If You Can’t Get to France This Summer, Then Let France Come to You: Exploring the Personalities of Beaujolais in NYC

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Sommelier Patrick Cappiello with Discover Beaujolais’ Charles Rambaud at Huertas in New York City

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We don’t have any trips to France planned for this summer (yet, our internal eternal optimists force us to add), but we were happy to have the occasion to “Think French” during a couple of recent lunches in New York City.

Last week, we joined Discover BeaujolaisCharles Rambaud at Huertas on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to taste how Beaujolais paired with its Basque-influenced Spanish cuisine — on the heels of his visits to San Francisco and Seattle to showcase its pairing prowess with Asian and Pacific Northwest cuisines.

Sommelier Patrick Cappiello (a partner of Branden McRill in Pearl & Ash and Rebelle) led us through a tasting of more than a half-dozen examples of Beaujolais, underscoring that — despite the fact that 98% of Beaujolais is red wine made from the Gamay grape — all Beaujolais is not alike.  Indeed, we kicked off lunch by enjoying a rare Beaujolais rose (which represents just 1% of all Beaujolais produced, as does white):  a 2014 Gerard Gelin Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais Villages Rosé ($16).

Other wines included a 2012 Christophe Pacalet Moulin-a-Vent ($21), 2013 Barbet Domaines des Billards Saint-Amour ($20), 2012 Coudert Clos de la Roilette Fleurie ($17, and Andrew’s favorite after impressing him with how well it paired with asparagus), 2012 Stephane Aviron “Cote du Py” Vielles Vignes Morgon ($20), 2012 Chateau Fusse “Domaine de la Conseillere” Julienas ($30), and 2013 Cominique Piron Beaujolais Villages ($15).

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Upper left: Tapas; Upper right: Beaujolais can take a nice chill, especially during the summer months; Center: Charles Renaud; Lower left: Asparagus with Marcona almonds; Lower right: Potato strands sub for pasta, while a smoky-noted Beaujolais subs for bacon

Exploring the Personalities of Beaujolais

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The tote bag we were given after lunch makes distinguishing one Beaujolais from another fun

Beaujolais
[brew-yee]
“The Easy-Going”
Body:  light
Aging potential:  1-2 years

Beaujolais Villages
[brew-yee vee-lahj]
“The Charmer”
Body:  light/medium
Aging potential:  1-5 years

The 10 Crus of Beaujolais:

Brouilly

[brew-yee]
“The Young”
Body:  medium
Aging potential:  3-5 years

Chenas
[shay-nah]
“The Full-Bodied”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  6-10 years

Chiroubles
[she-ruble]
“The Real”
Body:  light/medium
Aging potential:  2-5 years

Cote de Brouilly
[coat de brew-yee]
“The Elegant”
Body:  medium/medium-plus
Aging potential:  4-6 years

Fleurie
[flurry]
“The Queen”
Body:  medium-minus/medium
Aging potential:  5-10 years

Julienas
[julien-ah]
“The Earthy”
Body:  medium-plus/FULL
Aging potential:  5-10 years

Morgon
[mor-goan]
“The Powerful”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  5-20 years

Moulin-a-Vent
[moolana-vuh]
“The Great”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  10 years

Regnie
[rein-yay]
“The Creative”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  3-5 years

Saint-Amour
[sand-amoor]
“The Romantic”
Body:  medium
Aging potential:  2-10 years

Indeed, each of the 10 crus of Beaujolais has its own style, personality, and food pairing implications. Lighter-bodied Beaujolais pair more readily with lighter dishes (e.g., hummus, salads, summer rolls, strawberry shortcake) while fuller-bodied styles pair more easily with heartier dishes (e.g., burdock root, casseroles, eggplant, Jerusalem artichokes, lentil soup, mushrooms).  Medium-bodied Beaujolais has the flexibility to pair with either lighter or heavier dishes (e.g., macaroni and cheese, onion rings, garlic roast potatoes, potato salad, Vichyssoise).

We’re not letting our plans to be in Manhattan over the next few weeks stop us from enjoying some of France’s most idyllic summer pleasures.  Neither should you.

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Discover Beaujolais is at discoverbeaujolais.com and on Twitter at twitter.com/discoverbojo.

Chef Brad Farmerie Introduces A Loveable Five-Course “Dirt to Fork” Vegan Tasting Menu At PUBLIC

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Brad Farmerie‘s hands move like a lover’s over the object of his affection: his ingredients.  The chef of PUBLIC has long impressed us with his ability to take lists of ingredients that don’t always make our mouths water and turn them into dishes we’re ready to return for the very next night.  Through interviewing him for our book THE FLAVOR BIBLE, we caught a glimpse into the unique way Brad thinks about composing dishes and working with flavors — which, fueled by the passion he has for them in his heart, he manages to coax further through the magic of touch.

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PUBLIC’s Executive Chef Brad Farmerie

“Our first thought was to do a vegetarian menu, and after a week we’re thinking, ‘We need to go further….’  I challenged [my kitchen team, including chef de cuisine Alan Wise] to vegetarian, and they came back with vegan — and I was like, ‘I love you guys!'”
Brad Farmerie, on the origin of PUBLIC‘s vegan “Dirt to Fork” menu

The other night, we headed downtown to PUBLIC to experience Brad’s five-course “Dirt to Fork” menu (subtitled “An exploration into earthly edibles”), which is a meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free effort by Brad and his talented kitchen team.

Yes, it’s a vegan tasting menu — something we’ve been happy to see more and more of offered by fellow distinguished chefs such as Terrance Brennan of Picholine and Mark Ladner of Del Posto in Manhattan and Todd Gray of Equinox in Washington, DC.  This month, Aaron Adams — formerly of Portobello in Portland, Oregon (which was once named by VegNews as one of the three best vegan restaurants in America, and featured in THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE) — just opened Farm Spirit, Portland’s first all-vegan tasting menu restaurant, which is already completely booked for weeks.

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“[Brad Farmerie] seems to have the je ne sais quois (not to mention the culinary literacy, given his…ahem…excellent taste in books) to make the unlikeliest of flavor combinations meld harmoniously on the plate. We were truly amazed that with so many flavors being juggled in each dish, we never once tasted a discordant note.”
–from our August 2005 blog post on our first visit to PUBLIC

We first visited PUBLIC 10 years ago this summer, curious about the restaurant’s unique global (with an “Australiasian” emphasis) approach to cuisine fueled by Farmerie’s extensive travels, including through Europe and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Asia, and New Zealand.   You’ll find ingredients rarely, if ever, seen on other American menus.

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Astute beverage pairings have always added to the enjoyment of Farmerie’s dishes.  The five-course “Dirt to Fork” menu is offered for $65, with beverage pairings  (recommended) an additional $55.  The beverages span cocktails and wine, and are worth springing for.

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Our first was a cocktail that consisted of components representing all of the elements featured in the vegan tasting menu — including flowers, fruit, pollen, roots, sap, and seeds.  It was a bright start to our evening.

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The spread for our bread?  Whipped avocado was accented by salt, cilantro powder and tomato powder.

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Course 1:  FRUIT, NUTS, SEEDS:  Charred papaya with pine nuts, pecans, coconut, sesame and pumpkin seeds.  This dish was brilliant in its creativity — being unlike any other papaya dish we’d ever tasted — and its “familiarity,” with the fruit + nuts combo combined with spheres of cool coconut being reminiscent of a savory ice cream sundae.

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Course 2:  NIGHTSHADES, OIL, FERMENTATION:  Chilled eggplant soup with black garlic, sago, and mint.  Texture-wise, our vote was split:  Karen thinks she’d have preferred the soup a bit thinner, to enhance its contrast from the sago (large tapioca-like pearls).  Andrew suggests simply calling it and/or thinking of it as a savory “pudding” instead of soup.  Strictly flavor-wise, we both agreed this dish was unusual, exciting, and delicious.

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Mid-dinner, we had an opportunity to visit the kitchen, where we were able to watch Farmerie plate our next dish.

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Course 3:  ROOTS, WEEDS, ALLIUMS: Confit burdock root with sunchoke, onion, claytonia and upland cress.  Perhaps the most gorgeous dish of the night, we loved its clean, “unadorned” flavors, including that of the burdock itself, which tasted like the intersection of artichokes, nuts, and potatoes.  We did find ourselves wishing for even more of the delicious onion “jam” upon which the sliced root sat!

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Course 4:  BARLEY, OCEAN, YEAST:  Soy barley croquettes with toasted yeast broth, seaweed salad, and samphire.  Hands down, this was our favorite dish of the night, the perfect crescendo to our tasting menu.  Tofu + barley were blended and seasoned, and deep fried into savory and very crunchy croquettes.  Seaweed in yeast broth added lots of umami to the dish.  No need to crave crabcakes if these are an available option!

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Course 5:  SAP, POLLEN, FLOWERS:  Maple sherbet with rice milk panna cotta, lavender foam, and fennel pollen.  We loved both the lightness, and the range of textures in this dessert:  creaminess, crispiness, crunchiness.  Maple is one of our favorite flavors, and this maple sherbet was a perfect summer expression.

PUBLIC executive pastry chef Brian Yurko describes the dessert course in the video below:

Ten years after our first visit, we were thrilled to see Farmerie’s vision and execution continuing to evolve by leaps and bounds — healthfully, sustainably, and deliciously.  Indeed, we found ourselves falling in love with PUBLIC all over again.

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PUBLIC is at 210 Elizabeth Street in Manhattan, and at public-nyc.com.

Catch Us on Victoria Moran’s “Main Street Vegan” Radio Show This Afternoon at 3 pm ET (or Check Out the Podcast!)

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Listen To Our Conversation with Bestselling Author Victoria Moran
on “Main Street Vegan”
Wednesday, June 24th
3 pm ET
unity.fm/program/MainStreetVegan

You can’t research vegetarianism and veganism (as we did when creating THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE) without running across the name Victoria Moran.  She’s everywhere!  In addition to hosting her weekly radio show “Main Street Vegan,” Victoria also runs the Main Street Vegan Academy which trains and certifies Vegan Lifestyle Coaches and Educators.  She is also the author of a dozen books including The Love-Powered Diet, Creating a Charmed Life, and Main Street Vegan.

When Karen first sat down to lunch with Victoria at Candle Cafe West, their ensuing conversation was such a lovefest that they felt as if they’d known each other for years.  (Being fellow Midwesterners and Beatlemaniacs helped!)

Last time we got together as a foursome with Victoria’s husband, musician (and accordian champion) and writer (including authoring The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing the Harmonica) William Melton, at the Kickstarter-fueled restaurant The Seasoned Vegan (at 55 St. Nicholas Avenue near 113th Street) near their LEED-certified “green” condo in Harlem.

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“…Ninety-eight percent of the animals raised for food suffer horrifically on factory farms before being slaughtered.  Every time you eat a vegan meal, you’re voting for something different….The yogis knew three thousand years ago that eating as a vegetarian was conducive to spiritual growth and inner peace.”
Victoria Moran, in The Good Karma Diet

Since then, we’ve been making our way through Victoria’s new book The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion, which is part diet book, part nutritional primer, and part guide to all things vegan.  The book is peppered with the stories of turning points in the lives of a diverse range of people that led them to embrace a vegan lifestyle, and addresses the basics of what anyone might want to know about doing so — from smoothie recipes to where to buy fashionable leather-free shoes.

One of the things we love most about Victoria is that she embraces such a compassionate, nonjudgmental attitude.   Even as someone who’s been eating vegan for more than three decades, Victoria understands that it isn’t easy for many Americans who — like us — grew up eating meat, eggs, and dairy at most if not all meals to make the switch.

“If this sounds great but going all the way seems impossible right now, go partway,” she writes in The Good Karma Diet.  “Every step in this direction — doing Meatless Mondays, or eating vegan before six p.m., as food journalist Mark Bittman’s book title VB6 suggests — is important and powerful.  Just keep moving forward.”

We’re looking forward to discussing our forward-moving journey with Victoria this afternoon at 3 pm ET — and hope you’ll join us!

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Victoria Moran is the founder and director of the Main Street Vegan Academy, and hosts the weekly “Main Street Vegan” radio show/podcast on Unity Online Radio.  Visit her online at MainStreetVegan.net, on Twitter @Victoria_Moran, and on Instagram @MainStreetVegan.

Domaine Laroche Is Synonymous With Chablis to Many — Including Us

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Domaine Laroche technical director Gregory Viennois at last night’s wine tasting dinner at Betony in Manhattan

When we were invited to attend last night’s wine-tasting dinner featuring the wines of Domaine Laroche hosted by the winery’s technical director Grégory Viennois at Betony, we could measure in seconds, not minutes, how long it took us to reply with an enthusiastic “yes.”

Three years ago this month, we first visited the Sancerre and Burgundy regions of France as part of a trip organized by Sopexa USA.  While we visited many wineries and tasted hundreds of wines, one of the most memorable highlights was our visit to Domaine Laroche in Burgundy’s northernmost region of Chablis.

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Karen Page, Gwenael Laroche, Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave, and Marie-Christina Batich at Domaine Laroche in Chablis in June 2012

While many wine tastings are pleasant, precious few yield more than a few rave-worthy wines.  An even rarer number yield many rave-worthy wines.  Our visit to Domaine Laroche fell into that rare category.  As suggested by the photo above, we’d tasted our way through a good number of wines, and were amazed again and again by their consistent excellence.

We learned then that the family of Gwenael Laroche — the winery’s “brand ambassador” and the host of our tasting (photo above) — had been making wine in Chablis for more than 160 years. While Chablis grows only Chardonnay grapes, their unique expression in the bottle is partly the result of the region’s rich Kimmeridgian soil, which features fossilized oyster shells, chalk and clay of the upper Jurassic geological period — resulting in wines of great character, minerality, and complexity.  At Domaine Laroche, we suspect it is the winemaking team’s perfectionism that results in wines of such consistent precision and elegance.

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Upper right: For the record, the shape of the drizzle of creme fraiche on the asparagus veloute was Karen’s editorial opinion of the soup — not the kitchen’s design; Center: Domaine Laroche’s logo reflects the sensory enjoyment of wine

The winery hasn’t been afraid to make radical changes, all in the interest of the wine.  In 2001, Laroche was the first wine producer in Burgundy to forego corks in favor of screwcap closures — even for its prized Grand Cru vintages.

We were happy to have the opportunity to speak with Grégory about his passion for picking fruit at the exact right moment in order to produce the best wine “with the precision of Japanese cuisine,” in his words.  Karen inquired whether the decision regarding the date of harvest was driven primarily by analysis or intuition.  “Both,” he replied, adding that there is no recipe: “It’s about being present to the grapes and to the soil.”

This is where we’d customarily provide you with a summary of our tasting notes of the wines served at dinner, which included the 2013 Domaine Laroche Saint Martin, the 2012 Domaine Laroche 1er Cru Les Vaudevey, the 2012 Domaine Laroche 1er Cru Les Vaillons Vielles Vignes, the 2012 Domaine Laroche Grand Cru Les Blanchots, the 2012 Domaine Laroche Grand Cru Les Clos, the 2012 Domaine Laroche Les Reserve de L’Obedience, the 2008 Domaine Laroche Grand Cru Blanchots (in magnum), and the 2008 Domaine Laroche Grand Cru Les Clos (in magnum — not to mention the 2008 Royal Tokaji Red Label 5 Puttonyos Aszu that accompanied dessert). But we fear our superlatives would be annoyingly repetitive.  Last night’s tasting underscored that our experience at the winery in France was not a fluke — and that it is with good reason that Domaine Laroche has indeed become virtually synonymous with Chablis itself.

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Top left: Gregory Viennois at Betony; Top right: Chocolate, banana, and yuzu dessert, served with 2008 Royal Tokaji Red Label 5 Puttonyos Aszu; Bottom left: Betony wine director (and Eleven Madison Park alum) Jeff Taylor

We would, however, like to offer special thanks to the team at Betony, and especially its very gracious wine director Jeff Taylor (an alum of Eleven Madison Park, as is chef Bryce Shuman), for pairing such elegant meatless dishes for us with these extraordinarily elegant and food-friendly wines.  We’d been fans of Betony in its very early days, long before the New York Times’ three-star rave made it next to impossible to land a reservation.  Is its kitchen is still turning out inspired and well-executed dishes, even on a larger scale in its beautiful lower-level private room?  The answer is another enthusiastic “yes.”

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Our favorite Chablis producer Domaine Laroche is located in the Chablis region of Burgundy in France, and at larochewines.com.

Giving “Thumbs Up” to Forbidden Root for Branching Out In Its Exploration of New Flavor Frontiers for Beer

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The four Forbidden Root brews we tasted our way through this week: WPA, Forbidden Root, Sublime Ginger, and Divine Mud

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The Forbidden Root team, outside Red Farm’s Decoy restaurant this week in New York City (left to right): director of sales Lincoln Anderson, operations manager BJ Pichman, founder and “rootmaster” Robert Finkel, and director of restaurant operations / general manager Terry Kane

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Upper left: Terry Kane with Andrew Dornenburg; Upper right: Robert Finkel; Lower right: Karen Page with Terry Kane

“The use of bark, stems, blossoms, sap, herbs, spices, leaves, flowers, honey, and roots reflects humankind’s instinct and perennial quest to forage for new and different flavors. At Forbidden Root, we not only embrace this heritage, it is central to what we do.”
–from Forbidden Root’s website

When we heard rumblings that members of the team behind the new Forbidden Root — Chicago’s first botanic brewery — were avid fans of our book THE FLAVOR BIBLE, we were intrigued.

At last month’s James Beard Foundation Awards held in Chicago, we were introduced by a mutual friend to Forbidden Root’s “root master” Robert Finkel, who it turns out had been one of 800 fellow classmates of Karen’s at Harvard.  During his post-HBS years, he’d provided capital and support to growing companies, and authored the book The Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital (McGraw Hill Business Books, 2009), featuring lessons from 10 of the country’s the most notable venture capital and private equity investors, before founding Forbidden Root.

This week, we had the pleasure of joining Bob and members of his team at Eddie Schoenfeld of Red Farm‘s Decoy restaurant in Greenwich Village to taste through four of their beers:

1) Wildflower Pale Ale (WPA):   Andrew’s favorite, this is a lighter-bodied, refreshing beer with notes of lemon citrus on the palate, made with sweet osmanthus, marigold and elder flower as well as three different types of hops.  FR’s Terry Kane jokingly described this one to Andrew as “the perfect beer to quaff after mowing the lawn.”

2) Sublime Ginger: Karen’s favorite, this light, refreshing wheat-based beer is made from a blend of two types of ginger (after testing more than three dozen different types, these two offered softness and roundness with no burning “pop”) and key lime, with hints of honeybush and lemon myrtle.  Food-wise, this would be the one we’d think of first when pairing with Asian cuisine.

3) Forbidden Root beer:   While its nose brought up Karen’s fondest childhood memories of A&W, on the palate Forbidden Root’s creamy flagship beer is all grown up:  decidedly dry and irresistibly complex, made from more than 20 natural extracts including black pepper, cardamom, cassia cinnamon, licorice, nutmeg, sandalwood, vanilla, and wintergreen.

4) Divine Mud “Heavy Petal”:  This Imperial Stout brings together dark chocolate + pecans, with a hint of magnolia flower.  A very full-bodied, creamy, and full-flavored beer, this is one we’d opt for at the end of a meal to pair with a chocolate- and/or pecan-noted dessert.

Forbidden Root is still in the midst of lining up New York distribution, but its beers are ones you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for here — or even seek out during your next visit to the Windy City.  These are some of the most flavor-filled and compelling beers we’ve tasted in recent memory.

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Forbidden Root Brewing Company, Chicago’s first botanical brewery, can be found at forbiddenroot.com.

Our Hearts Are With the Family and Friends of Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59; and with the A.M.E. Church Community

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Left: A.M.E. minister Dr. Judi Bowman with Andrew Dornenburg; Right: A.M.E. minister Dr. Judi Bowman with Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, on our August 25, 1990 wedding day  #TBT

“To say that our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.”
President Barack Obama

When we were planning our wedding in 1990, Karen harbored hopes of finding a female officiant.  After she read an inspiring Harvard alumni magazine profile of the Harvard Divinity School’s  valedictorian Dr. Judi Bowman, we knew we’d found our woman.  Twenty-five years ago this August 25th, we were married by this African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) minister — which is how we first came to learn a little something about the A.M.E. church.

We’d learned that this was the first major religious denomination in the West that had been founded in response to sociological and theological beliefs and differences, and in protest against slavery.  The A.M.E. declared that “God is God all the time and for every body,” which reflected our own beliefs.

Seeing the news this morning that a white man had shot and killed nine black people during a prayer meeting at their historic A.M.E. church in Charleston, South Carolina, sickened us.

We managed to feel even worse after our Charleston-based food world colleagues Matt Lee and Ted Lee‘s posting of a Tweet: “You should know just how central this church is to Charleston’s identity & history,” providing this link to the history page of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church‘s website.

But something beautiful happened this afternoon.  Our Facebook friend Andrea Strong had shared a Facebook post from Colorado-based Mike Johnston, about a letter he had written to his local A.M.E. Church, which we found incredibly moving and wanted to share more widely than Facebook and Twitter, so we are also sharing it here:

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The letter Colorado’s Mike Johnston taped to the door of his local Shorter A.M.E. Church after driving there in the middle of the night last night.

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Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston’s Letter to his local Shorter A.M.E. Church

Dear Pastor Tyler and the Elders of Shorter A.M.E. Church,

My heart breaks for those children of God that we lost in your sister church in South Carolina tonight. On a night when old, devastating patterns of racial injustice return like childhood nightmares, it seemed the best thing to do was to get out of my bed and drive over here to make sure this note was the first thing you saw when you walked in the church tomorrow. This white man is driving over to this AME church to tell you how deeply grateful I am that the leaders of your church have helped build this city, and how honored I am that the ancestors of this church have helped build this great country.

For centuries your church has stood for the unconditional love, unfettered hope, and relentless forgiveness that define the American spirit. I want you to know I stand arm in arm with you today in your grief. I refuse to let one deranged man speak for me, and I also refuse to stay silent after his abomination.

I drove over just to remind you and remind myself of the words from one of America’s greatest preachers and one of the Lord’s greatest prophets who said that “Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.” With that truth in mind, in the wake of tonight’s heartless stabs of hatred, I drove here to reaffirm the overwhelming supremacy of love. And to stand with millions of other white men who are proud to call you brothers and sisters, and who feel compelled now to right the wrongs of generations past by ensuring that these lost loved ones you will not grieve alone, this hollow hatred you will not face alone, and this righteous justice you will not seek alone.

Sincerely,
Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston added to his Facebook post, “As a white American I think we should make a point today to make a small but powerful statement that today we all stand together: and do it by stopping by any A.M.E. church in your community and perform a quiet act of service and leave a humble note of thanks. Whether you can sweep a walkway or pull some weeds or collate a bulletin, or ask if you can help and offer a hug and before you go, leave a note on the front door letting them know that you care. By Sunday morning America could blanket these churches with such overwhelming expressions of love that no one could walk through the doors of an AME church without feeling a flood of love and support from white men whose names they don’t know, whose faces they cant place, but whose love they cant ignore. Then share your small acts of love with the hashtag #Onlylovecandothat.”

We, too, stand arm in arm with the Emanuel A.M.E. Church community today in its grief — and we, too, refuse to let one deranged man speak for us, or to stay silent after his abomination.

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The official website of the African Methodist Episcopal Church can be found here.

The website of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, can be found here.

Mike Johnston’s original post on Facebook can be found here.

Cookbook Author Paula Wolfert is Unforgettable

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Paula Wolfert

When we interviewed more than 60 of America’s leading chefs (including Rick Bayless, Daniel Boulud, Todd English, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, Emeril Lagasse, and Alice Waters) between 1992 and 1994 for our first book BECOMING A CHEF (which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year), we asked them to name the cookbooks that had influenced them the most.

BECOMING A CHEF featured a list of the 20 most frequently mentioned books and authors — but even if our list had been half as long, it still would have included the books of Paula Wolfert.

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BECOMING A CHEF helped introduce a new generation of chefs to the importance of reading Paula Wolfert’s work.

The revered author of classics such as Couscous, The Cooking of Southwest France, The Food of Morocco and Paula Wolfert’s World of Food, Paula Wolfert made a lasting impression on countless of the country’s most prominent chefs for introducing them to the flavors of Morocco and to ingredients such as preserved lemons they hadn’t known previously.

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Over the years, we’ve been happy to be thanked by aspiring chefs for turning them on to Wolfert’s books.  And we were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Paula ourselves for our 2003 book THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, in which she shared her passion for what makes Moroccan cuisine great.

A few years ago, Paula was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  With the goal of exploring the relationship between food and memory, Paula’s former editor at Food & Wine Emily Thelin is teaming up with author Andrea Nguyen to create a book that will celebrate Wolfert’s legacy entitled Unforgettable: Bold Flavors from Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life.

Please consider joining us in being a part of this effort — and reserving your own copy of Unforgettable, which will feature 50 of Paula’s best recipes — by supporting the book’s already-in-progress Kickstarter campaign, which is looking to reach its stretch goal of $80,000 within the next three weeks.

“There’s no question that Paula Wolfert‘s book Couscous is THE book, a text that represents the very best of what a book on ethnic cooking should be.”
Nach Waxman, founder of Kitchen Arts & Letters, as quoted in THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF

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Cookbook author Paula Wolfert‘s website is at paula-wolfert.com.

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You can support the Kickstarter effort to create Unforgettable: Bold Flavors from Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life here.