“Slow the Fork Down”

slow foodThe Phoenix Division of the Slow Food Movement is gaining traction in our community, where the focus is placed on local culinary heritage and social justice. The Slow Food Movement, globally and nationally, aims to deepen the public’s awareness surrounding our food systems and how they affect just about every aspect of our livelihood on this planet. A daunting task, surely, so let’s start with lunch.

Slow Food Phoenix’s most recent project is entitled “Feeding the Future,” during which attendees will sample diverse dishes made by a bold lineup of beloved chefs, including Charleen Badman of Scottsdale’s FnB and Eddie Hantas of East Valley favorite Hummus Xpress. There’s a twist to this sampling event, though: each chef’s budget will reflect the current National School Lunch Program (NSLP) budget, and will be served in the style of an American school lunch.

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SHOP + CHOP + COOK

41Many of us have become so used to the convenience of dining out, picking up food or even ordering food in. Sustainable Table gives us three motivations to start rethinking our habits and get cooking at home.

  1. The economics of cooking at home:  Home cooking beats all of the competition hands down when it comes to saving money. Whether you’re considering dining out or bringing home prepared food, you’re paying for someone else to do something you can do yourself — and, with a little practice, probably do better. At a restaurant, you’re spending money on the cost of running somebody’s business, including rent and payroll. By the same token, purchasing prepared food from the grocer’s freezer involves paying for the processing, packaging, and advertising of that product — none of which adds value to the food itself.
  2. The flavor game: We’re losing our palates to our industrialized food system. Not so long ago, herbs and spices and sugar were used to enhance the flavor in our food. But in recent decades our taste buds have been corrupted through the use of cheap chemicals and corn syrup to fill that role. We’ve forgotten how wonderfully delicious fresh food tastes as we’ve become acclimated to food that’s polluted with preservatives. The more you cook, the more you’ll learn that sustainable, local ingredients just taste better. Let the food do some of the work for you. Take back your palate so you can take back your plate!
  3. You are in control: Think about what you” want to find in tonight’s dinner. You have control over the nutritional value of the foods you prepare. Locally grown food is fresher by definition, which also means it’s more nutritious. Cooking methods also count. For example, roasting a vegetable will preserve vitamins that are wasted by boiling it; retaining the peel on many fruits and vegetables provides additional vitamins. Watching your salt or sugar intake? Keeping an eye on fats or carbohydrates? You’re in control of all these when you cook.

Need some inspiration on where to start or new ideas about what to buy this weekend at the Market and how to create that into something delicious at home?

Melanie Albert joins us again this month her SHOP + CHOP + COOK Cooking Class series at the Market. 

Shop the market with her and learn how to pick the freshest ingredients then get ready to get chopping in this unique hands on cooking class.  Check out Melanie’s new book to take home market fresh recipes that are simple to cook and delicious to enjoy.

Click here to register for the class.

Click here to check out Melanie’s website and book.

 

Chef Profile: Michael Babcock

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We are so thrilled to host Michael Babcock, local restaurateurs of Welcome Diner and Welcome Chicken + Donuts this Saturday at the Market for a cooking demo at 10am.  Inspired by soul food and driven to create a place to satisfy comfort food cravings, his team has built more than just a great place to eat.  Babcock has built relationships with everyone from the community who comes to dine to the local purveyors he purchases from for his restaurants.  A frequent farmers market shopper, Babcock’s menus always reflect what’s in season.  Don’t miss his Chef Demo featuring his favorite farmers market finds this weekend at 10am.