Roger Ebert on Food, Inc.


Last Friday, Food, Inc. was released to an additional 90 theaters across America including Landmark’s local Plaza Frontenac location.  As my saying the movie is a must-see is as biased an opinion as they come, how about a snip of what Roger Ebert had to say about his viewing of the film?

This review doesn’t read one thing like a movie review. But most of the stuff I discuss in it, I learned from the new documentary “Food, Inc.,” directed by Robert Kenner and based on the recent book An Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I figured it wasn’t important for me to go into detail about the photography and the editing. I just wanted to scare the bejesus out of you, which is what “Food, Inc.” did to me.

Dorm Room Challenge Menu #1


I kid you not, thoughts to come…

An Overlooked Effort

stellinaTrue, flour for pasta isn’t available regionally, and the fact that they’re running a busy restaurant 52 weeks a year means it’s difficult to source the quantities needed to buy exclusively from the area, but Stellina Pasta Café has quietly been operating one of St. Louis’s most fiercely local restaurants since opening.  From the Hinkebein Hills pork they use for the South Side Smoke, to the Claverach greens in their salads, they pick their battles one week at a time, striving to do their best year round, and never requesting fanfare for the effort.

So it’s high time to offer them a little fanfare because it’s clear Chef Jamey Tochtrop and his wife Lisa simply feel it’s the right way to run their business.  Throughout the growing season is when they really shine as each week they showcase the best local products available in their weekend specials.  Best of all, you can find out what those specials are in advance as each Friday they send out a friendly reminder which you can get by signing up for the Stellina Pasta Café mailing list.

As an example, here’s the email that went out this afternoon…

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Event: Riedel Tasting June 25

200906061034.jpgIf you like wine, you know Riedel as the stemware manufacturer that originated the idea that different beverages should be served in different glasses to enhance the characteristics of each. Whether you’re skeptical about the need for such glasses, or thoroughly convinced, you also know they’re beautiful, expensive glasses.

That makes the June 25 Riedel tasting event at The Wine & Cheese Place all the more enticing as you’ll not only get to sample four wines in four pieces of their Vinum XL stemware to see if there’s truly a difference first hand, you’ll get to take those babies home. As the class is just $50, that’s like getting a $70 discount.

Full details and sign up info can be found at The Wine & Cheese Place’s blog, but the glasses are the Riedel Vinum XL Sauvignon Blanc, Montrachet, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet.

National Fried Bits of Heaven Day

doughnutIt’s not news because everybody seems to know it’s National Doughnut Day. Whether you call it a churro, beignet, fritole or donut, the people of the world know fried dough is delicious, and they’ve been celebrating that fact on the first Friday of June for over seventy years. What is news is that in celebration of the big day (well a day late as they’re doing it on Saturday), Harvest’s Executive Chef, Nick Miller, is knocking out Pan Roasted Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Homemade Glazed Donut and Espresso Gastrique

Bonus un-news: this is not exactly the first time they’ve done this.

When you’re the first guy with a Krispy Kreme franchise, you apparently get some territory of ownership and nobody can open up a Krispy Kreme in your zone unless you give them the okay. Whoever that guy is in St. Louis, he was a big fan of Harvest when I worked there in the late nineties, and would always bring in boxes of donuts. Gleefully we would ravage through them and, on one of those thankful occasions, we amused him with a mini doughnut we’d cut from one of his larger doughnuts, topped with foie, and drizzled with the now classically Harvest foie pairing of gastrique.

Sinfully delicious then and sure to be sinfully delicious now.