Student Farm/Andrew/KrisLast Saturday Fairfield was a destination on an unusual road tour.  The group comprised Rick Polito, Editor-in-Chief of the Nutrition Business Journal, Bethany Davis, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Foodstate/Megafood, Alan Lewis, Director of Government Affairs and Food and Agriculture Policy at Natural Grocers, and organic aronia berry farmer Andrew Pitz of Sawmill Hollow farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa. They are currently on a five-day trek from western Iowa to Baltimore, MD, probing the complicated relationships between farmers, producers, the natural products industry, and the US government's agricultural policies. Read the article about their experiences in Fairfield here, and listen to my interview with the group, when they stopped by the KRUU studio to chat.  CLICK READ MORE!

Cooks at Italian Fest-GTTofu meatballs

Great Taste was live on Tuesday at Green Building Supply with guests Liliana Rosano, Ed Malloy, and Pete DeCicco.

Ed and Pete were amazing.  Pete's grilled eggplant parmigianno with loads of other veggies was super tasty and pleasingly light.  His tofu meatballs, laden with fresh herbs, and some other flavor enhancers like Spike and Bragg's liquid aminos were partnered with Ed's famous red sauce.  I'm not saying you wouldn't have noticed the meat was missing, but they were great-a definite crowd pleaser in a vegetarian-friendly atmosphere.

 Also, the crew made penne with chickpeas, kale, and the red sauce.  Dessert featured strawberries and ice cream with traditional balsamic vinegar.

There were plenty of fun moments, some liberties taken that may have caused lovers of Italian cusine to wither, but I was impressed with the results and dedication to craft exhibited by Pete and Ed.  

Luckily, we also had Liliana around to explain what is happening on the culinary scene in Italy and with Italian chefs in New York.

Catch the Great Taste radio show on KRUU Wednesday night or Friday morning.  You can find the video (soon if it is not up yet) on the Fairfield Media Center's YouTube channel.

Chef Tom GrayZagat ratings rely on three criteria for judging restaurants-food, decor, and service.  Each of those categories are critically important, and, in general, work as a reliable guideline for diners who want to take the pulse of a specific dining spot.


Depending on my mood, how much time I have, and whether I have a friend in the area who has already run restaurant interference for me, I’ll check Zagat, Chef’s Feed, Yelp (be very careful there), Slow Food,  and Eater in the hopes of uncovering the perfect location to fulfill my inner hunger for a special experience.


Waste Free Kitchen HandbookHow about changing the way we eat and positively impacting our pocketbooks as well as the environment?  The average household of four spends about $120/month on food that is not eaten.  We throw away tons of food each day in commercial establishments.  Countless products that are still edible, but past their sell or use by dates are tossed out recklessly.  Our society wastes more food/capita than any other country in the world.

Dana Gunders, a scientist from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), has written a simple, easy-to-use guide, the Waste Free Kitchen Handbook, and I'll talk with her during the first segment of this week's show.  

Also, a shout out to the folks at Organic Matters Cafe as they are working to not only reduce kitchen and consumer waste, but their lofty goal is to get as close as possible to zero waste.  If anyone knows of other restaurant efforts like this one locally, please tell me.

  • Fri
    Jan 30
    2:00 pm -
    3:00 pm
  • Mon
    Feb 02
    9:00 am -
    10:00 am

"Swish, Swirl & Sniff" - Sensual Poetry from Sal Marici

Swish swirl sniff


This week on Writers' Voices, Monica and Caroline speak with poet Salvatore Marici, who splits his time beween the Quad Cities and Florida. Marici is the author of two poetry books from Ice Cube Press, of North Liberty, Iowa, a chapbook titled "Mortals, Nature and their Spirits" and the wildly sensual "Swish, Swirl & Sniff."

Travel with us through these poems to Salvatore's memories of the Amazon, Guatemala, Sicily and the Midwest.

Marici's work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including "Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland."  He was the 2010 Midwest Writing Center's poet-in-residence in Davenport, Iowa.