Don't Call It Food News

IT'S NOT FOOD NEWS...OR IS IT?
The departure of RVANews has left me with a bit more time on my hands, so I'll be bringing some of my weekly food news content to this very blog. Changes include: I won’t ever talk about restaurants, events, or food that Barb and I don’t personally like or care about. I mean, after all, this isn’t the news, this is a blog. Also, I'll be able to abuse italics more because Susan Howson won't be here to stop me! I may also address some (and I know this is out of character for me) non-food-related issues if they're interesting to us. And I’ll be able to spend more time addressing Apple Cart-specific content, which I tried to avoid as much as possible when someone else was paying the bill. But now no one’s paying the bill, so LET’S TRASH THIS HOTEL ROOM, GUYS!!!

CART TALK

Barb and I are so excited to announce our newest client: As of June 1st, we’ve started working with Cavalier Produce, a food distributor that started in Charlottesville fifteen years ago and is in the process of moving to a huge, state-of-the-art distribution facility in Louisa Co. This move will allow Cavalier to take on more suppliers--both local and national farmers and food producers--as well as new restaurants and businesses throughout Charlottesville, Richmond, and the New River Valley.

We’re just thrilled to be working with this family-owned, dog-loving, food-obsessed business as they make the transition to their new home and begin growing their regional presence!

Read more about the move in the Richmond Times-DispatchRichmond Magazine, on WVIR NBC29, and on the industry-specific website, The Packer.

PIZZA BENE

I have Pizza Tonight (now Nota Bene) owner Victoria Deroche to thank for introducing me to both my husband and excellent wood-fired Neopolitan pizza, and tbh, I’m not sure which I’m more grateful for. The Apple Cart worked withPizza Tonight since day one, before there was even an Apple Cart to speak of, when Victoria connected with Barb and myself at New Visions, New Ventures and, soon thereafter, hired me to come on as Pizza Tonight's gal Friday.

Those were the days! Rolling hundreds of pizza dough balls in milliion-degree summer heat; freezing our butts off in gravel lot farmers markets that no one bothered to shop at in the winter; getting a doctor's note to prove that I could still stand on my feet for four hours at a time, stretching pizzas when I was 9 months pregnant; learning Quickbooks and Wordpress so I would still be valuable to the company after I had my daughter and couldn't go out with the oven anymore. My four years with Pizza Tonight were absolutely formative, a kind of food business gradschool, that I would trade for NOTHING. We are so proud to see how far Victoria has come and everything she’s been able to accomplish with Randy Doetzer and the entire team at Nota Bene, formerly Pizza Tonight.

Sidebar: Victoria's been working with Campfire & Co (our friends, branding/design gurus, and future office mates) on the updated branding for Nota Bene, and they've been doing a bang-up job! Clever, communicative branding is essential to pulling off a name change/rebranding like the one Pizza Tonight just went through. You'll be hearing more about that from us in the weeks to come.

OVERHEARD AT THE MARKET...

I ran into Librarian Extraordinaire Patty Parks yesterday at the Birdhouse Market, and she told me all about this thing going on at the Richmond Public Library: On Wednesday, June 29th, it’s the Girls of Summer ‘Girls Night Out,’ an evening of book sales and signings, readings, snacks, and door prizes featuring local authors Gigi Amateau and Meg Medina and award-winning YA author Carol Boston Weatherford. Just check out this reading list--it’s perfect for young readers and the parents who read to them.

Oh, and speaking of the Birdhouse Market, our favorite bagel baker Nate's Bagels had his first market appearance at the Birdhouse yesterday, and we're looking forward to many, many more! If you, like me, are bagel-obsessed, Nate'sBagel Club might be a good thing for you to join!

IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE…

Take your Dad or, you know, whomever to this all-you-can-eat low country shrimp boil at Strangeways this weekend.Because your old man needs more Old Bay in his life, and “all-you-can-eat” is a challenge he will gladly accept..

SIP OF THE WEEK: MOTHER SHRUB DRINKING VINEGAR

Barb and Mother Shrub owner Meredyth Archer go way back, so when Barb said she had a friend who was going to be making shrub, aka drinking vinegar, I was stoked. The Apple Cart helped Meredyth with some early strategy for Mother Shrub, and Meredyth has taken her business to the next level in just a few months.

Barb is full-on obsessed with the stuff, and I'm never one to turn down something sour. Made with natural fruit juices, Mother Shrub's drinking vinegars are super refreshing with a bit of club soda and/or booze. Here are a few recipes to get the wheels turning. You can find the shrub at the South of the James Market. Mother Shrub also took home the top award for beverages at this year's VDACS Food & Beverage Expo, so, you know, don't just take my word for it.

BITE OF THE WEEK: SULLIVAN'S POND FARM BONNYCLABBER CHEESE

An assignment for Birdhouse Market had me up and out of the house way earlier than usual this week (5:30 in the morning! Who even knew that was a real time!?). But once I reached my destination, with my daughter in tow, I was glad to have made the hour-and-a-half trek.

I was visiting Sullivan's Pond Farm in Wake, VA, home of some of the most delicious cheese I've ever EVER tasted. They're a micro (read: itty bitty, by industry standards) family-run goat farm who sell cheese at local stores, restaurants, and markets. Their practices are completely organic, and--one of my favorite parts--they package their cheese in natural materials, like corn husks soaked in moonshine, vegetable ash, and beeswax because, well, they're rebels and they do things their way. And their way is flipping delicious.

I got a chance to sample the raw stuff, the cheese they keep for household use only, while I was there; and it made me pine for a political climate that wasn't so opposed to raw milk and raw cheese. Since we can't get our hands on the raw cheese most of the time, I'm quite happy with their La Cheverie, which is coated with a very cool looking layer of vegetable and herb ash. 

INSTAGRAM OF THE WEEK: @WHISKRVA

 

Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwiches are pretty much the most important thing going on right now, so drop whatever you're doing and scoot on over to Whisk for one RIGHT MEOW.