Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Local, Sustainable (Clean) Dining and Cooking in NYC

Lately, I've been cooking at home a lot and writing about my recipes, with a little food politics on the side, and neglected to mention some of the locavore NYC restaurants or events I've been to  lately (which are many). Or a contest that I won over on TheDailyMeal for my gluten-free potato and zucchini pancakes!

A few weeks ago, I bumped into Jared Koch of CLEAN PLATES MANHATTAN, the quintessential guide to healthy and sustainable restaurants in the city, many serving produce, meat, fish, dairy and other products from local farms. He and I caught up on life after Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where we both received our nutrition counseling certifications, and the second edition of his compact and informative restaurant guide for conscious eating in Manhattan.

Jared and I both attended Lopate and Locavores, Agri + Culture (aka fermentation and civilization): CHEESE, hosted by Leonard Lopate of WNYC radio, where we watched cheesemonger Anne Saxelby make ricotta cheese on stage and heard from Michael Lee of Twig Farms and Keith McNally, gentleman farmer of Balthazar fame.  While socializing, I got to talk to some old friends and new: Jacquie Berger of Just Food, Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy's 43  (a Slow Food Snail of Approval and CLEAN PLATES listed restaurant) and Mary Cleaver of Cleaver and Company,  who catered the event with some cheesy treats and also a CLEAN PLATES restaurant a sustainable eatery pioneer in NYC.

Check out the event video for Agri + Culture: Cheese. It's about an hour long, and quite engaging and entertaining.

I dined at a few downtown and locavore restaurants this month: ABC Kitchen , Little Giant and Eataly as well as a few neighborhood vegan and healthy food haunts in the West 80s and 90s: Blossom, Peace Cafe and Le Pain Quotidian (all but Little Giant are reviewed in CLEAN PLATES MANHATTAN).

The menu at ABC Kitchen gave me goose bumps and an appetite (thank you Jennifer Praeger for taking me there). With a broad range of dishes for vegans, vegetarians and even the most die-hard carnivores, ABC Kitchen dedicates their menu, which changes daily, to locally grown seasonal produce from small farms. An impressive one whole page of the menu is dedicated to explaining their mission, outlining their sourcing philosophy and listing the local farmers, fishermen, cheesemongers and purveyors who supply the restaurant. 

So many of my favorite vendors from the Union Square Farmers Market and Hamptons are on ABC Kitchen's menu. 

Click through to read about these farmers on Lighthearted Locavore:
• Satur Farms - Cutchogue, NY
Queens County Farm Museum, Queens, NY
• Flying Pigs Farm - Shushan, NY
• Cato Corner - Colchester, CT
Lynn Haven - Pine Bush, NY
• Valley Shepherd Creamery - Long Valley, NJ
Cayuga Pure Organic - Tompkins, NY
• Martin's Pretzels - Lancaster, PA

Now, about that recipe contest.... last Monday, over breakfast my friend Sharon Gitelle told me about a (very cool) new food site in New York that not only includes recipes, but also a virtual feast of articles and video on EVERYTHING FOOD-- food travel, all kinds of reviews, celebrity chef secrets, city food guides, thousands of recipes, a wine/beer/booze section, ideas for party planning and, my favorite section, community, where bloggers like me can post articles and recipes! On a whim, I submitted my gluten-free (and dairy free) zucchini and potato pancake recipe in their gluten-free contest and won a copy of the much acclaimed The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. Thanks TheDailyMeal!!!

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