As promised, just wanted to share a quick cooking video I shot, kind of on the fly, in South Africa at Londolozi Game Reserve showcasing local seafood, honey, and herbs & greens grown from Kenneth’s on-site community garden below! – Yes, the garden that grows its vegetables using all-natural, chemical free rhino dung safely harvested from their own safari reserve.
Meet Executive Chef Craig Paterson as he takes us through a colorful starter that speaks to the flavors of South Africa – one of many dishes I ate and enjoyed during my time filming wildlife at Londolozi.
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating! *photo credit: Adam Bannister*
“I feel like I’m not doing enough when I’m feeding this safari camp alone. We need to have other people coming from other areas to learn. They should know that we have nice vegetables that we are growing from rhino dung.”
Meet Kenneth Jazi, the head gardener at Londolozi Game Reserve, a private game reserve committed to conservation, rehabilitation of wildlife and sustainability in South Africa. Over a year ago, Kenneth had the idea to start the camp’s very first local garden to supply fresh vegetables to the camp kitchens. But, he didn’t want to go outside for fertilizer. He was committed to finding something more local, something more natural to grow his vegetables with – little did he know that rhino dung would be his answer.
Enjoy the short video! It’s very inspiring to travel somewhere remote and discover great ideas in food sustainability. I really wish I could have gone with Kenneth to show you how he harvests rhino dung out in the bush. He tells me it’s “great fun”. Apparently, rhinos collectively create natural dung piles, returning to specific spots within their territories to defecate and “communicate” with each other. I had no idea this was why rhino dung was so easy to harvest – just grab a shovel, head out into the African wilderness (hopefully with a good ranger/tracker team) and find their dumping grounds for fertilizer gold.
Thanks again for watching food. curated.! I hope to share a cooking video from Londolozi, later this week, so you can see some of the vegetables Kenneth grows being used in South African dishes. Happy eating!
“We’re in New York. We have dirty water dogs. But, I’ll be honest, I don’t love a boiled hot dog. I’ll probably never eat one again.”
Meet Josh Sharkey, the co-founder/owner of Bark Hot Dogs, a sustainable fast food restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Josh believes there are two main aspects to a great hot dog: 1) It’s got to have great snap – and great snap comes from great casing. Bark Hot Dogs uses sheep casing. It’s all natural and develops that perfect hot dog snap when cooked. 2) You have to use good meat – and good meat comes from good farms. Bark takes pride in sourcing high quality pork products from Heritage Foods USA and all natural beef from Meyer Natural Angus, a certified organic farm in Colorado. To ensure customers can really taste and appreciate the meat that they’re eating, they keep meat cuts down to a minimum, using only pork shoulder, pork jowl and beef shoulder to craft their artisan hot dogs. So, as long as you have those two elements, you’re guaranteed a great hot dog. Josh is sure of it. But, then again, Josh isn’t interested in just a great hot dog, he wants the BEST hot dog, and to get the best hot dog, they use a special, homemade dressing they call: Bark Butter.
Bark Butter is a savory, super smoky, house made lard butter that just so happens to contain lots and lots of smoked pork fat. They coat every hot dog with it, just seconds before placing it into the bun. It’s not listed on their menu. They rarely even mention it at the restaurant. But, it’s their little trick that puts their hot dogs in another class – that last punch of rich pork flavor that makes you wonder why these hot dogs taste so good.
So, go on then, watch my fun little video and see how the REAL secret to a great hot dog gets crafted! It’ll make you want to head to Brooklyn to taste the difference yourself. I highly recommend trying the bacon cheddar dog, the kraut dog, the briny, full of crunch, pickle dog, a side of gravy fries and a chocolate salted caramel shake. Don’t be shy with the housemade condiments. And, if you have room, definitely get the pork burger – which, of course, has Bark Butter in it too! Fast food the way fast food should be.
Bark Hot Dogs: 474 Bergen Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy, snappy eating! And cheers to Josh for living the American Dream (wink, wink).
“I thought it would be all the kids that would be loving it, but it was the adults! It was the adults who kept coming.”
Meet Melissa Yen, who just so happens to answer to the name: Jo Snow. Melissa is the founder and senior syrup slinger behind Jo Snow Syrups, a small-batch, artisan syrup company based in Chicago, IL.
Melissa is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. All her life she’s started and stopped businesses with none ever really clicking until now. For her, Jo Snow Syrups is the first business she’s ever technically mastered. She makes syrups for a living. That’s her job – boiling and bottling up to 500 syrup bottles a week. She’s good at it. Really good at it – which is great because she’s always, always, ALWAYS wanted to own a food brand.
I found Melissa through a little investigating before my Chicago trip a few weeks back. I put out a few feelers to food folks I knew who lived in the area, letting them know I was spending an extra day during my travels to, hopefully, film a story. I got a lot of good responses, lots of interesting artisans were thrown my way. But, time after time, Jo Snow Syrups just kept coming up in conversation. And when a name gets mentioned that much, my general feeling is, the product has to be pretty damn good. So, I took a leap of faith and booked my story, blindly, without ever tasting it.
Well, who exactly knows how serendipity works, but Melissa ended up being that perfect kind of artisan I love to film: passionate, creative, fun, and full of life and energy. An artisan who truly loves what they do. An artisan who makes a product I’m excited to talk about. These syrups are incredible. The flavors are thought-provoking and interesting on the palate. They wake your senses, and make coffees and cocktails and sodas way more fun than you think they would.
So, go ahead, try it. I just dare you to have some fun!!
Jo Snow Syrups Current List of Flavors:
- Soda Pop Flavors: Cola #6, Sass! Root Beer, Kickin’ Cream Soda
- Coffee Flavors: Cafe de Olla, Fig Vanilla Black Pepper, Cardamom Rose Water (my favorite)
- Fruity Flavors: Hibiscus Basil Orange Blossom, Ginger Passion Fruit, Tangerine Lavender Honey
Thanks so much for watching food. curated. I truly appreciate all the support and notes of encouragement while I took a little time off of storytelling these past few months. But now, I’m back. And I’m ready for a whole new season of storytelling. So stay tuned because I’ve got so many fun things to show you in 2012… Happy Drinking!
This week, I helped JoinBklyn, a hip arts and culture blog, pull together a pretty impressive selection of my favorite side dish and appetizer recipe ideas called OMG Sides for their 2011 Holiday Guide. Take a peek! There are ideas for meat lovers, seafood lovers and veggie lovers too! The recipes come from artisans I’ve featured in my video stories, in addition to one from my dad. You know, because what’s the holidays without family.
Hope you enjoy! Below is a short list of the OMG Sides you’ll find:
- SkeeterNYC’s Caramelized Brussels Sprouts w/Garlic, Pinenuts & Bacon
- Mike’s Hot Honey Kohlrabi Turnip Slaw
- Mangalitsa Pig Lardo Wrapped Blue Caledonian Shrimp
- The Lobster Place’s EasyPeasy Spicy Tuna Sashimi w/Pickled Jalapenos
- Bacon Marmalade’s Black Kale Salad w/Anchovy Dressing & Bacony Croutons
Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones! And thanks so much for supporting and watching food. curated. this year. We’re excited for a whole new season of passion-filled food stories for 2012. So stay tuned!