Setting aside family obligations and business, what is your main reason to take a trip? For some, it might be to take in a show at a West End Theatre. and laugh all the way to the American Bar at the Savory. Others might crave some Caribbean beach time with an early evening breeze and a nice Riesling at hand. Or hitting the slopes with the morning sun peeping over the furs at a foot of fresh powder. BTW, on that skiing thing, some slopes out west are opening early this year. ARAR has the scoop!
For me, food is a major draw. If I am fed well, I tend to like wherever I am. Actually, I am not that hard to please. The basic stuff — if done well — will bring a smile. But I do fantasize about going further. About mysterious wonders emerging from the kitchen to my table.
September is nearly done, and we are headed towards serious autumn. Oscar the rescue cat wants to nestle by the fire, and I am thinking about getting the autumn wardrobe ready. La sciarpa, if you please! And I guanti , pronto!
Last autumn, we made a huge effort to turn apples into apple cider and had enough to last until spring. This year, we are back at it! So far, it appears that we will not make as much, but the apples are still falling!
Steam-roasted, pub-style potatoes that have the texture of a deep-fried cloud. Taylor, I believe, covered them in gravy, which is just gilding the lily. This is a PSA to remind you it is now burnished potato nugget season; act accordingly.
Back when I was a lad, you didn’t. Becoming a chef was not an optimal career choice. The folks who went down that road usually did so because they dropped out of the mainstream. Tony Bourdain was a good example of that type of person. And he was a great success story. Most of the folks like him did not achieve what he did.
And there is something missing here. The missing thing is connecting food culture to community. Making our dining part of strengthening locality. Farm to table can help there in breaking farmers out of their isolation. Perhaps we are headed towards “celebrity farmers”. The pop up scene helps too – as an avenue that opens up more opportunities for young people to make and serve food in communities.
So what is lacking? What will make this come together as a “movement”`? I think we need an institution that is devoted to figuring out how to do this on a global scale. Or perhaps there is such a thing and I missed it.
Robert Parker used to be the main dude in the wine trade. Wine makers hoped that he would give them high numerical points when he sipped their new offerings. If he did, they could sell at high prices. If he did not, they were behind the eight ball.
But things have changed. Or should I say, things are changing. These days, the wine trade is being disrupted by a wave of new wineries that are making “natural wine”. These wines have different taste profiles. Profiles that Parker wouldn’t recognize.
And these new producers are being championed by a new generation of wine experts. These are people who venture out to all sorts of new places to find natural wine producers, and bring their products home.
In the US, the means that the District of Columbia has a competitive advantage when it comes to this new dimension of the wine trade. Why?
In all 50 states, bars and restaurants are required to buy from a licensed distributor, who buys from an importer, who buys from a producer—a system that incentivizes distributors to only purchase well-known wines they’re sure they can sell. But D.C. isn’t a state, so (a restaurant or bar) can bypass the distributor and buy directly from the small, independent winemakers (it) wants to highlight.
I see the natural wine movement as part of a larger movement where folks demand more fresh food – call it farm to table, if you will.. Fewer chemicals. Fewer additives.More relationships with local purveyors and growers.More interesting flavors. More open talk about what goes into our bodies.
Part off-license, part wine bar and part restaurant – Charlie Mellor’s Laughing Heart on Hackney Road is a low-lit sexy late-night hangout with a spectacular list of small wine producers that changes by the minute. Chef Tom Anglesea’s British-meets-Far East menu is the perfect accoutrement, with dishes such as the Bonito Crudo and Nam Jim and Sichuan Crème Brûlée.
FOOD FESTIVAL: Tuck into all manner of grub inside the Tower of London moat. A food festival pops up in the erstwhile waterway, with artisan traders selling everything from cheese to gin. Street food stalls sell nosh to tuck into then and there, and celebrity chefs cook up a storm in the demo kitchen. Look our for beefeaters actually eating beef too. Tower of London, included in admission, 13-15 September
Hope tastes like plantains and pernil. Two years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico, rebuilding efforts have led to an increased emphasis on sustainable farming, breaking up the colonial legacy of industrialized agriculture and reliance on imported food while also doubling down on native ingredients. Now local farmers enjoy steady business from seasonally minded chefs pushing the culinary heritage of cocina criolla. Both farmers and chefs are powered by a resilient spirit that can be witnessed in real time, as La Placita de Santurce is packed once more with dancers balancing flaky empanadillas and Medalla beer. At these upstart and legacy spots, the food of Puerto Rico has never felt more Puerto Rican.