I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) On Monday, May 21, CupcakeCamp Boston, a gathering of cupcake enthusiasts, is bringing sweet cupcake creations back to Somerville at Arts at the Amory for the 3rd Annual CupcakeCamp Boston to benefit Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue nonprofit dedicated to providing healthy, ready-to-eat food to those in need.
Each year CupcakeCamp gives professional bakers, bakeries and amateur bakers alike the opportunity to showcase their most delicious cupcake creations to hundreds of people. From 7pm-9pm, guests can indulge in a cupcake extravaganza featuring thousands of cupcakes for only $5. For those interested in skipping the line, CupcakeCamp Boston has created a new VIP hour held from 6pm-7pm which, for only $25 per ticket, will give guests early access to the confectionary creations and swag from Lovin’ Spoonfuls as well as a chance to win prizes from Whole Foods whose co-sponsorship and support along with Boston Cupcake Crawl run by Boston Chocolate Tours makes CupcakeCamp Boston possible.
Proceeds from CupcakeCamp Boston benefit Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a nonprofit organization that recovers and distributes perishable and un-served food to local crisis centers, soup kitchens and other social assistance entities. "CupcakeCamp has always been about food and fun, but also the spirit of giving back. Food access is a widespread problem and we're thrilled to be able to raise money to benefit local food rescue organization Lovin' Spoonfuls in their quest to eliminate hunger in the Boston area,” said Elizabeth Ginsburg, founder of CupcakeCamp Boston.
A limited number of tickets for the VIP hour will be pre-sold for $25 and will go on sale during the first week of May. General admission tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.
Participating Bakeries: Cakeology, Cakes by Erin, Cupcakes by Martha, JannaBee's, O'Sugar! Cakery, Sweet Creations by Gloria, Whole Foods Market and Wicked Good Cupcakes.
2) Boston magazine is hosting a decadent evening to celebrate the talented pastry chefs that proudly stand behind Boston’s culinary scene. Boston magazine’s Top Desserts event is an evening to taste selections from numerous restaurants in the city. Part of the proceeds from the delicious dining event will benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Who: Ten chefs from sixteen participating restaurants including:
· Chef Shane Gray of Mistral
· Chef Charlene Smith of Sorellina
· Chef Jiho Kim of L’Espalier
· Chef Lauren Kroesser of Eastern Stand, Island Creek Oyster Bar and The Hawthorne
· Chef Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks
· Chef Maura Kilpatrick of Oleana and Sofra
· Chef Oliver Maillard of Deuxave
· Chef David Nevins of Nix's Mate
· Chef Katie Kimbal of Area Four
· Chef Jessica Pelletier of Russell House Tavern, Temple Bar, Grafton Street, and PARK Restaurant & Bar
When: Thursday, May 24, 6pm–7pm VIP, 7pm–9pm General Admission
Where: Mandarin Oriental, 776 Boylston Street, Boston
For tickets, please visit: www.bostonmagazine.com/topdesserts
3) Haru is adding another libation to their cocktail menu: the Geisha. This specialty liquid blend mixes up sweet nigori sake and lychee puree with muddled strawberries and lime and is then topped off with a splash of 7-Up. The Geisha is now available all day and night during the months of May and June for only $7.
For cocktail connoisseurs looking to recreate the magic at home, Haru shares its recipe for sweet success:
2.5 oz nigori sake
2 oz lychee puree
Dash of simple syrup
Splash of 7-Up
1 lime wedge
Method: Muddle the fresh lime and strawberries. Add a dash of simple syrup, the lychee puree and the nigori sake. Shake and pour into a pilsner glass. Top with ice and a splash of 7-Up. Garnish with a lychee.
4) Chefs Chris Douglass and Nuno Alves source and cook as locally as possible, which includes using recipes from some of Bostons top food writers.
The two men have assembled a Whos Who of the citys most in-demand authors, and plan to create special, one-night menus to showcase their current cookbooks at Tavolo.
Each event features a 3-course dinner based on recipes from the pages of the cookbook, a discussion with the author, and an autographed cookbook. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Cost is $45 per person and call 617-822-1918 for reservations.
June 7: Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, by Maria Speck
A how-to guide for introducing healthy Old World staples like farro, barley and wheat berries into new American cooking. Speck was raised in Greece and Germany, but coming to the U.S. and becoming a journalist. She also teaches Mediterranean cooking in Cambridge.
Notable Cookbook, New York Times 2011
Best 100 Cookbooks of Past 25 Years, Cooking Light
Top Ten Cookbooks of 2011, Washington Post
Julia Child Award 2012.
July 19: The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, by Leigh Belanger
Profiles 28 Boston area restaurants that are working with local farmers to bring the freshest locally grown, sustainable foods to their menus. See Tavolo on the cover. Belanger manages programs for Chefs Collaborative and studies gastronomy at Boston University.
August 2: Salads: Beyond the Bowl, by Mindy Fox
A former Boston cook, and now editor of La Cucina Italiana magazine, Mindy has written for countless national publications, and has authored three well-reviewed previous cookbooks.
2010 Best Cookbooks of the Year, NY Times
Best of the Best, Food & Wine.
September [TBD]: The Apple Lovers Cookbook, by Amy Traverso
Amys been in the food world for years, as food editor of Boston Magazine, food & travel editor at Sunset before that, and now senior lifestyle editor at Yankee Magazine. Aa solid compendium that is as satisfying and reliable as its namesake fruit, Publishers Weekly
an excellent primer on apple varieties, Bon Appetit.
October 11: The American Lighthouse Cookbook, by Becky Epstein and Ed Jackson
A unique book of regional recipes gathered from lighthouse towns on east and west coasts. Jackson is a chef; Epstein contributes wine, spirits, food and travel articles to Intermezzo and Palate Press.
Best Regional Cookbook Award 2009, USABooksNews.com.