Archive for August, 2015

Meet Keith and Brittany McNeal
Chefs and Farmers

 

Biography-PictureLiving a rural life in Rutland, Vermont has inspired Chefs Brittany and Keith McNeal to change their relationship with food. “I’ve always been interested in the farm-to-fork movement, which led us to move to rural Vermont in early 2015 to pursue a life as both chefs and farmers. Life in Vermont has completely changed our relationship with food. Almost everything that we put onto the table comes from within a 15 mile radius”, says Chef Keith. “Great food and great stories come from each meal we make together. We teach our children, Piper & Hudson, the tradition of cooking in the hope that it will create great memories for them too.”

Brittany, a pastry chef, graduated from Johnson &Wales and went on to work with  Chef Jean Georges in NYC. She is a Culinary Ambassador for iSi North America, and returns to her beloved Washington DC each year for the Adams Burch Great Ideas Show. Keith dedicated 8 years to the Air Force to achieve his culinary degree. Most recently, he has spent time at Green Mountain College designing a first of its kind sustainable culinary arts, agriculture and food systems program, and is now pursuing a graduate degree in sustainable foods. This summer, the family will relocate to Copenhagen, Denmark for Keith’s exciting internship at world renowned, Noma

“We hope that our blogs and recipes will offer a unique perspective on food through our eyes. All of the food in this Farm to Table series will highlight ingredients and techniques that we love, and local farm fresh food that we are lucky enough to eat regularly as a family.”

Vermont Maple Yogurt Foam Parfait

syrup-milkMaple Syrup is a big deal in our home.  And right now, the maple tree sap is running in our New England forests. As a Northeasterner, I use maple syrup on everything, but it seems recently, everyone in the house has adopted the practice. It is hard to argue with the impeccable quality of real Grade A Vermont maple syrup. Therefore, for all of our recipes that use maple syrup we recommend that you find the highest quality syrup possible, preferably from the Northeastern region of the US or Canada.

Another important ingredient that we use in our home is raw milk.  The product itself is always a subject of controversy with foodies and milk drinkers, and I have to admit for a long time I was strongly against drinking raw dairy due to concerns about drinking unpasteurized dairy product. Now that I’ve been exposed to high quality products and processes very close to our home; we’re hooked on the wholesome goodness, positive probiotics, and flora properties that high quality raw milk delivers. And, it’s just down right delicious. Our milk comes directly from a farm about ten minutes down the road. It travels from a cow to our refrigerator on the same day. In fact, it has become a tradition every Wednesday to visit our local dairy with the kids and let them run around to see the cows and everything that’s happening on the farm. Our special treat every Wednesday – is at the top of the Mason jar of fresh milk. This prized possession is reserved in our house for morning coffee.

Milk-solidsIf you decide to give raw milk a try, our recommendation is to get to know your farmer and take a walk around their property with them to look at their processes so you can feel assured you are bringing home a quality product for the family. For best results, always use the highest quality milk available, or substitute in your dairy product of choice as it fits in your daily lifestyle.  Raw milk and maple syrup are near and dear to our hearts up in Vermont, and we hope that with this tasty recipe, they will become a staple in your home as well.

Our family enjoys yogurt – and what better way to create a farm fresh experience, than to combine two of our local farm ingredients: Maple Syrup and Fresh Raw Milk. You will find the experience of making fresh yogurt from Raw Milk and Milk Kefir Grains easy and rewarding. Adding the Maple Syrup to this wholesome recipe is our favorite way to enjoy it. We’ve further enhanced the experience with our fresh home-made applesauce and the crunch of locally made granola.

Vermont Maple Yogurt Foam Parfait

yogurt-parfaitEquipment:
1 Pint iSi Gourmet Whip
1 iSi Cream Charger
1 iSi Funnel and Sieve

Ingredients:
1 Pint Raw Milk
2 Tbsp. Milk Kefir Grains (let the Kefir grains sit out at room temperature in your raw milk for full 24-48 hours in a mason jar covered tightly with cheese cloth)
4 oz. heavy cream
Vermont maple syrup
¼ tsp. Vanilla extract
Macerated Fresh Fruit (I used our homemade applesauce from our heritage apple trees)
Your favorite Granola
Cinnamon to taste

Method:
To make the yogurt, let the Kefir grains sit out at room temperature in your raw milk for a full 24-48 hours, in a mason jar covered tightly with cheese cloth. Once the kefir grains have attained the desired thickness (depending on the temperature of the room this could take 24-48 hours) remove the grains from the Mason jar. The liquid is your cultured yogurt base. Flavor the yogurt with high quality Vermont maple syrup, and a 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract. Pour flavored yogurt and 4 oz. of heavy cream through the iSi Funnel & Sieve, directly into pint sized Gourmet. Charge with 1 iSi cream charger. Shake vigorously – 6 times, and let it sit in the refrigerator for twenty minutes. Take the yogurt out of the refrigerator. Test consistency, and if needed, shake additional times to desired dispensing consistency. It should look creamy and fluffy upon dispensing

Layer the yogurt with desired fruit mixture and granola in parfait style. Top with cinnamon and granola to serve.

 

 

 

Meet John Pomeroy &
Whip Up Something Better!

john pomeroyJohn S. Pomeroy, Jr. is a beverage consultant and urban farmer based in Oakland, California. He holds a master’s in education from University of California, Santa Cruz and is a teacher and community activist. A deeply seated belief in the importance of a chemical-free agricultural system drives everything he does. He’s committed to working only with businesses practicing (or moving toward) holistic, sustainable systems. He has consulted with iSi since 2011. More at www.omnibibulous.com

In 1995, Montrio restaurant in Monterey, California was voted “Best New Restaurant of the Year” by Esquire magazine. I started working there as a server and banquet bartender in 1996. Executive Chef Tony Baker insisted on daily pre-shift meetings to learn about food and drink, and over the next three years, my passion for Food and Beverage was cemented. It was there that I first came into contact with the iSi Gourmet Whip, but like most people’s introduction, it was only being used to make whipped cream.

Fast forward to 2008- I moved to New York City to see if I could make it there as a professional bartender. I lived on West 88th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where a new restaurant, Bloomingdale Road, was being built on the corner of 88th and Broadway. I went in, pitched management on my cocktail consulting services, and Omnibibulous was born. I put together some of my favorite recipes in a seasonal cocktail menu, and the signature drink was my own riff on Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Angostura-Scorched Pisco Sour .  Using the iSi Gourmet Whip to make the egg white foam made it much easier to produce en-masse, but without Baker and Stamenov’s dedication to staff training, we were on Eater NY’s deathwatch soon after we opened. Six months later, it was closed and I moved on to Brooklyn.

Living just outside of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, I began working at a tiny livery stable converted to a secret bar, Hideout was every bartender’s dream come true: owned in part by a model/actor who knew bartending and only cared about the aesthetic. Within reason, I could do whatever I wanted. Molecular Mondays were born. One of the guest bartenders we hosted was the Liquid Chef himself, Junior Merino. Along with some liquid nitrogen, he unveiled an iSi Gourmet Whip from his bag of tricks, and for the first time in my professional bartender life, I saw it generating something other than whipped cream or merengue, and started imagining other applications. I am still humbled by Junior Merino’s creativity and panache, and when iSi’s recipe book, A Culinary Journey, was released, I was incredibly pleased to see my recipe for The Dirt Nap sharing space there with his. 

Dirt_Nap_John_Pomeroy_USA_510After Hideout, I focused on Omnibibulous, and got regular consulting gigs through my involvement with the United States Bartender’s Guild NY. I was later hired by Purity Vodka to assist with their NYC launch. One of my first assignments was to put together a unique bartender’s toolkit – so where do bartenders in NYC go for tools? They go straight to Don Lee and Cocktail Kingdom

Having long admired Don Lee and his work at New York City’s Please Don’t Tell (PDT) – I  had worked with him on various small projects, and even competed in (and won!) a competition where he was the judge. I really trusted his opinion, and when he suggested I pitch Purity Vodka on a process called “rapid infusion” I got right to it. I spent the next three years traveling around North America and Sweden teaching people how they could add any flavor they wanted to this beautiful and elegant Swedish vodka using the iSi Gourmet Whip and iSi Cream Chargers. Infusion-Party-Darien-May-19-2012

Since learning of David Arnold’s use of rapid infusion using the iSi Gourmet Whip, and spearheading Purity Vodka’s rapid infusion program, I have been privileged to participate as the process evolved into what it is today. This year, iSi introduced a Rapid Infusion Tool Kit for the ever-versatile Gourmet Whip, and I’m looking forward to more and more industry and consumer applications with this creative technology.rapid-infusion-kit-2

My newest business venture is very close to launch, and its mission: to foster a return to a holistic, pesticide-free lifestyle. As agricultural practices evolve from a “kill what you don’t want” to a “nurture what you do want” mentality, the availability of ingredients worthy of going into my Gourmet Whip will multiply.  If they don’t come from living soil, they don’t make the cut.