Archive for the 'Harrisburg' Category


eating local

While the first Slow Food Harrisburg dinner later this month is almost sold out, there’s a lot you can do to get ready for the local harvest that will start in April.

Here are some links to the good eats:

A Southcentral Pennsylvania Harvest Schedule organized by earliest likely harvest — when to start checking for what foods.

A Pick Your Own Produce guide to central Pennsylvania, and a really good page … Continue reading ‘eating local’


Best Chefs

Executive Chef James Woltman of Stock’s on 2nd will challenge for the Best Chef in PA title next week, along with regional winners from across the state at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Last year’s winner, Chef Michael Adams of the Farmhouse Restaurant in Emmaus, will defend in competition that begins Wednesday, January 9. Random pairings of the eight chefs who won regional competitions in 2007 will kick off the cooking at 11 a.m. Three more rounds will follow at 90-minute intervals, all on the Culinary Connection Stage.


The Semi-Final rounds will be …

Continue reading ‘Best Chefs’


We’ve got the wine.

Slowly we turn, step by step … now we have the wines, the complete menu and the reservation form for the first Slow Food Harrisburg dinner in January.

Go here to read the invitation from Curtis.

And if you have not read Barbara Kingsolver’s excellent “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” the Amazon link is here.


Well received

HACC’s senior culinary reception for faculty, family and friends last night was terrific, from the student-run charcuterie station to the sushi trays to the grilled calimari, which stopped just short of al dente.

(That’s not easy. Most people cook squid into a rubber band you could shoot paper clips with.)

My favorite thing was the BLT: a crisp bacon flake stuck in creme fraiche on a grilled apple slice with some kind of arugula puree drops encircling it. Startling, funny, tasty.

Also, I’m no longer a sushi virgin.





People often ask me about my resemblance to Winston Churchill, both of us being outstanding war-time leaders, orators and cigar aficionados. There is more to this story than just coincidence of talent and passion. Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940 just before I was born. My father, being a great admirer of the PM, gave me the middle name of Winston in Churchill’s honor. Thus we are sort of kin, if not by blood, certainly by name.

It was probably through this name line that I inherited my love of cigars.

There is a story told of Churchill’s first dining with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. Churchill’s handlers told him that because the King was an abstinent that it would be an insult for the Prime Minister to either drink alcohol or smoke during the meal. Undeterred, my namesake convinced Saud that his religion required him to consume alcohol and smoke cigars with his meal …

Continue reading ‘Churchills’


The Chocolate Show

The depth and variety of people who live around this small city has always amazed me, from ultra-marathoners to world-class sopranos to very intense foodies.

So it is with Curtis Vreeland, who tracks emerging trends in the confectionery industry. Just before Thanksgiving, he presented this year’s research at the 10th annual New York Chocolate Show. It’s part of Le Salon du Chocolat, which starts in Paris, passes through New York, then hops to Beijing and six locations in Japan.


Attendance in New York is about 30,000 — impressive, until you consider the size of the Paris and Tokyo shows, which each draw 150,000.


Here’s this year’s Chocolate Show review from Curtis:


Want to eat some opium?

A strange offer, considering that opium was traditionally eaten by Chinese women as a fatal exit plan from unhappy arranged marriages.

But an Opium bonbon was just one example of many sweet gems waiting for chocolate connoisseurs at the tenth annual New York Chocolate Show. Considering that the item in question was a dark chocolate truffle, it brought new meaning to the term “chocolate to die for.” An addictive truffle with blood orange, smokey lapsang souchong and Chinese five spice, it was conjured up by Oliver Kita, an innovative chocolatier from Rhinebeck, NY.

It can serve as an indicator of how creative contemporary nouvelle American chocolatiers have become, scouring the globe for inspiration and packing a multiplex of flavors, textures and sensorial stimulation into each sweet bite. Hello to multicultural, racy spice bazaar tastes …

Continue reading ‘The Chocolate Show’


Happy Giving of Thanks

This week, my mother-in-in-law is in town – but the amazing Velma got off the plane at noon in a wheelchair and we had to camp in the Emergency Room at Hbg Hospital all evening, following by a 4 a.m. surgery.

She’s okay, and I want to tell you about the two terrific Thanksgiving dinners she almost had.

But first, I’m reanimating a Thanksgiving column I wrote about her a few years ago.


Unlike the holidays of spring and summer, which require charcoal lugging or propane lighting – and sometimes keg tapping and cherry-bomb throwing – Thanksgiving is leisurely.

It asks for only the energy to fall away from the dinner table …

Continue reading ‘Happy Giving of Thanks’


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In culinary school and getting ready to trade the writing life for the cooking life. Or not. Might do both. At the moment I'm a feature writer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. My name is Pat Carroll.