Here’s some weekend reading for you, especially for those that live in New York.
From New York Magazine:
At serious restaurants all over town, carrots, peas, and the like are no longer just the supporting cast—they’re the stars. Move over locavores, here come the vegivores.
Only 26 percent of Americans eat at least three servings of vegetables a day, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control study, and last Monday night they were all at Dovetail.
Well, maybe not all of them. But ever since chef John Fraser launched his Monday-night vegetable menu in March, the elegant Upper West Side joint has been fairly jumping on what is traditionally the deadest day of the week, all on account of such proven crowd-pleasers as turnips, parsnips, and salsify. This, in the Age of the Pig and the Decade of the Burger, you say? Absolutely. Summer and its particular Greenmarket bounty may be long gone, but unrestrained vegetable eating has never been more eagerly pursued. Sunchokes are everywhere, black kale is all the rage, and even plain old broccoli—never mind boutique brassicas like spigarello and Romanesco—is hot. Vegetables, you see, are newly and increasingly fashionable, at least among a certain segment of fine-dining, CSA-belonging, Michael Pollan–reading, rooftop-garden-crazed New Yorkers.
This new breed of plant lover isn’t motivated entirely by ethical, environmental, or even health concerns (though those reasons come into play), but by culinary ones. Simply put, the once-meat-obsessed populace is realizing that vegetables actually taste good. Especially when fresh, in season, and carefully prepared—often, it must be said, with an unfettered reliance on butter, cheese, crispy bread crumbs, and the deep-fryer. That’s the message that has been telegraphed recently by such luminaries as Mario Batali, who joined the Meatless Monday campaign, a national public-health initiative, and installed a dedicated “vegetable butcher” at his new megamarket, Eataly; bi-coastal Spanish chef José Andrés, who used his 60 Minutes platform to call vegetables and fruits “unbelievably sexy” and meat “slightly boring”; and Jamie Oliver, who took to the airwaves to publicize his campaign to teach American toddlers how to I.D. an eggplant. The summer before last, playing cannily against type, pork whisperer David Chang cooked a vegetarian dinner at the James Beard House. This August, Dirt Candy chef-owner Amanda Cohen took on Masaharu Morimoto in “Battle Broccoli,” Iron Chef’s first vegetarian bout. And Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new, vegetable-centric ABC Kitchen—located within spitting distance of the Union Square Greenmarket—might be his most successful opening in years.
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