Notes from Brunch - No. 002

Collected and Described by Zach Kaiser
Cartoon by Benjamin Slyngstad

This is our weekly collection of stories, videos, and insights on the minds of the authors at The Artisan Situation. We recommend reading these after Sunday Brunch.

Dan Barber, the man behind Blue Hill Restaurant and The Third Plate, is always keen on challenging our continued progress toward a more sustainable food system. His article for the New York Times back in May 2014 is one that I also go back to when I need to reexamine the ideas of the Farm-to-Table movement. Chefs and consumers need to play more of a role in completing what he mentions is the "nose-to-tail" approach to the farm. We need to purchase these rotation crops that help support a sustainable farm because it will help keep many of these mid-sized farms alive. This is a must read for those farm-to-table enthusiasts. READ

Food for Tomorrow, a conference sponsored by the New York Times and the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, brings food industry people from all around the country and the world to think more broadly about innovation and the future of food. This past fall they brought together members of the oyster community (Bren Smith of GreenWave & Sean Barrett of Dock to Dish)  to discuss how the future of seafood will be affected by over harvesting. It was a discussion that uncovered political influences, critiqued new technologies, and examined coastal culture. WATCH

Joint Venture is a new take on what a restaurant can be. Nialls Fallon and Danny Newberg put together what Kelsey Burrow (a collaborator for Food52 and Woodberry Kitchen) calls "a place for nomadic restaurateurs." Danny has traveled around the country collaborating with artists, local chefs, and farmers to put on a creative demonstration through local food. I had the pleasure in November to take part in a dinner at Artifact Coffee in collaboration with Chef Spike Gjerde. It featured a small innovative menu that was distinct, succinct, and creative. READ

Sometimes photos speak for themselves. These photos by George Steinmetz show the food industry that feeds us today. Its big, vast, scary, horrifying, and sometimes dizzying. VIEW

"Origin Beer." It is a term that Nile Zacherele of Mad Fritz Brewing in the Napa Valley uses to describe his beer. He isn't just craft beer. He brews beers with geographic distinction and pushes this idea of terroir further than most brewers have cared to explore. Michael Kiser, of the Good Beer Hunting Podcast, sat down with him to discuss his ideas and inspirations. LISTEN

Industrial hemp was once a major agricultural crop for Kentucky. Now industrial hemp is looking to make a comeback. Dan Malloy with the help of Patagonia helped to tell the story of hemps reintroduction to Kentucky. This story speaks to building economies for rural communities in America, specifically American Veterans like Michael Lewis, founder of The Growing Warrior ProjectThis video does something special. It shows the heart and soul of people who want to "find their place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there." WATCH

My friend Caiti Sullivan is trying to find her voice as an urban homesteader in Baltimore, Maryland. To date she has published numerous recipes, short stories, and personal excerpts from her struggles as someone trying to live a sustainable agrarian life in the city. This past fall she took it a step further by starting a dinner series, the first one based around the Winter Solstice. The dinner was personal, intimate, and used 100% local ingredients (many coming from her small urban backyard). Take a look at some of the photos from the event. VIEW

Artifact Coffee is a part of a larger group of restaurants and cafes owned by Chef Gjerde. Each space features local ingredients prepared uniquely to each location. Artifact Coffee specifically fits the role of rustic and hearty; a place to grab a cup of coffee, bowl of soup, or an amazing sandwich. When traveling through Baltimore it is most definitely worth a stop. VISIT