    Wisconsin’s Underground Food Collective Hits the West Village Next Month

    Last night we were lucky enough to attend one of three incredible Underground Food Collective pop-up dinners in the Brooklyn catering kitchens of Sweet Deliverance. It was the second trip this winter to Bed-Stuy for the semi-famous Madison, Wisc. cooking crew and charcuterie masters (see their fridge photo above) which is about to open a new restaurant back home. If you missed their meals this past week–which started with biscuits and cheese spread and included a salumi and pickle plate, a platter of spreadable salami-gnocchi topped with Brazilian-style linguica, a pig ear and carrot salad, chicharrón with mushrooms and steak pinwheels stuffed with chimichurri; and ended with Shaker lemon pie–don’t worry, they told us they’ll be coming back to Joseph Leonard at 170 Waverly Place in March.

    Recipe: Clinton St. Baking Co’s Caramelized Apple and Pear Pancakes

    There’s so much we didn’t get to tell you during this week’s NY1 segment on Clinton Street Baking Co.’s February Pancake Month. We were so busy telling you the genesis of chef Neil Kleinberg’s superior whipped egg white pancake recipe, that we didn’t get to talk about the toppings, which change every few days until the 29th, or their cookbook, which was named one of the best of the year by the Times last year and was shot by none other than our former photo editor, the talented Michael Harlan Turkell. This recipe below, for Caramelized Apples and Pears with Praline and Cinnamon from the Clinton Street Baking Co. Cookbook, can help illustrate both.

    How Does Edible Manhattan Procrastinate? We Visit Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

    We don’t know what your procrastination techniques might be, but ours usually involve window shopping at grocery stores. It’s “research,” right? We’re not really goofing off. So while we should’ve been hard at work on all the details of the Dairy issue that’s due to the printer in about 20 minutes, we figured it was a good time to check out Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, the Seattle import that hit the corner of 900 Broadway near Union Square last summer.

    Snap Your Snack at Noon on the 24th; The Results Will Be Shown at the Brooklyn Art Library next Month

    The Art House Co-op–the folks behind the Sketchbook Project in the Brooklyn Art Library at 103 N. Third Street in Williamsburg–have launched another art project we’d like to bring your attention to. It’s called The Meal: Documenting a Global Snack, and on February 24th they’re asking photographers from around the world to participate by snapping what you’re snacking on at 12 pm EST.

    It’s Elementary: PS 333’s Rooftop Hydroponic Farm Even Comes with Picnic Tables

    Yesterday when we were waiting to eat pancakes with almond frangipane, toasted almonds and raspberries at Clinton Street Baking Co.–hey, it’s pancake month!–we met Sidsel Robards, who is a director of program development and events with New York Sun Works. They’re the folks behind the original Science Barge, the 2007 prototype floating hydroponic farm in the Hudson River, and now a similar rooftop farm project at PS333 in the Upper West Side.

    The Processed Food We’re Proud to Eat

    It might not be the most bitter winter in recent memory, but in February fresh produce is still pretty scarce even when it’s 62. So in recent weeks we’ve been happily guzzling a slew of picked-in-summer-and-minimally-processed local produce products like this tomato juice from Migliorelli Farm. (So good we couldn’t even keep it long enough to take a photo.) The Tivoli, N.Y. grower–find them at dozens of Greenmarkets citywide–also has tomato sauces (three for $15 last time we went by) and frozen vegetables like kale, corn, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts.