Monday, July 27, 2009

Allow me to clarify my earlier Napa post

OK, just to dispel any further confusion or controversy, Bill Taibe is leaving Napa & Co., but you can bet your delicious burgers that the food at Napa will not suffer one iota. Some people may have taken issue with my flippant post title, but as a person who loves food, I would never disparage my cheese-sampling friends.

So, please, put away the pitchforks and torches. I didn't mean it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eat at Napa while the eatin's good

From "Friends and Admirers of Chef Bill Taibe" on Facebook:

"Bill Taibe, Executive chef at acclaimed Napa and Co., has decided, after 3 exciting years, to move on. Bill will be opening a new farmhouse style restaurant concept in Westport, Ct.. This will allow Bill to be closer to home(he lives in Weston), to spend more time with his young family. Bill is excited to get back to his roots, which is being more hands on in the kitchen and using only the freshest LOCAL ingredients. We are excited for Bills new endeavor and look forward to keeping you updated on the opening date which is set to be in September."

Bill Taibe is leaving Napa. EVERYBODY PANIC.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It all comes down to this

My buddies at the Stamford Pizza Tour have completed their deliciously arduous journey through Stamford's pizza joints and are ready for the final battle for pizza supremacy to commence, with yours truly as a guest judge.

Much like March Madness, they have a tournament system in place to decide the grand champion, but they need YOUR help! That's right: head over to their site and vote for the final four empty slots in the tournament!

I see the tournament going down a little like this:

Or this:

Or maybe this:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Do the funky chicken this Sunday at Cosi

The chickens have come home to roost, as the Southern Connecticut/Westchester Backyard Poultry Group is holding its first meeting this Sunday.

If backyard poultry is anything like backyard wrestling, I'm interested. If you make it a backyard poultry wrestling meeting, I'm there.

Here's the copy from their press release:

The Southern CT/Westchester Backyard Poultry Meetup will be having its inaugural meeting on Sunday July 12th, at 2PM, at Cosi, 1209 High Ridge Road, in Stamford CT. The Chicken Whisperer is scheduled to attend via Skype. The group can be found online at: URL:

More and more often, chickens can be found tucked in among the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In the more rural corners of town, and even in cities, families are keeping small flocks and enjoying fresh eggs. Across the country poultry enthusiasts are holding Meetups to swap tips on where to buy hay and how to fight ordinances that prohibit poultry keeping. Backyard poultry has exploded on Facebook and Twitter as a hobby and a source of fresh food. To serve the backyard poultry community in the Southern Connecticut and Westchester areas, a group has been formed to connect local enthusiasts.

The group’s founder, Melina Brown, has been keeping fancy chickens for 3 years. “I have learned so much from keeping chickens. They are not only wonderful, funny pets, but they provide a great food source, eggs.” Ms. Brown has been to court to answer a noise complaint about her rooster, has dealt with predators, poultry health issues, built and bought housing, and hatched many eggs. She hopes to facilitate the connection of local poultry lovers to support each other and share tips and stories. The Connecticut/Westchester Backyard Poultry Meetup plans to have monthly meetings, classes, and coop tours.

(Wait...the Chicken Whisperer??)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

JR gets all fancy (food)

The life of a quasi-journalist/blogger-type person isn't always the glamorous romp you might think, but sometimes you do get to enjoy some awesome stuff. I got to check out the New York Fancy Food Show last weekend, and I'm still stuffed.

I don't even know where to begin. Chocolate, cheese, cookies, cakes, bread, wine, olive oil, soda, tea, coffee, caramels, holy cow! There were booths from national retailers (Jelly Belly, Scharffen Berger) and from micros (local chocolatiers, etc.). It was mainly a business expo where producers look for distributors and/or retailers, and vice versa, but every food booth had something to taste and taste I did. I think my cholesterol might never go back down.

I spent five hours on the main floor and didn't get to see everything. I also didn't know until fifteen minutes before closing time that the show took up the entire lower level too! Next year I'm doing two days.

This represents about .00000001% of the cheese on display.

I had so much cheese that I never want to see cheese again. OK, that's not true, but I had a lot of cheese.

There were booths and even entire pavilions representing countries like France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and on and on. There was even a booth from some strange backwards place called "West Virginia." I skipped it.

I found out about an interesting "chef search" website called Book of Cooks. It's a search engine where you can type in your location and the type of food you'd like, and it finds a chef who makes it. It seems like more of a Greenwich/Darien thing, but still kind of cool.

I saw the most incredible chocolates I've ever seen: Norman Love Confections. The pictures on the website don't do these chocolates justice. They look like glass sculptures or marbles. I didn't get a chance to try one, as their booth was understandably busy.

I'll just let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Argentinian olive oil.

Yummy chocolates.

A leg o' ham.

Clever uses of marzipan!

It's called Tur-Duc-Hen, but it's stuffed with seafood? I don't get it.

An unfortunately named soda from Slovenia

And finally, Baconnaise!! Believe it or not, it's vegetarian and kosher!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where have you gone, Joe Lieberman-o?

Our troubled independent Senator was in town the other day. I had no idea he was coming; did you? Of course you didn't, unless you're a member of the Stamford Illuminati Chamber of Commerce.

This is what bugs me about Joe Lieberman (and Chris Dodd, for that matter): he never does public meetings. I understand that Senators are busy people, but in the six-plus years I've lived in Stamford, neither of ours has done a town hall meeting or any type of public forum. Chris Shays made the rounds of the Fourth District at least twice a year, and I believe Jim Himes has done the same (or plans to).

What's the deal with Liebs and Dodd? Liebs and Dodd...sounds like a hit sitcom to me!