DON’T FREAK — it’s not what it looks like. Relax, and read my whole post about what this shot is about… The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) delivers some incredible opps for food insiders to hob-nob. It’s also a place where food providers (growers, manufacturers) pull out stops and wow us. Grapes from California always shine at IACP. We members should kiss the boots of Jim Howard for continually supporting this association in very good times and also in killer tough times. Thank you, Jim. His org is a major cookbook award sponsor, they always showcase in a big way at the expo and are generously providing swag for Camp Blogaway.
All that being said, grapes really are culinary rock stars. Imagine a “molecular gastronomy” goodie. The photo (above) is a type of grape shooter with the texture of a beautiful fresh oyster and the blast of sweet, distinct grapeyness – so fun! Sure, we could stand there and eat grapes, but this was a real kick.
I have to admit, too, how flattered I was to be a guest at The Gilt Club honoring “Iron Chef America” contestant Chef Holly Smith, owner of Seattle’s Café Juanita. We celebrated her “Battle Grape” defeat over Iron Chef Cat Cora and noshed on a non-stop array of grapey small bites.
Being a native Californian, my efforts to focus on local produce are important. Everything grows here, yet we often have grapes in the stores that burned up tons of fossil fuels traveling from such places as Chile. PAY ATTENTION and go for California crops.
Grapes are also my personal weight-loss secret weapon – when feeling fat (like now, post IACP eating) they’re dessert, TV watching munchies, car snack and I shamelessly sneak them into movies (silent-textured baggie to not piss off fellow movie watchers). I literally eat a pound of them at a sitting.
One last endorsement… Bob Greene, diet BFF to Oprah Winfrey, pays mucho homage to the importance of eating fresh local produce and how well California grapes fit into his “Best Life Diet.” Don’t take Oprah as an example of best diet… take Greene, skinny guy.