The Locavore’s Guide to New York Will Keep You Green and Hungry
Everybody’s a locavore in a certain sense — as in, when your waiter says “these quinces are from a small farm in Yonkers” and you say, “Really! Well, they’re just delicious.” But the stricter sense, where you only eat things that are grown or raised within 300 miles of your house? A much harder proposition. That’s where the Locavore’s Guide to New York comes in handy. The Website gives the main suppliers for everything from soup to nuts, but after test-driving it, we noticed a couple of things right off the bat. First of all, you better like going to the Greenmarket if you plan on being a locavore, because by far the largest part of the suppliers are there and only there. Second, we don’t want to be a locavore! Reading about the milk, the apples, and so on, we realized how dismal our diet would become if we hewed to its Puritan ethos: no Scottish langoustines, no toro, no truffles, no San Marzano tomatoes … maybe we can just be breakfast locavores. Is that good enough?
The Locavore’s Guide to New York City [Local Fork]
Back of the House
Steven Rinella Dons Locavore CamouflageSteven Rinella’s op-ed piece in today’s Times, in which the Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine author makes the case that hunters are not really hobbyists who enjoy killing animals, but rather proto-locavores, struck us as disingenuous on so many levels that we had to respond to it. First, Rinella wraps himself in green language as if it were a Thinsulate camo parka. “Hunters are the original locavores,” Rinella writes, bragging that his family used to eat three or four deer a year, along with various other unlucky birds and squirrels, and that he “carried that subsistence aesthetic into adulthood.” Subsistence aesthetic! Rinella’s from Twin Lake, Michigan! We would bet the closest he got to subsistence culture was running out of Pop-Tarts.
No Plaza for Graydon; Mr. Rachael Ray Drops $35K for LunchboxGraydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ]
Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup
It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT]
Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]
‘Next Iron Chef’ Conspiracy; Keller Snubbed by MichelinJudges Andrew Knowlton and Donatella Arpaia think John Besh obliterated Michael Symon in the Next Iron Chef finale and that he deserved the title; the latter even accused Ruhlman of casting his “swing” vote for Symon because the chef is his Cleveland comrade. [Ruhlman]
Thomas Keller’s Bouchon has been snubbed by the new Las Vegas Michelin Guide with a whopping zero stars, while Robuchon scored three. [Bloomberg]
Related: Michelin’s Madness Drives Ed Levine (and Us) Up a Wall
The owners of the twenty-year-old Italian joint restaurant Baraonda were told they lost their lease, so they took over a new space only to find out they could keep the old one. What to do? Plan a second restaurant. [NYP]
Meet the Ultimate Locavore — For One Month, Anyway
So you eat New York State apples and pork from Violet Hill farm. You call yourself a locavore? Manny Howard lived for 30 days on what he grew in his backyard in Brooklyn. Or at least he tried to. But frigid rabbit does, cute ducklings imprinting on him, and the little matter of a tornado all threw obstacles in his path. Meet Manny Howard and his Empire of Dirt in this Grub Street Video.
In the Magazine
Cheap Eats est Arrivé!The annual Cheap Eats issue arrives this week and represents, as usual, a massive compendium of low-end gastronomic wisdom. The Underground Gourmet round up some of the city’s very best cheap eats in the main section, but Adam Platt also weighs in on what passes for cheap in the city’s high-end places, some top chefs give their own picks, and three of the city’s greenmarket specialists vie to outdo each other not just in locavorism but also in “cheapavorism.” Add to that laser-focused profiles on burgers, barbecue, and Korean fried chicken, and you have a Cheap Eats supplement to put all others to shame.
Taking Food Snobbery to the Next Level; Paula Deen and the Pork Giant“Localvores” are highly virtuous and a big pain in the ass. [NYDN]
Paula Deen finds herself on the wrong side of a Smithfield Foods labor dispute, and striking workers are calling for her to sever ties with the pork giant. [NYT]
It’s not just red wine with fish anymore: Celebrity chefs are leading the way toward more imaginative wine and beer pairings, from Joe Bastianich’s pouring Dom Pérignon rosé with roast pheasant to Laurent Tourondel’s quaffing beer with his steak. [Forbes]