Monday, July 21, 2008

Brilliant Spot

TWBA\Paris created and directed an animated movie to illustrate the vital concerns of Amnesty International, around the concept that your signature is more powerful than you think:

its a brilliant spot, and certainly more important food for thought than any culinary drivel.


Click Here to watch

Saturday, July 19, 2008

a food saturday

started the day at the Forest Hill Farmers Market (actually it started at 6:30 am making gazpacho with my 2 1/2 year old- mostly from the garden) the market was abuzz with additional excitement over the Graziano vs Positive Vibe cookoff. it was hot, and with Raine and Rye in tow, I knew that time was of the essence. Grabbed some fresh celery from Victory Farms, some gnochhi from Cavanna, and chatted with some friends before being pulled away. Decided to join the Petty's at Black Sheep for breakfast. Tne kids were pretty awful and the meal was not as relaxing as it could have been. I was once again impressed by the Grillades & Grits- sauteed pork cutlets with brown gravy and a side of cheesy grits. I also shared some nutella slathered french toast with my boys, who were more interested in playing under the table than eating.

back home for yardwork and gardening and a dip in the pool. we were having some folks for dinner, so I prepped a remoulade sauce for a london broil that had been marinating all day. Prepped a variation on the traditional caprese, substituting onions and peaches for the usual tomatatoes.


had a lovely dinner that started outside, but we were chased in by some mosquitoes and 90 + heat pretty quickly. dinner was lovely- even with 6 kids under 5 running around. Syd made a great cobbler with peaches and bluberries from the market to finish the night. Sat on the front porch watching the kids chase lightning bugs until way past bedtimes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

is someone stalking me ?

There is another Food for Thought in town- "Richmond, Food for Thought"- who just came onto the scene a few months ago. Is there really that much food for thought ? should i be worried?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Grazing in style


July 9, 2008

Killer Instincts

A little cafe where hunger gets a beat down.
by John G. Haddad

Black sheep rarely hang with the herd; they stand apart. The same rings true for one of Richmond’s more interesting new culinary destinations. The Black Sheep offers a unique menu, eclectic atmosphere and friendly service — three meals a day, six days a week. Located in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood, it’s pure serendipity that this area was once known as Sheep Hill. But that’s the only unplanned detail.

The décor is funky with slightly muted avocado-green and orange walls (think ’70s appliances) juxtaposed with brick and rough-hewn paneling, local art and kitschy reproductions. My favorite decorative element, however, lies outside. The industrial neighborhood provides interesting sight lines out the two windows framing the front door. The renovated Biggs Furniture Factory across the street, now apartments, signals a neighborhood in transition.

Co-owners Kevin Roberts and Amy Hess bring a diverse resume of restaurant experience to their first-time solo flight. In addition to working with some of Richmond’s finest at The Frog and the Redneck, Amici, Acacia, Mamma ’Zu and Kuba Kuba, Roberts’ experience with the classically trained French/Cajun master Frank Brigtsen during a three-year sojourn in New Orleans serves the menu well. Hess worked front-of-house for the renowned Brennan restaurant clan in New Orleans.

Breakfast starts with New Orleans’ Community Coffee, strong and dark. Sausage gravy is delightfully creamy yet avoids the pastiness of many inferior competitors. Chunks of spicy sausage swim over fresh biscuits, light and flaky. A dish called grillades and grits pairs thin pork cutlets with brown gravy, served with cheesy grits and a side of Texas toast, which is almost worth the trip alone. French toast is decadent, oozing with Nutella and topped with warm citrus syrup. The extra dollar for a scoop of vanilla ice cream is well worth it. (My 2 1/2- and 4-year-old boys concur.) Huevos rancheros are spicy with black beans, queso blanco, green mole and jalapeno sour cream. My only thought would be to trade out the corn tortillas for some Texas toast or cornbread. The tortillas were dry and didn’t add much to the dish.

At the center of the lunch experience swims a fleet of battleships, foot-long sandwiches that Roberts brings from his experience in the Big Easy. The CSS Virginia is one of the best (and biggest) sandwiches I’ve ever had. A variation of the requisite oyster poor boy, chicken livers are dredged in flour and cornmeal, coated in an egg bath and crumbed before being fried to a delicate finish. This foot-long “land oyster” sandwich is topped with shredded cabbage, crisp apple slices and a piquant remoulade. Combining green onions, parsley and whole lemon, it does somersaults in your mouth. Three other sandwiches do battle with Swedish meatballs; grilled eggplant and peppers; and pineapple and mahi-mahi. There’s also a homey and yummy pimento cheese club and a spicy variation on a BLT.

Soups include a South Indian tomato served with raita, a seasonal asparagus and cheddar, and gumbo. Salads continue the Subcontinental theme with a frisée dressed with a refreshing garam masala yogurt, Asian pears and avocado. New Orleans is well-represented through the beer list, as are local brews along with a modest and well-priced wine list.

And for the final act, dinner options include heartwarming chicken with dill-infused dumplings and crisp-juicy breaded pork cutlets over egg noodles with peas and carrots. There’s also a clever vegetarian “where’s the beef?” stroganoff. Sides are refreshing complements, including deviled eggs (a 2008 trend?), dirty rice and a citrus-infused orzo salad.

The desserts are all over the place: a white Russian brownie, peanut butter pie, banana pudding tiramisu and my personal favorite — a campy rendition of crème brûlée — the La Brea Tarpit, a concoction with animal crackers stuck in the crispy crust.

It’s comfort food with flair, all reasonably priced. Roberts and Hess made a conscious decision to price their meals moderately to attract the wide range of clientele that the Carver neighborhood draws. So far it’s working for the diverse distribution of neighborhood, student and foodie guests. S



The Black Sheep ($)
901 W. Marshall St.
648-1300
Tuesday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
www.theblacksheeprva.com

Thursday, July 03, 2008

IS YOUR MEAT SAFE TO EAT???

The Center for Rural Culture presents:  

IS YOUR MEAT SAFE TO EAT???

An Educational Program on the Benefits of Locally Grown, Grass-fed Meats

Monday, July 21st, 2008 5:30-7:30pm


As part of our on-going educational series on locally grown, sustainable food products, the Center for Rural Culture is presenting a program on the benefits of grass-fed meats.  As an introduction, participants will be treated to a short DVD series called "The Meatrix".  Produced by Sustainable Table and Free Range Studios, The Meatrix, The Meatrix II: Revolting, and The Meatrix II ½ expose the dirty truth behind today's industrial meat and dairy production. The movies use action & humor to educate audiences, while the Meatrix website offers alternatives to the problems with industrial agriculture. Join our heroes Moopheus, Leo & Chickity as they confront industrial agriculture & help them save small family farms!

JOIN LOCAL FARMERS FOR EDUCATION, DISCUSSION, FOOD TASTING, SOCIALIZING AND FUN!

LOCATION:  Brookview Farm  854 Dover Rd.  Manakin-Sabot, VA  23103

REGISTRATION:  Pre-registration is required.  You may call 804-314-9141 or email admin@CenterForRuralCulture.org to register.  Space is limited to 75, so please register early!  Deadline for registration is Wednesday, July 16th. 

COST:  Cost is $12.00 at the door (Center for Rural Culture Members-only $10.00).  Checks or cash only please.  All participants will be given a coupon valued at $5.00 for the Goochland Farmers Market, courtesy of DAWSON'S PHARMACY.  

FEATURING:  "The Meatrix" DVD Series will be showing at 5:40 and 6:00pm.  A moderated discussion with local farmers will follow, along with samplings of local, grass-fed meats including beef, poultry, pork and bison.  Local cheeses, salads and veggies will also be offered.  All vendors will have food available for purchase.  Sorry, no children under 12 please.

The Center for Rural Culture is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to sustain the rural culture of Goochland and the surrounding Piedmont by educating, promoting, and inspiring. For more information on the Center's work or to join the Center for Rural Culture, go to:  www.CenterForRuralCulture.org.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

2008 James Beard Awards

Here are the major winners from last month's James Beard Awards:



OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR AWARD
Joe Bastianich/Mario Batali
Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca

OUTSTANDING CHEF AWARD
Grant Achatz
Alinea, Chicago

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT AWARD
Gramercy Tavern, NYC
Danny Meyer

BEST NEW RESTAURANT
Central Michel Richard, Washington, DC
Chef/Owner: Michel Richard

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR AWARD
Gavin Kaysen
Café Boulud

NYC OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF AWARD
Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
Tartine Bakery
San Francisco

COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR
The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Ten Speed Press)

BEST CHEF: PACIFIC (CA, HI)
Craig Stoll
Delfina
San Franciso

BEST CHEF: MID-ATLANTIC (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Eric Ziebold
CityZen
Washington, DC

BEST CHEF: MIDWEST (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Adam Siegel
Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro
Milwaukee

BEST CHEF: GREAT LAKES (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Carrie Nahabedian
Naha
Chicago

BEST CHEF: NEW YORK CITY (FIVE BOROUGHS)
David Chang
Momofuku Ssäm Bar

BEST CHEF: NORTHEAST (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)
Patrick Connolly
Radius
Boston

BEST CHEF: NORTHWEST (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Holly Smith
Café Juanita
Kirkland, WA

BEST CHEF: SOUTHEAST (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Robert Stehling
Hominy Grill
Charleston, SC

BEST CHEF: SOUTHWEST (AZ, CO, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT)
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson
Frasca Food and Wine
Boulder, CO

BEST CHEF: SOUTH (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS)
Michelle Bernstein
Michy's
Miami