J.T. Lemley – a long-time farmer who still loves his work even though it’s taken a toll on his back– led us on a tour of his farm, which he’s been operating for 40 years now. Wearing blue jean overalls and a white cowboy hat, Lemley said he was happy to personally give chefs a look-around so that they were able to see the origin of their produce.
Stuart Rackham (Tradition Senior Living Executive Chef), Johnny Iglinsky (KidKraft) Erin Fahner (KidKraft Sous Chef), Jon Stevens (Stock and Barrel), Dan Landsberg and Andrew McDonald (Hotel ZaZa), Rosanne Dileo (The Libertine Bar), Pablo Uruena (The Lakes of Castle Hills), Anastacia Quinones (Komali), and Matt McCallister (FT33) were just some of the chefs who accepted his offer. Some brought their friends, waiters, or family members to enjoy the tour as well.1 Comment »
Eight years ago, Candice Kumai was a contestant on the premiere season of Bravo’s Top Chef. Today, she’s the author of two books, “Pretty Delicious: Lean and Lovely Recipes for a Healthy, Happy New You” and “Cook Yourself Sexy: Easy Delicious Recipes for the Hottest, Most Confident You,” which is coming out next month. She’s been featured in countless magazines and TV spots, but now her latest gig is traveling as the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi as the National Ambassador for the “Giving Through Growing” project. In partnership with American Community Gardening Association, the project grants $8,000 to five community gardens across the country to supply local food banks with fresh produce. Lucky for us, one of the selected is the Live Oak Community Garden, right in East Dallas.
Last night, at DUO All Things Culinary, Kumai celebrated the newly created Woodbridge Giving Garden in Dallas and made a swiss chard dish using produce straight from the Live Oak Community Garden. I sat down with her to discuss why Giving Through Growing is so important to her.
Deep in a forest beyond the douchiness of Dallas lives free spirit, forager, and my fellow Firesign Theater fan, Tom Spicer. He’s the head fiddlehead over at Spiceman’s FM 1410. Today he sends this gorgeous photo and a note. I quote:
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Do you… verjus? Harvested early this morning at Spiceman’s FM 1410 garden, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that I bare rooted from canes brought to me from Benziger’s biodynamic vineyard in Sonoma County, CA. by my dear friend, Beat Kotoun of Korbrands Wine importers/marketers.3 years later, we are basking in their glow and so can you @ $10# CHEERS Spiceman, aka “Larence of Lakewood”
Today marks the start of Bolsa Mercado‘s new program to host weekly guest chefs who’ll be cooking three-course to-go dinners (as part of the “Dinner for Two” program) in Bolsa Mercado’s kitchen. These guest chefs will be incorporating vegetables from the Dallas Youth Village‘s garden in their menus, and a portion of the dinner sales will go towards Café Momentum, a nonprofit restaurant concept started by Chad Houser and Janice Provost of Parigi that teaches the boys of the Youth Village everything about the restaurant business from washing dishes to waiting tables.
On Monday, Desiree and I took a tour of the Dallas Youth Village’s garden, which is headed by the affable Charles Plummer. For the past year and a half, the former chef now directs the organic gardening and heads the culinary program at the center where teenage boys who’ve committed nonviolent offenses work with Plummer to tend the crops on the one-acre plot of land.
Jump for photos of the garden.
Art Saveur is a new organization for people who share an interest in both art and dining. Their slogan is: “Blending Passion for Art, Food, and Wine into Art-Inspired Gourmet Meals.” They held their inaugural event last Saturday at Garden Café in the Junius Heights neighborhood of East Dallas. About 28 diners enjoyed the event. The restaurant was decked out like an art gallery and guests enjoyed the work of Dallas artist Cathy Drennan along with a four-course meal prepared by Garden Café chef Mark Wootton.
Jump for more of Desiree’s photos.4 Comments »
One perk for guests at the Hotel Palomar in Dallas is the Wine Hour they host in the evenings. Last week, the hotel opened the event to the public and combined it with a fundraiser for the Promise of Peace Community Garden. The Ackermans provided musical entertainment. Promise of Peace is a non-profit active in East Dallas that aims to reduce the school dropout rate, reduce crime, gang involvement and teen pregnancy through local initiatives that increase community involvement. The organization’s two main activities are the community garden on East Grand and photography classes.
More below. Continue reading "Hotel Palomar In Dallas Supports Promise of Peace Community Garden at Spring Wine Hour"
Our favorite forager, Tom Spicer has lots for sale at FM 1410. Here’s his latest update on inventory.
Okay, enough with the links already. Here’s what I need you to buy…and if you can’t buy anything then just come sit out on my back deck and take in the fertile scenery yields of my blood, sweat and tears. Arugula, Sweet, lemon, thai and cinnamon basils, “Spicer Greens”, Wolf Creek Okra and 8 Ball zucchini, Marfa, Tx. Tomatoes, Wild and Cultivated Exotic Mushrooms, Sea Beans, Squash Blossoms, Fresh Pinto Beans (purple hulls and black eyed peas by monday). Wolf Creek Farm pickles and preserves (real, local farm mom n’ pop put up goods as opposed to all the high fructose corn syrup stuff made in mass quantities with what ever label you want on it) Send me out to the mkt. in the wee hours to get the freshest pick of sweet corn, tomatoes, spinach, melons/cantaloupes, squash or whatever…kale and collards included though my garden is flush with Rainbow Beet tops and Chards”. That’s all for now. let me know what you’re looking for.
Jump for Tom Spicer’s (unedited) vegetable report.
Mark Wootton, the cook as he prefers to be called, at Garden Café says Garden Café is back up and running. Last night he emailed this note.
We have been struck by lightning twice in the last couple of years. What are the odds? So, we have been instructed to buy lottery tickets… and we will!
Mark was the cook before and after the lightning. OH NO. That song.
This unedited list just in from Spiceman:
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Developing and properly staffing any small business operation, especially a farm of any size, on less than a budget of shoe string potatoes isn’t easy… then throw a tanked economy on that camel. Fewph!
But I’ve DONE IT! My garden is filled out and flush, The new deck we built less than a year ago RULES, I have awesome garden workers, 2 lovely ladies to assist you with your produce needs (Ellen and Nicole)…now all I need is a driver.
Ok nuff said…here comes the good stuff: Continue reading "Inventory at Tom Spicer’s FM1410"
A loyal Disher (h/t DG) sends a link to a recent newsletter by Dr. Dirt. His parents know him as Howard Garrett, the multi-media writer/talker of all things growing. Anywhoo, Dr. Dirt has a quick guide to identifying genetically modified food in the grocery store. So if you’d like a little less Monsanto in your morning meal, check this out.
Many consumers don’t realize that the FDA does not require genetically modified food to be labeled. That’s because the FDA has decided that you don’t care if the tomato you are eating has been cross bred with frog genes to render the tomato more resistant to cold weather. Some consumers may not be concerned with eating “Franken Food”, but for those who are, here is how to determine if the fruits and vegetables you’re buying are (GM) genetically modified.
For conventionally grown fruit (grown with chemicals inputs), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9. Genetically engineered (GM) fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 8. Example: A conventionally grown banana would be 4011. An organically grown banana would be 94011. A genetically engineered banana would be 84011.
Dr. Dirt has more guidelines for steering clear of GM foods in your diet. Click here. If you have questions on this newsletter or any other topic, check his radio show schedule. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.6 Comments »
This morning comes a photo dispatch from Randy Potts and Parigi Chef Chad Houser who are in Lebanon. You can read their previous reports here, here, and here. Jump for more. Continue reading "Eating Lebanon: The Adventures of Chef Chad Houser, Randy Potts, and Chef Kamal Mouzawak"3 Comments »
A while back, the good folks at Paul Quinn College decided to turn their decommissioned football field into a two-acre organic farm. Great idea, eh? The call it Food For Good and if you’re not familiar with the project already, get familiar with it—because it’s pretty darn cool. One way to do so: show up from 6-9 pm on April 14 for Trammell Crow’s pop-up A Community Cooks event where, for $100, you can enjoy live music from The Bishop Arts Jazz Allstars and delish treats from chefs Graham Dodds (Bolsa), Julian Barsotti (Nonna), Randall Copeland (Ava), Jeff Harris (Red Fork), Janice Provost (Parigi), Kelly Hightower (Nova), Tim Bevins (Craft), Orazio Lamanna (Dallas Cowboys), Kate Nelson (PieCurious). Special guest urban agriculture pioneer and CEO/founder of Growing Power Inc., Will Allen, will be on hand to share his wisdom and lend agro-support to the project.
Patrick Kennedy files a story about Urban Acres in the March issue of D Magazine. It’s an in-depth look at former-chef-turned-thoughtful grocer Steven Bailey and his venture Urban Acres. Here’s a snippet of Kennedy’s story:
Urban Acres’ recipe is one part hands-on learning experience and two parts community involvement, further distinguishing it from the impersonal feel of either the downtown Farmers Market or a typical supermarket. Every time I’ve visited the store, I have run into an old friend or made a new one. The feel of the place is flavored as much by the community as it is by Bailey himself. He is staking his business on the one thing his competition will never have: a home here in Dallas.
This just in from the Spiceman:
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y’all need to come see what we’ve got here at the FM 1410. This is what I’ve been trying to finish and it’s almost done…a few finishing touches but now we’re up to our wazoogala in arugula…and if you have a fetish for lettuce we’re it ! check out our wailing wall of basil and last but not least…Our New Shed and Deck ( a Cajun porch on steroids) come on down y’all. Spiceman’s FM 1410. 1410 B North Fitzhugh Ave.
The full crop of ripe Texas produce is just around the corner but local markets are kicking into high gear with all kinds of goodies. The two clichés in the previous sentence should be enough of an incentive to get off the computer and head to Mockingbird Station Market tonight from 4:00 to 7:00 PM.
Web details here. Jump for the list of unique vendors. Continue reading "Shop Tonight at Mockingbird Station Market in Dallas"1 Comment »
Tra la, tra la. Here is a lengthy note from Tom Spicer. He’s been busy as a, well, bee.
Greetings from The FM 1410, the Spiceman’s lair of Culi-ne’er-do-wells and looking to please or sometimes… tease with tastes of trinkets from his garden.
We have a nice garden buffet of fresh, edible greens, flowers and GREEN CORRIANDER BERRIES right off the umbeliferous crowns @ $2/oz.
Use them like pepper corns to encrust and make robust your fish, poultry dish or toss them over your shoulder and make a wish.
EAST TEXAS STRAWBERRIES from Titus County…or just accross its border maybe but wherever I got them I drove 4 hours round trip because the flavors beconed
the Spiceman to run the gauntlet of sirens (you’s in a heap o’ trouble boy) but I say I say, fog horn leg horn…that there’s a strawberry! retail @ $4 PT wholes ale $30/flat
ORGANIC TIOGA, TX BRAISING & SALAD GREENS Wolf Creek Farm is back on line with late plantings of snow kissed salad greens retail/wholesale around $10#…value added from Spiceman’s Garden at $15# look for late crops due to the late spring, okra, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, yukon gold potatoes, shishito, Padrone, marconi and gypsy peppers…other great organic produce from Tioga Tim late in summer are water melons, canteloupes (sorry honey dew, but…I can’t elope)
Jump for joy!! Continue reading "It’s Wild Foraged Fennel Pollen Season!"
From the copy and paste press release department:
Pinkberry. Just in time for the beginning of “Pinkberry Season”: two new decadent and delicious toppings. Cheesecake Bites and Cinnamon Streusel have joined the extensive list of luscious yogurt pairings offered on Pinkberry’s topping bar. Celebrate spring with new swirl topping sweets, and follow @pinkberryswirl for juicy news on a brand new Pinkberry yogurt flavor deputing March 12th.
Akin Farms. Wendy Akin of Akin Farms writes a lovely newsletter with updates on her crop availability. Her first of the season was delivered yesterday. READY TO PLANT. The seed potatoes are here and waiting in bushel baskets for the soil to dry enough to make beds for them. Onion plants – about 12,000 of them! – have arrived and are waiting to be planted. Michie likes to get all this in the ground in mid February, but this year we are hoping for early March. Big 5 pound sacks and about a hundred little packets of seeds are piled up in the diningroom waiting for spring planting. Many hundreds of tiny tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings are growing on heat mats under lights and flats of hefty artichoke seedlings are growing in the greenhouse. Subscribe to Wendy’s informative mailings at email@example.com
Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream. Girl Scout Day. March 6th Noon – 1:00 PM only.
GIRL SCOUT DAY at HENRY’S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM, 2909 W. 15 th St.
Plano, TX 75075. 972-943-3639. FREE Girl Scout Cookie Ice Cream. ALL Flavors.
All Girl Scout Cookies will be manufactured into HENRY’S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM
If you are a Girl Scout, Daisy, Brownie, or a brother or Mom or Dad then you are invited to attend for FREE ICE CREAM !!Watch for Celebrity Scoopers !!!! Ice cream makes you pretty! Think outside the cone!
TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market. Crawfish Are Finally Arriving. Order By Wed For Weekend. (Price Last Week Was 4.65 / lb). March 7 – Oscar Night…TJ’s Shrimp Platter Wins “Best Oscar Snack” Every Year. March 15 – Alaskan Halibut Season Starts. March 29–Passover. Best Gefilte Fish In Dallas! A very popular fish in Australia, barramundi is prized for its sweet, mild taste and big flake! We will get barramundi in Thursday and Friday. Price should be around $19.99 / lb. 214-691-2369.
Dish. Now open for lunch.Restaurant to Offer Lunch Menu and Specials. Dallas diners can now experience DISH for lunch five days a week. With a focus on fresh, simple and comfort, DISH’s new lunch menu blends home-style favorites with the best ingredients to create classic dishes with a twist. Guests looking for a quick and reasonably priced lunch will find it at DISH with menu items ranging from $4 to $18. DISH’s lunch menu features items patrons will enjoy time and time again. From starters, flatbreads and salads to sandwiches, burgers and main plates. In addition to the regular menu, DISH will also serve daily fish and pasta specials as well as a made-fresh daily soup.2 Comments »
Bring your own wine to Spiceman’s Absolutely Unusual Culinary Extravaganza. For those of you still using Morton’s salt, Spiceman is Tom Spicer, forager and procurer of all-things-produce. His wonderfully offbeat shop, Spiceman’s FM 1410, is next to Jimmy’s Food Store and Urbano Café in East Dallas. This Saturday (November 21) Spiceman will teach a few cooking classes. Festivities kick off at 10:30 a.m. with roux making and continue with wild mushroom paella cooked by The Spiceman over a bonfire and duck and Andouille gumbo by David Anthony. Spiceman says, “Come dine, bring yo wine and loose yo mind at Spiceman’s Gumbo ‘n da Garden!” Wild mushrooms? Oh, yes. 1410-B Fitzhugh. 214-954-7974.
Continue reading "Tom Spicer Wants You to Get Sauced"