Visit With A Salumiere: Stephen Pocock of Boccalone

We sat with Stephen Pocock, head Salumiere at Boccalone in the San Francisco Bay Area to find out about how he got started in the business and what’s most important to him. Stephen has been working with Chris Cosentino since Incanto, and is excited to help take Boccalone to new heights in the near future.

 

Stephen Pocock

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A Meat Lover’s Guide to Eating in Wine Country

There are over 400 wineries in the region we recognize as Wine Country in the United States, located just north of San Francisco. This includes Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Bennett Valley, and Russian River Valley. Long, dry summers culminate with a burst of heat before fall, creating the perfect climate for grapes.

As you drive down the one-lane winding roads, it truly feels like you’re in Italy or France, with rolling hills to the left and right and vineyards stretching for miles. It’s a great place to enjoy the weekend with your lover, a celebration with friends, or just a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of city living.

To make your stay a little less stressful, we traveled Wine Country to find restaurants that have phenomenal meats to pair with the region’s spectacular wines. We did not come out disappointed! Whether you’re visiting for relaxation or fun, check out our meat lover’s restaurant guide to eating in Wine Country for tips on some of the area’s best restaurants.

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Visit with a Chef: Dominic Orsini

We took the time to sit with Chef Dominic Orsini, Executive Chef of Silver Oaks Winery in Napa Valley and recent author of The Silver Oak Cookbook: Life in a Cabernet Kitchen. Find out how he found his passion for cooking with only the freshest ingredients, and how he’s worked to build a sense of place through his cuisine.

 

Chef Dominic Orsini
Chef Dominic Orsini harvesting vegetables from the Silver Oak gardens.

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What It Means To Be An Honorary Farmer: Marczyk Fine Foods

Marczyk's Fine Foods
Marczyk Fine Foods in Denver, CO; their location at 5100 E Colfax Avenue during their annual Burger Night Fundraiser.

 

At our annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, we present the Honorary Farmer of the Year award. This recognition is given to a Niman Ranch customer – whether it be a meat distributor, grocer or restaurant – that shows outstanding commitment to the Niman Ranch farming community. They go above and beyond being a customer to embody the true meaning of partnership in their actions towards promoting sustainable, humane agriculture.

This year, we honored a long-time friend of ours, Marczyk Fine Foods in Denver, Colorado. Owners Pete, Barbara and Paul Marczyk have increased their commitment to our Next Generation Scholarship Fund through private dinners at their home, having customers “round up” at the register, selling special items at their deli, and our favorite event of the year: Marczyk’s Burger Night. The Fund is set up to give our farmers’ children a better chance of returning to the land by curbing school loan debt. This ultimately preserves traditional farming practices and promotes the advancement of the next generation of farmers.

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10 Quick and Delicious Recipes to Make This School Year

Whether you just sent your kids off to school or you’re in school yourself, making fresh, delicious recipes at home can be a challenge. Eating out every day gets expensive and spending two hours in the kitchen between cooking and eating can be cumbersome.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of our 10 favorite recipes that are both quick to cook and delicious. You’ll be able to enjoy what little free time you have to run errands, focus on homework or just enjoy more time with your family.

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A Meat Lover’s Guide to Eating in Scottsdale

Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tucked between Phoenix and the McDowell Mountains you’ll find Scottsdale, a young city with a wild west feel. It has seen a lot of change since the days of horse drawn carriages and saloon culture. You’ll now find spas, art galleries and exquisite jewelry stores back to back on the winding roads of Old Town Scottsdale. Hiking trails dot the outskirts for nature enthusiasts. “The West’s Most Western Town” has a little bit of everything for everyone – especially when it comes to Scottsdale’s restaurants.

While the official food is chili in this region, for all intensive purposes, we stayed away from it. Did you know Scottsdale was donned the No. 2 Foodie City of 2014 by Livability.com? That means there’s a plethora of creative and culinarily conscious restaurants that go beyond the traditional southwestern fare.

Take a trip to the wild west with us and check out the best food this city has to offer. From wood oven roasted bone marrow to pork cheeks and hot dogs, this is our meat lover’s guide to eating in Scottsdale.

 

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A Meat Lover’s Guide to Eating in Phoenix

Phoenix Shot

If you’ve ever visited Phoenix, it was likely in the winter or spring. From June to September, the average temperature is over 100ºF. Days are often so hot it doesn’t even matter how dry it is.  October through May, however, this city is home to the perfect climate. But regardless of what the temperature may be, Phoenix restaurants serve a plethora of fantastic food year round.

It’s so good, in fact, that we ventured out into the 115º heat to eat like a local. While Mexican cuisine is typical in the Southwest, you’ll find farm-to-table restaurants, southern-style eateries and hip burger joints from Echo Canyon to Glendale.

We set out this month to make the good food search a little easier for visitors, whether you’re staying for a weekend or a week. If you live in Phoenix and haven’t been to these restaurants yet, we highly suggest you put them on your list!

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5 Things to Do with Food Before the End of Summer

We love summer for so many reasons. It’s the time when prairie flowers reach full bloom, the crops are high, evening storms water the yard and hogs lay all day in the shade to beat the sun’s heat. Families and friends gather on the weekend to play lawn games or talk about their warm weather plans. Grills sizzle with burgers and brats as ice slowly melts in the beverage cooler. Even the hottest days are welcomed with cold treats and long dips in the pool or local lake.

But like harvest season, all good things come to an end. Kids head back to school this month, which marks the beginning of our sun setting earlier and earlier. Soon the wind will turn chilly as birds migrate south making way for fallen leaves and eventual snowflakes.

Before you say good-bye to summer, be sure to gather your favorite people and try one of these five activities centered on food! Sure, you could do some of these in fall – but why wait?

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A Meat Lover’s Guide to Eating in Cleveland & Columbus

Cleveland, left; Columbus, right.
Cleveland, left; Columbus, right.

Cleveland and Columbus are the two most populated cities in Ohio. Combined with the fact that there’s just a two hour drive between them, we consider them cousins. It’s likely that most people across the country don’t think of food when they think of Cleveland or Columbus, but we visited recently to find a great food scene thriving within their walls.

Cleveland has plenty of Polish Boys and pirogi’s, but did you know it’s home to the signature Cleveland-style barbecue? Columbus is the headquarters to fast food giants like Bob Evans, White Castle and Wendy’s, but did you know they have more independently owned restaurants than any other city in the state?

Keep reading to find a list of our favorite restaurants in Cleveland and Columbus. We highly recommend trying at least one next time you’re around!

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Visit With A Restaurateur: Kevin and Darren Malhame

Kevin and Darren Malhame are co-owners of Northstar Café, Third and Hollywood, and Brassica in the greater Columbus area of Ohio, alongside Kevin’s wife Katy. We took some time to chat with them about how they got started in the restaurant business and what drives them to source fresh, sustainable ingredients.

Brothers Darren, left, and Kevin, right.
Brothers Darren, left, and Kevin, right.

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