Cindy Daniel on Creating the Healdsburg SHED Ecosystem

Healdsburg SHED

About 20 years ago, Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton moved to Healdsburg to follow their dream of starting their own farm. After they achieved that dream, they set out to conquer another three years ago: Healdsburg SHED, a celebration of food and community unlike anything else.

Healdsburg SHED has the primary quality that you may see on a thriving farm ecosystem: diversity. This beautiful two-story building is home to a restaurant, fermentation bar, coffee bar, retail shop, produce, farming tools, and a community gathering space. The mission of all of these components is to create a space that celebrates “good farming, good cooking, and good eating.”

After a tour from Doug, we sat down with Cindy to talk about the inspiration, concept, and construction behind SHED, including the different components that work together to make the ecosystem thrive. Some customers may come in daily for a cup of coffee and a pastry or heirloom seeds for their home garden. Ultimately, there are many different kinds of people who can relate to SHED in different ways — here’s how she engages them all.
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No Fracking Way: Join NY Chefs at Anti-Fracking Fundraiser in Brooklyn, 7/26

The fight against fracking in New York has gained momentum among chefs, farmers, small business owners, and concerned citizens.

On Thursday, July 26, Brooklyn Winery will host Taste of The Marcellus at Brooklyn Winery to benefit New Yorkers Against Fracking and Chefs for the Marcellus. Featuring dishes from chefs Michael Anthony (Gramercy Tavern), Zak Pelaccio (Fatty ‘Cue), Bill Telepan (Telepan), Chris Santos (The Stanton Social), and other culinary luminaries, the event, sponsored by StarChefs, will be the most delicious way to stand up for the environment with your fellow foodies.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. It sounds simple(ish), but, if you’re worried about the quality of your drinking water, among other things, it’s a lot more complicated than it seems. A lot. In New York, fracking is not yet legal — but it could be. New York chefs, proud drinkers of some of the nation’s tastiest tap water and supporters of sustainability, are banding together to help stop fracking in its tracks.

Purchase tickets today to enjoy amazing seasonal eats, plus unlimited pours of Brooklyn Winery’s own New York wines, Brewery Ommegang beers, Eve’s Cidery hard ciders, and Tuthilltown cocktails. We’ll see you in the BK tomorrow!

OpenTable Restaurants Serving Sustainable Seafood: Find One Near You!

Dear Sustainable Spot Prawn: Get in my belly. Love, Caroline

It seems the higher we raise our collective consciousness and educate ourselves about our food sources, the harder it can be to navigate a restaurant menu and enjoy a guilt-free meal (or is that just me?). Some experts believe that red meat will one day become as verboten as smoking, and while everyone seems to love bacon, a lot of eaters (see Potter, Caroline) are realizing the many perils of eating factory-farmed pork and eschewing it completely.

So, that leaves us chicken and fish, right? Well, maybe. Sustainably sourced chicken is easy to identify; most restaurants name their poultry farmers on their menus. With seafood, however, it’s often difficult. Even if a fish isn’t identified as farm-raised, commercial operations may be fishing certain wild-caught species right out of existence.

So, how is a diner to know if she’s making a sustainable choice the next time she orders seafood? Check out our Sustainable Seafood Watch Approved Restaurant Dishes round-ups. Created in conjunction with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, you can easily find dishes that feature seafood that is caught or farmed using environmentally friendly methods. OpenTable currently has dedicated pages in Los AngelesSan Francisco, and Seattle. But, you can find sustainable seafood dishes wherever you are! Simply search on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s site, print out a free pocket guide, or download a free mobile app to make ordering easy.

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Top Chef Texas Episode 9: Chef Ed ‘Swiss Miss’ Hardy on McGee, Magic + Meat

"Has anyone seen My Pretty Pony?"

Straight from the slopes of Switzerland, we’re rehashing the latest episode of Top Chef: Texas and some other Very Big Issues with Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem.

Happy New Year! I think you spent it abroad, and, luckily, we had a repeat last week. Where were you, and why doesn’t that country have U.S. cable?

I was in Switzerland hanging with Richard Branson and Prince Harry in Verbier. Those wealthy Brit types sure like to get drunk and violent in quaint and idyllic Switzerland ski towns! By the way, I brought you back some of the best macarons ever: Luxemburgli. As for the cable, au contraire, my dear. It does have U.S. shows re-packaged for French-types. All the bad ones. I think I’ve stumbled onto the reason why Europeans have such a low view of us. No Emmy-award winning shows here. Mad Men? 30 Rock? Puh-leeze Try MTV Cribs and The Jersey Shore re-dubbed in French. Quelle horreur!

You’re a Harold McGee fan. I can still hear dear Chef Martin scoffing, “McGee!” You must be able to tell me about Mr. Mhyrvold, then. His books seem too long and spendy to me. Also, is he a late-life savant, a scientist, or a bonafide chef?

Scientist. Not a chef. Also a Dr. not a Mr. (despite some cheftestants calling him “chef”). He’s a former Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft, and, generally, an all-around rocket scientist. He turned a small personal fortune into an extremely well-equipped food research lab that has employed around 20 people for the past 10 years. The Modernist Cuisine cookbooks are gorgeous and have ground-breaking food photography. My food-journalist wife has actually had the experience of eating a tasting menu cooked by Doc Myrvold both in New York and in his secret technology lair in Seattle. The books are long and, certainly, expensive, but, oh my! Look at those photos. Look at those techniques. Chef Ed wanty very badly.

Paul practices his 1,000-yard stare in a failed attempt to intimidate Tom.

Chief Technology Officer! That sounds important, though not nearly as cool as Chief Dining Officer. Okay, Chris Jones is killing me here. Is he saying he has invented techniques that are in this book? Can this be true?

He’s not lying. The Moto guys are, by any measure, leaders in the molecular gastronomy movement. Chris’s boss is even in the Modernist Cuisine index under “Cantu, Homaro.”  See “on carbonated grapes, 2-469” and “edible films of, 4-60.”

Is Modernist Cuisine magic, like Doug Henning?

No. It’s science. Mind you, it’s fun Mr. Wizard-meets-Mythbusters-meets-Monty-Python science. Magic happens when cheese ages and wine ferments. True Doug Henning magic happens when Jamón Ibérico ages in some ancient Spanish farmhouse. One slice and you will have faith again, my meat-skeptic, vegan-leaning blogging companion!Continue Reading