Tag: Slow Food

Nancy Silverton, Chef Series and Featured Cuts

Our new Chef Spotlight Series explores the minds of visionary chefs committed to preserving endangered breeds by featuring them on their menus. Our inaugural feature is Nancy Silverton, star of Chef’s Table, founder of Campanile and La Brea Bakery and owner of the Mozza Restaurants in Los Angeles.

It’s a trust thing.

When Nancy Silverton was getting ready to open up Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, her partners, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, gave her very little direction. “Joe had an idea for an amaro focus at the bar, and of course we had Italian wine. As far as the food, Mario trusted us, but he wanted us to look into working with Patrick and Heritage Foods, which was still very new.

“What sets us apart as an Italian restaurant — and what doesn’t,” says Nancy, in typically exuberant fashion, “is that we are so ingredient driven. Everything has to be local and seasonal, especially produce. Mario wasn’t able to give me any advice about that because he was in New York, and I already had a relationship with my farmers in California. But meat is one of the hardest ingredients to source, and Heritage took the worry out of knowing where it came from — I love their dedication to slow farms and heritage breeds, and we know these animals are raised under the best conditions, which leads to the best quality — and that was the key to our relationship.

“From the beginning we were using all of our pork from Patrick. At the pizzeria we were using shoulder in the grind for the sausage and the meatballs. Now we’re buying whole pigs at Chi Spacca, and if Patrick calls us and says, ‘Hey I have an excess this week, can you use this or that’ – we can buy cuts to use at our other restaurants. We all want zero waste, and I’m supporting all of my values. In October we buy Heritage goats — last year we featured it for the whole month at Chi Spacca. We do goat sausage, we braise it, we cure it and make salumi.

“Back in ’89 when I opened Campanile it was the beginning of careful sourcing, and I would list our farmers on the menu. But after a while it began to look too commercial. When someone said ‘farm to table’ it could mean anything. So now I always just explain to our servers the back story, and they can tell the customers if anyone is interested. But I know they can taste the difference. I just found a producer of bufala milk mozzarella in Sonoma – it’s the first bufala not from Italy that we’ve found of this kind of quality, so that’s why I mention it. I’m very excited!”

Featured Cuts from This Week’s Chef Series:

Pork Loin, Boneless
Red Wattle or Berkshire
4lb bone-in or boneless $75
8lb bone-in or boneless $140

Pork Boston Butt Shoulder
Red Wattle or Berkshire
4lb bone-in $59
8lb bone-in or boneless $116

Ground Goat
Three 1lb packs $55

Goat Belly with Ribs
4lb total $59

Ark of Taste Collection

The Ark is Slow Food’s most important project, and the project that best celebrates flavor and pleasure as part of our cultural heritage – Patrick Martins, founder of Heritage Foods USA

Slow Food’s Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. This metaphorical ark carries the dual goal of helping preserve the cultural and social narratives embedded within American food traditions while promoting and preserving biodiversity within our delicate food system.

We began Heritage Foods USA 12 years ago when we first offered Frank Reese’s Heritage Turkeys to the young but growing Slow Food USA network . Each turkey became an opportunity to share our vision with a wider audience, which is to develop a responsible alternative to commodity-raised meat while promoting biodiversity on the ground.

Since that first Thanksgiving we have grown our network to include over 90 farmers— farmers who collectively raise over 75 different heritage breeds on open pasture the “good, clean and fair” way.

Preserving our culinary heritage is front and center of the mission for both Slow Food and Heritage Foods USA. This is why we are so excited to announce our most recent collaboration with Slow Food USA This Thanksgiving we are featuring a special collection of foods from the Ark of Taste to share with your friends and family this holiday!

Learn More About Our Ark of Taste Collection & Pre-Order Yours Today!

To celebrate this important milestone for Ark of Taste products and producers we hosted a tasting to share and experience these rare foods. Joined by Richard McCarthy, Executive Director of Slow Food USA; Alice Waters, American culinary pioneer; Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food; and other leaders and visionaries from the Slow Food community we tasted each product that is included in our Ark of Taste Collection along with other seasonal and special Ark products that were shared with us by our wonderful network of farmers and producers.

Spanning the breadth of sustainable, delicious and diverse food made in the United States, we tasted Newtown Pippin Apples that are grown on the Hudson River and have sold in New York City for 7 generations. We also enjoyed Sonoran Wheat berries from Arizona, which signify a beacon of rebirth for heritage grains uniquely adapted to the climate in which they are grown. We sampled 17 products in total, each with a distinct story but sharing the common theme that they delicious are made by people committed to doing things the “good, clean and fair” way- each impacting our food system in a small way and collectively changing the way we enjoy and buy our food.

We want to thank all of the producers and purveyors of the Ark of Taste products that were a part of tasting.

Saxelby Cheesemongers
Tait Farm
Baer’s Best
Woods Cider Mill
Prospect Hill Orchards
Native Harvest
Missouri Northern Pecan Growers
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Hayden Mills
Shields Date Garden
B & R Farms
Native Seeds
Mike’s Honey
Mauthes’ Progress Milk Barn
Deep Run Pawpaw Orchard
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale

The Ark is Slow Food’s most important project, and the project that best celebrates flavor and pleasure as part of our cultural heritage – Patrick Martins, founder of Heritage Foods USA.

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