On our Washington adventure we tested out campfire s’mores with freshly picked blackberries and raspberries. Oh- and did we mention we slapped a little bacon on it? How’s that for filming late at an electricity free, lantern-lit campsite?
Mendocino- it’s everything Napa isn’t. Rolling hillsides, quiet farm roads, oh- and there’s actually good wine. Check out our video for what to expect from this coastal climate in California. And be sure to grab a bottle of this delectable Pinot Blanc from Skylark Wines. And why not pair it with some fresh homemade chowdah while you’re at it?
The term “foraging” for food is too delicate for what was a morning spent elbow deep in thick mud tugging and pulling each clam to the surface to take it’s last pulse of life away. Join Hank Shaw as he takes us into the foggy waters of Bodega Bay California on the hunt for gaper clams. Be sure to watch for his homemade chowdah recipe and our wine pairing recommendation.
When we first met Jamey Grosser during Original Fare’s cross-country road trip, I thought, “Hey, we’ll create a video about making moonshine and some fun cocktail recipes.” Almost six months later, here we are with a mini-documentary about two of the most bad-ass and intelligent entrepreneurs I’d ever come across before. This isn’t just a “red-neck renaissance” as Jamey, with all his marketing savvy so cleverly puts it, this is true American spirit.
Food, at its best, is simple. While we’re seeing our culture move rapidly towards locavore, artisanal, farm to table dishes I hear from an overwhelming number of people that it’s all becoming “too precious.” Food is energy. Food is sustenance and survival. And in someway shape or form food is all around us.
Which is why, under my first investigation of doing an LA-area episode, I immediately high-tailed it to the mountains in search of Backyard Snails.
Beer is great. I love beer. Almost as much as I love liquor. These two vices have been kept apart too long. This Father’s Day, tap into your inner chemist and make a beer cocktail for the man who gave you life and brought you forth into this world. Between sips of alcohol we scoured the internet to find the 5 best beer cocktails out there. We’d love to hear your suggestions and opinions. If they’re good, I’ll make a new video for…Arbor Day.
Mike’s Full Moon
½ bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade
½ bottle of Blue Moon Beer
Garnish: orange slice
Combine all ingredients in a glass. Stir and garnish with an orange slice.
Source: Mike’s Hard Lemonade
Imagine Tuscany. The sun is lowering lazily behind verdant hillsides. The smell of rosemary and sage grows thicker as the evening washes over the horizon like a warm, welcoming blanket. You are gathered around an expansive crimson brick outdoor kitchen with a handful of chefs. Apertifs have been downed and discarded. Like a sign that night is coming the chianti begins to flow freely. And with chianti the main course must soon follow. It is in this setting that Chef Laurent’s recipe for Chianti and Sage Risotto was born.
My Mom’s Strawberry & Tillamook Yogurt Pancakes
Strawberries in the field are a welcoming sight. “It’s Strawberry Season!” the heart sings as though bathed in sunshine. Those plump, sweet, red delicacies of nature seem to bring only peace into the world as they signify that finally, oh finally, Spring is here.
Original Fare is for those seeking authenticity, craving originality, and striving to experience the most hand crafted, unique fare our country creates. Having spent the last six years constantly on the road seeking home-grown goods and local adventures, we decided to pick up our cameras and share the stories and places we’re obsessed with. We invite you to watch, read, share, suggest, and become a part of the go-to guide for traveling, eating and cooking local craft fare.
…And they all look just the same.
I never dreamed in a million years I’d live in Orange County.
In my mind, I pictured the towns littered with custom Ed Hardy hats all splattered and sliced perfectly to size into little plots of subdivision plastic. Houses filled with women who never aged. Women who had teenagers who spoke in long, lazy twangs. Teenagers who aspired to little, but had more than most.
Where I come from we call these people hillbillies.
In Orange County, we call them yuppies. The wealthy. The affluent and the spoiled. And somehow we have televisions shows about them and we all look up to them.
But on a routine business trip to Los Angeles, my newly-OC transplanted mother, took me through Laguna Beach for lunch and I fell in love.
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We recently heard the inside scoop from Jamey Grosser that Popcorn Sutton will no longer sell their white whiskey in mason jars, which means it won’t be as easy to infuse a jar by simply tossing stuff into it. It’s a shame but the whiskey is so good I feel like it probably deserves a better bottle, and I am getting tired of the faux rustic, pioneer look that every whiskey and rye are carbon copying to death. Now that Popcorn Sutton is expanding, it makes perfect sense their bottle and brand should expand with them. And when your paying $30 a bottle, it’s nice to know a little expense has gone into the presentation.
Now that I got that out of the way, here’s a recipe for a drink that will make Red Bull and vodka look feel like you just drank cold medicine.
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You can thank my neighborhood in Brooklyn for the onslaught of “mixologists.” While they may not be responsible for creating the movement of hand-crafted cocktails with muddled garden herbs and overly complicated names, they are certainly the perpetrators behind the speak-easy snobbery that has been slowly popping up all across America.
It’s all fucking annoying. I get that. It’s just alcohol. And you’re just getting drunk. But aside from the black rimmed glasses, the prohibition era tattered wall paper, and the $100 attitude something really cool did happen with the start of craft cocktails.
Being able to connect with your bartender and learn about booze.
For a two day Central Coast, California pasture to plate extravaganza- here’s what you need to know:
Halter Ranch is the by far the most beautiful vineyard and wine making facility you could imagine. Their gravity-fueled winery has a vital role in the production of some of the finest wines you’ll find in the states. This is one of the most conservation-driven facilities out there. Find out how as they put me to harvest in our next episode.
This is cattle country. And if you want to the best beef head to Rangeland where you can taste a smooth Cabernet and try to weasel your way into their beef club. Don’t forget to ask Laird for a tour of their 1500 acre ranch. Full episode on cooking a grass finished Zinfandel Brisket coming soon! (And why “grass finished” is the most important word you need to know in eating local).
J&R Meats is revolutionizing the local butcher and meat processing facility. With retail fronts in both Templeton & Paso Robles you’ll be sure to find locally produced sausages, beef, pork and even the condiments to go along with it.
Rent a VW Bus and dive deep into a true California adventure. We took out “Taos” but the wonderful couple, Bill & Diane of Vintage Surfari Wagons, can help you find your ideal VW bus partner in crime.
Farm stands abound- and I love the ones that operate by “honor system”. Head up the 101 in Gaviota for Classic Organic Farm or try your luck on the 46 between Paso Robles and Morro Bay for a few tucked away gems. Also be sure to stop by Bell Street Farm along the 101 for a gourmet pulled pork sandwich lunch spot.
Windrose Farm is fully staffed by the original hipster couple of Bill & Barbara. They smoke their own peppers, have potatoes ready to pop, apples abound, and always a few interesting projects always in the works. http://windrosefarm.org/
The General Store in Paso Robles also features locally made olive oils, jams, tapenades, breads, sweet treats, and soaps.
San Simeon is a great place to camp and have the best sandwiches in town at Sebastian’s Cafe and a bit of Hearst history.
Pier 46 in Templeton is a small seafood shack with New England worthy fish & chips as well as California inspired fish tacos.
Just down the road is 15 Degrees C the coolest vision of a bar and local products shop I’ve ever seen. Sit at the bar with the locals- some may even be nearby viticulturists- sample an incredible, hand picked selection of wine, and purchase a few local goods all in one spot.
Cambria is the quaintest town in the area- tucked away in the mountains this village is currently celebrating harvest with community-made scarecrows decorating storefronts and doorsteps for miles. Check out Grow- a unique garden of hard to find succulents- or any of the antique stores for fun items at good deals.
Cayucos is a cool, relaxed beach town. Sea Shanty has a bangin breakfast burrito and an interesting collection of trucker hats hanging from the ceiling.
Skip Morro Strand Beach- unless you can get there early enough for the prime spots along the sand. Otherwise, consider yourself camping in a parking lot.
Looking for a spicy brunch on a budget that will impress your guests? Its easier than you think. Learn how to navigate any supermarket with the ax-wielding chef Jason French of Ned Ludd, Portland. He’s making a $20 brunch that can easily serve 20 people.
My recent trip to Portland was overwhelming. It is my goal to find the most local, artisanal experiences and share it with the world. This typically involves a lot of research and sleuthing. Not in PDX. There exists an entire community and ecosystem to support burgeoning new products and ideas in food & booze that I’ve never experienced before. Here are a few highlights from my trip:
Smallwares will rock your mouth! Chef Johanna Ware creates “inauthentic Asian” cuisine that is fun, detailed, and accessible at the same time. Chicken lollipops with sriracha mayo: need I say more?
For rustic elegance, reserve a table at Ned Ludd, an “American Craft Kitchen”, and enjoy a meal that’s simple yet over the top in flavor, by Jason French in his wood-fired oven.
Want a decadent meal without all the fuss? Eat a Bunk Sandwich. Not only do they have the best name (full disclosure, I have a handsome cat named “Bunk”) but their sandwiches will kick your mouth’s ass. Don’t skip the Cubano.
You’re gonna wanna take home a lot of local products as gifts and to enjoy in your kitchen. Join me on the rabbit hole journey that is PDX. I came across Jami Curl, owner of Saint Cupcake, to sample her line of sweet treats called Quin Candy. How does she create such fantastical array of caramels, lollipops and marshmallow by the foot? She sources her ingredients locally. She gets her honey from Bee Local Honey; Damian Magista is a mad scientist of the honey cultivating world offering terroir-based varieties through his neighborhood segmented hives. Jami even gets her salt locally. That’s right, the most fundamental building block of all cooking and baking is produced locally in PDX by another mad scientist: Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen’s Salt. If you do one thing- seek the salt. Your life will forever be changed as you set out on a path of unraveling the connected world of Portland artisans and the significance of salt.
Give yourself some time to wander through the farmer’s markets of PDX. That’s where I discovered Marshall’s Haute Sauce that now has replaced all other lesser forms of hot sauces on my dinner table. For an unparalleled goat cheese take home some chevre from lovely Liz Alvis of Portland Creamery.
If you’re a oenophile like me, you’ll want to head outside of Portland to the Willamette Valley. If you can have only one Pinot Noir you must hit Rex Hill. If you have time for another then run to Ghost Hill Cellars. Or better yet, take a personalized wine tour from Grand Cru Wine Tours.
You need a place to lay your head while consuming all this culinary goodness? For low-key local comfort you can stay at McMenamins Kennedy School, a refurbished elementary school that offers literary themed rooms for us book nerds, the option to smoke a cigar and drink whiskey in detention, and maybe take in a movie screened in the old auditorium. Not to mention they brew their own beer on site.
If super fancy is what you desire, then head over to The Nines where you can also enjoy a farm-to-table meal at their restaurant Urban Farmer.
Whew! That was a lot of information. If you want to experience all of this wrapped into one event, just purchase tickets for Feast Portland 2014. You’ll get all the products, restaurants, wine, booze & PDX personalities rolled into one delicious package.
It wasn’t until a leading member of a significant environmental non-profit organization called all the areas between the coasts “uneducated flyover states” that I decided I really hated environmentalists. And with that declaration, another layer of self loathing smugly crawled deep into my skin.
It’s we self-proclaimed environmentalists who so proudly wave the flag of righteous conservation. We send science in to prove our theories. We use experts and lawyers to make our arguments. We use the internet, events, and free tote bags to encourage everyone to care just a little bit in an effort to save us from ourselves.
Environmentalists are not at all bad. Just like any other passionate, motivated, self-congregating sector of individuals, we tend to stick to our own kind so much that our language becomes lingo and we care less and less about relating to others outside of our own circles.
Much of the same can be said about religion. Or even hunters.
Hunters have been perceived as environmental villains for quite some time. More so they are almost looked at as relics of a once less civilized way of life. I hear hunter and I immediately think of a poacher- someone ruthlessly and illegally killing poor innocent little creatures.
So more and more foodies out there are finding themselves unintentional environmentalists with the farm to table craze (as are religious groups in many parts of our country. Try to find a sustainable farm or ranch in Texas that doesn’t have names directly connected to Jesus himself). Hunters, for the most part, are still shunned away to the sidelines as gun wielding, belching, red necks who wouldn’t so much save a whale as they would vote for Obama.
Voting preferences aside, my day out in the field with Killer Chef Jesse Morris and his merry brood of buddies was the closest I have felt to nature in a long time. And I live in the mountains by the ocean. (I’d say the other was battling a beastly morning storm while sailing a small catamaran on the Sir Francis Drake Channel, which I had slyly stowed away on the night before thanks to my new friend Crocodile. But that story is for a different time.)
As one commenter on a recent video noted, “food has the ability to move us beyond politics.” And at a certain point he/she is right. As I experienced over freshly caught crabs in Seattle with Alice Currah our very different set of agendas ceased to matter. At that moment it was about catching the crabs together. But through that experience we tapped into something greater. Something that was not just about going local or meeting our grocery budget. Something that transcended food itself.
What I experienced out in the field with Jesse is that hunting is the pursuit of that something. Hunting is an experience in living. It can not only be an expression of skill but also of humanity. A reverence for our place at the table. Would I rather use a bow and arrow? Sure. I’ve shot a gun maybe a dozen times in my life and I’m not even about to touch that discussion with a ten foot pole. But while you can argue the gun issue there is a service and respect these hunters are doing for the habitats as a whole. They aren’t aiming their barrel at any creature that passes by. They work with the game and wildlife organizations to keep track of the number of species. They clean up after themselves once their adventure moves them elsewhere.
But more than that; they are outside. All day. Hours on end. They take into consideration the weather. They listen closely to note what bird just made a call. They see the mesquite and the soy broken and brittle in the field. They know nature in a sensory way that most only communicate through text books and Terrence Malik movies.
I believe it is not merely food that can move us toward our commonalities- toward something greater; but the experience of connecting to our world in a very real, very visceral way.
Food is a wonderful stepping stone. But perhaps one day we will look back at our international food system- with it’s GMOs and factory farms, and think, “Wow, that was barbaric.” And it will be hunters sending out the tote bags- anxious for us all to do just one thing to try and save us from ourselves.
And with that, here’s the written ingredients for your next Dove Hunt!
Dove Huntin Carnitas
1 c lard
4 clove garlic
1 white onion
1lb salt pork soaked overnight
2 Myers lemons when is season for special carnitas
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaf
2 Mexican cokes Cup of water
Cook til water cooks out and lard looks clear- anywhere from 1-2 hours. Then chop up, brown on a griddle and serve!
I was kicked out of high school because I despise mediocrity. That’s how I paint the picture in my mind. I’m sure rarely showing up to class, and when I did being fucked up on LSD and damaging property, didn’t help. It’s so easy to be angry when you’re seventeen. Finding anger is like finding breath. But the unmistakeable realization that we were all being bred to act the same, look the same, aspire to be the same, added a big woody patch of kindling to my youth’s funeral pyre.
It was the suburbs. A shocking ecosystem where drugs reign, domestic abuse hides between pottery barn couch cushions and shiny new SUV’s, and girls tick their cheerleading skirts higher, seductively so, between Sunday church sermons. I lived in the suburbs for 2.5 years. It was brief. It was chaotic. It was a terrifying wade into a shallow pool of gasoline. It taught me that mediocrity is out to kill us. It taught me that to be authentic- to be real- is our only chance of survival.
Somewhere as our population grew our creativity scattered. Gritty, never say die entrepreneurialism was combed over with capitalism and ever-expanding bottom lines. The marketplace became global. Commodities became gods. We homogenized first our rural communities, then we shed those dirty skins as quickly as we consumed them and headed for track housing. Homes we could enclose in gates. Stores that can accommodate every need. And now, what was formerly a cookie-cutter one size fits all approach has seeped beyond these suburban street corners and chomps away, block by block, our urban streets. Main street America is now 6th Avenue Manhattan.
Where does a girl go to find something authentic? That was the itch scratching at my fingertips as I googled “boutique Seattle hotels” only to find the same four walls I’d find in San Francisco, New York, Dallas. I spent days scouring the internet to find a trail of inspiration to lead me into the deep character of Washington state.
Just as I was about to give up, I recalled my first glamping adventure in the San Juan Islands at the far northern corner of the state. I typed “glamping Washington” into the search bar. I waited with cautious optimism.
Wanderlust Camps came up almost immediately. The photos of the tent alone sold me. Then I saw it was set in a vineyard that happened to have a perfect micro climate for Pinot Noir. I called them immediately.
Wanderlust Camps has a few locations throughout the state based on seasonality or other events, but two glamp sites sit at Challenger Ridge on a continual basis. One perched above the vineyard and the other tucked away quietly beside the Skagit River.
Scott, at Wanderlust, has thought through every glamping detail. Inside the canvas flaps you’ll find classic Pendleton throws, a forest green Coleman reminiscent of the one my brothers carted down to boy scout camp every July, and Malin + Goetz bath products for the outdoor shower – which, by the way, is another one of those little touches that can make any stay a unique experience. Wanderlust’s sits behind the vineyard, enclosed in wood panels. At night, under the hot stream of water, the stars glare from behind the steam, touching the tops of the evergreens.
If all of the little touches weren’t enough to entice a stay, the environment is a sure sell. You can sip your day away at Challenger Ridge with Trent, the young farmer who puts his attention to detail into the roots of each vine; or with Dave, the former ad exec turned master wine maker who came up through the ranks with leading Washington wine DeLille Cellars.
If action is more your speed, head out with Ed Magill of Cascades Fly for a day floating down the river. We started at 10am and went four miles down the Skagit- complete with a stop for brunch along a private river beach.
The nearby town of Concrete is small enough to still be charming yet big enough to have options for food and afternoon coffee. This is Washington after all. Coffee shacks are as prevalent here as corner delis are to New York.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Washington during blackberry season get out and pick a few dozen! They’re an invasive, obnoxious weed to the state that just so happens to make some bangin’ jam.
Besides Washington being one of those perfect places for outdoor adventures it may also soon become America’s Amsterdam. While tourists can’t yet embark to the corner coffee shacks, order an Americano and an Indica joint, the packaged marijuana goods (or “medibles” as some have called it) is booming. We checked out Fubar Fizz- an Olympia local took his passion for root beer, home brew beer, and weed only to turn it into a sugary, spruce-infused, Washington-only product.
Finding the authentic is all about finding those little details you can’t find anywhere else. Between de-criminalized marijuana, outdoor showers amongst the evergreens, glamping beside an emerald river, and just the right micro-climate for a northern Pinot Noir; this Washington expedition fit my agenda pretty perfectly. It’s these experiences that may just save us all from an America swathed in mediocrity.
Watch the Episode.