News and Culture: Nibbles, Nibbles Everywhere
Here we go, darlings, swing-a-ling! There are so many interesting cheese samplings, food art shows, and exquisite links I’ve discovered this week that I decided to put them all together. Have a browse, and hopefully I’ll see you at the James Beard House, or Brewer’s Plate, or TEDxPhilly, or Occasionette. Mon dieu, there’s a helluva lot going on!
If you’ve been dying for an excuse to dine at the James Beard House in New York (I know I have!), you may want to book a reservation this month. Mike Geno’s show “Chef Plates: The Philadelphia Collection” is on display in the Beard House gallery for March and April. Mike has become a regular face on Madame Fromage, ever since he started painting cheese portraits — he’s also a neighbor, friend, and accomplice (we like to go on curd crawls across the city). For “Chefs Plates,” Mikes pays homage to select Philadelphia chefs by rendering their main courses into luscious oils. Reservations: 212.627.2308.
Stuck at your desk eating Saltines? Click through 50 sensuous, crumbly-wumbly cheeses that New York cheesemongers chose to feature in New York Magazine. I ran through the slide show in bed last night, and there’s not a single pooper on the list. Plus, the photography is stunning. It sent me downstairs to the kitchen for a slice of Pecorino after I’d already brushed teeth.
If you can afford to skip your cheese habit this week, donate your savings to the solar power efforts of a beautiful dairy in Williamstown, MA. I visited Cricket Creek two summers ago when my friend Paul Lawler was apprenticing in the cheese room, and I loved everything I saw and tasted, especially a big stinker of a cheese called Tobasi. Cricket Creek is a stunning family farm that produces award-winning raw milk cheese. Empty your change jar, and give them a boost.
This Saturday, I’ll be serving up cheese and Port from 5-8 p.m. with Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm to celebrate Second Saturday in Philly’s East Passyunk neighborhood. Swing by to try Sue’s Stilton, and check out some of the store’s cheese swag, including cutting boards, cheese knives, and a set of cheese-themed kitchen towels designed by Girls Can Tell. The towels are part of a new collaboration I worked on with Sara Selepouchin Villari, who is famous for printing hand-dawn diagrams on cloth. I expect to use these towels at every tasting event from now on. Can’t wait for you to see them!
Sunday’s Brewer’s Plate (6:30 p.m) is Philadelphia’s best nibble fest. I love strolling, sipping, slurping, and seeing what’s new in the Philly food world, from new ice cream companies to distilleries. This year’s BP moves to the Kimmel Center. Shimmer, shimmer. I look forward to stalking cheesemakers in the star-lit atrium. If you want to talk rinds, look for me lurking with a camera.
This year’s TEDx theme, “Philadelphia: The New Workshop of The World,” highlights local makers — and I’m happy to say that local cheesemakers will be part of the Maker’s Fair from 6-8 p.m. Look for Al and Catherine Renzi of Yellow Springs Farm. Their delicate aged goat cheeses are some of the best in the state. If you’re a local cheesemaker interested in participating in the Maker Fair, contact Beth Lesko (email@example.com) right this second.
Don’t forget that High Street’s Cheese Dinner series continues April 1 and May 6. The photo up top shows off the leberkase sandwich that stole the show at Tuesday’s Meadowset supper. It was glorious. For upcoming reservations, call High Street.