Monday, May 6, 2013

Slow Food Dinner at Jean-Robert's Table May 15

Big news! Slow Food Cincinnati is partnering with Jean-Robert's Table for a very special dinner May 15. The Ark of Taste is a Slow Food program that aims to preserve and promote heirloom vegetables, heritage livestock breeds (such as the Red Wattle pig, raised locally by Dean Family Farm), and other threatened culinary species. Only the best-tasting endangered foods make it onto the Ark! Thanks to the dogged efforts of my fellow board member Jay Erisman over the last two years, Slow Food Cincinnati has succeeded in getting another local foodstuff accepted to this roster: the American paddlefish!

Based just across the river in Bellevue, KY, Renée Koerner raises this relative of the sturgeon at Big Fish Farms on a sustainable model where the paddlefish feeds on naturally occurring plankton and the farm uses no additional food, improves the quality of the water, harms no other fish, and provides excellent meat as well as caviar.

To celebrate the acceptance of American paddlefish onto the Ark of Taste, Jean-Robert de Cavel will create a four-course dinner highlighting the paddlefish produced by his long-time friend Renée Koerner (including caviar and smoked and fresh fish) Wednesday, May 15, at 6:30 pm.: $90 per person including wine pairings, tax, and gratuity. You can find more info on Slow Food Cincinnati's facebook page. But to secure your reservation, you MUST call Marilou Lind at JR's Table, 513-621-4777. The event is open to all.

Renée's paddlefish is prized by other top local chefs as well, and I've been checking them out whenever I've had the opportunity this season. Chef Stephen Williams of Bouquet featured it in the amazing dish at the top of this post, with mushrooms, buerre blanc, and beets that turned the accompanying couscous a rosy pink.

And to kick off the dinner celebrating Orchids' fifth year as Cincinnati Magazine's "Best Restaurant" in the city, Chef Todd Kelly offered up this spectacular "fried" egg with lobster salad and Big Fish Farms caviar cream.

We can't wait to taste what Jean-Robert will do with this very special ingredient. Check out this video for more about Renée's paddlefish caviar adventures, and call to reserve your seat at Table before this event sells out!


Velva said...

I know I write this all the time but, I really do love the way you promote local food culture.


Intuitive Eggplant said...

Thank you, Velva! You get me :)

Buzz Kill said...

"Only the best-tasting endangered foods make it onto the Ark!"

So you're eating the endangered foods? I can't put my finger on it, but that doesn't sound right.

Interesting about the paddle fish being a relative of the sturgeon. I just read a local article about sturgeon in the Delaware River. One hundred years ago, there were over 360,000. Now there's less than 300. I hope they don't end up on the Ark. Bwahahahaha

Intuitive Eggplant said...

Buzz, some of these culinary species are endangered because they aren't well suited to Big Ag practices and have fallen out of favor with large commercial farming operations. The Ark tries to promote these species by creating market demand for them and thus encouraging breeders/growers to produce more of them.