What We’re Reading: November 9, 2013

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Thoughts on local gin, new books, food waste startups and restaurant shenanigans are only a few of the topics that our editorial staff is reading about this week.

Marissa Finn: Real Kitchen as Alinea for Halloween 2013
A take-out food shop in Chicago dresses up as Alinea for Halloween with a “weekly change-up of 45-course meal packages,” which include nitro-poached, dehydrated, powderized and reconstructed chicken, among so much more.

Amy Zavatto: The Gin Goes Back Into the Barrel — NY Times
Last spring, I started noticing a cool little spirits trend emerging: barrel-aged white spirits. That is to say, gin, vodka, and a few eau du vie. My astute friend and our very own Edible booze writer, the wonderful Robert Simonson, noticed, too, and the results are in a cool story he wrote this week in the Dining Section of the Times on this burgeoning bit of spirited experimentation. If you want to try it for yourself, head to the Shanty and check out New York Distilling’s Chief Gowanus Gin (which also has hops in it), which we wrote about here this past summer. We also just shared Sweets & Bitters visit to New York Distilling, as well as their gin-cured gravlax recipe. Dig it!

Carrington MorrisFrom Farm to Table: Building Local Infrastructure to Support Local Food Orion Magazine
A surprisingly gripping account of the local food movement’s advances in helping consumers and small producers find one another via “food hubs.” Just when you think one man’s quest for meaning via a salumeria will be thwarted by food safety regulations, infrastructure costs and a “dearth of distribution options,” behold the mighty Mad River Food Hub, a genius business model providing added-value production facilities and distribution to reach a dreamily receptive public.

Gabrielle Langholtz: Food for Thought — The Aesthete
Wait. A story about one of my favorite chefs (Bill Telepan), who is opening a new restaurant (Telepan Local), and runs one of my favorite projects ever (Wellness in the Schools), written by one of my favorite writers ever (George Weld)? YES.

Eileen Duffy: Marinated Snark is a Dish Best Served Cold — NY Times
A poet assesses our extreme food environment. Anything That Moves sounds great, including the comparison of espresso brewed with pig’s blood to a punch in the nose, and the reviewer’s insights about insights: “I wish the author had a bit more to say about food and class, and about food and gender; gnarly food, like gnarly guitar solos, is an arena for macho posturing, a staging ground for omnivore bromance.” Who isn’t inspired to write their own book about omnivore bromances?

Brian Halweil: Roberta’s Cookbook
It’s beautiful and serious and filled with timeless advice: “It’s impossible to overstate what the best version of a vegetable, fish, or meat can mean in cooking.” “There are more bastardizations of traditional pizza in the world than there are actual bastards.” “As good as meaty ragus can be, duck ragu is kind of king.”

Lauren Wilson: Startups Try To Reroute Food Waste to the Hungry — NPR
I have been both shocked and fascinated by a number that has kept reappearing in my newsfeed in recent weeks: 40 percent of the food that we grow ends up in a landfill. There are ways to close these gaps, however, and organizations across the country are creating ways to reduce this shameful statistic.

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