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Folklife Foods


M. Lucia
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Just a heads up to the events at the Smithsonina Folklife Festival on the Mall.

One of this years highlights will be: Food Culture USA including Alice Waters food education program and chefs cooking sustainable agriculture cuisine

and their focus on Oman will include cooks demonstrating Omani cooking and heospitality in the Muscat Kitchen.

The festival is June 23-27 and June 30-July 4, the schedule hasn't been announced yet.

Edited by M. Lucia (log)
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Have you been down there yet? I've been running and walking on the mall, the garden the have set up for Alice Waters looks good, there's going to be a demonstration area, and there's a good selection growing down there. My co-worker and I have been trying to figure what everything is as it gets bigger and less ambiguous.

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What are the dates/times?. There is no schedule on the link. Thanks.

I believe I saw somewhere that it runs from the 23rd of June to the 26th and starts up again the 30th through the 4th of July.

Bill Russell

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Charlie Palmer will also be doing demos on the 23rd & 24th.

I have a copy of the press release from back in December somewhere on my computer... I'll see if I can dig it up and post better details on the Food Culture program.

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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The schedule is now up, thanks for the link HJ.

Some highlights include:

Sheila Lukins, Charlie Palmer, Emeril Lagasse, Jose Andres, Alice Waters, Todd English, Lidia Bastianich, Suvir Saran, Paul Prudhomme, and many more

Meaning of Halal, Cooking Catfish, All About Halwa, the Ramadan Meal/Eid Dinner, Breads of Oman, Coffee Dates and Hospitality, Dutch Oven Delights...

Seminars on Farmer's Markets, Immigrant Cooks, Natl. Markets and Sustainable Agriculture, Children's Education, Local Sourcing...

they also have a map online, for those who have been watching the tents go up

and of course there's music, dance, games, and other fun stuff

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On a related note, Steven Raichlen (who's speaking at the Folklife Festival on Saturday) will be at the Library of Congress on Friday (June 24) at 11:30am for a talk on the history of barbecue. Details are here.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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So who's going? And when?

I'm taking the kids tomorrow to check out the kid activities and food, then coming back Sunday for Jose Andres and Fabio Trabocchi and 7/1 for Michel Richard and Eric Ziebold.

I'll skip next Thursday when Emeril shows up. Too crowded.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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My wife is going Thursday June 30 to see Roberto Donna and Emeril (I will be at RFK seeing the Nationals v Pirates!)

The two of us are going Saturday July 2 for Paul Prudhomme and Patrick O'Connell, and the end of the day music.

Any others on those days we shouldn't miss?

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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I'm planning to go the second weekend, probably on Saturday, July 2. I look forward to hearing and seeing what Paul Prudhomme and Patrick O'Connell have to say. I wish I had time to go to everything, plus some of the special dinners, but I don't think I'll be able to spare more than an afternoon for this year's folklife fest. I think this is a rare public opportunity to talk and learn about American culinary arts, and I'm glad Smithsonian created this track this year.

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I just returned from the mall--exhausted but enthused about the foods I learned about today. This is a rare opportunity to see some amazing chefs, and I hope those of you who haven't made it down to the National Mall will get there between now and Monday.

I only sat through two demonstrations. I am always entertained by Suvir Saran, so I made a point of grabbing a seat at his 1pm demo today. He made something simple--bhel puri, including homemade tamarind and mint chutneys. Joan Nathan was emceeing. Due to food service sanitation laws, they couldn't pass out samples, but Joan smelled and tasted the bhel puri for us--and enjoyed it so much she snitched a couple of additional tastes.

The other demonstration I attended was packed to the gills--Paul Prudhomme, who is one of the most entertaining people I've ever see do a cooking demonstration. He talked about his childhood in rural Louisiana, when he'd select live chickens from the yard for dinner and when he'd visit relatives on the bay to go oystering or shrimping. He made a shrimp creole, "bronzed" (as opposed to blackened) filet mignon, and a chicken dish with okra. Very entertaining and informative.

The food offerings at the cafes on the mall are above-average. I had some Peruvian chicken from the Nuevo Latino cafe--unfortunately, I missed the smoked fish with fry bread and slaw at the Forest Cafe until after I'd already eaten. A lot of people were snarfing berry shortcake from the American Foods Cafe. The Oman Cafe had some nice-looking skewered meats and salads.

There are lots of other culinary demos--both the Oman and Forests sections had their own cooking areas (learn about cooking outside in the rough like real forest rangers do!). Most of these are centered in the Food Culture USA section--including a beautiful "edible schoolyard" garden wafting fragrant basil aromas right in front of the capital.

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Today we saw Patrick O'Connell of the Inn at Little Washington and he was very entertaining!

He made a cold watermelon soup with tequila which he serves in his restaurant in a demi tasse. Swore his mother, a teetotaler, just loved it!

He made a tempura of green beans, the battter being cake flour mixed with cold club soda.

The other dish was a crab cake with fried green tomatoes as the "bread" on top and bottom. He did the fried green tomatoes two ways: in his deep fryer and sauteed on the stove.

He was very funny about his dress, a psychedlic looking shirt that he said he wore to Woodstock and would serve just well to hide the mess should he spill anything during the demo, which he did when his pickled okra slipped his grasp.

He said the best food transports you to an out of body experience. I don't know; I often want my food to transport me back to Louisiana where I grew up., back to the family table! My wife deadpanned, "Didn't they once have an ad campaign that called Louisiana the Dream State?" I stand corrected!

We also saw Paul Prudhomme. Malawry describes it well. One thing I liked was at the end of his presentation he said how important it is to eat together as a family. If you have young kids, that's the best way to initiate conversation about the important things. If you do it, when your kids grow up you will be happy you did, and our country will be stronger. Nice patriotic message!

His chicken dish started with the trinity of onions, bell pepper and celery, then he has to brown his chicken and put it off to the side a while, then okra and some other things, then he put it all together at the end.

He told a funny story about the dish which he named Chicken Palmetto. Palmetto is a small town of about 1000 between Opelousas and Baton Rouge. He has his meat "factory" there for his andouille and other things. Said he is the biggest employer in Palmetto, more workers even than the police department!

He had a good long line for book signing and autographs, and we just popped in to say hello. He was very gracious. I gave him my name, a Cajun one he would recognize, and where I am from in his neck of the woods, then we talked a little about the Prudhomme Family Cookbook, my most used cookbook for the everyday foods that take you back home.

Check the WPost for details on Sunday and Monday. Oh, and don't miss the garden area! I saw lots of things I never saw before, but that's just me.

Edited by My Confusing Horoscope (log)

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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I was theer today, mainly on the Oman and Nuestra Musica areas. Too bad the equipment for the Halwa isn't up to DC specs. They had to cancel it. :(

Going back tomorrow to check teh food culture stuff out.

BTW, the smoked fish platter (forest cafe) and berry shortcake (american cafe, no poundcake in it, whee) were pretty good. Vennsion stew (foorest cafe) wasn't bad, though a but tough.

-Jason

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[...]I only sat through two demonstrations. I am always entertained by Suvir Saran, so I made a point of grabbing a seat at his 1pm demo today. He made something simple--bhel puri, including homemade tamarind and mint chutneys. Joan Nathan was emceeing. Due to food service sanitation laws, they couldn't pass out samples, but Joan smelled and tasted the bhel puri for us--and enjoyed it so much she snitched a couple of additional tastes.[...]

Is there any way to get around that law? Some kind of special permit or something?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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[...]I only sat through two demonstrations. I am always entertained by Suvir Saran, so I made a point of grabbing a seat at his 1pm demo today. He made something simple--bhel puri, including homemade tamarind and mint chutneys. Joan Nathan was emceeing. Due to food service sanitation laws, they couldn't pass out samples, but Joan smelled and tasted the bhel puri for us--and enjoyed it so much she snitched a couple of additional tastes.[...]

Is there any way to get around that law? Some kind of special permit or something?

Unfortunately no. If it was a smaller event maybe, but the Folklife Festivals take so much work as it is they really don't want to deal with one more issue. Even though it has changed since the begining, pulling off the festival takes an enormous amount of time and effort.

Plus, can you imagine the media nightmare if some tourist from middle America got sick off of Omanian food?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Anyone else catch Ed La Dou? The original pizza cook at Spago, he did quite a few demos throughout the week. Wow, is that guy ever a master of pizza dough... A very engaging speaker too.

Chris Sadler

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My choice was Prudhomme or La Dou, so i went with Prudhomme.

Anyone else catch Ed La Dou?  The original pizza cook at Spago, he did quite a few demos throughout the week.  Wow, is that guy ever a master of pizza dough...  A very engaging speaker too.

-Jason

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