All Posts By FN ClipChick

Good Food Garden at SoBe

by in View All Posts, March 5th, 2010

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Hey, Sarah Copeland here from Food Network Kitchens. Last weekend, we spent 48 hours in a little land of green. Our latest Good Food Garden was a part of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami. It was an absolute pleasure to bring another garden to South Florida since the one we built there last year is now a thriving force that has inspired the kids of the South Beach Boys & Girls Club and their family food co-op that the community has come to depend on.

For two days, our garden sat smack in the sunny center of Jungle Island Fun Park, greeting kids and parents with lush patches of strawberries, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, squash and fruiting temple orange trees among a dozen other varieties of fresh foods. As always, wherever our gardens go, they invite the little ones to taste, touch, smell and learn.

Whenever I talk with someone who has not experienced the Good Food Gardens through the eyes of a child, I talk about the magic that happens there—the lure of the plants that are a world of wonderment to a child who may or may not know that the food they see on their plate started as a tiny seed. The magic was at work full force this weekend as kids tucked their noses into the orange blossoms, felt the furry sage leaves and tasted spicy, vibrant arugula.

But the real magic happens in the homes and lives of the families the garden will touch now that it has been relocated to its permanent home, the Naoma Donnelley Haggin Boys & Girls Club in Delray Beach. We hope the things they will grow, taste and cook because of their exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables in their own backyard will inspire generations of healthy eating. It’s the magic of a movement that believes Good Food is for everyone.

– Sarah Copeland

Spokesperson, Good Food Gardens

Giada With a Chance of Meatballs

by in View All Posts, October 13th, 2009


Growing up in an Italian family comes with a built-in set of guarantees: screaming = normal conversation, you get to drink wine before you’re out of diapers and every second Sunday it’s meatballs (‘polpette’) for dinner. So, when I saw that our very own Giada De Laurentiis was hosting the first annual “Meatball Madness” at the NYC Wine and Food Festival this past Sunday, I ran faster than you can say “buon appetito.” After all, Giada is Italian, I’m Italian… you get it.

The meat was on. At stake, title of “best meatball,” a $5,000 prize and, of course, one’s pride. More than 25 chefs and restaurants were competing. The judging panel, tough… Food critic extraordinaire and The Next Iron Chef judge Jeffrey Steingarten, restaurant critic Frank Bruni of NY Times fame, and Gail Simmons, best known for her regular role as judge on that food-reality competition show that’s NOT on our network. And then there was me. The toughest of them all, with the lingering memory on my palate of my mother’s mouth-watering Sicilian meatballs… firm yet delicate combo of beef and pork with killer ingredients of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pignoli nuts and raisins, bathed in the most delectable tomato sauce. Lucky them, my vote wouldn’t count.

Table to table we meandered, meatballs at every turn. Anne Burrell said she had the winning meatball. The secret from this restaurant chef was in the sauce — a little pancetta. Claire Robinson was on hand to help serve. Mamma mia, it was good. But Mamma — Mamma (Rocco) DiSpirito that is, would beg to differ. Famous for her classic Neapolitan meatball, mother and son rocked it with a side of rigatoni. Try as I may, even in my best Italian, she wouldn’t give up her recipe. Across the way, The Next Iron Chef’s Amanda Freitag was convinced that the meatball she serves at her NY restaurant, The Harrison, was the one. No day off for Alex Guarnaschelli either. She turned up with her mini meatball pizzas — three perfectly sauced morsels of meatball perched atop fried dough, along with homemade ricotta cheese and grilled radicchio.

Thirteen meatballs later, I sought relief in a cannoli and a tiramisu lollipop. Thankfully, someone was smart enough to provide dessert.

In the end, the judges awarded Locanda Verde’s Andrew Carmellini the bestest, for his lamb meatball slider. Meatball Madness gets my vote as a must-bring-back-next-year event to the NYC Wine & Food Festival. In the meanwhile, I’ll always have my mamma’s.

— FN ClipChick