Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting To Know You (Part I)

In hopes of providing a little more insight on what Food Creates Community is all about, this is the first part of a three-part series on the cooks behind the concept. Each of the cooks completed a little questionnaire to reveal some of their innermost food thoughts and desires.

Our first Q&A is with Jordan Swim, the creator and visionary behind Food Creates Community and owner of Vestals Foods:

How long have you been cooking?
Seriously - since I was in high school, but I always remember my mom entertaining when I was younger, and I would help her with the parties and putting the food together.

When did you discover your love for cooking?
I remember eating at wonderful restaurants on summer trips in New England. I began to realize that I could put ingredients together to create wonderful flavors and tastes.

What would you say your cooking style is?
Comfort American with Southern European influence.

Who/what is the biggest influence on your cooking?
Alice Waters is someone who inspires me to connect my food with something beyond taste. My wife is my toughest critic and pushes me to create nourishing and unique tastes for our family every night.

What are the three must-haves in your pantry or refrigerator?
Kosher Salt, Orange Juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Describe your ideal meal.
Family, Friends, under the stars, slight breeze, nice wine, great bread, grilled and well-seasoned meat, flavorful cheese, warm dessert with gelato and an espresso.

Where do you see the future of cooking/food heading?
There is a resurgence of people wanting "simple foods and authentice taste." In this, we must look at the nutrition of our nation and how we are promoting life-long nourishment for all people. As culinarians, we must make food that educates and inspires!

Monday, February 9, 2009

An Alfresco Evening of Texas and Italian Ingredients

Food Creates Community presented its second dinner on Saturday to a wonderfully diverse group of people, many of whom were meeting each other for the first time. We want to thank the Side Dish blog for the nice mention which gave us a bunch of our new guests!

We were fortunate to have beautiful weather to enjoy the dinner outdoors by candlelight, strings of lights and a fire.

With attendees from all over the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, it was amazing to see everyone bonding over good food and company.

The focus for this dinner was an Italian theme, focusing on local ingredients to create flavorful dishes.

Comments from our attendees:

"I enjoyed eating outside, meeting new people and enjoying local ingredients in a non-restaurant setting."

"Flavors and taste were great."

"We felt like guests in your home, not strangers at a house with 35 people we didn't know."
"Everything was enjoyable from the beautiful ambiance to the great concept and delicious food!"

"Food was great, hosts so welcoming and interesting company!"

"I think that 'extended family' atmosphere, you and your friends and your family, your backyard and the weather - all of that is what made this meal and this food taste even more special."

February 7th Menu
"Beginnings" - Polenta, Rudolph's Italian Sausage, 405 Sage
Paired with Blood Orange Martinis - Titos Texas Vodka - Asti Spumante

"House Salad" - Grilled Radicchio - Texas Valley Grapefruit - Hazelnuts - Rehoboth Ranch Bacon - Reduced Basalmic - North Dallas Honey
Paired with La Serra 2007 Moscato d'Asti

"Pizza" - Classic Margarita - Mozzarella Co. Mozzarella - Texas Basil - San Marzanno Tomatoes
Paired with Arancio 2006 Nero D'Avola

"Pesca" - Traditional Risotta (Texmati Arborio) - Braised Red Oak, Texas Spinach - Pine Nut Crusted Wild Atlantic Cod - Golden Raisin Reduction
Paired with Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio

"Spaghetti and Meat Sauce" - 405 Pappardelle, Rehoboth Ranch Bolognese - Texas Portabella - Mozzarella Co. Mozzarella
Paired with Poggio Al Tufto 2006 Toscana

"Ice Cream and Cookies" - Paula's Texas Limoncello - Jon's Gelato - Anise Cookie in Dark Chocolate
Paired with White Rock Espresso and Good Earth Decaf Tea

Thanks again!

It was fantastic to receive such a warm reception to the concept, and we are excited about hosting another dinner in the coming months!

We enjoyed the opportunity to meet some new people who share a love of food. Please feel free to continue to provide feedback regarding your experience and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Photographs courtesy of Edd Eason Photography

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Meeting at the Table.

The table provides an opportunity for people to forge new relationships and find beauty over choice food and drink. Last night we had the opportunity to gather under the full moon for Italian flavors, wine, and local ingredients, plus we were able to add many new friends into our FCC circle. We laughed, dined, connected, and shared about our passion for local foods, home made memories, and aspirations for community nourishment. Let us know what you thought and also help us connect to others who are passionate about food, community, and people!