January 14, 2008

Scrapin’ Up the Bits, Local Style

Catching up on some local food news I’ve been meaning to get to for about a week or two.

First, on March 28 and 29, an organization called Pathways to Smart Care is hosting its second annual Farm to Table conference. The theme is "A Recipe for a Healthy Pittsburgh,” and it's being held at the Lawrence Convention Center. What’s in store at the conference?

The event will feature area farmers and businesses that support sustainable agriculture, with national and local speakers, including Sandor Katz, an expert on wild fermentation, along with Patricia DeMarco of the Rachel Carson Homestead and Will Clower of Mediterranean Wellness.

Registration is $10 before February 1 and you’re asked to submit a recipe as part your registration. My submission was grilled Kentucky Wonder Beans with prosciutto.

Second, McGinnis Sisters, a local “specialty” grocery store with locations on Rt. 51 and in Monroeville, is opening up a third location on Rt. 228, not far from Kitchen de Fillippelli.

What’s the big deal, you might ask? As one of the Sisters explains

McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Stores has had a longtime dedication to not only buying direct from local farms, but also building strong relationships with individual farmers. "They promise to provide us with what we want, and we promise to buy it; we can guarantee we'll sell it," says Sharon Young, one of the three sisters that comprise those of the McGinnis Sisters name.

The kicker: from what I can tell, the store is going in right across from local grocery behemoth, Giant Eagle.

And, last but not least on the local food front, if you work downtown, you have some new temptations to resist:

The French Tart has opened a shop in 2 PPG Place, where it offers eclairs, cream puffs, brioches, macaroons, tarts, turnovers, its signature 4-inch cakes and other sweets, as well as an array of savories including quiches and pastries stuffed with succulent cheeses, veggies or meats (including a pastry-wrapped French hotdog with mustard).

According to my wife, who spoke with the owner one time at the Shady Side location (it also has a location in Mt. Lebanon), the French Tart uses almost strictly organic ingredients. We’ve had several pastries from the French Tart and they were all magnifique!

No comments: