BALDOR BITE: INSPIRATION IN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
We had a series of offsite events this week. Beginning with Baldor Bite, a tasting event celebrating the distributor’s 25th anniversary. A lot of people may think that buying directly from farmers means going to the farmers market, but distributors small and large are often the middlemen helping bring regional farmers’ products to the customer in an efficient format. In the past few years Baldor has amped up its local and seasonal produce lists and brought in an array of other local products. It was great to meet face-to-face with our reps, connect with the farmers and producers, and to learn about the multitude of products they are carrying.
We also attended one of the panel discussions, Innovation in the Restaurant Industry: Challenges and Opportunities, featuring Richard Coraine, Chief Development Officer of Union Square Hospitality Group. He described the initial mission of Shake Shack was not to disrupt the entire burger industry but simply to create a community gathering space in Madison Square Park. That concept of first and foremost creating a gathering place for the community extends to the all of their other properties: Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, and Eleven Madison Park. This concept of community development really rang true and aligns with what we are committed to at PRINT. Our number one priority is building a healthy community within and around our restaurant. Starting with valuing our employees, supporting regional farms with our purchasing, satisfying customers, and lastly volunteering for various food justice non-profits in NYC.
The after party served up an array of bites from various restaurants. One of our favorite dishes that really spoke of spring had to be the Sous Vide Lamb Breast from Charlie Bird, served with Fava Beans, Pea Greens, and Black Sesame Puree.
FOOD AS MEDICINE
This series of talks being held by ABC Home’s Deepak Homebase, aims to bring in progressive chefs, journalists, farmers, and doctors to advance healing and awareness in the collective sustainable food movement. Last week’s discussion, moderated by Diane Hatz, Founder of Change Food (previously of TedX: Manhattan) presented the work of Alain Coumont (founder of Le Pain Quotidien) and Dr. Robert Graham (Lenox Hill Hospital). Alain recently opened a vegan and gluten-free restaurant, Le Botaniste which also features biodynamic and natural wines. He discussed the recent sway in diners’ preference, with health and wellness coming the forefront and therefore vegetables coming to the center of the plate. Dr. Graham, who started the city’s first rooftop garden at Lenox Hill Hospital and subsequent nutrition programming for doctors and nurses, revealed his next steps in opening an integrative medical clinic in Brooklyn which will focus on healing patients with food alongside clinical medicine. It was intriguing to hear about the change in consumer attitudes in both the medical and restaurant industries and how nutrition and wellness are becoming a priority within both. The series is ongoing throughout the year and a conclusive podcast of all conversations will be released upon its completion this fall.