Get Green

In spite of the struggle over the Farm Bill and the chronic ineptitude of the current administration, I am encouraged by the movement of individuals, local governments and organizations, and now, Macy’s — for gosh sakes — to embrace sustainability. I was delighted to see the announcement for this event and took the opportunity to attend. This was the first of a series of three.

the announcement
Local chefs and farmers pair up at Macy’s
CUESA is partnering with Macy’s Cellar for a series of three cooking demonstrations and farmer/chef interviews. This Tuesday, August 14, Chris Cosentino of Incanto and Doug Stonebreaker of Prather Ranch Meat Company will show that meat lovers can be green too. Seating is first-come, first-served starting at 6 pm in the Union Square Cellar Kitchen at Macy’s. A $10 donation to CUESA will get you a seat at the demonstration, a sample of the featured dish, a glass of wine from Benziger Family Winery, a canvas Ferry Plaza Farmers Market tote, and a sample of Origins new organic skin care line.

market_bag.jpg

The bag was provided by Origins. Thanks Origins!  

I attended and it was great!

The Macy’s demonstration kitchen is very good. Four flat screen color monitors focus on the stove and prep stations and the venue is small enough to involve the audience.

Macy’s provided the emcee and he introduced Chris and Doug who told their stories. Both were outspoken and entertaining in their descriptions of why they embrace sustainability.

Chris —
Stopped serving steaks at Incanto about three years ago to concentrate on “what nobody else wants, organ meats, or offal. He did this through an interest in sustainability, and through his research had “one of the best meals of my life” at St. John Restaurant in London. He went on to do a stage (work in the kitchen for a period of time to learn) with Fergus Henderson, St. John’s founder and chef.
Incanto is the first “certified humane” restaurant in the United States.
Check out his blog, “offal good.”

Doug —
Prather Ranch was the first meat vendor at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market when it was on Green Street. Their beef is 80% grass fed and finished on rice forage and barley forage, not corn. They also raise pork, lamb, chickens and buffalo. Prather Ranch is certified humane, one of the first in the country.

Benziger Family Winery was a sponsor of the event and served Sauvignon Blanc before our meal and Cabernet Sauvignon as the meal was served.
The Benziger spokesperson described their sustainable farming and business practices, as well as their history.

There were questions from the food savvy audience of about 50, and then proceedings focused on the actual food. Hooray!

Beef Heart Tartare Puttanesca Style with Garlic Chips was prepared by Chris and his sous chef. Chris explained that the heart is totally lean and has the marvelous beefy flavor that is mindful of the very best roast beef. Normally, tenderloin is used for beef tartare, but he feels that to be mushy and lacking flavor. Beef heart is also excellent for grilling.

I asked Doug if I could get portion smaller than the 15 pound monster Chris was cutting. He suggested a lamb heart or grass fed veal heart.

Puttanesca is a traditional Italian pasta dish made with a sauce of Mediterranean vegetables and herbs. In this case, the vegetables are raw and chopped fine: capers, red onion, Serrano chilies, olives, lemon zest and quartered cherry tomatoes. The mixture is tossed with a red wine vinegrette containing mint (to cool the chilies) and basil. It was sprinkled with deep fried garlic chips and served with crisp grilled toasts.

Our portions were appetizer size. The flavor was heavenly, spicy and cool with that hearty beef flavor. Yum.

Thanks Macy’s!

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