David Chang on the Future of Food

"Let's allow these harsh new realities to force us to do something that Alice Waters has been advocating for decades: Let's finally embrace the truth that food is not something to be taken for granted."
 


Agenda: The Art of Steaming, Joy of Sake, and Hands-On Mozzerella

FEATURED EVENT

Steam The Art of Steaming
Joe the Art of Coffee is offering the next class in its series of intensive coffee courses. Folks who have attended the Hands-on Espresso Fundamentals course can move on to Milk Steaming Techniques. Students will learn the skills needed to steam milk for cappuccinos and lattes, as well as how to pour rosettas. Temperature, mouth feel, and texture will be explored. The class will take place on Sunday, September 28th at Joe's Grand Central Terminal location (Graybar Passage) at 7:00 p.m. $25/person. Email gabrielle@joenewyork.com to register.

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Edible Experimentation

Hungryscientist Patrick Buckley and Lily Binns' The Hungry Scientist Handbook compiles 20 home science projects to turn your kitchen into a pseudo-laboratory. Edible experiments include cryogenic martinis, wonton origami, smart coasters, and glowing lollipops.$11.53 at amazon.com.

 




Vertical Baking

Bakersrack

Too space-starved to bake more than one batch of cookies at a time? The Baker's Mate cooling rack can support up to four ten-pound trays, so even the tiniest kitchen can be transformed into a miniature bakeshop. What's more, the rack folds flat to store in less space than a single tray. $19.99 at Chefs Catalog.

 


Agenda: Pig Festival, MFK Fisher, and the New York Culinary Experience

FEATURED EVENT

Pig

Sagre del Maiale
Il Buco (47 Bond Street) presents its 5th annual "Sagra del Maiale", an outdoor pig and apple festival commemorating the Autumn Equinox. Feast on a 2,000 pound Ossabaw pig, pork, apple and peperoncino sausages, panzanella, wild arrugula, apple-ricotta fritters, and more. The festival will take place on Monday, September 22nd, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On-site tickets: $20/plate. (212.533.1932)

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Evaluating Food Safety on Cooking Shows

A touch of the face here, a lick of the finger there. We've all seen TV chefs do it before. But, do these minor transgressions add up to poor food safety?

In an effort to determine how effective television cooking shows are at demonstrating good food safety practices, researchers at Texas Tech University recently completed a study analyzing programs broadcast by the Food Network.

Handwashing Similar studies of television food programs have occurred in other countries - notably an evaluation of television cooking shows on public television in the UK and Canada. The Texas Tech study purports to be the first such study ever conducted in the U.S.

Over a two-week period in May 2007, researchers watched 49 Food Network cooking shows, including "30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray," "The Essence of Emeril," "Everyday Italian," "Paula's Home Cooking, and "Semi Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee," coding instances of 17 different categories of "positive" and "negative" behaviors.

According to the researchers, positive behaviors included hand washing, cleaning equipment, washing fruits and vegetables, adequate refrigeration, and use of a thermometer. Negative behaviors, included the use of food from the floor, failure to refrigerate perishables, failure to wash fruits or vegetables, inadequately washing equipment, sampling food or licking fingers, cross-contamination of ready-to-eat or raw foods, touching the face and failing to wash hands.

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My Square Foot Garden: Late Summer Slowdown

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The excitement of starting my diminutive (but fast-growing) garden back in June has given way to some late summer doldrums. The cucumber vines are withering, leaves on the once-lush green tomato vines are either shriveling or turning yellow (or both), and carrots and lettuce planted in July have failed to grow.

All is not lost, however. While the tomato plants are looking a little humble lately, I'm excited to see the actual fruit are finally growing. And the little finger eggplants have been very prolific, growing at least two to three eggplants per week.

Another surprise comes from the bean plants I planted in July. I thought I got in the game way too late, for the bush bean plants have looked pretty puny, and the pole beans, while quickly climbing to the top of the wigwam, had few leaves (and those that did grow were looking a little drab). Nevertheless, on closer inspection, I discovered that the beans were growing. There will probably be only a handful, but its more than I was expecting.

The cucumber vines have now slowed down (I think one of them is on its deathbed). But, before the wilting started, cucumbers were growing fast and furious. Below, a sample of the harvest as presented by my daughter in my best Saveur-style composition.

I haven't planted anything for fall. Is mid-September too late? I thought I might as well try planting some spinach and more salad greens since I have plenty of seeds. If you have ideas, please let me know in the comments.

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