The Slice: All I want for Christmas is BEES
Here's the short version of a much longer story: Without bees, we're screwed. On some level, we're all more or less aware of this fact, but what can we do to protect bee populations? And what does the decline of bee populations mean for businesses right here in RVA? The Virginia League of Conservation Voters is teaming up with Blue Bee Cider, East Coast Honey, and Black Heath Meadery to explore these very questions tomorrow, Thursday June 29th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Blue Bee Cider.
Can't make it tomorrow but still care about bees? Check out these bee-related documentaries:
If you're serious about taking your cuppings to a professional level, consider these classes at Lamplighter Roasting Co. Co-owner Jen Rawlings is offering two workshops--Barista Fundamentals and a Roasting Workshop--to share her deep, caffeinated knowledge with a new class of roasters and brewers. Dates for both workshops are available in July and August.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
Cut the sleeves off your tacky Christmas sweater and load up the sleigh, it's time for Christmas in July, this Saturday, July 1st at Pasture from 5:00 to 11:00.
Co-owner Michele Jones says Pasture's halls will be decked, and the kitchen and bar will be preparing yuletide specials like grape jelly meat balls, traditional and vegetarian sausage cheese balls, Christmas cookies, frozen coconut eggnog, and frozen poinsetta cocktails (champagne, cointreau, cranberry). If you've been nice this year, you might even win Santa's silly gift giveaway.
This Sunday, Citizen hosts Protection for the second installment of Vegan Brunch. Protection is a vegan pop-up run by chef Douglas Andrae and bartender and horticulturist Elaine Rush. "I went vegan five years ago and experienced a dramatic improvement in my overall wellness as a result," says Andrae. "Since then, I've become very passionate about food & ecological justice. This is my way of reminding people of their worth & encouraging them to make healthier choices."
The menu includes cruelty-free versions of French Toast, Biscuits & Gravy, and Bânh Mí, plus some killer cocktails, including the Bloody Juana, with Belle Isle Moonshine, cucumber cilantro puree, lime juice and pickled radish. There's also a Tequila Gimlet and a fresh take on the French 75 with lemongrass, watermelon puree, and Commonwealth Gin.
STOP TEXTING AND DRINK
You won't find any Instagram stories about Secco's newest Happy Hour concept. That's because the Fan wine bar wants guests to go device-free, if only for an hour or two. Starting Monday, July 10th, Secco will host Uncorked and Unplugged, nightly happy hours (Monday through Friday 5:00 to 7:00 pm) that reward guests who set aside their devices with special discounts. In a press release, owner Julia Battaglini says, "In the spirit of bringing back eye contact, full sentences, awkward silences, situational awareness, and sensory focus, we’re encouraging guests to power down and drink up."
Take note: Secco closes for a summer break from July 1st through the 6th!
PICKLES AND PIE
If you're known in your circles for your pie and/or homemade pickles, submit your recipe to Fire, Flour & Fork's Midtown State Fair contest. You could win tickets to FFF events or real cash dollars. Recipes must include Sauer's Spices, and the winner will be announced at the Midtown State Fair on July 16th. All entries are due by July 10th, so commence to picklin'.
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
From "I'm a Chef Who Walked Away From a Dream Restaurant. Here's Why"
My cook mentality told me to push. I ignored everything and everyone around me that didn't have forward momentum. I took myself into darkness, and it affected my work, my restaurant and every aspect of my life. I was relentless with my cooks: aggressive, unforgiving and at times just plain insane. The example I set was to drive until you break, and then to keep going. I hated myself, I hated my work, and my food was filled with meaningless ego and negativity. Despite this, the good press and accolades continued to pile up. I got everything I thought I wanted, like some kind of surreal joke. - Ari Taymor
This is an excerpt from an article in this week's LA Times by Alma chef Ari Taymor. If you're a cook, read this article. If you know a cook, show him or her this article. It's honest and raw and cuts deep in a way that so many cooks, at every level of the industry, need to understand.
SIP OF THE WEEK: THE VEIL BREWING CO'S NEVER SCARED
I'm a sucker for the pucker, and The Veil's Never Scared gose has plenty of it. The 4.9% ABV beer packs in pink guava puree to create a sweet-tart flavor and millenial pink hue. I tried it for the first time this week at Longoven's beer dinner at The Veil, where it was paired with a cured-sockeye-salmon-stuffed zucchini blossom.
This is a classic example of putting two of your favorite things together and surpassing the sum of their parts.
GRAM OF THE WEEK: @sandwiches4life
Sandwiches are a lifestyle. (and if you're about that life, you should probably also be following @thepaulierva)