Below are links to my latest articles and profiles of the food world:
Suspended coffee, or caffé sopreso, is a century-old tradition steeped in the working-class cafes of Naples. A patron, having recently come across good fortune, would buy a coffee and pay another forward, or ‘suspend’ it, for a future customer, particularly one with less means. It was a small gesture that fostered a sense of community.
That tradition has enjoyed a revival of sorts, finding its way to a nonprofit café and restaurant in Adams Morgan. The Potter’s House has for decades offered ‘pay-it-forward’ coffee and ‘pay-what-you-want’ daily soup programs as part of its commitment to the community.
Fee-For-All – 5/15/16
For Aphra and Sam Adkins, a profit sharing system for all staff wasn’t revolutionary, it was common sense. The couple eliminated tipping at their restaurant, Sally’s Middle Name (which they own with another friend), in favor of an automatic 18% fee for cost of labor, because they knew the practice led to wage gaps and unpredictable income swings for colleagues and friends.
Tipping the Labor Market – 2/25/16
Soon restaurant bills may no longer include a line for gratuity. If that happens, it could trigger a debate that benefits everyone, including restaurateurs, patrons and restaurant workers.
La Belle Georgetown – 2/12/16
In the spring of 1957, a group of women gathered in a Georgetown neighbor’s kitchen at 2706 Olive Street, a yellow house in a quiet neighborhood at the edge of Rock Creek Park, eager to learn a few recipes with which to impress their husbands. This wasn’t any ordinary cooking class though. As their collective chatter was interrupted by the sounds of one of popular culture’s most distinctive voices, the group’s cooking class began and so with it a minor chapter in American culinary history.
Ulimana, raw chocolate – 1/23/16
“It sometimes starts with a memory,” says Tonya Bennert reflecting on her journey as a food entrepreneur, “and then a passion builds and develops slowly.” For Bennert, that memory is of her grandmother sitting on their porch in Kingsport, Tennessee, eating a raw cucumber just plucked from the nearby garden. It’s a memory of her grandmother’s devotion to gardening, nutrition, and fresh food. It also marks a time when the tenets of raw foodism – uncooked, unprocessed, fresh, local – first seeped in for Bennert.
Cooking Simplified: Expanding Food Access – 11/10/15
On the surface, Cooking Simplified appears to be yet another entrant in theincreasingly-crowded meal kit market, joining the ranks of Blue Apron, Plated andHello Fresh, among others (even Mark Bittman announced this week that he would be partnering with Purple Carrot, another competitor). They all use the same subscription model designed to make home cooking more convenient by providing weekly shipments of healthy, recipe-tailored food.
A Look Behind the Menu at Mitsitam Cafe – 9/20/15
Fall menu development at Mitsitam Native Foods Café, the highly acclaimed restaurant cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian, has kept executive chef Jerome Grant firing on all four burners. If he’s not examining a new order of freshly caught Lake Superior walleye or preparing an Inca-inspired potato causa, he’s traveling to Rapid City, South Dakota, to visit the factory where he sources all of his buffalo meat.
Teeny Pies – 9/17/15
Teeny Lamothe’s journey as an entrepreneur is both compelling and instructive. Today, Teeny is the inspiration and sole proprietor behind Teeny Pies, an exciting (and profitable) new pie company in D.C. You can find Teeny and her array of delicious sweet and savory pies at various farmer’s markets or (just the pies) via delivery from Hometown Harvest.
Petworth Market’s SNAP Matching Program – 8/25/15
The USDA is trying to close the gap between the increasing availability of fresh, healthy local food and the lack of access to such food for large swaths of our country, and its efforts are beginning to pay off. It administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, awards funding to support local programs, and provides digital payment (EBT) systems to local farmer’s markets. But not all local players receive such help, and yet many still manage to find their own innovative solutions. One such example is the Petworth Community Market (PCM) here in DC.