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Archive for the ‘Food musings’ Category

Gourmet on the go

Restaurants are branching out with gourmet food trucks to capture fast-growing trend. Food trucks allow restaurants to experiment with new offerings.

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Nothing beats escaping the office for a summer lunch outside. Maybe you were organized enough to pack your lunch. Even better: Your favorite restaurant rolls up to the curb and hands you a paper carton of teriyaki chicken nestled on a bed of steaming rice.

From grilled cheese to cupcakes to the latest fusion cuisines, a growing number of food trucks are roving city streets as patrons – and now restaurants – discover the ease, ingenuity, and affordability of sidewalk meals.

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Come join me for a four-week webinar seminar An American Culinary Journey: From Succotash to Urban Chickens in partnership with Principia College. The course will meet online for one hour every Monday night, beginning April 1. No homework required! Just learn, share, and have fun.

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This is a great TED talk by Ron Finley, who plants vegetable gardens in South Central, Los Angeles, in abandoned lots, traffic medians, and along sidewalk curbs. He sees himself as an artist of the soil, a renegade against fast food, and a visionary to inspire and involve inner city kids in hard work that pays off in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

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On Thursday, August 16, the Boston waterfront beneath the swooping glass facade of the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse was invaded by a throng of picnickers dressed in white and elegantly nibbling from white china plates.

Performance art? An extreme response to Zombie Flash Mobs? A cult?

Mais, non.

Dîner en Blanc had arrived in Boston. (more…)

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August 15 is Julia Child’s birthday and 2012 marks her 100th. I wanted to honor Julia by baking a birthday cake for her on my birthday, just a few days before on August 12, using a recipe or two from one of her many collections.

 

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Last Friday I took the train down to New York City to attend the 2012 James Beard Federation Awards dinner as a nominee at the Books, Broadcast and Journalism awards. It is the JBF’s 25th annual awards celebration.

When I heard my name announced over the livestream broadcast from the press lunch in Las Vegas in March I almost fell off my chair in surprise. My cover story for The Christian Science Monitor weekly magazine about the foodie renaissance in America had been nominated under the category “Best Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication.”

The other two nominees, Los Angeles Magazine and New York Magazine, had submitted very different packages. Those entries were more like mini Bon Appetit magazines within their publications, instead of the broad, 3,000-word trend story I had written.

“It’s like apples and arugula,” said John Yemma, the Monitor’s editor, when I told him that my entry looked like a square peg when compared with the other two in my category. I wasn’t really sure what to expect on award night. For a lot of major journalism awards, writers often have to be nominated more than once before they earn an actual award.

I decided at the very least, this was going to be a great party in New York, an up-close look at some of the movers and shakers in the food world, and a lot of fantastic eats.

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Plus, riding the train is a lot of fun.

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I’ve got some thrilling news! My cover story for The Christian Science Monitor has been selected as a James Beard award nominee under “Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication,” a new category this year.

“The Big Stir” was the title on the cover of the July 11, 2011 magazine, but you can find it online under “America’s new culinary renaissance.”

Here is the complete list of nominees in this category:

Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication 

Lesley Bargar Suter
Los Angeles Magazine

Kendra Nordin
The Christian Science Monitor
The Big Stir

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
New York Magazine
Taxonomy: A Falafel in Every Pita,” “Butternut’s Just the  Beginning,” “The Greatest Thing Since …

This was unexpected but gratifying when I remember the challenge of writing a 3,000 word story in less than month while keeping up with my full-time (non-food related) editing duties. But the story was irresistible: There is a dynamic and creative culinary renaissance sweeping America. Why is it happening now?

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This past summer I visited my college friend Enicia who is a “homesteader” in Wildomar, Calif. What makes my soft-spoken, gentle friend a homesteader? Maybe it is the 14 variety of heirloom tomatoes she grows, the flock of heritage breed chickens that scratch around her porch, and the .22 handgun that she used to blow away a squirrel who was ” thinking that we have been growing everything for him!”

Foolish squirrel.

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Update: This cover story just got nominated for a James Beard Award!!

Do you know what amuse bouche means? Do you know how to emulsify? Do you cheer on chefs while watching the Food Network as you eat handfuls of popcorn seasoned with nutritional yeast? Do you chase food trucks on Twitter?

You know who you are, you foodie you.

Check out my cover story for The Christian Science Monitor on our nation of foodies (and yes, it’s OK to hate that word): “America’s new culinary renaissance

There’s also a fun photo gallery.

Happy summer!

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When Prince William and Kate Middleton exchange vows on April 29 in Westminster Abbey there will be millions of pajama-clad Americans tuning in to watch and I am not ashamed to admit that I will be one of them.

I am not a huge Royal follower. But I was a Diana follower. As a fifth grader in 1981 a Royal Wedding was the Most Important Event Ever. Diana and her 25-foot-long train was the real deal – a living, breathing combination of Cinderella (whose wedding we never got to see) and Maria from “The Sound of Music.” The purpose of Diana’s long walk down the aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral was not, in my eyes, to become Charles’s wife. It was to become a Princess.

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