In Culinary School I was the
jerk who piped up all the time and said: "please, don't use the word
'philosophy' when you mean 'ideals' or 'guiding principles.' I
was once a philosophy student. A 'philosophy' is a very rigorous
set of values, arrived at by methodical thought and disciplined,
scientific measurement. A philosophy isn't an 'opinion.' It
is a way of life." I was insanely popular in culinary school,
Over the years the distinction has blurred and I see that I do have my
own emergent philosophy of food. Some parts are cogitated and
some are completely gut-level. But it indeed has become a "way of
life" for me. I feel that what we put in our bodies represents
how we relate to the world. Sometimes we eat with awareness and
reverence and sometimes without care. Sometimes we are denied
food, sometimes we are coerced into eating too much. What we eat
allies us to some but alienates us from others. If we don't eat,
we die. If we don't ever eat with a sense of awe for the amazing
powers that came together to make that food, I think we die a little
bit. That is why it is of great importance that I understand the
where and why of food, and make wise decisions about the foods I eat
A friend of mine has an interesting comment about yesterday's blog... you can read it posted at the end of the entry. I'm glad someone who's actually eaten at Hook in DC has weighed in.
However, I disagree strongly that localism and sustainability are not connected, Rudi. It's a big, big part of the movement. How long can we sustain the cost of fuel used to transport Wahoo from Hawaii to Washington, DC? Food miles, or the distance travelled when transporting edibles, is one of the most important factors in a localvore diet. Carbon consumption, and finding ways to reduce it/end it, is one of the basic principles of sustainability. Localism and sustainability are entirely interconnected.
Okay, on the surface this looks good... Hot young chef serves only sustainable seafood. But hey, all the fish mentioned next are Pacific fish. Wahoo is from Hawaii, Sablefish from the Pacific NW, and Tiger Shrimp from off the coast of Mexico. Isn't sustainability all about the use of local products?
A (sustainable) fish story
If it's not good for the planet, it's not on the menu at Washington, D.C. seafood eatery Hook.
YORK (Fortune) -- At Hook, a Washington, D.C., seafood restaurant,
there's no Chilean sea bass, bluefin tuna or grouper on the menu. You
can't order asparagus in the fall, or strawberries in winter.
But would you like to try the wahoo? Or the sablefish? Or the foot-long tiger shrimp? Or the celeriac-apple slaw?
Last week the crazy season officially got underway. It's not even Thanksgachristmanewchaunkaqwaanzichahyear yet, and everyone's having a party.
Gluten Free Girl's book launch at ChefShopwas great fun, despite having almost passing out from excitement. Then there was my ape sh*#t nutty first night on the line at the Cantina, which you can read about here. There were caterings to do, classes to teach and foodie events to attend.
Upcoming is a baby shower, my first brunch service at the Cantina, and our housewarming/Mad Max themed party. Those are all in one day, incidentally.
In the middle of all of this I've been redeeming my iTunes gift certificates (thanks, mom!) and restoring most of my old vinyl collection. Pre-Out of Time REM sounds really good these days, I have to say.
Last night was Halloween. We had an uncharacteristically mellow night and watched the Hunger. That's all I have to say about that. Other than it was C's first viewing of the movie. Hm, hm.
I had a few other moments of downtime, including a visit with my friend Katherine, who has a beautiful one-year-old daughter named Melinda. They introduced me to Daiso, which is Japanese for Big Trouble for $1.99. Individual cupcake molds! Musical toilet paper dispensers! Erasers that look like sushi that looks like erasers! All while listening to a mix of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits v 1 and Japanese synth-pop. You need this.
Yesterday, I went to a book launch for local author, Ann Pancake. She is the author of Strange as this Weather Has Been, a novel about life in rural West Virginia. The excerpt she read was gorgeous and sad and funny-I understand it's also a sometimes painful read about the devastating practice of "mountaintop removal" mining, and the way it destroys communities.
Full disclosure, Ann is machetunim, if you'll forgive a shikse some Yiddish. Please to read!
I turned on my heel and walked out several years ago when I attempted to buy a pound of lemons and discovered it would cost me more than my hourly wage. But that's me. I'd rather stop by our indy market on BeHi and have some money left for some beer and pork shoulder. As Anatole France said, "in a Democracy, both the rich and the poor are equally free to starve."
Last year's Michael Pollan-John Mackay slapdown was great reading for about a week, and then Whole Foods went back to their big business as usual. Before you could say capital-driven market system, Mackay announced his intention to acquire Wild Oats. The slapping of foreheads was heard around the world, but who was really surprised? The guy is a hardcore Libertarian, a union-busting, Wal-Mart emulating, Ayn Rand enthusiast. Oh, barf.
When I was at Quillisascut Farm School, Laura Lee Misterly told us a very charming story about her family's illicit dairy business. Selling raw, unpasteurized milk was illegal back in the day. Yet it didn't stop her grandmother from schlepping the stuff up and down country roads, selling it to friends and neighbors without cows of their own. It's hard to imagine that a little lady with muck boots and a Radio Flyer full of milk pails was considered as dangerous as white lightning moonshiners, but there you have it. These days of course, the sauce is on the right side of the law. Raw dairy still isn't.
Until recently most Americans weren't interested in raw dairy products-then good cheese happened to us. The emergent trend of artisinal, hand-made foods in general has reintroduced the problem of government regulation and safety standards. The trend has greatly impacted small-operation dairies. Where raw dairy commerce was once a small enough affair that it was hardly worth interfering with, the demand for raw products is now huge... and a new "grey market" has emerged. The New York Times turned out an interesting article on the newest culinary crime wave: milk running.
spent more money last year on bottled water than on ipods or movie
tickets: $15 Billion. A journey into the economics--and psychology--of
an unlikely business boom. And what it says about our culture of