Quick note before we dive into it. It is going to be TOASTY this weekend. If you don't plan on being home, please leave us a cooler, or a cooler bag with ice to keep your items nice and chilly. This is a good plan to keep in place as we (finally!) head into some weeks of splendid weather.
We hope you had great week and are able to take a moment this weekend to enjoy something delicious.
Erin + Tim
A LOCAL LEGEND
At Family Dinner we love the chance to reach beyond our network of local growers, bakers and producers to bring you new and exciting items into the shares. This week we knocked on the door of Chef Jody Adams; James Beard Award Winner, Winner of Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, and food access advocate with the mostest.
In 2016 Adams closed the doors to her famed Cambridge restaurant Rialto, to the wailing chagrin of local foodies. She turned her focus, myriad talents and near boundless energy to her Boston restaurants (plural, people !) that she had opened starting in 2011 with her partners Eric Papachristos, Sean Griffing and Jon Mendez. ( I can recall going on several dates at Rialto where the food and service were exponentially more memorable and exciting than the company. It really was a gem.)
This week we are bringing you some delights from her fast casual Greek experience Saloniki, which has locations in Harvard, Fenway, Central Square - and newly, your dining room table.
I met Jody years ago at an event for the Fresh Collective, a network for local women in the food industry. Awkward dweeb that I am I asked Jody if she would sit down with me and talk about local food, and the farm to table ecosystem. Kind and generous soul that she is, she agreed. We shared an hour of time, a glass of wine, and some laughs, Mainly I tried to scribble down every word that came out of her mouth without looking too too dweebish. That was 2018.
As the pandemic hit, Jody and an impressive list of her culinary colleagues leapt into action to form Mass Restaurants United (MRU), a network of over 800 Massachusetts establishments hellbent on supporting restaurants and restaurant workers through the crisis. She also continued her work supporting the Greater Boston Food Bank and Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to combatting childhood hunger. Adams was quoted once as saying: " I never stand still." That checks out.
In prepping to have Saloniki delights in the shares this week, I wanted to ask Jody a few questions about food, hectic week night dinners and the work of the MRU.
What is your strongest food memory?
Wow. So hard to find one. But, what jumps to mind is the first time I encounter steamers. I must have been about 5 and we were on the Cape. There was a huge bowl of steaming steamers in the middle of the table for everyone. I loved the weird squirrelly feeling of pulling the casing off the “foot” and then dipping the belly into an unlimited supply of melted butter. They were so sweet!
You're tired, it's the end of a long day - what's for dinner?
First choice is always pasta--an imported Italian pasta—usually linguini, bucatini or spaghetti. I make a quick, super simple tomato sauce starting by cooking onions and garlic in a ton of extra virgin olive oil, adding fresh or canned tomatoes and then other ingredients, depending on my mood or what’s in the fridge: dried or fresh mushrooms, anchovies, capers, hot peppers, olives, fresh herbs, and top a bowl with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
What do we need to remember about Restaurant workers as the world crawls back to normalcy?
Restaurant workers, both front and back of house workers—essential workers--never stopped working. They helped feed people in need, they kept our businesses going, and kept you safe, all the while dodging COVID and taking care of their own families. Honor them. Love them.
Thank you, Chef. We look forward to dining with you again soon.