Thursday Tidbits: Red Carpet Ideas

Photo: jamarmstrong/Flickr

LOCAL BITES

Urban Eating
BU’s Department of History is holding a two-day conference beginning Friday, Feb. 24, dedicated to the topic of food and cities. A host of scholars are slated to speak, and their papers offer multi-disciplinary, global perspectives. The Department’s Facebook page for its “Food in the City Conference” provides all the info you need.

Your Own Red Carpet
The Oscars are Sunday. Dress your nattiest (they’re offering gift certificates!) or “come Cambridge” to Upstairs on the Square’s Monday Club Bar, where you can ooh and aah with other voyeurs. The menu is “droll” and features such cinematic offerings as “The Help” and “George Clooney’s Hot Date.” (‘Bet that got you.)

Leap Year Treats
Remember, we all get an extra day of eating next week on account of Leap Day, Feb. 29. Finale thinks this is ‘sweet,’ of course: from Feb. 21 through Feb. 29 they’re offering a dinner/dessert special for two OR an 8″ cake for the magic number of…$29.

Eating Icelandic
From March 1-4, Eastern Standard’s Chef Matthew Audette will team up with guest chef Hákon Már Örvarsson, Bocuse d’Or and World Culinary Cup winner, to create a special four-course Icelandic menu showcasing the best of Nordic cuisine. Cocktails figure in here, too, of course — this being Jackson Cannon’s hood — with Reyka Vodka as the star ingredient. Contact Eastern Standard for more info on their 3rd annual Taste of Iceland event.

Mmmm, Maple
On March 3rd,  10am and 2pm, come to the Somerville Community Growing Center to watch and learn as sap from local sugar maple trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup.  It’s Somerville’s Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival, sponsored by Groundwork Somerville, in conjunction with Tufts, Somerville Public School and community volunteers. Arrive at 11am and 12noon with your kids for music and story-telling by the Animal Farm trio.

More Maple
Our friends at Berkshire Food Journal have interviewed Amy Cotler, food writer and founding director of Berkshire Grown, about her ideas for incorporating local maple syrup into your daily menu — Indian pudding, boiled down with cider to put over pancakes, a sweetener for sun tea, BREAKFAST!   

Chris: So Long and Thanks
Boston.com confirmed earlier this week that chef Chris Schlesinger of East Coast Grill in Inman Square is selling. But…to colleagues. Phew!

NATIONAL TREATS

Food Rules, Animated
The visuals and the message in this stop-motion video animating Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” are a must-see. Think Alphabet Soup with gorgeous visuals and an important message.

Meet Martha Washington, the Cook
A new cookbook is out, annotated by culinary historian and cook Karen Hess, and it’s not your average “how-to.” Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery is the transcription of more than 500 handwritten recipes Martha Washington acquired before she met the Pres. It’s also a window onto early American folk culture. You’ll love the etymological roots of the word Lady! Reported in The Paris Review.

A Puff of Caffeine, A Puff of Controversy
How reliant are you on a caffeine pick-me-up? What’s your preferred vehicle for it — coffee, soda, tea or chocolate? Aeroshot, a new product that allows you to inhale caffeine, is creating quite a stir at the federal level and among pediatricians. Allison Aubrey reports for NPR’s The Salt.

Whole Grains, Half Truths
This ABC news report featuring Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest focuses on the sparse legal restrictions for labeling whole grains and the sparse amount of whole grains actually in certain foods labeled as such.

GLOBAL TASTINGS

A Dream in Cape Town
Each Monday morning the BBC Network Africa broadcasts the newest segment in its “African Dream” series. This week’s feature is of Portia de Smidt, a black woman, who opened Africa Cafe in Cape Town with her white husband in 1992 — two years before the end of apartheid in South Africa. Quite a story, what a restaurant.

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