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SOS: Troy Story

January 20, 2013

So maybe I didn’t quite get to everything I wanted to talk about this week. These are the challenges of writing just one post a day.

Yesterday was interesting as Mrs.Fussy got motivated to clean out our pantry. And she set out a parade of neglected foodstuffs that were brought into the house with much enthusiasm, yet somehow got buried in a cabinet or otherwise neglected. I’d love to try and squeeze that story in next week.

Plus there was an exciting purchase at The Cheese Traveler (that’s part of my new diet), a great night out at DeFazio’s (that wasn’t), more coffee at The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery and Wine Bar, and frozen yogurt at my favorite place for the stuff in the region… Dante’s.

But today, you get none of that. Today I need to catch up on old business. These are some local tidbits of food news and press releases that have been sent to me over the past few weeks that people have asked me to share with you. And share it I will.

Let it not be said that I’m a bad sharer.

EMPAC’s Evelyn’s Café expanding hours to include weekday lunch
Menu to focus on local and sustainable ingredients

Wednesday, January 16 * Troy, NY — The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and Hospitality Services at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announce the expansion of hours for Evelyn’s Café. Beginning Tuesday, January 22, the café will be open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 AM–2 PM, in addition to supporting public events. The menu will be seasonal and will focus on locally sourced items.

“This expansion of café hours makes EMPAC an exceptional gathering space, providing opportunities for a meal with colleagues or a snack before or after a performance in the special atmosphere of the building. We hope to continue the expansion into the morning and evening hours in the future. And we are pleased that the daily offerings include “eating local,” a unique menu on campus,” said Johannes Goebel, director of EMPAC.

“We are committed to showcasing local and sustainable ingredients to create a seasonal contemporary menu for our guests,” said Elaine Reynolds, Hospitality Services marketing director.

Evelyn’s Café opened in 2008. The café will continue to be open one hour before all curated events as well as during intermissions and after most performances. Rensselaer’s student run and sustainability focused Terra Café will be serving lunch on Wednesdays.

[Note from the Profussor: For the curious, a recent menu can be found here]

Newly launched campaign celebrates notable local community activists

Saratoga Springs, NY. Druthers Brewery, the craft beer-maker with a conscience, has just launched a brand campaign that celebrates the core values upon which it was founded: rewarding those who put their life, work and convictions to the test, just as the brewery’s founders did.

The campaign developed by BlackDog Strategy & Brand of Albany, NY, the brewery’s agency of record, features notable thought leaders and activists — all who have made life choices to positively impact their communities and the world.

Druthers sent their film crew to interview remarkable people who they thought deserved a beer. The campaign videos include good citizens like Mike Jacobson, executive director for Habitat of Humanity in the Capital District, and. In 20 short video interviews, each good citizen explains how, “Given their Druthers,” they chose life paths that were a matter of conscience and action.

You’ll find the first set of video interviews right here:

The videos will reach Druthers’ audience via Social Media. You can follow the campaign on Facebook ( or Twitter (@DruthersBrewing) with the hashtags: #GivenMyDruthers and #ThatDeservesABeer

The brewery — a collaboration of a lawyer, financial planner, and biochemist from the Albany area — was the culmination of a life’s dream that is about more than making great-tasting craft beer. It’s a lifestyle and a celebration of the human spirit. …And that is what Druthers Brewery is founded upon – a celebration of extraordinary choices and the power of the human spirit. “Karma was the whole idea around this entire project” said co-owner Brian Martell, “it was Choice, and Karma, and your choices directly affect your life.”

Local Executive Chefs Teach Hands-On Food and Wine Experience at Carey Conference Center in Rensselaerville

Rensselaerville, NY – Foodies can learn to shake up their Super Bowl party fare and Mardi Gras menus when local chefs and wine professionals join culinary forces at the Food and Wine Immersion Weekend Party Gras: Upscale your Party Food at the Carey Conference Center in Rensselaerville, New York, Sunday, January 26 at 8:30 a.m.

Attendees will receive hands-on experiential learning through culinary instruction, chef demonstrations, wine tastings and food preparation techniques. Chef instructors will share their knowledge on preparing upscale Super Bowl foods and classic New Orleans dishes. A program highlight is a wine course taught by Certified Wine Professional and Certified Executive Chef Joe Maloney, who recently returned from a two-week wine tour of Italy.

“We don’t need help liking wine but do sometimes need help saying what we like, or don’t like, about wine,” says Maloney. “You’ll walk away from the wine course with an understanding of how to objectively describe a wine, how to pair wine with food, and how to be confident when ordering wine.”

The Food and Wine Immersion faculty include:
·      Certified Executive Chef Joe Maloney, with over 20 years experience working at exclusive private clubs and resorts in Palm Beach, New England and the Capital District;
·      Executive Chef John Murray, a graduate of the Schenectady County Community College Culinary Arts program with over 30 years of food and wine industry experience;
·      Chef Bill Benson, an adjunct professor in Culinary Arts at Schenectady County Community College, and a founding owner of the Palmer House Cafe in Rensselaerville, one of the first restaurants in the Hudson Valley to feature a seasonal, locally-sourced menu.  He has traveled throughout Europe to build his culinary repertoire; and
·      Chef Steve Beaudry has worked in many facets of the food service industry including Schuyler Meadows Country Club, high volume restaurants and local retail establishments.

The Food and Wine Immersion Weekend comes with a complete two-day package ($259) that includes all meals, beverages, professional instruction, supplies, lodging, taxes, and service charge from Saturday January 26 at 8:30 a.m. through Sunday, January 27 at 9:30 a.m. Single Day packages are also available ($189). Classes are limited in size; please reserve a place by calling (518) 797-5100.

The Carey Conference Center at the Center Carey Center for Global Good is located on a historic 100-acre estate in Rensselaerville, NY–the former grounds of the Rensselaerville Institute–and features a unique setting for conferences, meetings, events and retreats. Guests are welcomed with outstanding service during their stay. For more information, or call 518-797-5100.

Booze Available Once Again from Albany Distilling Company

Albany, NY – Can you tell that this one isn’t an official press release? Nope, this one is just the Profussor passing on a bit of info that may be useful.

Here’s the good news. They finally have bottles of Coal Yard bourbon mash (aka the original) and the Coal Yard rye mash (aka the stuff you haven’t tried yet) in stock. Since this is all new make unaged whiskey, they just made more.

Here’s the bad news. You will have to be patient as more Ironweed bourbon and the first batch of Ironweed rye are currently aging in new American oak barrels. But isn’t it good to know more is in the pipeline?

Speaking of pipelines, it shouldn’t be too long until their unaged rum is on the market. They will also be putting that into barrels, so if you like either white or dark rum now you too have something to wait for.

I have to say, it’s really exciting to see these guys grow. I hope by now you’ve been to the distillery. If you haven’t maybe the knowledge that they actually have booze to sell is enough of an inspiration.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 22, 2013 12:03 am

    I loved my pizza. Mmmm pizza. I had some of my favorite ice cream the next day at SoCo creamery in Great Barrington. I hope our new Whole Foods carries it when it opens in the spring. Someone else might, but I haven’t seen it. This weekend rules! Also, the Albany Distilling Company is delightful. We went over there for a “tour,” chat, and tasting and the guys were so knowledgeable and excited to share that with us. A real gem.

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