Winners for the 2010 James Beard Awards are out. Here is the full list.
No Texas winners, in fact pretty much just the usual suspects. Daniel Bolud with nine previous awards, Jean-Georges Vongerichten with 25, and Danny Meyer with 20 collective awards still rule New York. Tom Colicchio from Craft got the best chef award.
A West Coast nod went out to Thomas Keller’s wunderkind and chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth who received the Rising Star Award. Hollinsworth also served as U.S. representive at the illustrious Bocuse d’Or competition last year in France where he placed sixth.
In the blog world, Serious Eats took the blog award. This sight is great and I especially love the science stuff from Kenji. Check out his article for turning your beer cooler into a sous vide. (Please be especially careful to watch your food temps or you could end up with botchulism, yuck!) The Peepshi idea came from this sight also.
Heston Blumenthal from The Fat Duck in the UK is on a relentless quest to present diners with opportunities to “play” with their food. His creativity, along with Wylie Dufresne from wd-50 in Chicago and Ferran Adria from El Bulli in Spain, propelled molecular gastronomy into the global spotlight. Even though the trend is waning in these economically tough times to upscale comfort food, all three are a constant beacon to further my creativity.
My boss asked me the other day to send him a list of local farmers market. Even the Republicans are going local! OK, granted, this is Austin, notorious for its liberal leanings, so maybe the Hippies have gotten to him. But hopefully it is because even more mainstream consumers are seeing that the local movement makes sense.
John said he was looking for a good source for grass fed beef. He said he preferred the taste and was willing to spend a little bit more and eat less meat if it meant he could get better quality. With his family of four, he said he might not be able to afford to eat that way all the time but he was willing to dedicate part of his food budget to local meat and veggies if he could find them without a huge hassle.
Austin has a ton of options to shop local. The premier foodie shopping happens at the Austin Farmers Market which has recently moved to 4th and Guadalupe at Republic Square Park on Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM and at the Triangle at 46th and Lamar from 3PM to 7PM. Here is a link to the rest of the markets in the area. http://www.austinfarmersmarket.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=65&lang=en
Another options is to buy a share in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). One of the farms in Austin that offers this is Rain Lily Farms through Farmhouse Delivery http://www.farmhousedelivery.com/order.html. For $35 per week or $37 for a biweekly delivery plus a one time $20 set up fee you get a bushel of farm fresh produce either delivered or you can pick it up. The bushel contains 7-10 items that are the best of the harvest that week. You do not get to pick the items in the bushel but through Farmhouse you can choose additional products to add to your order like Loncito’s grass fed lamb or Richardson’s Farms ribeye steaks.
Even a biweekly delivery is a little more produce than I can use as a single householder, so I opt for Greenling Organic Delivery service http://www.greenling.com/. No weekly commitment and you can order whatever you need for the week. Delivered to your door! You can not get any easier than that.
So come on, Austin. There is no excuse not to at least explore your local options. If for no other reason than taste, you cannot beat seasonally harvested fresh produce. As a baker, I can tell you that the difference between farm fresh eggs and the ones you buy at the grocery store are miles apart in quality. And as for grassfed meat, try a perfectly seared sirloin from Betsy Ross’ and tell me if you wouldn’t give up a trip to Starbucks once a week to have that on a regular basis. Local does not have to be painful.
Right now this is a work in progress. I hope to share with the world recipes and philosophies that have shaped my outlook on the world. I think this picture captures the spirit of my cooking and eating standards pretty well.