Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Five Ring Circus

My old good friend Janet is part of a team that is providing food for the Olympic athletes and media reps. I haven't seen her in ages because she has been in China for over a year preparing for these two weeks. The New York Times had an article about this initiative which I have posted below. Thanks NYT.

BEIJING — The Olympic Village dining hall is the size of three football fields — large enough to seat 6,000 people at one time. And the food operation needed to feed a multinational, multicultural, multilingual base 24 hours a day is equally vast in scope.
A Philadelphia-based privately held company, Aramark, is handling the food for the Olympic Village, two Media Centers and two Media Villages during the Olympic Games — its 14th Summer or Winter Games since the company first had a contract for the Mexico City Games in 1968.
In order to satisfy a diverse and demanding set of palates for the 28,000 athletes, coaches and staff at the village, the chefs at Aramark have designed a menu that features 800 recipes from all around the world that accommodate all sorts of dietary needs — vegetarian, Halal, kosher.
The eight-day menu rotation has an Asian bent, specifically with a focus on Chinese specialties including Peking duck, congee and shaved noodles, but it also has dishes from Italy, Greece, Northern Africa, southern Spain and Latin America.
According to Aramark, the company will prepare:
More than 35,000 pounds of duck
More than 14,000 pounds of tofu
150,000 pounds of beef
1 million apples
20.1 million servings of rice
743,000 potatoes
Not to mention the cheese, lettuce, onions, chickens, and oranges.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scape Pesto

Today's Richmond Times-Dispatch has an article picked up from the wire on scapes and includes a recipe for scape pesto- call me crazy, but i think the season has come and gone in these arid parts.

for a reminder of what scapes and its pesto can look like, follow the links below:

Scape Pesto anyone ?

The Queen Has Come (Again)

There's more ethnic food in Shockoe Bottom. Queen Sheba has arrived in the former Moondance space with a wonderful ethiopian menu and is starting to attract the attention that royalty deserves. You can read all about it in the latest issue of Style Weekly.

Get the Scoop Here

Monday, August 11, 2008

Baja Cantina

Spent thursday night in virginia beach at the Dave Matthews Band show- a nostalgic experience that took me back to the early 90's in Charlottesville as we watched our friends giddily graduate from local phenoms to international stars.

Had a great dinner at the homey Baja Cantina- blackened wahoo soft tacos- divine combination of spicy fish, crunchy cabbage, and a choice of medium, hot, or hot hot hot sauce.

set list below- nice cover of Talking Head's Burning Down the House

Seek Up *
One Sweet World *
So Damn Lucky *
Old Dirt Hill *
Pantala Naga Pampa *
Rapunzel *
Crash Into Me *
Corn Bread *
Eh Hee *
Burning Down The House *
Proudest Monkey
Satellite *
(Everyday) *
Halloween *
Water Into Wine
You Might Die Trying *
Sledgehammer *
#41 *
Ants Marching *

Don’t Drink the Water *
Anyone Seen The Bridge *
Too Much Intro *
Tripping Billies *

mediterranean feast

On Saturday night I made good on my donation to the St Thomas Auction, Arabian Nights. The Goodpastures and Haddads donated a dinner party for 10 in the spirit of the auction's theme. Spent a good part of the day prepping, and the evening cooking.

This was our menu for the evening


baba ganooj
stuffed grape leaves
lebneh with zataah


lamb & chicken kebabs
Grilled figs, onions, mushrooms, and peppers
rice pilaf
okra and green beans arab style


pistachio ice cream

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hidden Kitchens

"Food history is as important as a baroque church. Governments should recognize this cultural heritage and protect traditional foods. A cheese is as worthy of preserving as a 16th-century building." — Carlo Petrini, founder, Slow Food Movement

If you have never tuned in, check out a great series on NPR called "Hidden Kitchens." It explores the world of hidden kitchens: street corner cooking, legendary meals, and eating traditions... how communities come together through food.

Hidden Kitchens