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
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
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
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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