Amy Cotler: The Locavore Way
Last Tuesday (sorry for the delay) I had the amazing oppurtunity of meeting author/blogger/chef/local food enthusiast Amy Colter. As part of the summer culinary class series sponsering Just Food, Amy held a two hour cooking demonstration at Whole Foods Market on Bowery and Houston sharing some recipes that could be adapted to every seasons harvests.
She started with a Fresh Fruit Kutchen, showing how strawberries and rhubarb or cherries could be used in the summer, and how later blue berry and maple syrup or apples make a great treat for the fall. She also made a Farmer’s Market Salad utilizing whatever could be found at farmstands now, including some delicious crispy red and blue potatoes. She also made a fall risotto with butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, and sage– but had numerous suggestions of how the dish could be changed seasonally, such as using fresh peas, corn, and peppers in the summer.
Amy had a great energy, she noted that she is an “anarchist in the kitchen” which she encouraged everyone in the class to be also. Her cooking approach was very much freestyle though she was classically trained, and she put a great emphasis on how when you use really fresh ingredients they practically cook themselves. She seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, and fresh herbs, and said she rarely spends time making fancy sauces, glazes, etc.
After the demonstration I talked to Amy for a few minutes while she signed my copy of The Locavore Way. I found her extremely pleasant, and discussed by blog a bit, as she has had her own for a few years now. I really recommend her book to anyone interested in eating locally and seasonally, it is an easy to read guide to how to get started, and a great resource to veterans of the concept.
Also check out the Whole Foods website for their other classes this summer sponsoring Just Food, and more importantly, check out Just Food’s website. It’s a great organization that helps get fresh local organic foods to everyone, and has a great deal of information on CSA’s and farmers markets.