By The Hack
It's been recorded at least once or twice in this electronic logbook how busy The Hack has become. It's true. Yet he keeps thinking about The Bloated Belly and its subdued anarchy, and misses it.
But the day job calls, and The Hack answers, because, y'know, that's where the paycheck is. But that very same day job has given The Hack a storyline on which to report in The Bloated Belly. See, this year The Hack's employer allowed him to start a publication that is very much up his alley. It's called Harvest Foodservice Journal, a newsletter that focuses on sustainability issues in the foodservice industry.
Not only is the topic important to The Hack, but also he finds it fascinating to launch a publication amidst a rapidly changing media-delivery landscape. Among the most obvious issues publishing companies are facing is, how do you make money? David Carr in The New York Times has been addressing that issue for the last several years, and did so again today.
The Hack elected to start Harvest as a digital edition—largely because it's cheap to get off the ground, and his employer was willing to humor him (wisely) only so much until some sort of revenue stream could be discovered. So, it would please The Hack if you would download a copy of Harvest Foodservice Journal, and take a look. Comments, are, of course, welcome.
Does that mean cooking segments are done with? No. The Hack remains busy at his stove, and can't help but share items like his blue cheese butter, that kicked serious ass with steak, salmon, trout, and bread, of course. (2T (or more) of good blue cheese for 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, both softened and well incorporated, adjust taste with Kosher salt if needed, that will depend on your cheese.) So, keep checking in.
By The Hack
Yes, it's been a busy summer for the poor ol' Hack. His day job has him running all over the place. Why, he hasn't even had a full weekend off in...how long? He hit up Tour De Farm two weekends ago, then Taste of MN last weeknd (on the Fourth! Egads!). During the week, he runs and runs to scoop news. Like yesterday, he visited with Thom Pham with a group of other food writers in his new joint. Read deets here at the Hack's day job blog. But coming soon, here: Rabbit!
FDA Issues Draft Guidance on the Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobials in Food-Producing Animals
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued draft guidance intended to help reduce the development of resistance to medically important antimicrobial drugs used in food-producing animals.
Today’s draft guidance outlines the FDA’s current thinking on strategies to assure that antimicrobial drugs that are important for therapeutic use in humans are used judiciously in animal agriculture. The FDA acknowledges the efforts to date by various veterinary and animal producer organizations to institute guidelines for the judicious use of antimicrobial drugs, but the agency believes additional steps are needed.
The draft guidance summarizes a number of published reports on antimicrobial resistance and states that the overall weight of evidence available to date supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production or growth enhancing purposes (i.e., non-therapeutic or subtherapeutic uses) in food-producing animals is not in the interest of protecting and promoting the public health.
Read the rest of the release and see a link to the draft guidance here.
By The Hack
Most of you saw the story in the Strib yesterday, but if not, Rick Nelson reported that Lenny Russo, the chef and owner at Heartland Restaurant will likely move to St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood, adjacent to the Farmer's Market. After a brief discussion with Lenny yesterday for his day job, the Hack heard from Lenny that it is definitely happening. Papers signed.
And it's a big deal, too. If the business materializes according to Lenny's vision, this could be a dramatic development for the city of St. Paul and for anyone who's serious about making locally grown foods a realistic and affordable option for everyone. Congratulations to Mr. Russo and his wife, Mega, and their business partners for pulling this out. It has been a years-long journey for them, and it takes a certain kind of person to grind it out for the tough yards.
The Hack can't believe he just used a football metaphor, and wonders if it's indication he's been assimilated into the United States after only a couple decades. He is looking up Montreal Canadiens stats now to right the ship.
Maybe I was too self absorbed this weekend, but I missed the official passage. Finally! The note is the official city release. —The Hack
April 2, 2010 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Minneapolis City Council today unanimously approved the expansion of mobile food vending in downtown Minneapolis. Restaurant owners and entrepreneurs who do not own restaurants now have the opportunity to expand their operation to a mobile food vending vehicle that could park on a preapproved location within the Downtown Improvement District. Food preparation will also now be allowed in the vehicle.
“Street food carts are an idea that is rooted in the greatest food cultures across the world,” said City Council Member Lisa Goodman, whose ward includes Downtown, and whose office proposed the expansion of food vending. “We all know the adage that to truly understand a culture - eat its street food, find out which carts the locals eat at and line up. I believe it is beyond time to bring Minneapolis - as a city that tops the ratings charts in most every category - into the 21st century in terms of street vitality.”
“Minneapolis has taken a quantum leap forward in vibrancy and excitement with the approval of food vending trucks today and we are thrilled that the City Council removed the limits so all applicants could participate,” said Cynthia Gerdes, co-owner of Hells Kitchen.
Restaurants interested in having a mobile food vehicle will need to submit an application detailing the plans of their vehicle and the proposed location. The Downtown Improvement District and Public Works will provide assistance to direct applicants to prospective sites. Once a completed application is received, the materials will be reviewed and approved by Business Licenses and Public Works. The license fee for a mobile food vehicle is $483. There are also start up costs in the amount of $391. Applications will be accepted starting May 1 with hopeful implementation mid-summer.
By The Hack
As y'all already know, the Twin Cities lost (at least temporarily) Heidi's and Blackbird, two great Minneapolis restaurants (along with a number of other fine businesses) in a fire last month. To help out those who have lost their employment and income, a gaggle of restaurateurs have assembled the "Fork the Fire" event. Read teh details here, from Nelson's blog at the Strib. Hope you all can help out.
By The Hack
The Hack has returned from vacation in South Miami Beach and Key West, with a few notable finds. He ate, ate and ate, thinking that his constant walking and biking in those areas was the reason for his voracious appetite and roaring stomach, and that he might actually have come home a few pounds lighter. Not so. His body's craving for carbs to fuel his activities resulted in copious beer consumption, which likely overwhelmed any calorie loss. Sliding on a pair of jeans at home this a.m., the Hack thought they might have felt a bit snug from a week ago.
That, and any R&R gained from the trip was lost in the last 48 hours, when a mild tropical storm washed away any flights in the prop planes out of Key West for a few hours, which resulted in a missed connecting flight, a luggage snafu, a four-hour sleep in a hotel near Miami International, and a two-hour layover in Chicago. But, that ain't anything to complain about given various global events. And, on the upside, the Hack found a new hat to alternate with his old, tattered lid in O'Hare, of all places.
A few things happened in the local restaurant scene while the Hack was adjusting to unseasonably cool weather down south (still warm by our hearty Minnesota standards, the Hack wanted to smack those Floridians wearing heavy coats and scarves—yes, scarves—in 50-60 degree weather), most notably the fire that consumed Heidi's and Blackbird, along with a few other businesses along that stretch. Mighty sad, but at least no one was hurt. Comments and photos on that and the vacation to follow...
From some Travel Channel folks. The ol' debate rages on. But, this difference this time is someone is going to decalre a winner. Short notice for you 5-8 fans, but hey. Get out there anyway.—The Hack
A new series will be airing this Spring on the Travel Channel. Our host is visiting cities around the country learning about their iconic food dishes. Next up on our food journey: Minneapolis, MN for the “Juicy” or “Jucy” Lucy. If you’re a loyal customer of 5-8 Club we want you there February 8th. If you prefer your burger be from Matt’s Bar then come and show your support there on February 9th. No matter which side of the fence you may fall, we want you all together on February 10th at “The Cardinal Tavern”!
By The Hack
As a cat owner and dog owner who doesn't look upon them as potential protein source, I would likely have tried one of these traditional dishes if I ever I travel to China, and it was presented before me. Y'know, when in Rome? I have, for the record, eaten horse meat. Not bad at all.