As a recent New York transplant, I have been wanting to resurrect my green thumb for some time, but I find myself slightly overwhelmed by the difficulty of finding a community garden with open plots. I’ve heard stories of people waiting for more than five years for a plot to open–with wait times like that, it would probably be easier to get a kidney.
Using the most recent database I could find, my husband and I located some gardens in our neighborhood and the surrounding areas. We set out to scout, filled with hope and excitement. The first garden was right down our block. It’s called the RING (The Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden) and while it’s a wonderful community effort, we discovered it was strictly a flower garden, so we had to move on. Much to our disappointment, garden after garden was either boarded up or abandoned. Six gardens in all were closed or had vanished.
I could only assume that my research had been poor, but after digging a little deeper I discovered that many of New York’s community gardens are at risk of either encroaching commercial development or simple neglect due to a lack of community support.
We came home defeated, stopping for a quart of strawberries to lift our spirits. Washing away the dirt from our fruit, I began to question my idea of finding a plot. Sure, it would be great to find an already established and flourishing garden where I could plant tomatoes and kale to share with family and friends, but how many people would benefit from that? Could I possibly do more? I thought of the boarded-up gardens again and their depressed neighborhoods.
Perhaps there is still a need for a resurrection, and I decided to redirect my research. I’m not exactly sure how to go about organizing a community garden, but I am open to education from anyone with experience. In the meantime, we have joined a local community-activist group and bought a small tomato plant for our windowsill.
Leah Brickley, Recipe Tester
The Japan Times brings it with a cool list of onomatopoetic Japanese food words (from one of which, incidentally, Pacman got his name). CF also this list from the LA Times a couple years ago of French food-themed idioms, as well as an illustrated multi-language list from SeriousEats, excerpted from this book.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer
Ancient Roman Philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero said “Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” Well, hopefully most of us definitely agree with the food part, but the mind needs inspiration as well, especially to cultivate a promo.
On her 9th anniversary at Food Network, I asked Writer/Producer, Olivia Mazyuk, to share some little known facts on where inspiration comes from for a Food Network promo, in regards to one of her most challenging spots to date, Feasting on Waves — to promote a 4-part series featuring Alton Brown’s personal journey exploring the Caribbean.
- For the initial brainstorming session, everyone involved took an afternoon trip to Chelsea Piers to literally watch the water move for ideas on how to begin. They watched the current, the flow of the Hudson River, observed the atmosphere – all in an attempt to find ways to evoke these themes into a graphics look.
- The original script was written as a first-person narrative for Alton to record. Alton, being Alton, recorded something different, and we then adjusted it to a third person account. This collaborative effort is the version that went on-air.
- The idea for the look of the spot, was inspired by the movie Stranger than Fiction starring Will Ferrell. The team wanted to express Alton’s unique point of view, so each video clip contained a graphic expressing Alton’s thoughts – similar to what was done in the box office film.
- The original music was composed (in-house) at Food Network, and inspired by reggae songs like “Holy Mount Zion” by Alborosie and “Tranquility” by Gentleman.
- The collaborative effort is the most inspirational; it took about 120+ hours, and about 8 people to create the 30 second promo.
Sommer, Creative Services
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? I know what you’re thinking. Today? This week? Ever?? Well, Food Network’s newest show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, asks Food Network stars to divulge their favorite foods by food type, and tells you where to find them. In case you missed the sneak peek last week, it was all about : Fried Foods. So, what’s the best fried food you’ve ever eaten?
Watching the show, I took notes on eateries I’d like to visit and unusual foods I might or might not want to try (Fried shrimp heads, Duff? Really?). But at the end I was just plain hungry, craving my two favorite foods: French fries and donuts. I dove into our site and decided to satisfy my fried foods craving – my “best foods” craving – at home.
So Pizza Hut plans to change its name to “The Hut,” capitalizing on what I suppose you could call its iconic architecture. That’s not entirely unremarkable, following as it does in the wake of what seems to be a trend of restaurants-that-serve-unhealthy-food-rebranding-to-remove-all-reference-to-unhealthy-food (cf Kentucky Fried Chicken). And I eat at “the Shack” and “the Wallah” so not like I can talk on that front, anyway.
Stranger news in the world of food nomenclature is that Wolfgang Puck is aiming to petition the Internet to create a top-level domain of .food, which he’d own and presumably license out, and possibly also .wine and .restaurant.
So theoretically, this site could become “foodnetwork.food” — and we could then also have food2.food, and food.food, should we want to. And I thought “Culinary Writer, Culinary Production,” which is what it says on my business card, was redundant.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer (Culinary Production)
The FN Dish will be interviewing the beautifully frugal Sandra Lee this Monday, June 22. All of you readers came up with such great questions for our interview with Ted Allen, so we’re opening the doors to you once again!
Stuck planning your July 4th celebration? Need some money-saving advice for your next picnic? Post all of your questions for Sandra Lee in the comments, and we’ll pick a few to ask her on Monday!
We’re hearing a whole lot less about a global food crisis these days than we were a year ago. No longer do we read week-in-week-out of food riots in the developing world or grain shortages or skyrocketing inflation. Publishers are printing fewer books with apocalyptic titles like ‘The End of Food,’ ‘Stuffed and Starved,’ and ‘The End of the Line.’ The spectre of Malthusian collapse looms a little less large.
But lest you thought the global food crisis was over, several recent films and articles have come along to remind us that we’re not out of the woods yet. Far, very far, from it. The world is still hot, crowded, and hungry, and getting more so. Demand is growing faster than supply; agricultural productivity is flattening; and ‘the world is in desperate need of a green revolution, a greener revolution.’ A must-read National Geographic article does a nice job of walking through the debates taking place over just what shape this ‘greener revolution’ will take.
Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian
- Submit Questions to Susie
- Read Episode 2 Viewer Questions
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 1
Want to know what Susie really thought about The Next Food Network Star, Episode 3? Now you can ask her!
Thank you for all your submitted questions)! Comments are now CLOSED for this week’s “Ask Susie” Episode 3. Click on the links below to watch Susie’s Answers to your questions.
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 1
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 2
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 3
Food Network hasn’t officially announced this yet
….so we’re leaking the news to you:
On Monday, Food Network will announce our nation-wide talent search for the 2010 season of The Next Food Network Star. But TODAY, we’re giving you a heads up on the yet-to-be-released audition dates on The FN Dish!
Phoenix, AZ – Wednesday, July 8, 2009 from 10am-4pm
Embassy Suites Phoenix/Scottsdale
4415 East Paradise Village Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Chicago, IL – Sunday, July 12, 2009 from 10am-4pm
Affinia Chicago Hotel
Chicago, IL 60611
Austin, TX – Friday, July 17, 2009 from 10am-4pm
Hyatt Regency Downtown
208 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704