- 20110817 - Great Taste - Sustainable Farming and a Surprise Dish from an Indian Hills Chef

Melon Salad/AmisKathy and I are back in the studio this week with a "live" show.  I've been on the road enjoying meals in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  One thing I finally realized is that I would make a very poor food critic.  A food critic does visit a restaurant several times (or should) before putting into print what, in some markets, determines a spot's success or eventual boarding up.  After and between those visits there are numerous other establishments that have to be subjected to the scribe's palate.  It's a never-ending story of moving on and not going back until it's time to do another review. 

Summer Pasta/AmisMe, I keep returning to the same places over and over again.  That's because my objective is different.  I desire to form a relationship where the critic can't afford to since it gets in the way of the "job."  Once I find a chef who is turning out great food I want to learn more about all the elements that surround what eventually ends up on the plate-individual personality, business/food philosophy, background, staff-front and back of the house; anything that puts a stamp on the food.  The only way to do that is keep going back to learn more each visit.  Each meal becomes more than a journey through different plates of food, but an interpersonal experience of that food's journey from the people who planted and cultivated it to those who eventually plate and serve it.

So I spent three wonderful evenings at Otto in Vegas, two at Nightwood in Chicago, and one at Amis in Philadelphia with no need to go into any details of the meals in-between.  Going back to these havens provides a feeling of being "at home" when that isn't physically possible.  It's an opportunity to spend a little time with people I've met over the years who are providing amazing meals to their patrons, and supporting local growers dedicated to sustainable producing systems.

On the show we'll have an opportunity to visit with Grover Stock, a former Fairfield resident, who is dedicated to producing food sustainably.  Grover has worked in Mexico creating sustainable growing and product delivery systems for farmers, and played a major role in setting up what is our local Sustainable Living Coalition.  He and Marie Silva are currently involved in numerous projects on a farm in California.

Also, it's the Indian Hills Culinary crew time of the month.  David van Reit and perhaps some classmates will participate in a little Farmer's Market surprise.  What that means is I'm going to the Farmer's Market, and they will transform the goodies into something delicious.