NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“In the world of restaurants, the big new thing is the farm-to-fork movement, which has chefs elbowing each other out of the way to find nearby sources of fruits, vegetables, and meat. Organic farmers, artisanal cheesemakers, and savvy fishermen are turning into bona fide celebrities. And it’s about time,” declares Ruth Reichl in “A Nation of Farmers?” (page 28), her editor’s letter for Gourmet’s Annual Restaurant Issue. “No matter how good a cook you may be, no matter how great your technical proficiency, it is not possible to make wonderful dishes without great products.”
“Local Flavor: America’s Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants” (page 67): Gourmet’s editors spent the past year eating from coast to coast to create the 2007 Restaurant Guide, which features the country’s best restaurants that are focusing on the seasonal, the sustainable, and the homegrown. These chefs are sourcing ingredients locally and using them in new and unusual ways. Log on to www.gourmet.com for longer descriptions of the restaurants.
In “The Mouth That Matters” (page 80), chef-owner Dan Barber of Blue Hill in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns gives a behind-the-scenes account of how restaurants really react when there’s a food critic in the house.
In “Operating Instructions” (page 149), best-selling author Bruce Feiler goes undercover as a parking valet to the rich and famous at Hollywood’s Sunset Tower Hotel, an Art Deco landmark. Feiler provides a look at the secret world of valet parking, the least understood corner of the hospitality industry, and discovers that a single tip can sometimes equal an entire month’s rent. His Top Five Tips for Consumers are on page 150.
In “Most Likely to Succeed” (page 240), Gourmet contributing editor Colman Andrews looks at the new generation of notable chefs who trained under Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray at the River Cafe in London during the past two decades. The River Cafe, one of the most influential restaurants in Great Britain, just celebrated its 20th anniversary and has been the breeding ground for many of London’s best young chefs: Jamie Oliver (Naked Chef TV series, restaurateur), Samuel and Samantha Clark (Moro, London), Matt and Shelley Armistead (Soho House, to open in West Hollywood, CA), April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig, New York), Theo Randall (Intercontinental, Mayfair), and Arthur Potts Dawson (Acorn House, London).
Gourmet Entertains features two autumn menus from two young chefs on each coast—David Chang of Momofuku, New York City; and Holly Smith of Café Juanita, Seattle. “Hungry Heart” (page 204) is a delicious and innovative menu from David Chang, the James Beard Award–winning chef-owner of the rapidly expanding Momofuku empire (Noodle Bar, Ssäm Bar, and the soon-to-open Momofuku Ko): Apple Soju Cocktails; Pickled Vegetables; Pork-Belly Buns; King Oyster Mushrooms with Pistachio Purée; Roasted Brussels Sprouts; Apple and Smoked-Bacon Salad with Lychees and Chili Nuts; Clay-Pot Miso Chicken; and Sliced Fuyu Persimmons. In “The Italian Job” (page 228), Holly Smith of Café Juanita in Seattle showcases her Northern Italian menu: Pear Brandy Cocktails; Calvados Sidecars; Roasted Hazelnuts with Thyme; Prosciutto-Wrapped Grissini; Beet Salad with Almond Butter and Bomboloni; Roasted Venison with Huckleberry Mostarda; Turnip Gratin; Pear Crisps with Vanilla Brown Butter; and Fennel Ice Cream.
In “Eight Ways of Looking at Sonoma” (page 222), Gourmet contributing editor Francis Lam travels to Sonoma, the neighbor to trendy Napa Valley, which has recently begun to come into its own. “The Details” (page 227) recommends where to stay and eat in Sonoma.
Roadfood: In “Skillet Set” (page 56), Jane and Michael Stern discover Nashville’s hot-fish sandwiches, a staple at soul-food restaurants, and explore the rivalry among the city’s hot-fish restaurants.
“And for My Second Act …” (page 92): Phyllis Richman, the former restaurant reviewer and food critic at The Washington Post, got to know South African chef Peter Pankhurst and arranged for him to work in D.C.’s most prestigious kitchens, including Citronelle, The Inn at Little Washington, and CityZen. What exactly did he learn?
In “Kabul Nights” (page 108), Kristin Ohlson, author of Stalking the Divine and coauthor of Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil, reports on finding restaurants in Afghanistan’s capital, where there are few street names, no addresses, and the restaurants keep a low profile. Ohlson discovers the challenges of opening a restaurant there—inadequate electricity and sanitation, poor phone service, the lack of quality supplies in local markets, and having to import everything at very high prices.
In “The Producers” (page 216), Gourmet editor Lesley Porcelli highlights the celebrated farmers and purveyors honored by chefs from across the country at this year’s Citymeals-on-Wheels benefit in New York City. Chefs such as Alice Waters, Dave Pasternack, Scott Peacock, Michel Nischan, and Holly Smith brought along their favorite producers: Grant Hubbard, Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, Maine; Jonathan and Nina White, Bobolink Dairy, Vernon, New Jersey; Morse Pitts, Windfall Farms, Montgomery, New York; Annie Farrell and Betsy Fink, Millstone Farm, Wilton, Connecticut; Linda Neunzig, Ninety Farms, Arlington, Washington.
In “Move Over, Michelin” (page 136), Oliver Schwaner-Albright travels to France and dines alongside Luc Dubanchet, the author of the guidebook that all of France is talking about, Le Carnet de Route, which has no rating system and profiles only 200 restaurants. Le Carnet de Route is the antithesis of the staid, traditional Guide Michelin, and Dubanchet is unique, darting back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room throughout each meal, snapping photos of the dishes, and chatting with the kitchen staff.
In “Rad Men” (page 84), Joe Dolce profiles two English chefs who have recently opened restaurants that are in the vanguard of the local-seasonal-foods movement. At Bordeaux Quay restaurant, in Bristol, “the most cutting-edge eco-restaurant in the country,” chef-owner Barny Haughton is attempting to make sustainable restaurant food affordable. And Oliver Rowe, chef-owner of Konstam at the Prince Albert, in London, refuses to use anything that was not raised within a 40-mile radius of his restaurant.
In “Soup from a Stone” (page 126), Paul Richardson profiles Spanish Chef Ángel León—chef, scientist, inventor, and seasoned fisherman—who is exposing the classic flavors of Cádiz province to his penchant for invention at Aponiente. For the past decade, León has also worked part-time in the food technology department at the University of Cadiz, and projects that he has developed—including one that uses low-frequency sound waves to open oysters—have not only caught the attention of fellow gastronaut Ferran Adrià and will soon be seen in restaurants around the world.
In “Upping the Ante Down Under” (page 100), Pat Nourse, Gourmet Traveller’s features editor, offers an up-to-date restaurant guide to Sydney, Australia’s, changing food scene, with an Address Book (page 104) for one of the world’s greatest dining destinations.
“If They Build It, Will You Come?” (page 160): Haley Thurshwell, Gourmet’s market editor, profiles three women architects who are designing restaurant interiors that make for a special experience: Elizabeth Falkner and Sabrina Riddle, the designers of San Francisco’s Citizen Cake and Orson; Stephanie Goto, designer of Monkey Bar, in New York City’s Hotel Elysée, who also worked on Masaharu Morimoto’s New York restaurant; and Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani, designers of Banq, soon to open in Boston.
Gourmet’s October 2007 issue features a guide to “America’s Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants”:
RESTAURANTS WITH FARM CONNECTIONS
2nd Street Bistro, Livingston, MT Amherst Chinese Food, Amherst, MA Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN Crook's Corner, Chapel Hill, NC Eve, Alexandria, VA La Provence, Lacombe, LA Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC Pacific'O and I'o, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii Tree House Pastry Shop and Cafe, Santa Fe, NM
MENU CHANGES DAILY/OFTEN
Aqua Santa, Santa Fe, NM Bix, San Francisco, CA Boulettes Larder, San Francisco, CA Floataway Cafe, Atlanta, GA Francine, Camden, ME Harvest, Madison, WI Literati II, Brentwood, CA Queen's Hideaway, Brooklyn, NY
Bay Ave. Trattoria, Highlands, NJ Blue Bird Bistro, Kansas City, MO Bona Terra, Sharpsburg, PA Burgerville, locations throughout Oregon and Washington Canele, Atwater Village, CA Duo Restaurant, Denver, CO The Farmhouse, Emmaus, PA Fife Restaurant, Portland, OR The Flying Fig, Cleveland, OH The Flying Pig on Lexington, Mount Kisco, NY Local Burger, Lawrence, KS Market, Del Mar, CA Prairie Grass Cafe, Northbrook, IL Sage, Des Moines, IA Spoonriver, Minneapolis, MN Steelhead Diner, Seattle, WA Vindalho, Portland, OR
SEASONAL (CLOSED PART OF THE YEAR)
The Back Eddy, Westport, MA Christina's (open from February to October), Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA Clam Box of Ipswich (open from February to December), Ipswich, MA Five Islands Lobster Co., Georgetown, ME Hawk's (open from December to May), Rayne, LA Hell's Backbone Grill (open from March to November), Boulder, UT
Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, Chicago, IL Grace, Los Angeles, CA Josie, Santa Monica, CA Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, FL Reef, Houston, TX Rendezvous in Central Square, Cambridge, MA T'Afia, Houston, TX Telepan, New York, NY White Dog Cafe, Philadelphia, PA Wilshire, Santa Monica, CA
WORTH THE TRIP
The Farmhouse Restaurant, The Inn at Serenbe, Palmetto, GA Five & Ten, Athens, GA Guadalupe Cafe, Sylva, NC Harvest Moon Cafe, Sonoma, CA Kai, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Chandler, AZ Journeyman Cafe, Fennville, MI Restaurant Tallent, Bloomington, IN The Turquoise Room, Winslow, AZ
610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY Brigtsen's, New Orleans, LA The Fearrington House Restaurant, Pittsboro, NC The General's Daughter, Sonoma, CA Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, VT Joseph's Table, Taos, NM Le Gourmand, Seattle, WA Manresa, Los Gatos, CA The Painted Lady, Newberg, OR Paley's Place, Portland, OR
Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine, Fort Worth, TX The Corn Exchange, Rapid City, SD L & M's Kitchen and Salumeria, Oxford, MS The Linkery, San Diego, CA Pirogue Grille, Bismarck, ND Route 7 Grill, Great Barrington, MA Watermark Restaurant, Nashville, TN
HOTELS + INNS
Cielo at Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur, CA CityZen, Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C. The Inn at Dos Brisas, Brenham, TX The Inn at Shelburne Farms (open from May to October), Shelburne, VT North Fork Table and Inn, Southold, NY Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA
Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA FIG, Charleston, SC
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA Carrie Van Dyck, Ron Zimmerman, and Jerry Traunfeld, The Herbfarm, Woodinville, WA Peter Merriman and Neil Murphy, Merriman's, Waimea, Big Island Peter Hoffman, Savoy, New York, NY Greg Higgins, Higgins Restaurant & Bar, Portland, OR Peter Davis, Henrietta's Table, The Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA Dan Barber, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY Lucia Watson, Lucia's Restaurant and Wine Bar, Minneapolis, MN Alan Wong, Alan Wong's Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii Annie Somerville, Greens, San Francisco, CA Patrick O'Connell, The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA Alex Young, Zingerman's Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI