Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming. **********************************************************
1) Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a Boston based, 501c3 non-profit organization that is legitimizing local, immediate, and responsible food rescue. They facilitate the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. Lovin’ Spoonfuls works efficiently to deliver this food directly to the community organizations and resources where it can have the greatest impact.

Each year Lovin’ Spoonfuls hosts The Ultimate Tailgate Party,is a yearly benefit featuring 16 of Boston’s “MVP” chefs cooking high end versions of their favorite tailgate food, a silent auction, entertainment and much more. The theme of the event reflects the Lovin’ Spoonfuls mission: battling hunger is a team sport.

This year, Lovin’ Spoonfuls is thrilled to honor founding Culinary Board Members Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers during the VIP hour, for their inaugural and continuing support of their work. As Chef + Owner of Flour Bakery & Cafe, Joanne has become a nationally renowned author, and together with her husband, celebrated restaurateur Christopher, they own and operate Myers + Chang, the acclaimed South End restaurant. Christopher and Joanne are beacons for the charities they support and ingrained in the fabric of the Boston community.

On Sunday, November 9, Lovin' Spoonfuls will host the fourth annual Ultimate Tailgate Party and celebrate their upcoming 5th anniversary, all while overlooking Boston’s scenic waterfront at Sam's. The event will is sponsored by Bank of America and the John W. Henry Family Foundation.

The annual event, also hosted by Esti & Drew Parsons who are co-owners of Sam’s, features an all-star team of Boston’s premiere chefs who will once again join the party by cooking their own creative takes on their favorite tailgate food. Guests will be able to enjoy creative comfort food from Lovin’ Spoonfuls Culinary Board Members Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa and Toro), Joanne Chang (Myers + Chang and Flour Bakery), and newest Culinary Board member Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow), as well as Karen Akunowicz (Myers + Chang), Asia Mei (Sam's at Louis Boston), Colin Lynch (Menton, No. 9 Park), Louis DiBiccari (Tavern Road), Matthew Gaudet (West Bridge), Will Gilson (Puritan & Co.), Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks), Daniel Bojorquez (La Brasa), Jason Cheek (Merrill & Co.), Steve Postal (Commonwealth), Christine & Carla Pallotta (Nebo), Jason Albus (Fairsted Kitchen), the team from Mei Mei Street Kitchen, and Keith Pooler (Bergamot).

The Ultimate Tailgate Party kicks off with an exclusive VIP hour featuring a dazzling display of cheese & charcuterie, courtesy of Wasik's Cheese Shop and Josh Smith of New England Charcuterie, from 6pm-7pm. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $250, which allows guests entry into the VIP hour and includes all the cheese and charcuterie you desire, champagne, a meet & greet with the chefs, exclusive "buy it now" privileges for all silent auction items, and a VIP gift bag full of swag from some of our local supporters. Last but certainly not least, the VIP hour features an intimate celebration honoring Founding Culinary Board Members Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers. Beer, wine, and cocktails will be shaken and served by Sam's own Jon Parsons and Nick Korn of OFFSITE.

The main event will start at 7pm, and general admission tickets are $100. The ticket price includes access to chefs tasting stations and complimentary signature cocktails, beer from Peak Organic Brewery, as well as wine and sparkling from sponsor M.S. Walker. The Tailgate Party will also feature a silent auction with exclusive food and New England experiences, plus a photo booth stocked with everyone's favorite football memorabilia.

All tickets are available for purchase at:

2) William Kovel and his team at Catalyst have joined forces with Templeton Rye for an exclusive Templeton Rye Pork Project Dinner. Templeton Rye Whiskey is also in the pig-raising business called the Templeton Rye Pork Project and they have sold one of their prized pigs to Catalyst who will host a “snout to tail” dinner. The team behind Templeton Rye feeds their exclusive rye mash to their pigs to give them a unique taste and flavor. There are a limited amount of pigs that are raised and there is a wait list of restaurants to order them.

The Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project stemmed from their close association to agriculture and livestock in Iowa. They breed their heritage pigs and feed them a diet that includes spent Templeton Rye Mash.

Catalyst will have a multi-course pig feast, paired with Templeton Rye Cocktails on Sept. 23, at 7pm, and tickets are $71 per person. This is a unique opportunity to try one of the best pig dinner experiences available. The menu includes:

For The Table
Assorted Charcuterie With Traditional Accompaniments
First Course
Crispy Pork Rillettes, Shaved Fennel And Apple Salad, Fig Mustard
Second Course
Family Style Smoked Pork Loin
Sparrow Arc Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Baked Beans With Braised Pork
Hard Cider Braised Cabbage
Rye-Whiskey BBQ Sauce
Corn Bread
Third Course
Family Style Sage-Apple Stuffed Porchetta
Sauteed Rapini With Pine Nuts And Raisins
Rosemary And Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Roasted Cippolini Onions
Agro Dolce Peach Mostarda
Sticky Toffee Pudding, Dates, Rye Ice Cream
Roasted Peaches, Buttermilk Biscuit, Rye Vanilla Chantilly

Space is limited and Reservations are required. Please call 617-573-7000.

3) This week, Anthony Caturano, Chef & Owner of Prezza in the North End, will begin dishing out seasonal favorites to capture the most fitting flavors of fall including pumpkin, acorns, mushrooms, corn, figs, apples and pears. Chef Caturano’s revamped menu combines classic hearty Italian comfort cooking with the fresh and full-bodied tastes that emanate his style.

New to Prezza’s appetizer options include the following: Burrata (roasted pumpkin, sea salt, pistachio vinaigrette - $16); Wild Mushroom Soup (porcini cream, white beans, roasted tomatoes, pecorino cheese - $15); Roasted Figs (wrapped in prosciutto with gorgonzola, aged balsamic – $16); and, Bibb Lettuce (apples, walnuts, blue cheese, walnut vinaigrette - $14).

For housemade pasta selections, seasonal favorites include: Pumpkin Ravioli (lobster, mascarpone, brown butter, sage - $18/$36); Corn Raviolini (pancetta, corn, rock shrimp, white wine, garlic, butter, parmigiano cheese - $16/$32); and, Pear Raviolini (pecorino, mascarpone, cheese, butter - $16/$32). There are also new preparations of signature entrees like the Seared Scallops (lobster mushrooms, warm Brussels sprouts salad, roasted potatoes - $36) and Roasted Halibut (acorn squash puree, spiced hazelnuts, sautéed baby kale - $38).

To conclude with something sweet, indulge in Pumpkin Tiramisu (espresso, ladyfingers, cocoa power, whipped cream - $12).

Other classic Prezza dishes that will remain on the menu include: Grilled Clams (sausage, tomato, lemon zest, oregano - $16); Wood Grilled Squid and Octopus (braised white beans, toasted parsley - $16); Zucchini Flowers (pancetta, polenta, roasted tomato - $16); Lobster Fra Diavlo (saffron tagliatelle, garlic chives, roasted tomato, fennel, chili flake, lobster meat - $18/$36); Crispy Pork Chop (vinegar peppers, potatoes, roasted red onions - $30); Homemade Meatballs (sausage, ribs, tomato, polenta - $28); Halibut (creamed corn, leeks, potato, bacon - $38); and, Lamb Chops (broccoli rabe, pickled chanterelles, roasted potatoes - $40).

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