It has been so hard to keep this secret from all of you. We’re in tomorrow’s Washington Post. The Food Section. O. M. G. It just went online now.
Yes, that’s me, and that’s Kim, and we’re in my kitchen making bacon. And pancetta. And pasta. Bonnie Benwick has written a great piece and we’re just over the moon. Click here to see more photos and the recipe I cooked up. With or without peas.
Okay, so that’s totally amazing, right? You’d think that would be enough. But there’s more. A lot more.
A First Rate Source
D’Artagnan, the single best online source for humanely raised meats, wants to join the party, too. They’ll be offering a 25% discount for the meats-of-the-month to participating Charcutepaloozers. You’ll receive an email on the 15th of the month with a code, good for just 30 days. (Opt out of this email if you wish – just send me a message using the contact form.)
The Charcutepalooza Grand Prize – A Trip Worth Its Salt
Oh, yes, there’s even more great news. You know how we told you Kate Hill and Camont had offered an incredible grand prize for the Charcutepalooza? Well, we’ve made that prize even more tantalizing.
Meet Trufflepig. (I know! How could we NOT work with them?) This travel group is the brainchild of some very connected people. People who know how to cook up an adventure. And they’ve agreed to make the already amazing grand prize at Kate Hill’s Camont even better.
The winner will spend eight days in France. You’ll be wined and dined in Paris (with a special surprise dinner companion,) taken on personally guided tours of the markets, introduced to fromagieres, truffle sellers. There’s a hotel room in Paris. There’s train travel to and from Kate Hill’s Camont. Five days of butchery and charcuterie school at Camont, meeting butchers, farmers and other Gascon natives. And eating well. You just know you’ll eat well. Oh, and lodging, too. Did we mention your rooms are paid for? We love Trufflepig. Train back to Paris, where you’ll have an evening on your own, then, an early morning tour of the market at Rungis, an afternoon of leisure and then a big wonderful cocktail party to celebrate. The Bloggapalooza Jambon and Wine Fete, hosted by Trufflepig and Kate Hill, will introduce the Charcutepalooza winner to the Parisian blogging community. Fly back full of good food, drink and memories the next day. More lovely details are here.
Who is Eligible to Win
In order to qualify for the grand prize, you must blog all twelve of the Charcutepalooza challenges. Qualifying blog entries must be posted on the 15th of the month, with the exception of the duck prosciutto post, which may be posted any time during the year. Kim and Cathy will review the posts from qualifying bloggers on December 15th. We will whittle down the group to the best 24 posts. We’ll be looking for exceptional writing, astonishing photography, and delicious recipes.
We are honored (okay, verklempt) to announce the panel of judges who will be whittling down the 24 posts to the best two.
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs are the co-founders of food52.com. They both write about food for The New York Times, and Amanda is the author, most recently, of The Essential New York Times Cookbook. The first food52 Cookbook will be published in October 2011
Ariane Daguin, Owner, D’Artagnan, was born into a world of great food. Her father, André Daguin, is famous throughout France for his artistry with foie gras and other Gascon specialties. By the age of ten, Ariane was expert at deboning ducks, rendering duck fat, preparing terrines and cooking the game birds her grandfather. Charcuterie has always been a way of life for her.
In 1985, when Ariane founded D’Artagnan, it was the only purveyor of foie gras and game in the U.S. Ariane was a pioneer in the farm-to-table movement, dedicated to procuring the best from small farms that support humane and sustainable farming practices and never use antibiotics or hormones. Today, D’Artagnan is the leading purveyor of organic poultry, game, foie gras, charcuterie, pâtés, sausages, smoked delicacies, and wild mushrooms in the nation, supplying the world’s top restaurants, hotels and retailers, as well as consumers online at www.dartagnan.com.
Ariane is the founding president of Les Nouvelles Mères Cuisinières, recipient of the James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America Award”, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bon Appetit.
Bob (Robert M.) del Grosso has spent the better part of the last three decades as a professional cook and teacher who, he hopes, taught his students how to cook while encouraging them understand cooking and eating in the broadest context imaginable. He has taught the full culinary curriculum at the The New York Restaurant School on 34th St. (Now the Art Institute on Varrick St.) and Gastronomy and Food Science (Advanced Culinary Principles) at The Culinary Institute of America. He continues to teach through his intentionally Kafkaesque-titled blog A Hunger Artist and in classes at Hendricks Farms and Dairy, a small meat and dairy farm where he has spent the last four years transforming farm animals into retail cuts and Charcuterie.
Matt Wright is a graphic artist who shares a passion for food photography and producing home made charcuterie. A self taught food photographer, who cooks, styles and shoots everything you see on his blog Wrightfood. He keeps his food photography clean and simple – focusing on the food, showcasing seasonal dish ingredients with minimalist, modern styling. He started making charcuterie at home 3 years ago with a piece of bresaola hanging in a cage in his garage. Matt specializes in slow aged dry cured whole muscles and salami. Traditional techniques paired with locally sourced meats which are contrasted with modern flavors to produce unique salumi. Matt loves a gin & tonic along with good humor, especially the numerous sausage jokes that seem to come his way these days.
Michael Ruhlman is a Cleveland based food blogger, cook, writer, and journalist who wishes to translate the chef’s craft for every kitchen. Ruhlman found out that the best things in life happen when you get carried away. He went into a cooking school to write about what it means to be a chef, and instead he became a cook, got a job line cooking, lucked into one of the great restaurants of the world to work with the chef on his book, and Ruhlman kept on writing about food. “I got carried away, and it’s made all the difference.” Ruhlman’s main goal is to get people into the kitchen to cook, to try new things, learn, and have fun. The kitchen to some is a challenging place, but it should not be. With the right techniques, books, equipment, and attitude anyone can cook like a pro in their kitchen.
He has authored the popular culinary Chef series “The Making of a Chef”, “The Soul of a Chef”, and ‘The Reach of a Chef”. More recent books include “Ratio”, which was endorsed by Alton Brown from the Food Network and “The Elements of Cooking”, a handy food glossary. He has also co-authored a number of cookbooks with top US chefs such as “The French Laundry”, “Bouchon”, and “Ad Hoc’ with Thomas Keller, “A Return to Cooking” with Eric Ripert, “Charcuterie” with Brian Polcyn, and “Symon Says: Live to Cook” with Michael Symon. You may have seen Michael on “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain, PBS’ “Cooking Under Fire”, and as a judge on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and “The Next Iron Chef.”
Ruhlman also wrote our guide for Charcutepalooza – Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing–a thinly veiled love song to the pig, to animal fat and salt, sausages, confits, pates, terrines–with his friend, the Michigan chef Brian Polcyn. Currently the two of them are working on the followup book to Charcuterie – Salume.
Finally, you, the Charcutepaloozers – we’ll ask you to choose between the two, and vote for the very best blog post of the Charcutepalooza year. And that lucky blogger will win a meaty time in Gascogne and Paris.
I’ll be back to talk about the March Challenge on February 15th. Kim’s up next – Monday – with a round up of the best of the duck prosciutto blog posts. We’ve had a great time reading each and every one, thank you all for playing along. We’re having a blast.