Ruth Reichl, editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine, helped our recruiting efforts in her weekly e-newsletter, The Gourmet Weekly. Proudly displaying flats of luscious LA strawberries, CulinaryCorps alumni Summer and Danielle were our photogenic ambassadors. Take a peek at the shout-out here.
CulinaryCorps has been invited to present at this year’s Taste 3 Conference in Napa Valley, CA – an honor that roughly marks the first year anniversary of our inaugural trip. We are excited to break bread with inspirational culinary visionaries while spreading the good works of our CulinaryCorps alumni. For more information on Robert Mondavi’s brainchild at the intersection of wine, food and art, go to www.taste3.com.
Congratulations to Viviana Acosta-Padial, CulinaryCorps alum and trip co-leader, for being the WOSO VIP of the Day. Her culinary-focused interview was played by the Puerto Rican radio station throughout the day, reaching thousands of island listeners. A wonderful way to recognize an amazing volunteer and chef!
Tammy Smith of the Mississippi Sun Herald wrote a wonderful piece about CulinaryCorps’ work in Ocean Springs. The day was a moving one for us as well. Every chef was touched by the town’s unique brand of Mississippi hospitality.
These trips continually remind us that cheap oakley sunglasses cooking food for another person is one of the most pure, versatile and appreciated gestures of kindness. It is nice to know that despite the complications of today’s world, the simplest things – good food, a big smile – oftentimes make the biggest impact.
The spectacular sunrise over East Orleans was our first good omen of the day. The bright sunshine and cooling winds when we arrived in Ocean Springs (a small town in the middle of the Mississippi Gulf Coast) at 7:30am this morning, our second bit of good luck. But the eight brand new Glossman Gas stoves and “Big Larry” grill waiting for us at the Ocean Springs Farmers Market? Well, those were just too good to be true.
Our chefs arrived with one directive, make some great food using the farmer’s ingredients…in other words they were charged with being the culinary http://www.magliettedacalcioit.com entertainment for the day. Setting up a “kitchen stadium” at one end of the market, chefs were encouraged to showcase both the products being used as well as the steps by which they were going to tackle a dish. After a warm welcome from the town’s mayor, Connie Moran, they were off foraging in the market. When the first CulinaryCorps chef stepped behind the demonstration table, people pulled up chairs and made themselves comfortable for the “show.” And what a show it was.
For five hours straight our cooks cranked out dishes of amazing technique and creativity. Ricotta-honey mousse with figs, goat sausage, pepper and onion heros, grilled watermelon, elderberry soup, handmade pasta with eggplant ragu, marinated sirloin topped with grilled mango cheeks, goat stew provencal, fried okra, blueberry tea scones…and many more. Sampled with a smile to the hundreds of Ocean Springs market patrons who came out for the “Fresh Food Festival”, we received more thanks than we could count. And quite a few “yums”, “wows” and “where can I get that recipe?”
In fact, the dishes we created today will be Magliette Calcio A Poco Prezzo collected and saved for a cookbook highlighting the SlowFood heritage of Ocean Springs and its coastal neighbors. A wonderful resource for the market and a fantastic keepsake for the group.
And if cooking straight from the vending booth was not enough of a rare treat, our chefs also competed in a cake decorating contest. As the bands played on in the background, the two teams of four had 25 minutes to create a cake with the theme “Reconnecting the Coast.”
Ocean Springs is excited to be having the bridge to Biloxi reopened in a few short weeks and the two cakes highlighted its more unique architectural features. In the end, only one team “won” but we all got to eat the cakes made by Diane Claughton – MI Slowfood President – so really, we were all winners.
As we said many times today, it was an honor and a privilege to be part of this first annual event. Ocean Springs is a community of amazing grace and hospitality…and some refreshing culinary curiosity to top it all off.
Thank you Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce for treating us to our over-the-top BBQ experience at The Shed. Many of us will never think about brisket the same way again.
And thank you farmers, market goers, press, organizers and volunteers of today’s “Fresh Food Festival”…may this be the first of many successful food celebrations!
For a brief overview of the day’s event, check out this article in the Mississippi Press.
We were extremely excited to be highlighted in September’s issue of Glamour Magazine.
Click the image below to take a closer look.
We couldn’t have asked for a better overview from CHOW or a more heartfelt post from Jessica of SuGoodSweets. Both pieces have been wonderful ways to spread the word about CulinaryCorps (in fact, Jessica’s post was picked up by Serious Eats), and more importantly, the work that is left to be done in NOLA.