Oh geez, I am so behind on blogging! OK, let’s dive right back in with something awesome.
On Thursday night I attended the Taste of the Marcellus (TOTM) event, a fundraiser for the Chefs for the Marcellus which is fighting to protect New York from the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) which threatens our drinking water and food supply. It’s an issue I can about very much and the fact that so many fellow local foodies are leading the charge on fighting makes my heart sing.
Originally I was only going to attend the TOTM after-party because my
broke ass current financial situation didn’t allow me to afford a ticket to the main event, but I was contacted by someone from Chefs for the Marcellus (C4M) and asked to help them promote the event and I was more than happy to help. Doing the right thing for a good cause is something I never have a problem saying yes too and I felt good doing my part, but the day before the event my contact at C4M asked if I’d like to attend the main event as her guest as a thank you for my help. That was some pretty sweet icing on the do-gooder cake.
The event was AWESOME!
OK first let me get this out of the way; I didn’t eat anything at the event. This type of event is really hard with my food allergies especially as there was a focus on local seasonal foods which meant a lot of peaches (deadly) and legumes (also deadly), but for a food nerd like me, just being in the presence of great chefs and seeing them create is special even if I can’t eat what they serve. Besides I had a nice big meal before I left my apartment to keep me going all night.
The event was at Brooklyn Winery, a beautiful space in a neighborhood I hate; Williamsburg, but being the concerned citizen I am braved the subway full of pretentious hipsters and was richly rewarded. Brooklyn winery has a rustic charm with its dark wood paneling, planters running the length of walls that stretch up to ceilings 18 feet off the ground and an atrium room with a glass roof which was especially cool on a stormy night like we had on Thursday.
The space was filled with stations serving bites from some of the top restaurants in New York City and at each station there were different Finger Lakes region wines or Brewery Ommegang beers to pair your food with. I may not have been able to eat, but don’t worry I enjoyed the beverage selection just fine… Everyone raved about the food which included selections like; Chicken Meatballs with Pesto and Corn Salad, Black Forbidden “Fried Rice” with Oxtail and Seasonal Vegetables and Blueberry Brown Butter Cakes with Black Raspberry Compote. The two most famous chefs there, who you’ve probably seen on TV before, Chris Santos and Elizabeth Faulkner offered Whipped Ricotta Jewel on Toast with Grilled Peaches, Chili Basil and Honey and Summer Squash and Peach Salad with Ricotta and Almonds respectively.
Aside from the abundance of beautiful food, wine and beer and the lovely setting, the atmosphere was truly something special. Imagine me, a progressive-lefty-social justice freak-environmentalist-foodie in a room filled with like minded people. I met so many amazing people working in food policy and environmental issues and everyone there was ready to lend their voices to stop fracking in New York State, including Josh Fox; Writer and Director of Oscar nominated documentary about fracking, Gasland and Hilary Baum, who’s pretty much the superhero of sustainable food.
Though the seriousness and urgency of the issue wasn’t dumbed down or shied away from, the vibe of the event was hopeful, not dire and it energized the crowd to keep on fighting.
On a personal note I also met one of my idols, nutritionist and Food Network star Ellie Krieger. It was definitely a full geek-out moment for me as I’ve admired her for years and share her philosophy on food. She was with two friends who were also dietitians and were so so nice to me. We spent a good few minutes discussing the way America eats, the body image crisis for young girls here and my own personal journey with weight. She is so warm and totally gorgeous (seriously her skin glows!).
All in all it was an amazing night which reminded me how important it is to protect our food, water and air.
Learn more and get involved in the fight against fracking here: http://gaslandthemovie.com/
Wow! That sounds like an amazing event! I am glad you had an opportunity to go. I just thought it was so cool the Ellie Krieger tweeted you back and said you rocked (or something like that). So Mario loves you and Ellie thinks you rock – that is a pretty epic week!!