On Friday evening, Boston University hosted Los Angeles resident and Korean-born chef Roy Choi who discussed his new memoir/cookbook, "L.A. Chef: My Life, My City, My Food." Choi is a forerunner of the now popular food truck movement with his Kogi BBQ trucks, which serve Korean tacos -- marinated short rib, cabbage, romaine, lime juice, cilantro, onion, and salsa roja. When the trucks debuted in 2008, they were an immediate hit and publishers were begging Choi to write a cookbook.
"For two-three years I flat out rejected it. I was in no place to write it. I didn't want to confront any of this stuff. All I wanted, to be honest, was for everything to just go away." The "everything" Choi is referring to is his partying past. If he was going to agree to be published, he says, he wanted to do it his way; a memoir that told a complete story through food.
His other stipulations were that he wanted it to be accessible to his family and friends who don't cook. He didn't just want to focus on the successes that have fueled his popularity.
"It's not a Kogi book. It's about how this flavor came about. It's not a book about what I can do as a chef or creating food porn pictures that you roll through and never cook. Sometimes in the food world we only talk about the beautiful things," he says.
"The book was written like Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon.' It's just one long layout. It starts at one point and you go through a story that evolves and changes and leads you somewhere."
One recipe Choi demonstrated at BU was his "Ghetto Pillsbury Fried Doughnuts," his take on traditional Portuguese malasadas. The presentation was simple and delicious: hunks of store-bought Pillsbury biscuit dough fried in shortening and rolled in cinnamon, sugar, and crushed sesame seeds. Choi vacations frequently in Hawaii -- a state with a large Portuguese population -- but this dish means far more to him in the context of his troubled history.
Before the event, Choi relayed a story of having his heart broken by a girl in Providence, then driving to "pre-Giuliani New York," being swindled out of all his money, and bunking with a stranger at a YMCA, where he was introduced to crack cocaine. Choi went into what he calls a "rabbit hole" of addiction, where his only comfort was in simple, but decadent foods like his "Ghetto" malasadas. He explores this and other recipes, such as ketchup fried rice and instant ramen topped with butter and American cheese.
Later in the evening, Choi navigated the spiritual aspects of washing and preparing perfect rice. He also talked about his early life and his mother's cooking, including her braised short rib stew, which he likened to American meatloaf.
"Every person you meet in Korean culture says their mom's Galbi Jjim is the best. This is a really special dish because there are not many dishes that can permeate every square inch and every fabric of your home. Bacon does that. Chocolate chip cookies do that. And Korean short rib stew."FULL ENTRY
The Boston restaurant community is an uncommonly generous one. And when a friend is in need, everyone bands together to help out.
This time, the guy in need is Vinny Sapochetti of Neptune Oyster (above). At the end of April, a car accident left him with a brain injury. His recovery is going to take some time. Colleagues, friends, and family are banding together to raise money to help pay his bills while he is out of work.
To that end, a fund-raiser and auction take place Monday, May 28, at the Hotel Commonwealth from 5-10 p.m. (Find all the details here.)
To understand the generosity of the restaurant community, just look at the long list of businesses stepping in to help: Neptune Oyster, Toro, Vee Vee, Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Les Zygomates, Sorriso, Strip T's, Sweet Cheeks, Uni, Oleana, Citizen Public House, The Gallows, Russell House Tavern, bridgestreet, Silvertone, Trina's Starlite Lounge, Sofra, Flour, Sam's, Ruby Wines, MS Walker, Martignetti, Horizon Beverage Company, Harpoon, Inspired Beverage Inc., Night Shift Brewing, Craft Beer Guild, Jack's Abby Brewing, Rapscallion Brewing, Berkshire Brewing Company, and Peak Organic Brewing Company.
...it would be defined by Beatrice Peltre (below), an award-winning blogger who lives in this area, and whose blog just became the book "La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for An Inspired Life."
Bea, who was raised in rural eastern France, is both the writer and photographer of her book, which is most unusual. Once you see her photographs (here are four from the cover), and read about her life and travels, you'll be enthralled by the whimsy and beauty.
The Boston Globe magazine featured Bea as a guest columnist last Sunday. Today, the Boston Phoenix came out with a story by Cassandra Landry. Last night, Bea -- who is a contributor to the Food section -- came to my food writing class at BU to talk about her blog and photos. We watched one dramatic shot after another pop onto the screen. She can make a radish look enthralling. But she is modest about her efforts. She also showed us her earliest photos, which were neither charming, nor whimsical.
Tonight, Bea is doing a cooking demo and signing books at Trident Bookstore, 338 Newbury St., Boston at 7 pm. If ever there was an antidote to a dreary day, she's it.
Cambridge restaurateur Ana Sortun has gone into the food business, packaging grains and seasonings called Chef Set, to which you add protein and fresh vegetables. In this dish (the beautiful photos from the Chef Set site were shot by local photographer Susie Cusher), you see quinoa with pistachios and za'atar, topped with salmon. The middle panel shows you what comes in the package. On the right is what you add.
Ana will be at the Be Healthy Boston Health and Wellness Expo on Saturday at the Westin Waterfront doing a cooking demonstration and introducing her products. You'll read more about it in the Food section as soon as Chef Set arrives in stores.
And dish them out their meals
Old Scotland wants no watery food
That splashes in dishes
But if you wish her grateful prayer
Give her a haggis!
Translated from "Address to a Haggis,"
by Robert Burns
Each year, fans of Robert Burns gather to celebrate Scotland's most beloved poet with food, drink, music, and verse. These celebrations are known as Burns Suppers, and several local restaurants are hosting their own versions.
Jason Waddleton, owner of The Haven in Jamaica Plain, is a fellow Scot, and he goes all out with a celebration stretching over several nights. This year, his Burns Suppers take place Jan.23-25. The evenings include readings of Burns's poetry, songs from Burns by Scotland’s Kirstin Cairns, and Scottish country dancing from the Boston Highlanders. There will be the traditional piping in of the haggis, a dish The Haven serves year-round, perhaps the only local restaurant to do so. (It's tasty!) Guests will eat a multicourse meal and drink Scottish craft beer. The event sold out last year, but you can buy tickets in advance ($65 apiece).
Bondir hosts its event Jan. 24 -- a five-course dinner with pairings for $75 per person. There will be live music and poetry. For an idea of what to expect, last year's menu included brown bread; potato leek soup with oysters, pancetta, and caviar; perch with finnan haddie sauce; haggis with roast turnips and celeriac; venison; and spice cake trifle. Call 617-661-0009 for reservations.
In Arlington, Flora hosts a supper on Jan. 25. Things kick off with the Calling of the Clans set to Highland pipes, followed by a tasting of Balvenie Scotches with accompaniments. Then, more piping, the singing of "Scotland the Brave," a blessing, some poetry reading, and a toast to Burns. After the first course -- cock-a-leekie soup, paired with Innis & Gunn ale -- "Address to the Haggis" will be read. That's followed by roast leg of lamb with "neeps and tatties," Claret, and Drambuie bread pudding. The event is $60 per person.
Photos/Guchi's Midnight Ramen
For months, Boston has been talking about Guchi's Midnight Ramen, a rumored ramen pop-up in the works from several O Ya chefs. Now, the venture is getting ready to launch. On Sunday and Monday, Guchi's will host its first test runs, for friends such as Barbara Lynch (Menton, No. 9 Park), Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa/Toro), and John Gertsen (Drink).
Yes, the ramen feasts really will be held at midnight. For its test events, the Guchi's crew will take over Bondir in Cambridge. When Guchi's launches for public consumption, it will take place in different restaurants and more offbeat locations around town. The people behind the project hope to host events every other week. (Eventually, the pop-ups may lead to a more permanent situation.)
The crew consists of four people. There are three chefs who currently or have worked at O Ya: Yukihiro Kawaguchi (a.k.a. Guchi) runs the line there; he conceptualizes and creates the broth for Guchi's. Mark O'Leary is also on the line, doing prep, at O Ya; he is Guchi's noodle mastermind. And Tracy Chang, who spent a year at O Ya and recently returned from a stint at Michelin 3 star restaurant Martin Berasategui in Spain, works on other aspects of ramen creation, as well as dessert. The fourth person is Vilas Dhar, a lawyer who works on community entrepreneurship and development. "I'm trying to build a culture of entrepreneurial food around Boston," says Dhar, who was behind local pop-up Dore Creperie. (He is also contemplating an underground supper club.)
As for the ramen, everything is made from scratch, from soup to noodles. The menu will shift frequently, always centered on some form of ramen; broth and toppings will change. Sunday's practice event, for instance, will feature three courses: a bun filled with pork belly, a big bowl of ramen, and a dessert such as granita or green tea cookies, as well as a treat to take home. "Guchi is this very focused sushi and sashimi chef who comes up with dishes at O Ya," Dhar says. "His family has a noodle shop in Japan. We are going back to the simplicity of ramen, with the level of execution all these chefs have."
The food will be accompanied by tea and Japanese beer, depending on the license of the host venue. To attend, people will purchase tickets. Unlike some other ticket-based restaurants, the ramen nights will be reasonably priced. (At least until the scalpers arrive.) "This will be a very low-cost, accessible thing for anyone who loves ramen and is out and looking for adventure," Dhar says.
So when will the first public Guchi's Midnight Ramen pop-up take place? Start practicing your slurping skills. It won't be long.
In the meantime, here are some new photos to tide you over:
Ike DeLorenzo, who wrote about the new Cambridge Winter Farmers’ Market for tomorrow’s Food section, also attended the opening of another market in
As 2 p.m. neared, there was still some shrink-wrapped, grass-fed beef in Stillman's Farm cooler. At a table assigned to a local nursery school, kids were occupied with making pasta necklaces and face painting. The room was beginning to fill with video cameramen, reporters, and second-tier dignitaries. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino arrived in his black SUV, as did
The mayor then led the way to the top of the dramatic stairs -- facing the street, the public, and many video cameras -- as the dignitaries formed a phalanx behind him. A few yards of thick red ribbon were held up, and cartoon-large golden scissors was offered to Menino with some ceremony. At the foot of the stairs, a 10-member brass band kicked into high gear with "When the Saint Go Marching In." Mayoral scissors snipped, photos flashed, and then -- as the song says -- in they go. The press was asked to wait by the Mayor SUV around back.
The day before,
A goal of the
Outside the Codman Square building, I waited to talk to the Mayor, who wanted to focus on his efforts in urban agriculture, summer farmers’ markets, and, especially, removing sugary sodas from Bostons Public Schools (“one of the biggest fights I've ever had,” he says).
He did answer some questions on markets.
Q The food sold out here within the first couple hours.
Menino Well, because we put more emphasis on the nine-month farmers' markets than on winter markets. We have more farmers’ markets in the city than
Q Do you think more people will be coming [to future markets]?
Menino This is the first one, the first Sunday. Now we need to see how to promote this, and see the sustainability of it. That's the question you have.
Q Do you think your [food policy] chairmanship of the Conference of Mayors is a way to show leadership on winter markets in a northern city?
Menino Yes, we're going to show leadership. We've got to get the
Q Why Dorchester for the first
Q A woman I spoke to in Cambridge said that in the winter she can't walk to the supermarket and that she lives in a food desert. She was pleased that a local community center offered a farmers’ market. Is that a focus for
Menino Well, don't forget we have a supermarket in every neighborhood of
Q But they are certainly of varying quality when it comes to winter produce.
Menino Yeah. Can I tell you something, honestly, people never thought of winter farmers’ markets. Now, because of the ability to do the harvesting, and how we grow our products today, as opposed to a several years ago, there's a change in the thought process. So, winter farmers’ markets. IKE DELORENZO
Lidia Bastianich is coming to Boston this weekend to promote her new book, "Lidia's Italy in America." She'll cook at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Sunday night, where she'll be introduced by North End restaurateurs, Carla and Christine Pallotta of Nebo restaurant.
Lidia will be signing books at the Barnes & Noble in Bay Back at noon on Monday. "Lidia's Italy in America" is written with daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali, who has a doctorate in Renaissance art history from Oxford. The two have a knack for appealing dishes, offering recipes for ricotta frittata, pasta e fagioli, and chicken piccante.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, Brookwood Community Farm presents a panel discussion titled "Toward Food Security for All: Building a Local and Just Food System." The event takes place at 7 p.m. in the Keys Community Room at the Milton Public Library. At 6:30, homemade soup, bread, and cider will be served. The suggested donation is $5.
Participants will discuss issues such as hunger, food insecurity, and how to improve access to healthy food -- matters grappled with regularly at Brookwood. The farm donates at least 10 percent of its produce to food banks and maintains a presence at farmers' markets in low-income communities, in addition to offering CSA and education programs.
Panelists include Judy Lieberman and Simca Horwitz of Brookwood Community Farm, Vivien Morris of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, Ellen Parker of Project Bread, Jim Buckle of Allandale Farm, and Ashley Stanley of Lovin' Spoonfuls. Food writer Louisa Kasdon moderates.
For more information, go to www.brookwoodcommunityfarm.org or call 617-967-4578.
The food world turned out last night at Boston University to celebrate chef, author, and instructor Jacques Pepin, who, it turned out, was too ill to attend. He is nursing a hip that is about to be replaced. If you read his memoirs, you know that when the Frenchman was young, he was in a bad ski accident and smashed both legs. At one point he wondered if he would walk again, never mind stand on his feet for 14-hour days in hot kitchens.
So when the chefs who were coming to launch his new book, "Essential Pepin," were told that Pepin would not appear, they all came anyway, with food from his book in tow.
From the top; Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother (left) with Garrett Harker of Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar; David Becker and Nina Gallant of Sweet Basil in Needham; Ihsan Gurdal of Formaggio Kitchen and South End Formaggio (with one of his employee's babies); and Deborah Hansen of Taberna de Haro. And many many more.
They brought cheese toasts, sweetbreads, tongue, octopus, chicken stew, confit, and country pate. Exquisite nibbles.
I hereby declare the "Occupy Fenway" event taking place this evening at Jerry Remy's Sports Bar & Grill the winner of this week's Poor Taste Award. (Yes, the distinguished award has been created specifically for this event.)
Reads the announcement from Remy's: "Still angry over the worse collapse in baseball history? Then join the movement as Red Sox nation takes over our restaurant! Occupy Fenway will allow Red Sox fans to once and for all get all those ill feelings out with an old fashion airing of grievances about our beloved baseball team."
There is an open mike rant from 5-7 p.m. and a $5 burger special all day. The "best rant" will win a $50 gift certificate to the sports bar, and everyone who steps up to the mike gets an Occupy Fenway T-shirt.
How tone deaf. Equating the frustrations of Red Sox fans with those of citizens protesting social inequality and corporate special treatment makes light of the serious issues facing many: unemployment, foreclosure, hunger.
I have no problem with the event itself. An open mike rant about the Sox' epic collapse sounds plenty cathartic. But Remy's could have called it anything at all, without seeming to snicker at some Americans' very real concerns.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, the second Boston Local Food Festival takes place. (For more information, see this poorly formatted Q&A from last year's event.) The free event is being held on the waterfront at Fort Point Channel, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., rain or shine.
There will be demonstrations by chefs and food experts, interactive exhibits for kids, and live music. There will also be food created from local ingredients for sale, priced at $5 or less. Vendors include farms, restaurants, food trucks, specialty food purveyors, and more. The theme is "Healthy Food for All," and the festival is zero waste.
On Sunday, Oct. 2, from 4-6:30 p.m., Grilling on the Green takes place at Area Four in Cambridge. It's a fund-raiser for sustainability-minded nonprofit Chefs Collaborative. (Area Four chef-owner Michael Leviton chairs the board.) Tickets are $75 for adults and $25 for children, or $45 for adults and free for children if you click through to the promotional page.
An impressive roster of chefs will be preparing food. They include Antonio Bettencourt (62 Restaurant & Wine Bar), Jose Duarte (Taranta), Mary Dumont (Harvest), Richmond Edes (Beacon Hill Bistro), Rich Garcia (606 Congress), Will Gilson (king o' popups), William Kovel (Catalyst), Chuck Leonardo (Costa), Leviton (Area Four and Lumiere), Peter McCarthy (EVOO and Za), Jeremy Sewall (Island Creek Oyster Bar and Lineage), and David Stein (Go Fish!).
A Taste of Roslindale showcases food from 22 local restaurants and gourmet stores, including Bangkok Cafe, the new Bel Lounge, Birch Street Bistro, Blue Star Restaurant, Boston Cheese Cellar, Cafe Rialto, Delfino Restaurant, Fornax Bread Company, Himalayan Bistro, Jimmies Ice Cream Cafe, Masona Grill, Pleasant Cafe, Redd's in Rozzie, Seven Star Street Bistro, Sophia's Grotto, Sugar Baking Company & Restaurant, and West on Centre. (OK, there's a little taste of West Roxbury in there, too.)
There will also be live music, auctions and raffles, and a cash bar. Proceeds benefit the Roslindale Food Pantry and Roslindale Village Main Street.
The event takes place at St. Nectarios Church, 39 Belgrade Ave. Tickets are $30 per person, or $35 at the door. For more information, call Roslindale Village Main Street at 617-327-4065, or go to www.roslindale.net/taste.
Wondering what to do this weekend? Celebrate milk and its byproducts! Apologies to the lactose intolerant.
Sept. 11 brings Ice Cream Showdown III, a fund-raiser for Community Servings and Lovin' Spoonfuls. It takes place from 4-6 p.m. on the Community Boating docks. For $8 (or $13 for a baller ticket, which is "exactly the same as a regular ticket, but you're paying $5 more because you're a baller"), you get to eat frozen treats from the likes of Batch, the Chilly Cow, Christina's, Coop's Microcreamery, Giovanna Gelato e Sorbet, Picco, and Toscanini's.
And all weekend long, you can tour raw milk dairies around the state. It's part of Raw Milk Dairy Days, organized by NOFA/Massachusetts Raw Milk Network. The participating dairies are: Chase Hill Farm, Warwick; Cricket Creek Farm, Williamstown; Eastleigh Farm, Framingham; The Herb Hill Micro-Dairy, Andover (goat's milk); Northfield Mount Hermon School Farm, Mt. Hermon; Oake Knoll Ayrshires, Foxboro; Robinson Farm, Hardwick; Sidehill Farm, Ashfield; Taproot Commons Farm, Cummington; Upinngil Farm, Gill; and Walnut Lane Farm, Dudley.
There will be free tours, milking demonstrations, and products for sale. It's also a great opportunity for those with questions about raw milk to speak directly with the people who produce it. Specifics are here.
According to The Lyceum's website, the restaurant will close in August and reopen as another establishment.
The posting explains that George Harrington Sr., and his wife, Deborah, have been running the place for 22 years and will continue as partners in the new restaurant. The Harrington's haven't called me back to say what that new place will be, but this was on bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com, which states that the eatery will feature steak and a wine bar.
Winning combination. I wish the Harringtons and the new owners good luck in historic Salem.
The series is back, starting Sept. 6. Many of the talks take place in the Harvard Science Center at 1 Oxford St., Cambridge, at 7 p.m. These public lectures featuring famous chefs and food experts have proved very popular. With the exception of a ticketed Nov. 30 talk by Catalan molecular gastronomist Ferran Adria, seating is first come, first served. Fortunately for those who don't get in, videos of the lectures will also appear online. (Past examples can be found here.)
Lectures I predict will be particularly hard to get into include "Food Texture and Mouth Feel" with Grant Achatz (Alinea) on Oct. 3, "Proteins & Enzymes: Transglutaminase" with Wylie Dufresne (wd~50) on Oct. 24, a talk by David Chang (Momofuku) on a subject TBD on Nov. 14, and "Heat Transfer" with Nathan Myhrvold (author of "Modernist Cuisine" and former Microsoft CTO) on Nov. 21. I'm particularly curious about Sept. 12's lecture on sous-vide (perhaps Boston's most used/least acknowledged cooking technique) by Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.
I had the opportunity to experience Harvard's Science and Cooking class last year, and for anyone interested in the science of cooking, these are dates to put on the calendar. Here's the full schedule:
Sept. 6: Historical Context and Demos Illustrating the Relationship of Food and Science.
Speakers: Dave Arnold (Food Arts magazine), Harold McGee (author of "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" and columnist for The New York Times), and David Weitz (Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard).
Sept. 12: Sous-vide Cooking: Phases of Matter.
Speaker: Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca).
Location: Science Center C.
Sept. 19: Heat and Temperature Flux in Chocolate.
Speaker: Ramon Morato (Aula Chocovic).
Location: Science Center C.
Sept. 26: Viscosity and Thickeners.
Speaker: Carles Tejedor (Via Veneto), Fina Puigdevall and Pere Planaguma (les Coles).
Location: Science Center C.
Oct. 3: Food Texture and Mouth Feel.
Speaker: Grant Achatz (Alinea).
Location: Science Center C.
Oct. 10: Gelation.
Speaker: Jose Andres (ThinkFoodGroup, minibar, Jaleo).
Location: Science Center B.
Oct. 17: Emulsions: Traditional and New Emulsions.
Speaker: Nandu Jubany (Can Jubany) and Carles Gaig (Fonda Gaig).
Location: Science Center C.
Oct. 24: Proteins & Enzymes: Transglutaminase.
Speaker: Wylie Dufresne (wd~50).
Location: Science Center D.
Oct. 31: Browning Reactions: Culinary Examples.
Speaker: Carme Ruscalleda (Sant Pau, Sant Pau de Toquio).
Location: Science Center C.
Nov. 7: Molecular Differences Between Production Methods.
Speaker: Dan Barber (Blue Hill).
Location: Science Center C.
Nov. 14: Title to Come.
Speaker: David Chang (Momofuku).
Location: Science Center C.
Nov. 21: Heat Transfer.
Speaker: Nathan Myhrvold (former Microsoft CTO and author of "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking").
Location: Science Center C.
Nov. 28: Dessert.
Speaker: Bill Yosses (White House).
Location: Science Center C.
Nov. 30: Technology and Cooking.
Speaker: Ferran Adria (El Bulli).
Tickets through the Harvard box office. Location: TBD.
Cooking for one is a useful skill for the solo dweller. But it's more than that, says Joe Yonan (above), author of the new cookbook "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" and food editor of the Washington Post. (He also used to be food writer for the Globe and is, full disclosure, my pal.) Cooking for yourself can and should be a joy -- it's the opportunity to feed yourself just exactly what you want.
His book offers recipes for single-size dishes such as Austin-style breakfast tacos; spicy glazed mini meatloaf; wine-braised chicken thighs with olives, prunes, and almonds; a pulled pork sandwich with green mango slaw; and cappuccino tapioca pudding with cardamom brulee. You'll also find tips on stocking an interesting, useful pantry for one.
The book is officially out in April, and Yonan makes several area appearances.
On April 9, he'll do a demonstration at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts at 10 a.m., followed by a signing. (He's an alum.) The cost is $40 and includes a book and samples from the demo.
If you're a Northeastern student, on April 11 he's at the school with another demo and signing from noon-1 p.m. The student-only event is free and will be held in the university's Xhibition Kitchen, Stetson West Eatery.
That night, Tremont 647 hosts a reception and six-course dinner by chef Andy Husbands, featuring dishes from "Serve Yourself." It's at 6 p.m.; $57 (includes book).
Japan is a major culinary inspiration for many local chefs. Now Boston's ever-generous restaurant community is stepping up to aid the country after March 11's earthquake and tsunami.
Through April 1, the Metropolitan Restaurant Group (Metropolitan Club, Met Bar & Grill, Met Back Bay) will donate all proceeds from its Tokyo Burger (above) to the American Red Cross Japan disaster relief effort. The burger is topped with avocado, Muenster cheese, pickled red onions, daikon sprouts, and sticky soy sauce.
Tomorrow through April 26, Gargoyles on the Square will donate the proceeds from their Tokyo Tuesdays bento box to the American Red Cross Japan disaster relief effort.
On March 26 and April 9, o ya offers Saturday afternoon "Sake 101" courses from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tickets are $125 per person, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross. The restaurant is also donating all proceeds from nightly sales of Sato no Homare sake. It's made by the Sudo Honke Brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture, an area heavily affected by the quake.
On March 29, 100 percent of the proceeds from Daikanyama (above) and Forty Carrots at Bloomingdale’s Chestnut Hill will be donated to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund to provide assistance to victims of the quake and tsunami.
On April 3, Oishii Boston owner Ting Yen hosts a fund-raiser at the restaurant. All proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross. Chefs Anthony Caturano (Prezza), Dante de Magistris (Dante and Il Casale), Evan Deluty (Stella), Luis Morales (Radius), Kang San (Oishii Too Sushi Bar), and Michael Serpa (Neptune Oyster) will join him. Tickets are $100. The event starts at 5:30 p.m.
File Photo/Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe
On April 4, Blue Ginger hosts a sake-tasting dinner featuring TY KU soju and liqueur. Chef Ming Tsai (above) has created a five-course menu, featuring a cheese course by Wasik's Cheese Shop. It costs $115 per person, including tax and gratuity, and starts at 6:30 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will go to earthquake and tsunami relief.
On April 9, chefs Will Gilson and Louie DiBiccari stage a pop-up restaurant at Mizu salon, presented by Eat and Sel de la Terre Back Bay. The $100 ticket includes five courses, tax, and gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to International Medical Corps to aid in their Japan relief efforts. The dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes salon-themed dishes such as leek panna cotta with asparagus, morels, and shaved Parmesan, and angel hair fideos with rock shrimp, Meyer lemon, chickpeas, and spring greens.
On April 17 at Clio, chefs including Ken Oringer (Clio, Toro, Coppa, etc.), Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger), Tony Maws (Craigie on Main), Barry Maiden (Hungry Mother), Jamie Bissonnette (Toro, Coppa), Michael Schlow (Radius, Tico), and Seth Raynor (Nantucket's Boarding House, The Pearl, Corazon del Mar) join forces to create a 10-course kaiseki dinner. The cost is $250, including sake pairings and gratuity. All proceeds go to charity.
More to come.
Two distinguished gentlemen, trim and silver-haired, stepped onto the stage at Symphony Hall Friday night. It was almost a full 10 minutes before the first F-bomb dropped.
It fell from the lips of one Anthony Bourdain, host of Travel Channel's "No Reservations" and author of books such as "Kitchen Confidential" and "Medium Raw." He was here with his friend Eric Ripert, chef of New York's Le Bernardin and host of PBS show "Avec Eric," for an evening they were calling "Good vs. Evil."
Who was good, who evil? Well, Bourdain is a champion drinker and cusser who appears to delight in the possibility of pissing people off. He has famously ranted against the Food Network, vegans and vegetarians, organic food crusader Alice Waters, GQ critic Alan Richman, and the list goes on. Ripert heads up one of the best restaurants in the world (Le Bernardin has three Michelin stars and four from the New York Times), works for charitable causes, and has a French accent that, it turns out, makes even expletives sound elegant.
The pair kicked off two hours of freewheeling conversation by interrogating each other, one standing, the other in the hot seat at the center of the stage. Bourdain asked Ripert why he's spoken out against "Kitchen Nightmares" host Gordon Ramsay. "I'm scandalized by Ramsay's treatment of people," Ripert said. "At home or in work or in your car, who likes to be insulted? Who likes to be humiliated?" Bourdain tried to get Ripert to reveal who wins "Top Chef," on which both men appear as guest judges. And he begged Ripert to "explain your unholy love for Guy Fieri," the Food Network host.
Then it was Ripert's turn. "Do you think maybe the drugs have confused your critical abilities?" he asked.
Replied Bourdain, "No. Chefs are in the pleasure business. I just know my subject better than most." The line drew applause. So did almost all of Bourdain's lines. With an audience of food obsessives, this was a love fest.
Settling finally into a pair of orange armchairs, Ripert and Bourdain batted back and forth issues about which they're passionate.
Ripert pushed for sustainable seafood; Bourdain said he would eat the last bluefin in the ocean. Both laughed at the concept of "farm to table." ("Where else are you going to get your food? What else are you going to eat it on?" Bourdain asked.) They agreed molecular gastronomy pioneer Ferran Adria is an artist, discussed good food vs. cheap food, and talked about meals that make them angry. Bourdain railed against fake Italian and Mexican fare, a la Olive Garden and Chili's. ("Macaroni Grill? Who grills macaroni?")
And, of course, they talked about Boston. Ripert gave a shoutout to friends' restaurants: Clio, Radius, Pigalle, and Bistro du Midi, where former Le Bernardin executive sous chef Robert Sisca heads the kitchen. Bourdain was hissed at for being a Yankees fan, cheered when he said he cried like a baby at the Red Sox' winning the World Series. And when he said he wanted to eat at Cambridge's Craigie on Main, the crowd went wild. "Get the burger!" yelled someone from the balcony. (Bourdain also said he wanted to go to Craigie on Main when he was in Boston filming "No Reservations" in January. It must be like "Waiting for Guffman" in Tony Maws's kitchen every time that guy comes to town.)
"Good vs. evil," it seemed, referred more to Bourdain and Ripert's opinions on the subjects they debated than the men themselves. And these guys have opinions. Friday, the two were always funny, often thoughtful, with an easy rapport. Some of the best moments came during a too-short, slightly disorganized audience Q&A, when the stars of the show were on less-trodden ground. This audience of people who follow chefs, restaurants, food trends, and food television probably already knew why Ripert was down on Ramsay and Bourdain was down on just about everyone else. They had watched Ripert employee Jennifer Carroll lose her cool on "Top Chef" and Bourdain eat warthog rectum in Namibia. It didn't matter. They just wanted to hear the two talk.
Brian Roskow is hosting a "pink-tie event" at his restaurant, The Hyde. Taking place on Saturday, March 5, the buffet and champagne tasting are a benefit for breast cancer research. The event is $60, with 25 percent of the proceeds being donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Roskow has a personal connection to the cause. His sister, Sandy Rosidivito, has battled both breast and ovarian cancer. "I wanted to do something meaningful to support my sister and get the message out there about the dangers of breast cancer and that we are still miles away from a cure," Roskow says in a press release.
The Hyde is at 5 Fairmount Ave., Hyde Park. 617-364-9814. The event takes place from 6-10:30 p.m.
What do you want from the proposed Boston Public Market?
Tell us here and we'll read your comments with interest. Better yet, go to a state-sponsored meeting soliciting feedback. It takes place Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 p.m. The address is 100 Cambridge St., 2d Floor, Boston. You'll find more information on the meeting here.
The public market will bring fresh, local food to residents and visitors year-round, thereby supporting regional farmers, fishermen, and other producers. This meeting is a chance for you to help shape it.
On Sunday, Nov. 14, this Greek god, who is chef James Botsacos of Molyvos restaurant in New York, will do a cooking demo of what he calls "Greekified" Thanksgiving. He'll prepare taramosalata and other traditional appetizers; turkey stuffed with rice, sausage, and chestnuts; the famous hortopia, a wild greens pie; and fruit desserts. Participants will be served lunch.
The 12.30 p.m. event is sponsored by the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Society and will be held at the Granite Links Golf Club at Quarry Hills in Quincy. Tickets cost $85 per person (the event is open to the public). Call 401-943-9201. Proceeds benefit several Greek charities and Boston hunger relief organizations.
Bay State residents looking for local products won't have to wonder anymore what's grown here. Today on the Boston Common, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources launched a "Commonwealth Quality" program to identify products grown and harvested here. In the initiative, the growers will have to meet certain standards in order to use the new logo. Hopefully, this will prevent anything like the tainted egg disaster from happening in our state.
This is Warren Shaw of Shaw Farm in Dracut speaking on behalf of the state dairy industry. Forestry and fishery representatives were also present.
In an interview in the Food section, Nicola Williams of Boston Local Food Festival, an event taking place this weekend at Fort Point Channel, said that Massachusetts residents consume only 5 percent of what we grow, which is an astonishingly low figure.
Perhaps today's section on apples will give folks a head start.
Specialty food purveyor Formaggio Kitchen is getting 2,000 additional square feet and a full kitchen. A new Cambridge space on Smith Place will serve as a warehouse and classroom for Formaggio's popular classes, on everything from cheese to barbecue. The space will allow for more classes with more students, as well as private parties.
Rancho Gordo's beans aren't cheap, either, but for bean obsessives they're worth it. They're among the best beans I've ever had. I'm also a big fan of the beans from local outfit Baer's Best.
(Globe Photo/Wiqan Ang)
The InterContinental hotel has started producing its own honey on the roof. Rooftop vegetable gardens are so yesterday, and the InterContinental's French restaurant is called Miel. Good thing they didn't call it Lait, because I'm not sure the city would go for something like this. (Actually, I'm surprised the bees are allowed.)
September brings the first harvest, and Miel is hosting a four-course dinner to make use of it. It takes place Sept. 21 ($75 per person including wine). A reception at 6:30 p.m. includes a tutorial on bees and beekeeping; dinner is at 7.
Dishes include an amuse bouche of sage honey and pork belly with marinated cabbage; an appetizer of pan-seared scallops basted in honey with prawns, arugula, and mushrooms; your choice of duck breast with potatoes, quail confit, and honey-Port reduction, sea bass with honey roasted root vegetables and honey balsamic cress, or venison Wellington with maitake mushrooms and wild gooseberry sauce (where's the honey?) for the main course; and pineapple and honey gelee terrine with almond milk mousse for dessert.
The InterContinental started its rooftop apiary in late June with 10,000 bees. Now the colony numbers more than 40,000. At Miel, you can watch them on Bee TV -- a live camera feed from the hives.
Sept. 20-26, restaurants participating in the first Boston Wine Week will offer wine at reduced prices: $9 per glass and $32 per bottle. The event aims to showcase hand-crafted wines from around the world.
This might mean a 2006 J. Hofstatter Gewurztraminer at Bina Osteria, where it's usually $75 per bottle; or a 2001 Castellani Soave Classico at Jer-Ne, where a bottle on other weeks will run you $84. Other participating restaurants include Bin 26 Enoteca, Lala Rokh,
75 Chestnut, Clink, The Hungry i, Beacon Hill Bistro, Woodward, Locke-Ober, The Beehive, Petit Robert (South End), and Brasserie Jo.
Boston Wine Week will also feature talks with local wine folks: On Sept. 20, Tyler Balliet of the Second Glass will be at Bina from 6-7 p.m., pouring and talking about selections. (Free food alert: There will be complimentary pizzette.) On Sept. 21, Richard Elia of the Quarterly Review of Wines will be at Bin 26 from 6-7 p.m., offering featured wines with paired cheeses.
Check the website for updates on restaurants and talks.
Restaurant week - or weeks, because it's actually two.
Sunday, Aug. 15 to Friday, Aug. 20
Sunday, Aug. 22 to Friday, Aug. 27
Devra wrote a story earlier this year. "The pro camp loves Restaurant Week for its value," she said. "It gets them to go out and try new places, places they’ve always wanted to go, places they can’t always afford. The con camp boycotts the event. It’s a mill, they argue: The restaurants bring you in and push you out as quickly as they can to maximize turnover and profits. The food is inferior, the menus limited."
She went around town trying different restaurants and her results, in fact, were mixed.
For a list of participating restaurants and menus, look here. If you use an American Express card, a fraction of your bill will go to the Women's Lunch Place.
The icy treats, from local vendors, are part of a cross-country marketing scheme by the new Cooking Channel.
An ice cream truck will be parked on City Hall Plaza as part of Boston Harborfest from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., tomorrow.
What's your favorite flavor?
The ICA's Talking Taste series presents talks by some of the city's best-known chefs. They'll discuss what they're cooking and thinking about, sign cookbooks, and offer samples. Advance tickets are sold out, but if you didn't snag one, you may still be able to attend. More tickets will be available on the day of each talk -- if it's nice out, at least. If the event must be held inside, you're out of luck.
Tickets are $15 and talks start at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 617-478-3100.
Here's the schedule:
July 9: Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of Toro and Coppa.
July 16: Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother.
July 23: Tony Maws of Craigie on Main (above).
July 30: Barbara Lynch of Menton, No. 9 Park, etc.
Other food folks making appearances include Wine Library guy Gary Vaynerchuk, Duff Goldman of "Ace of Cakes," and Pat and Gina Neely, co-owners of Neely's Bar-B-Q and "Down Home With the Neelys." Musically speaking, Melinda Doolittle of "American Idol" and the Stompers will also be there.
Participating restaurants and additional performers will be announced soon. The event runs from noon to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $32.50-$52.50 and go on sale May 8.
Tonight's class features cocktails from the 1860s to the 1920: the Ramos Gin Fizz, Royal Rickey, and Blood and Sand.
On April 15, attendees will learn to make drinks from the World War II era. (Exact beverages TBA.)
And on April 29, it's the 1950s and '60s: the Vesper, Manhattan, Moscow Mule, and Pink Squirrel.
Classes are from 6-7:30 p.m. and cost $42 per person. For reservations, call 617-262-3023.
Globe Staff Photo/Suzanne KreiterI think it could also become one of yours, if it isn't already. So let's celebrate it on March 21, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the Theodore Parker Unitarian Universalist Church, 1859 Centre St., West Roxbury. (Not that you need the address -- you can probably just smell your way there.)
There will be a contest for the best homemade kimchi, as well as tastings, demonstrations, door prizes, and more.
For further information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The restaurant is located in the back of Shalimar, a grocery store brimming with Indian products. If you're interested in dosas, you might also be interested in the store's Spice Tours. On Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to noon, a chef leads guests through the aisles, explaining how spices, sauces, and other ingredients are used. The tour is followed by a dosa lunch at the Dosa Factory.
The cost for tour and food is $20. Call 617-868-DOSA. Of course.
The next O.N.C.E. takes place at Oberon, the American Repertory Theatre's club/theater in Harvard Square. "O.N.C.E. in Hell: Dante's Inferno in Ten Courses" is a culinary and theatrical interpretation of Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy."
What exactly does this mean? It is dinner theater, more literally than usual: a show and a meal that intertwine, the script and menu written in tandem. Ten courses of locally sourced food (think oysters, pork ribs, lobster, and root vegetables) will take you through Purgatory to the stars. There will be actors. There will be waiters. There will be tango dancers, a sitar player, and an aerialist. There will be dishes that interpret lust, gluttony, wrath, avarice, and other sinful stuff. And after all that there will be a dance party. It's like "Sleep No More," but with food.
Sounds awfully intriguing, no? Dante's text is a rich one to explore, and I'm extremely curious to see how this plays out on the table. Detail are above: $80, 6 p.m., Dec. 15-17. If you go, let us know what you think.
There will be contra dancing to live music, a feast prepared by Bob Sargent of Flora restaurant, dessert by Petsi Pies and Hamilton Orchards, and a silent auction for gift certificates and prizes from the likes of Hungry Mother, Herb Lyceum, Taza Chocolate, Danish Pastry House, and more.
Tickets $50. Call 781-893-8222 or e-mail email@example.com.
Don't let the soggy weather deter you -- it's perfect oyster-eating conditions. Head over to Duxbury Beach (435 Gurnet Road, Duxbury) from 3-11 p.m. for shellfish, beer, and music at the oyster fest. It's $50 per person, or $150 for VIP tix, which include unlimited oysters, plus Grey Goose cocktails in the VIP tent mingling with chefs Jody Adams, Chris Schlesinger, and Jasper White, as well as mixologist Jackson Cannon. There weren't many tickets left as of yesterday -- if you want one, call the Island Creek Shop (781-934-2028) to see if they have one for you. You'll have to swing by and pick it up in person.
Other chefs who will be there:
Chris Parsons, Catch
Greg Reeves, Green Street
Jamie Bissonnette, Toro
Jay Murray, Grill 23
Jeremy Sewall, Lineage / Eastern Standard
John Cataldi, Solstice
Kevin Long, Tosca
Louis DiBiccari, Sel de la Terre
Mary Dumont, Harvest
Jeff Nace, Neptune
Nick Dixon, Lucky's
Pieter Sypstein, La Reve
Stephen Oxaal, B & G Oysters
Tony Maws, Craigie on Main
Will Gilson, Garden at the Cellar
In addition to the mass oyster consumption, the chefs will be preparing all kinds of local ingredients, from striped bass and scallops to Island Creek-raised pigs. Bissonnette will be making pulled pork tacos, and Schlesinger will cook a pig in a Caja China roaster.
Tomorrow, Aug. 22, local purveyors of frozen treats square off in the parking lot adjacent to Grand in Union Square. "Our goal is to prove Boston's status as an 'Ice Cream City' by showcasing the area's best ice cream and frozen dessert makers and we want you there eating it all up," says the Facebook page for the event.
For a $2 donation, you get to taste the goods from Christina's, Toscanini's, Wheeler's (vegan!), and more. The event runs from 3-6 p.m. at 374 Somerville Ave., Somerville. The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 23. Donations benefit the Juniper Fund, a scholarship established in memory of musician John Hall of the Addison Groove Project.
Taste of Allston takes place June 28. This might be my favorite "taste of" lineup, simply by virtue of the culinary ground it covers: Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, Vietnam, and beyond.
Participating restaurants include Bravo Pizza, Buk Kyung, Camino Real, Dawat, Gitlo’s, Grain & Salt, Jo Jo Taipei, Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta, Mt. Everest Kitchen, Sunset Grill & Tap, and more. There will also be live music from the Allstonians and a silent auction.
The event is at the Murr Center at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston from 12-3 p.m. $18 per person in advance, $20 at the door, $10 for kids under 12. All proceeds benefit Allston Village Main Streets.
The annual event takes place Friday at the Seaport hotel. This is its 12th year. From 7-9:30 p.m., about 40 local chefs will be grilling for your pleasure, and to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank. The cost is $60 per person, which includes wine, beer, and tastings.
Here are this year's participants:
Toby Hill, 606 Congress
Rachel Klein, Aura restaurant/ Tamo Bar
Rodney Murillo, Avila restaurant
Jay Silva, Bambara
Jake Zachow, Bella Luna Milky Way
Evan Percoco, BOKX 109 American Prime
Jacqueline Kelly, Bravo restaurant at MFA
Dante De Magistris, Dante Restaurant
Chef Peppino, Da Vinci Ristorante
Stephen Brown & Eric Swartz, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
Steve Uliss, Firefly's BBQ
Corey Johnson & Jeffrey Stevens, Flour Bakery
Jason Santos, Gargoyles
Pat Lee, Grafton Street & Temple Bar
Tindaro Losurdo, House of Blues
Shore Gregory, Island Creek Oysters
Harjit Singh, Kashmir
Katherine See, Kingfish Hall
Mark Sapienza, BOND restaurant/lounge at The Langham Boston
Andy LaVallee, LaVallee's Bakery Goods Distributors
Jeff Tenner, LTK
Nicholas Dixon, Lucky's Lounge
Jerry Pabla, Mantra
Todd Winer, Metropolitan Club
Erwin Ramos, Ole Mexican Grill
Joseph Brenner, Olives
Philip Rotondo, Philip R's
Brian Poe, Poe's Kitchen at The Rattlesnake
Tom Fosnot, Rocca Kitchen & Bar
Tony Susi, Sage
Brian Anderson, Sauciety
Richard Rayment, Seaport
Karen Hodsdon, Seaport Pastry
Louis DiBiccari, Sel de la Terre
Guy Martin & Gerard Barbin, Sensing
Glenn Quirion, Sweet Tooth Bakery
Dan Enos, The Oceanaire
Mark Porcaro, Top of the Hub
Chris Masco, Turner Fisheries
Tony DeRienzo, Waterfront Grille
For more information, call 617-385-5955.
No plans tonight? Want some? Eat for a good cause at Share Our Strength's anti-hunger event, starting at 6:30. Taste of the Nation is at the Hynes Convention Center, and tickets are $95 at the door.
You get to eat food from the chefs at Blue Ribbon BBQ, Craigie on Main, Eastern Standard, Highland Kitchen, L'Espalier, and a whole ton more while helping fight childhood hunger.
The dinner will feature Red Wattle pork from Heritage Foods USA and a Tamworth/Gloucester Old Spot cross from Applesnout Farm in Vermont. There will be two varieties of beans, Marrowfat and Yellow Indian Woman. The rest of the meal includes Carolina Gold rice, greens, and a seasonal dessert.
Seatings are at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Dinner is $50, with optional wine pairings for an extra $30.
Then Cochon 555 comes to town April 5, at the Liberty Hotel. The traveling competition features five chefs, five pigs, and five winemakers. Boston's participants are Tony Maws of Craigie on Main, Jamie Bissonnette of Toro, Matthew Jennings of Farmstead in Providence, Jason Bond of Beacon Hill Bistro, and Joseph Margate of Clink. Each chef will prepare an entire heritage pig, and judges will choose a winner to be crowned Prince of Porc.
The event is 5-8 p.m. Tickets are $125.
What's cooking in the world of food.
ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.