Ben Branson must be on to something. It seems like he’s popping up everywhere including a recent Food52 profile and last week’s Wall Street Journal feature story on “sophisticated mocktails.” It’s not just a great public relations blitz. He really is on to something. Not drinking alcohol is now as fashionable as drinking it. Everyone, from chefs and bartenders to the consumers they serve seems to be seeking a balanced lifestyle of happy health and hedonistic pleasure.
Ben grew up on a farm in Lincolnshire, England. As the story goes, “He stumbled upon a 1651 edition of ‘The Art of Distillation’ and became intrigued with medicinal elixirs.” He created a botanical beverage called Seedlip which can be mixed in cocktails, spruces up seltzers and you can enjoy on the rocks with a splash or two of water. It’s free of sugar, gluten and alcohol, and both versions taste good. Seedlip Garden 108 is distilled with peas, hay, rosemary and thyme. Seedlip Spice 94 is distilled with cardamom, oak, lemon and grapefruit. It’s so much better than the sugary shots and juices masquerading as healthy that we’ve been tasting. It’s something to drink when we are not drinking besides water, tea and kombucha.
We live in apple country in the Hudson Valley. The trees have blossomed and are now heavy with fruit. You can smell the scent of apples in the air. Last week we attended a farm-to-table dinner at Angry Orchard in nearby Walden. It’s a 60-acre farm dating back to the 1700s that today makes both classic and modern styles of hard cider.
Cider making dates back to colonial times. Now days it’s had a resurgence, growing 400% since 2010. We’ve tasted a good amount of hard ciders here in New York, one of the best regions for cider making and the second largest state for apple production in the U.S.A.
Ryan Burk grew up in New York’s apple country and started making cider at an early age. He’s now Head Cider Maker at Angry Orchard and he serves on the boards of the United States Association of Cider Makers and Cider Institute of North America. Recently named one of Wine Enthusiast‘s “40 Under 40,” Ryan takes time out from production to join us August 30th. 2pmEST.
It’s hard to believe that twelve years ago this week Hurricane Katrina walloped New Orleans creating widespread destruction, and here we are again watching Houston being pummeled by a hurricane, lingering rains and flooding of historic proportions.
I remember that Labor Day weekend in 2005 planning a fund raising campaign with The James Beard Foundation, Alex Brennan Martin from Brennan’s Houston and Southern Foodways Alliance Director John T. Edge to create a relief fund to help restaurant and hotel workers displaced by Katrina.
This time it’s New Orleans rallying to help Houston. I reached out to Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan early this morning asking how they were, how Alex and the family in Houston were coping and how we could help. I’m glad I did because the Fearless Fabulous Brennans were already cooking up a plan with the Louisiana Restaurant Association and Greater New Orleans Foundation.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our friends and colleagues living in Houston, or who have family living there. Let’s rally behind them.
Here is what Ti sent us. Please share and contribute:
The Louisiana Restaurant Association and Ti Martin of Commander’s Palace have teamed up with the Greater New Orleans Foundation to activate the Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. The relief fund will donate individual grants to restaurant and hotel workers who are in need during this trying time.
“After Hurricane Katrina, the Houston community was there for New Orleans and we’ll never forget it. Alex Brennan Martin started the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund and it raised and gave away over a million dollars in small grants to help individuals in New Orleans. Today, we are returning the favor,” shares Ti Martin.
If you or an organization you know are looking to support our industry, please visit www.gnof.org/give-now/ and specify your donation is for the “Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund.” If the donor prefers to send a check, please make it out to the Greater New Orleans Foundation and mail it to 919 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130. #withlovefromnola
Herbalist Brittany Nickerson teaches people about the health attributes of herbs and how to use them in cooking in her workshops at Thyme Herbal. She also offers a three-year Herbal Apprentice Program, teaches at the University of Massachusetts and is author of The Everyday Living Series for your home. We’re all about trying to simplify and create a healthier home.
In “The Herbalist’s Kitchen,” Brittany explains kitchen medicine and categorizes herbs by sweet, salty, sour, pungent and bitter and their health benefits. The book’s recipes are separated into seasons, and there are also some easy recipes to make your own lavender skin scrub and rosemary hair rinse.
What is the recipe for becoming a successful food entrepreneur, and in what direction is food innovation heading? We discuss August 23 with Sarah Masoni, who manages the Product & Process Development Team working at the Food Innovation Center at Oregon State University,
I met Sarah at this summer’s Fancy Food Show in New York presented by the Specialty Food Association. I was intrigued by her EXCITE talk on innovation and what makes a food entrepreneur and checked out the products from OSU entrepreneurs displayed at the show’s “LevelUP” Future of Food exhibit.
Whether it’s food made from sea byproducts, sourced from the ground, or re-purposed from food waste, Sarah and her team help nurture entrepreneurs and drive innovation. What may be coming out of Oregon could be hitting the food shelves and our plates down the road.
Listen to Sarah Masoni on The Connected Table LIVE! on iHeart.com here:
Recently we spent five days on the East End of Long Island visiting friends. Luckily for us the visit coincided with The James Beard Foundation‘s 27th annual Chefs & Champagne July 29 which featured more than 35 chefs from New York City and Long Island. We had not attended Chefs & Champagne for several years and were surprised at how large the event has become with more than 1,000 attendees under the large tent erected on Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack. The tent looked like the top of the Baked Alaska we recently tasted at The Breakers Palm Beach.
Marcus Samuelsson was this year’s honoree which made us happy since he is one of the kindest chefs we know. In addition to being owner of Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club and Streetbird Rotisserie, Marcus is a cofounder with Herb Karlitz of the annual Harlem EatUp! which is a love letter to his neighborhood. Whenever I see him, Marcus always smiles and inquires about my mother asking “How’s the Purple Lady?” I warn him that she’s going to tap him to cook at one of her charity events in Chattanooga some day and he will experience true Tennessee style hospitality!
Events like these rely on the generosity of its sponsored. In particular we want to give a shout out to Roman Roth at Wolffer Estate Family Vineyard as venue host. JBF President Susan Ungaro and Roman presented the 2017 Christian Wolffer Scholarship, named after the winery’s late founder, to Jordan Werner, a student at International Culinary Center (ICC)’s Intensive Sommelier Course.
Thanks to the generosity of Champagne Barons de Rothschild we were well satiated with their Rosé and Brut, and we look forward to scheduling a visit with Philippe Sereys de Rothschild soon to discuss the estate on The Connected Table LIVE!
Others sponsors included: Audi, Alfredo Prodotti, Big Green Egg, Brewery Ommegang, FreshDirect + FoodKick, Gokokuya, Hamptons.com, Hamptons Magazine, KAMUT®, Melissa’s® Produce, Neuman’s Kitchen Events & Catering, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, Saratoga Sparkling Eater, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Ver’Terra Dinnerware, Windstar Cruises and WVVH.
Chefs & Champagne raised over $100,000 to support The James Beard Foundation’s scholarship, education and JBF Impact Programs. The timing for the event was perfect preparation for our visit with Susan Ungaro August 9, 2pm EST, on The Connected Table LIVE (W4CY Radio/www.W4CY.com). During Susan’s 11-year tenure she has initiated programs to align with mission of JBF and its commitment to education, philanthropy and advocacy, and in the process raised its profile beyond the JBF Awards and special events. These include initiatives such as The annual JBF Food Summit, the JBF Leadership Awards and the Women in Culinary Leadership Program.