Corrections or additions?

This article by Carolyn Foote Edelmann was prepared for the February

22, 2006 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

These Foodies Say Slow Down

After a McDonald’s opened near Rome’s Spanish Steps in 1986, Carolo

Petrini founded Slow Food, an international educational association

tha has since drawn an international following and the support of a

host of partners and advisers, including HRH, the Prince of Wales;

star chef Alice Waters; and heirloom seed-historian/preserver, Gary

Paul Nabhan. The basic premise of the Slow Food movement, as it’s

sometimes called, is to urge people to savor foods slowly and

sensuously and to recognize hand-crafted regional foods, high on

succulence and tradition, and to support sustainable growing and

humane production methods.

On Sunday February 26, two "Winter Food Fare" events take place: one

at Triumph Brewing Company in New Hope, and at Tre Piani Restaurant in

Forrestal Village. Regional Slow Food chapters will address both

cravings with "winter-warming foods" and the Triumph event also will

feature a beer tasting. A triad of slow food chapters is spearheading

the events – Bucks County; Philadelphia; and Central New Jersey,

headed by Tre Piani chef Jim Weaver.

Kimberly Kaufmann, head of the Bucks County Slow Food chapter and wine

cellar steward at Rat’s Restaurant in Hamilton, says: "We wanted to

create something exciting to do in winter. People don’t realize, there

are still many regional foods to be enjoyed in this season." Kaufmann

is especially delighted that Melissa Hamilton, founding editor of

Saveur Magazine, will contribute "a big batch of her legendary borscht

from local beets." Melissa comes naturally by her food credentials –

her father is Jim Hamilton of Hamilton Grill in Lambertville.

Slow Foods’ 83,000 members seek to inform the world that meats,

seafoods, produce, and beverages high in health benefits and taste are

everyone’s heritage. The organization – which now has a university in

northern Italy, offering programs in the science, history, and

communication of foods – keeps a lookout for dangerous dimunition in

plant variety and soils rendered increasingly infertile through

chemicals and aggressive harvesting. A portion of the two February 26

events’ proceeds will support Slow Food initiatives, such as school

gardens, which teach children, especially inner city children, about

cultivating and savoring hand-grown vegetables, fruits and herbs.

At Triumph New Hope, director of brewing operations Jay Misson and

executive chef Angela Shellenberger have cast their net throughout New

Jersey and Pennsylvania, gathering brews and foods of impeccable

origins and hand-crafted processes – the foaming best of local

micro-breweries; artisanal cheeses; pristine, even rare seafoods; and

the healthiest, heartiest of meats, says Shellenberger, a Culinary

Institute of America graduate. "It’s all about winter fare. We’ll be

doing cutting edge as well as traditional. Imagination is the key word

in our kitchen, creativity a requirement."

Misson has set aside something unique to mark Ben Franklin’s 300th

birthday: Poor Richard’s Ale. "Its 300-year-old recipe is based upon

Brewers’ Association research – malt, corn, molasses, and some

extracts, as used in Franklin’s day," he says. Other Triumph New Hope

winter specialties include Honey Wheat, its 2005 Gold Medal Winner;

Amber Ale, Pilsner, Oatmeal Stout, Bengal Gold India Pale Ale, and

Scottish Ale. Misson provides a basic clue to Triumph New Hope’s

success: "Well water." Other breweries involved in the event are

Flying Fish, Dogfish Head, General Lafayette Inn & Brewery, Iron Hill

Brewery & Restaurant, Yards, Sly Fox, and Heavyweight.

Never having met a brewer, I ask Misson for a definition. "Well, in

Germany, you have to be licensed as brew-master. In this country,

though, it’s more likely in the family. I had a grandfather and a

great uncle who brewed beer. So it became my senior chemistry project

– at 16, it seemed natural. Then I went to work for a brewer up in

Vernon Valley. He was Old School – organically grown hops, malt,

barley – the whole route. He would only age in wood." Since then,

Misson has apprenticed with prominent brewers from San Francisco to

Germany.

Chef Shellenberger eagerly describes the stations to be set up for the

festival. "We’ll cook and carve right in front of guests," she says.

On the menu are Hillside Farms’ Bison Chip Steak from Hillside Farms

of Telford, PA, and Griggstown Farm’s famous Poussin, otherwise known

as spring chicken. Cape May Salts, Delaware Bay oysters rescued by

Slow Foods’ Ark of Taste from the brink of extinction, are worth the

admission price all on their own. Other vendors include Rieker Prime

Meats of Philadelphia; Bobolink Dairies of Vernon; Valley Shepherd

Creamery of Long Valley; A Taste of Philly pretzels of Doylestown; and

Badger Bread of Trenton.

The Winter Food Fare event at Tre Piani in Princeton Forrestal Village

will offer an array of delicacies including Griggstown Farms’ chicken

pot pies, Cherry Grove Farm beef, pork, lamb, and eggs; Oak Shae Farms

certified organic dried shitake mushrooms; Muirhead Farms handmade

jams and condiments; ARC Greenhouses baby greens and herb; Village

Bakery (Lawrenceville) breads and pastries; Valley Shepherd Creamery

sheep and cow’s milk cheese and yogurt; Terhune Orchards cider;

Hopewelll Valley Vineyards wine; and the Bent Spoon ice cream and

handmade gelato. Jim Weaver will give cooking demonstrations, along

with Mario Mangone, chef-owner of Chambers Walk in Lawrenceville.

Entertainment will be provided by Straight Jazz with John Henry

Goldman on keyboards and trumpet.

Above all, Slow Foods is dedicated to expanding diversity in an

increasingly homogenized world. Being Italian, Slow Foods founder

Petrini has never lost sight of his commitment to the sensuous, to

living slower and therefore more harmonious lives. "Conviviality" is

the watchword. A 19th century French publication, fittingly titled Le

Gourmet, says it best: "Gastronomy is the joy of all situations and of

all ages."

A Winter Slow Food and Beer Tasting, Sunday, February 26, 1 to 4 p.m.,

Triumph Brewing Company, 400 Union Square in New Hope. Advance tickets

$35; $40 at the door . Tickets are available at Triumph in Princeton,

138 Nassau Street, and Triumph New Hope, call 215-862-8300; or visit

www.triumphbrewing.com.

Slow Food Winter Food Fare, Sunday, February 26, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,

Tre Piani Ristorante, Princeton Forrestal Village, Plainsboro. Area

food producers and restaurant chefs gather with musicians for the

inaugural event. Cooking demonstrations. Free. 609-577-5113.


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