Fire, Flour & Fork

There’s never been a better time to be a serious eater in Richmond, Virginia. The city's food scene is putting off an energy that’s palpable, and it’s hard not to be totally pumped about it.  

So it’s no surprise that Richmond’s newest food event – Fire, Flour & Fork – is creating quite the buzz. It’s four days of special dinners, seminars, and cooking demonstrations that runs from October 30 - November 2. 

Not only are Richmond’s best chefs involved, but the event has attracted the likes of Sean Brock  from Season 2 - Mind of a Chef and Christina Tosi, the chef/owner of the acclaimed Momofuku Milk Bar.

Fire, Flour & Fork celebrates culinary innovation and a city’s pride in its unique foodways. It’s just one more accomplishment Richmond can add to its growing resume, which already includes happiest and most romantic city, and home of one of the best donuts shops in the country. 

$70 gets you into four events that are organized into the categories Fire, Flour, and Fork. Here are the sessions I plan on attending.

For the 10am session, I chose the FIRE option - Pope of Peppers.

If you are the type of person that orders Thai spicy and is bummed when the cooks thought you were too “American” to handle it, then this session is for you. It’s all about the hurt that releases those feel-good endorphins that fight the burning in your mouth. Dave DeWitt will talk about his book, Pope of Peppers, and will give his expert insight into the world of spice! 

This session includes samples and a book signing.

The FLOUR option, DamGoodSweets, was calling my name for the 11:15am session.

I’d like to say I visit a city for its history, architecture, and beautiful sights, but the truth is I only care about its food. And when it comes to food, New Orleans has the most unique and exciting regional cuisine in the county...but sadly I’ve never been. Hopefully this session will be the catalyst to finally getting my butt to the French Quarter. David Guas, the chef/owner of Bayou Bakery and host of show “American Grilled,” will be cooking some of his best dishes. 

This session includes a demo and book signing.

Again, I chose FLOUR for the 2pm session – Getting Gnudi.

For what seems like forever, Richmonders have been talking about Top Chef’s Mike Isabella and the highly anticipated opening of his restaurant Graffiato. After all that hype, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Chef Mike in the flesh and blood. After being through the ringer on Top Chef Masters, I’m sure he’ll be right at home in the demo kitchen.

This session includes a demo and book signing.

I’m going to finish off my day with a FORK session at 3:30 – Forks at the Ready.

This lecture is all about tableware, which may sound like a snooze-fest, but I’ve always been fascinated with the formalities of dining: Which fork goes with what course? Why is a caviar spoon made of opal? Why is a Bordeaux wine glass shaped differently than a Chardonnay glass? Although I'll admit that the endless variety of dining accoutrement seems frivolous, I can’t help but be 100% into it! I want the fancy oyster plate and that opal caviar spoon.    

Changes on the Horizon

It's been a bit quiet on Broad Appetite these last couple weeks for a few reasons: I've been on vacation, bought my first house (YAY!), and have been frantically packing. I've also been working with an amazing designer, Carrie Walters, to freshen up the look of the blog. There are a lot of exciting projects in the works, and I can't wait to share them with you.

In the mean time here are some pictures from my vacation.

Fork it RVA! (Podcast): Episode 4 - Redeye Cookie Co.

It's that time again - podcast time! This week Nick and I talk shop with Brayden Pleasants, President of Redeye Cookie Company. This late-night cookie delivery business is bringing Richmond's night owls freshly baked cookies and cold milk.  I wish this was a thing when I was in school!

We also pair Redyeye's red velvet espresso cookie with Woodbooger beer from Strange Ways Brewery.  

Enjoy the show!



The New Greenmarket Cookbook - Brown Butter Tomatoes Recipe

The New Greenmarket Cookbook is the most recent addition to my library, and it has won a special place on my shelf with its simple, ingredient-driven recipes. To keep my cookbook collection manageable, I’ve become pretty selective about what I add to it. I used to buy every discount cookbook on sale at Barnes and Noble, but now my books tend to fall into one of three categories:

The New Greenmarket Cookbook falls into the last category. It’s a collection of seasonal recipes, inspired by New York’s Greenmarket, from some of the city's most prominent chefs. The book tells the history of the iconic market and inspiring stories of its passoniate farmers. The chapters are organized by season and are filled with inticing recipes such as: Dill Pickled Ramps (Spring), Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Nectarine Compote (Summer), Scallops with Apple Cider Brown Butter (Fall), and Carrot Pancakes with Maple Pears (Winter).

Last Saturday I snagged a large haul of colorful tomatoes from the South of the James Farmers Market. It was the perfect opportunity to try a recipe I'd been eyeing in my new cookbook - Brown Butter Tomatoes.

The dish is as basic as they come - slice tomatoes, pour hot brown butter on top, and finish with flaky sea salt and fresh pepper - simple but spectacular. The success of this dish is all about the freshness of the produce and the unique character of heirloom tomatoes. The brown butter sizzles when it hits the tomatoes, enhancing their already sweet flavor and adding a nutty richness. When served with crusty bread, these tomatoes are the makings of a perfect summer meal.   

Brown Butter Tomatoes

From The New Greenmarket Cookbook by Gabrielle Langholtz and GrowNYC. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large or 3 small tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Flakey sea salt, such as maldon
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Baguette or other country bread, for mopping up the butter

Directions:

Core the tomatoes and slice them 1/3- inch thick. Divide the slices among four plates (preferably warmed), overlapping the slices just a little.

Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium heat. Let the butter melt completely. It will begin bubbling. Let the butter simmer away, cooking off its water, until it begins to smell nutty and brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Swirl the pan every 30 seconds or so. When the butter turns the color of a hazelnut, remove it from the heat. Use a soup spoon to ladle it over the tomatoes. They'll sizzle! You want to dress the tomatoes with the butter, as if you were pouring ganache over a cake - be generous!

Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then rush the plates to the table so everyone can taste the tomatoes while the butter is hot. Mop up the butter and tomato juices with good bread. Toast to summer! 


Fork it RVA! (Podcast): Episode 3 - Greg Johnson

It's already time for episode 3 of the podcast Fork It RVA! This week we interviewed chef Greg Johnson, the owner and culinary genius behind Citizen - my favorite lunch spot in downtown Richmond.  

Just like Fight Club, the first rule of the restaurant Citizen is that you don't talk about Citizen. It's an underground restaurant (it's literally located in the basement of a very tall office building), that's serving us nine-to-fivers a breakfast and lunch worth talking about. 

Enjoy the podcast!



Show Notes: 

Citizen

804-780-9038

909 E. Main Street, Richmond VA

Open Mon-Fri 7am - 3pm

Strange Ways Brewery

Drink of the day: The Albino Monkey White Ale

8040303-4336

2277A Dabney Road, Richmond VA