Since I'm writing this from California at the Wise Traditions conference, of course you want to hear about the food, right? I have to tell you that a highlight so far has been the “feral” Mangalitsa pork belly with roasted pineapple at the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fundraiser dinner, from Bakers Green Acres. They're not far from me in Michigan, and Mark Baker introduced the dish by explaining that it's a high end cut with a small amount of meat and a lot of fat. Of course that got a cheer in this crowd! Mark also gave a passionate keynote address. His common sense is refreshing in a world where people go to jail over milk and in his case, when farmers are told that the heritage breed pigs on their property and in their pens are “feral”. Do you remember their story from this post: Communism Anyone? (Follow the Bakers Green Acres Facebook page.) My goal this week is to talk to my favorite chef, Pat, who owns some high-end restaurants near us in Grand Rapids, and see if he'll contact Mark about serving their pork. Pat would appreciate it like no other, which is why we love going to his restaurants. He's no stranger to Real Food and is committed to the local movement as well. Eating there isn't just dinner out, it's an experience, with each course like another piece of entertainment. (Best enjoyed with other weirdo Real Foodie friends like Kent and I, who love to discuss each course at length!) Here's a picture of myself with Jill and Mark, hopefully I'll be able to enjoy their pork locally soon!
- It's been fun to reconnect with my friend, Alex, this weekend; he's the one who wrote this rockin' awesome book on fermentation: Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen. I was telling him how much I love all the pictures. I can't stand cookbooks with very few pictures.
- They showed the movie, American Meat, here last night. I didn't see it but everyone said it was one of the best food movies they've seen. Here's aa clip:
- Speaking of food movies, it's been fun hanging with my friend, Kristin, Farmageddon filmmaker. She tells me that soon her movie will be in Whole Foods stores!!! Here's that trailer in case you haven't seen it yet:
- Sharon Palmer was featured in the Farmageddon movie above, and I was thankful to have been able to interview her and Victoria Bloch, both arrested over raw milk last year. Watch for that on the blog soon.
- More highlights of my trip were meeting favorite reader friends!
Stanley & Keren Fishman:
And lots more great people that I didn't get a picture of. Plus amazing food at every meal – no wonder I look so forward to this weekend every year. Next year is in Atlanta, by the way, so start making your plans now!
- Last but not least, probably one of the best parts of being here every year is hanging with my friend, Chris, from Chaffin Family Orchards, and laughing at his stupid jokes all weekend. 🙂 Check out this shot of he and Katie's precious baby, David: