So sustainable, local food (SOLE) has hit the mainstream. One of the top food trends for the past year, 2010 ushered in a true acceptance of local food - primetime TV! Popular show Iron Chef America has given us the "Super Chef Battle" and was billed to include a secret ingredient- the show's highlight- that would be of "national importance." The episode featured First Lady Michelle Obama who introduced the ingredient du jour for the chef's battle- food fresh from the White House garden.
I was planning on a post on local food for some time, getting more involved is in my resolutions this year, so expect a lot more from me on this topic to come. Today I want to talk a bit about this show, I think it might really advance the cause of eating real food.
Through the two hours of the double length show, Alton Brown as the host and the four "superchefs" Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse and White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford all spoke on the importance of locally produced food. The secret ingredient was followed by an abundance of proteins- all from within 100 miles of the show's studio location. Sustainable meats, including heritage turkey, and local seafood such as the bluepoint oysters, sat side by side with fresh goat cheeses and eggs. Yum!
The show highlighted, as Brown stated, a determination to inspire Americans to "eat local, eat fresh, in short: eat well."
I loved seeing the different vegetables, including romenesco, one of the few foods I've never had, and so on my must-try list, really come alive and be featured as the star of the dishes.
But who could ignore the delicious meats- pork shoulder, bay scallops- or the direct from the White House hive honey? I also drooled while watching the pasta genius of Batali's sous chef in her sweet potato and fresh ricotta "raviolo" filled with a fresh egg yolk. The yolk does not set upon cooking, so it breaks open creating a sauce for the dish. Simple, and yet so decadent.
Team Flay/ Comerford might have gotten the title, but I think we are the real winners. As the chefs said throughout the show, this is the way we should all cook, all the time. Nothing is better than vegetables straight from the farm (or meat from the pasture).
I hope for the statement to come true that this is the way we will eat soon. That one day, my children will sit around, and look back, with humor, on this time as when people still saw locally produced food as something innovative and strange. I can't believe how they used to get meat from factory farms, and produce from conglomerates growing it thousands of miles away. That upcoming generations will be closer to their food, and maybe even take it for granted.
America, take note: the farm-fresh food is coming. Yes, we are winners indeed.
I am happy to share this at Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays.