Boats, Groats, and Votes
This kind of shameless promotion is generally saved for the weekend. But there are three things that I want to make sure you know about.
– One is the intersection of the Chefs Consortium and my childhood.
– The other is about Chipotle and its latest ingredient announcement.
– The last one is a quixotic effort by a local restaurant that needs a click.
Tomorrow will be the next highly anticipated installment of Ask the Profussor. And after that, hopefully we’ll get back to some actual food content. But believe it or not, I may pop out of town again for a few days at the end of this week.
One of these days I’m going to have something interesting and original to say, dammit.
Growing up in 1970s Brooklyn with a reformed hippy mother and a lawyer father who played folk songs on his acoustic guitar, I set foot aboard the sloop Clearwater at a young age. I knew at the time it had something to do with cleaning up the Hudson river. But as a child I looked into the filthy Hudson and couldn’t see any detritus that needed to be taken away.
For a kid who only knows about cleaning his room, watersheds are a bit of a stretch.
Well, later this month the Chefs Consortium is hosting a dinner on the same boat. Except this time the boat will be moving. And I suspect the river is a fair bit cleaner than it was all those years ago.
Putting together a farm-to-table sunset cruise with local wine and multiple chefs is no small feat. From the looks of the menu, everything can be prepared in advance, which makes for a smart summer supper. Take note of it for your own summer entertaining plans.
The event is also not inexpensive. But I’m sure it will be memorable. Heck, I remember stepping on board the Clearwater almost forty years ago, and I wasn’t even treated to chilled citrus poached Local Ocean bronzini, South River miso scallion aoili, with Maine Coast sea vegetable salad. That dish seems like a real winner.
These guys really impressed me yesterday. And that’s not easy to do. When Chipotle makes an announcement about improving the quality of their ingredients, my first thoughts are about increasing the percentage of organic beans. Or maybe a move to grass-fed beef to be more in line with Moe’s, which is beating them on this one point.
Never ever did I suspect they would have found a way to supply all of their restaurants with sour cream from pasture-raised cows.
If you are not flabbergasted by this, let me explain a bit more. For the most part dairy cows are treated like milk machines. Even the ones that produce organic milk. Organic milk at least comes from cows that are given organic feed without subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics. They are put into large barn-like factories. The inputs are feed and water. The outputs are milk and poop.
Some conventional dairy cows are even treated to feed enriched with chicken waste, which funny enough, can also include bits of ground up cow.
Cows may like to eat corn, but they were built to eat grasses. This is why they have four stomachs. They were also built to be outside. One might think that milk from pastured cows would be easy to find, but it’s not. Most milk is produced in a factory-like setting. And good luck trying to find anything made from pasture-fed milk, like butter, cheese, or yes, sour cream, in any market. Sure, these products exist. But mostly they are true artisanal products, being made on the farm from its own milk.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, because Chipotle was able to secure cheese made from cows that weren’t treated with rBGH well before I could find that in stores. Even now this is a rarity on grocers’ shelves.
So congratulations to Chipotle for another major feather in its cap.
All Good Bakers
What would happen if Nick and Britin Foster were given a $250,000 grant to improve food in the Capital Region? I don’t know, but I’d love to watch it unfold.
All they need from you is a few clicks.
First click on this.
Then, you will need to log in with your facebook profile.
(Sorry, but there’s no way around that part).
In the first field type “All Good Bakers.”
In the second field select “New York.”
In the third field select “Albany.”
When you see their listing, please don’t forget to click on the button to vote. And if you wanted to be super-helpful, you could share what you’ve done with your friends. Then maybe they could join in the fun.