Posts Tagged ‘Ruth Reichl’

Sotheby’s to Auction Heirloom Vegetables

July 8, 2010

I stumbled upon this Heirloom Vegetable Auction in Great Performances monthly newsletter. The idea of using Sotheby’s New York  to auction off vegetables is genius and I’d love to beam over to NYC to see this done (and, not to mention, ogle the culinary VIP’s in attendance). If you happen to be in the city, tickets for the event start at $250 and go to a great cause.

Here’s the scoop on The Art of Farming event:

Just in time for the 2010 harvest season, Sotheby’s New York will host the inaugural Tri-State Heirloom Vegetable auction, The Art of Farming, on September 23, 2010. This first-of-its-kind event will celebrate edible heirlooms and the art involved in their creation. The novel concept provides a unique platform for local farmers, purveyors, celebrity chefs, food industry experts and high-profile New Yorkers to join together for a shared interest in the vitality of the Greenmarket and raise important funds for the GrowNYC New Farmer Development Project and The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm. The event is supported by leaders and visionaries in the sustainable food and farming movement, including Eric Ripert, Ruth Reichl, Martha Stewart, Bette Midler, Dan Barber, Liz Neumark, and others.

The Art of Farming evening will begin with a cocktail reception with “local” hors d’oeuvres by renowned restaurant Rouge Tomate, which strives to address social and environmental issues, taking pride in farm to table cuisine and implementing sustainable practices such as their firm dedication to composting. Jamie Niven, Chairman of Sotheby’s North America, will lead a live auction of Heirloom vegetables from more than 40 local farmers from the tri-state area, including Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell of Beekman 1802, John Gorzynski of Gorzynski Ornery Farms, Russell Glover of Consider Bardwell, Tom Culton of Culton Organics, and Richard Ball of Schoharie Valley Farms. All seeds for the produce on sale have been donated to the farmers by Landreth and Seed Savers.

Also on the block will be incredible food and drink experiences such as summer farm internships for students, field trips for school classes, celebrity chef dinners, vegetable futures, farm-to-table dinners, New York wine country getaways, Brooklyn brewmaster tastings, and a bountiful silent auction of delectable items.

Following the auction, there will be an exclusive four-course dinner for benefactors, designed by a line-up of renowned celebrity chefs, including Jeff Gimmel of Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, New York, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef of Jean Georges, Roberto Alicea, Executive Chef of Andaz 5th Avenue, and Dominique Ancel, Pastry Chef of Daniel. The decadent menu will be created using fresh, seasonal ingredients like those on sale at the auction, donated by local organic markets and livestock providers. Each table will be hosted by a local farmer.

To complement the evening’s festivities, earlier the same day Sotheby’s will also host a series of high-profile gallery talks illuminating how art and food, flavor and culture, and trade and sustainability all impact- and are affected by- the journey from farm to table. The afternoon’s line-up, led by Karen Karp, President of Karp Resources, includes industry veterans Scott Exo, Executive Director, Food Alliance; Mitchell Davis, Vice President, James Beard Foundation; and others.

The Art of Farming will coincide with and kick-off the 2010 Eat Drink Local week in New York City, the annual celebration of the local food chain, co-produced by Edible magazines and GrowNYC. All proceeds from the event will benefit the GrowNYC New Farmers Development Project, which identifies, educates and supports immigrants with agricultural experience to become local producers and establish farms in the region, and The Sylvia Center, a program that inspires and teaches children to eat well through hands-on experiences at Katchkie Farm and in school and community centers all over New York City.

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Technically Correct Dining

December 16, 2009

I’ve always secretly wanted to be a food critic along the lines of Ruth Reichl or Gael Greene; I love every little intricacy of restaurant analysis –  from the paper the menu is printed on to the dishware, from the lengthy list of source-specific ingredients to the artistry of the presentation.

So when a recent New Yorker had an actual interview with a New York-based Michelin reviewer, I geeked out.

The Michelin Guide is known for being “famously anonymous,” so much so that their actual criteria for reviews hasn’t really been known EVER. The criteria for their recruiting their reviewers is just as fuzzy as everything else.

In the article, the New Yorker’s John Colapinto actually sits down for lunch with Reviewer X at Jean-George’s.  A few interesting tidbits – reviewers aren’t able to tell anyone what they do (spouses are barely in the “ok” bubble);  reviewers typically dine out around 200 days a year (lunch and dinner)- and they must go alone;  reviewers must order the maximum number of courses offered, and they must eat everything on their plate.

All in all, it’s a fascinating read. Reviewer X herself admits that the job is not about money- rather, it’s about having a passion for the dining experience so strong that you’re willing to sacrifice almost everything else. When you think about it, it’s the same dedication for those chef’s competing to gain a star or maintain the ones they have.