Tag Archives: sustainable food

This Sunday: Sustainable Food + Farm Expo 2014 to Benefit Audubon Greenwich

3 Mar

A few months back, we checked out Audubon Greenwich for the first time with our friend Julia.  The purpose of our visit?  Their annual Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar!  Not only did we get to see lots of birds of prey and hawks as part of a demo given by Bill Robinson, but we also learned some tips for identifying different hawks and birds as they pass by.  Believe it or not, they have people actively watching the skies at Audubon Greenwich to keep tallies on how many of different kinds of birds, hawks, eagles, vultures, and other species pass through Greenwich.  The culmination of the day was watching the Audubon staff release a hawk they had rehabilitated be released.  They threw him off the balcony of their main building and at first he was a bit unsteady, but then he suddenly burst out, flying away, twisting in loops as he discovered he was better and free.

facebook_1963797133This is just a tiny portion of the great work, education, and activities that Audubon Greenwich has to offer, so helping them to keep doing this great stuff is important.  Well, we’re happy to share how easy it will be to help out this Sunday, March 9, from 10-5 pm!  At that time you can attend the Sustainable Food & Farm Expo co-hosted with Fairfield Green Food Guide, costing $15 per person, $20 per couple, or $25 per family.  Profits from this day will go right to the Audubon Greenwich, so click right over and get your tickets now!

Now, what will you get with admission?

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Ocean to Table Sushi that Is Seriously out of this World! Miya’s Sushi – New Haven, CT

12 Nov

Our fascination with Miya’s Sushi and Chef Bun Lai began when we had our first bites of their sushi at The Whole Hog fundraiser for Wholesome Wave.  Bun’s uniquely awesome personality really came through when he talked to us about harvesting his own seaweed and how everything in the sushi roll was made.  We could tell that he had a deep passion for food and keeping things local, which is exactly what made us want to travel into New Haven to check out Miya’s.

It was finally when we were contacted about Bun Lai and Miya’s Sushi being on a new TV show that we got our butts in gear and headed out to New Haven. Plus, it was the perfect place to celebrate Dan’s birthday! We know that New Haven can seem so far away, especially when you’re in the western part of CT, but it’s really worth the trip!

As we sat down, we learned from our waitress about some basics of Miya’s.  First off, she told us that the staff are trained divers and they were going on a diving trip the following day to get seafood for their rolls and dishes.  The DIY philosophy also comes through when they served us their homemade low sodium soy sauce and their homemade ginger that is just de-vine.

Our strategy was to order lots and lots of rolls so that we could try as many flavors and combinations as possible.  This worked out well because most rolls were sliced into four slices, not an overwhelming amount at all.  We also HAD to order a few drinks because they were so incredibly unique. And, despite all the food and drinks that we ordered, we still ended up spending a bit less than we would at other “comparable” sushi joints.  We say comparable because, well, it’s hard to compare anything to Miya’s anymore after eating there.  Dan felt very zen, so he allowed his poetic side to reign and compose haikus (5-7-5 syllables) for each roll.

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Chefs Kevin Cottle and Van Hurd of Jordan Caterers in Cheshire Honored to Cook at James Beard House in NYC

9 Jul

They met on the set of Hell’s Kitchen Season 6.  You could say it was love at first fight, with Gordon Ramsay doing any of the following to the chefs in the kitchen:

• Calling him/her a donkey

• Yelling that something is overcooked

• Yelling that something is raw

• Then, 50% of the time when it’s raw, throwing it so that it splatters everywhere

• Kicking someone out of the kitchen

• Screaming for the chef to wake up and get in the game

• Spewing a tirade of words that are bleeped out by censors

• Complaining that the Beef Wellington isn’t done properly

Yes, both Kevin Cottle and Van Hurd, now lead chefs at Jordan Caterers, walked through the flames of Hell’s Kitchen.  As they endured the fire, their friendship grew:  a friendship that has now lead them out of hell and into heaven.  While Van was eliminated near the end of the season, Kevin made it to the finale but lost to Dave Levey.  Upon being eliminated, Van said:  “The main lesson I’ve learned about myself is when you get down, don’t stay down.  I want to go out of here with my head up.”

Well, Van and Kevin now have a major reason to keep their heads up.  On July 11, they will be cooking at The James Beard House in NYC.  This is one of the greatest honors a chef can have because it shows passion, culinary knowledge, and awesome skill.  They were selected for these reasons, but also due to their outstanding reputation in Connecticut and beyond.  In addition, their focus on seasonal and local ingredients was a major reason why they were asked to cook at The James Beard House.   They are cooking up a “Softshell Extravaganza” that will feature Maryland softshell crabs, paired with wine from Master Sommelier Stephen Greenwood.

Here’s a copy of the menu from the night:

  • Hors d’Oeuvre
    • Gazpacho Shooters with Connecticut Lobster
    • Connecticut Blue Point Oysters and Pearls
    • Softshell Crab Tacos and Miniature Key Lime Margaritas
    • Braised Certified Angus Beef® Short Rib–Roasted Corn Pudding with Sake–Ginger Glaze
    • Foie Gras Pops
    • Vilarnau Brut Cava NV
  • Dinner
    • Kumquat, Red Miso, and Yuzu–Glazed Softshell Crab with Shaved Fennel, Plums, Sweet Tomatoes, Summer Bean Salad, and Honeydew, Corn, and Sichuan Pepper Nage
    • Viñas Del Vero La Miranda De Secastilla Garnacha Blanca 2010
    • Applewood-Smoked Softshell Crab with Heirloom Tomato Salad, Lime-Enhanced Goat Cheese Mousse, American Caviar, Ancho Chili–Honey Sauce, and Cucumber Sorbet
    • Andeluna Torrontés 2011
    • Big Easy–Style Softshell Crab with Sweet Summer Corn Gnocchi, Lobster Mushroom–Roasted Hog Jowl Ragoût, and Champagne Sabayon
    • Viña Ventisquero Pangea Apalta Vineyards Syrah 2007
    • Banh Bao and Pho Duo > Tempura Softshell Crab Banh Bao with Housemade Hoisin Sauce, Pickled Watermelon, and Cucumber Jam; and Pho with Spicy Ginger–Lime Broth, Rice Noodles, and Rare Beef
    • David Bruce Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2009
    • Brandie’s Original Blueberry Pie with Salt-Churned Honey and Lemon Thyme–Honey Ice Cream
    • Quady Essensia Orange Muscat 2010

Although this event is sold out, you don’t need to fret.  Chef Cottle and Chef Hurd can be seen every week on FOX 61 Hartford on a cooking segment called “Midday Chefs” every Wednesday at 11 am.  You can also taste their food (and if you’re lucky, meet them) at Jordan Caterers events.  They have won Connecticut Magazine’s “Best of Connecticut” for 12 straight years, the Brides Connecticut Editor’s Choice Award in 2011, The Knot Best of Weddings Pick 2011, and Weddingwire.com’s Bridges Choice Award in 2011.

You know, it was great to see Kevin and Van cook their way through Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s even greater to see them soar.  They might have had to give their aprons away to Gordon Ramsay, but something tells us they’ve got some nice new ones now.

From Press Release

About Chef Kevin Cottle:  Chef Cottle hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts and was formally educated at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. Cottle’s professional culinary journey has taken him to the finest restaurants, hotels and  resorts in Philadelphia, Boston, Vail, New Hampshire and Cape Cod and he has earned numerous awards and accolades, including AAA’s four diamond award and  the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.  As Jordan Caterers’ Executive Chef, Kevin focuses on the highest-quality ingredients, prepared with clockwork precision and abundant creativity.  He fuses contemporary New England cuisine with the elegance of French Gastronomy.  Cottle has aggressively been involved with the Department of Agriculture’s “Farm to Chef” program which helps consumers realize the bounty of food grown locally in the State of Connecticut.  Cottle lives in
Middletown with his wife and son.

About Chef Van Hurd:  Chef Hurd grew up in the South and was formally trained at The Art Institute of Dallas where he graduated at the top of his class.  He went on to hold a key position at Dallas’s fabled French Room which
maintains a AAA Five Diamond designation and is considered one of the best restaurants in the country.  Van, a member of the Texas Chef Association and the Connecticut Club Chefs Association, enjoys keeping food rustic, farm fresh and local while layering natural flavors that explode on the palate.  He currently holds down the position of Executive Sous Chef of Jordan Caterers. When he’s not in kitchen, Hurd volunteers for a wide variety of nonprofit ventures, including coaching troubled teens, March of Dimes Signature Chefs and Connecticut Farm to Chefs.  Van lives with his wife and daughter in Hartford.

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