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Samantha Ettus Interviews Eric Ripert

I rarely post videos on our site, so when I do pay attention. :) This is one interview that I enjoyed enough to watch twice. Yes, it’s more than 30 minutes but that half hour will just fly by. Enjoy!

“Perhaps it is no wonder that a French boy whose mother provided a white linen gourmet meal every day would grow up to become a world renowned four-star executive chef and co-owner of New York’s Le Bernardin. Eric regularly appears on Top Chef and a new PBS series airing this fall and his expertise as chef and restaurateur are featured in his recently release third book, On The Line. He is a great artist whose passion has led him to spend 20 years creating a single dish and that is why I am Obsessed with Eric Ripert. – Samantha Ettus

Samantha asked him about being a ‘fish guy’ to which he remarked, “I always ended up in the fish station of the restaurant…” That instantly reminded me of the broiled red snapper fillet on his show, Avec Eric. Notice how much butter he uses. LOVE that. Haha. He uses a lot of butter on his caramelized mango with rum recipe as well. Yumm. :)

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Coffee Tour at the Bay View Farm

We are in the process of updating our blog theme, so if you see something not working that’s probably why. Thanks for your patience. :)

You might be saying — “Joy, it’s Christmas. Why are you talking about coffee tours?”

Well, friends, if you’re looking out the window and you can see this –

[Note: That sound at the end is not my breathing, it was the gush of wind!]

Wouldn’t you rather be thinking of sunshine, Hawaii and something warm — like coffee? I’ve been so busy here with all the Christmas shopping, work (which, trust me, tends to get really hectic before Christmas…why, whyyyy?), and trying to plan for the Christmas week ahead. I only even got our Christmas menu down pat last night! Now that I looked at the calendar and saw 21, I am starting to panic. Dan is coming here soon, and since then, we are going to be crazy busy with parties, food, and squeezing in time to do some tourist-y things. I’m severely nervous of how everything is going to turn out. I’m an OCD wreck like that!

I can’t leave you all behind though, not after the sudden-hiatus debacle of Fall 2008 when we seemed like we fell off the face of the earth. No, no, I promise. I’ve been cooking and baking a lot, and I even made sugar cookies to satisfy the sweet Christmas tooth. But I see everything Christmas-y in the food blogging world already and I am sure you will find great recipes among our food blogging friends. I will get to writing about cream puffs before Christmas, I hope. Because, that’s a super awesome treat which my mom used to make (she needs to get her baking mojo back!!! Hello, calling mom.).

Ok, for now…where were we? COFFEE! Oh, not just coffee, but Kona coffee.

Last October Dan and I visited the Bay View Farm coffee farm in Honaunau, HI. It was a really hot and bright day as you will notice in the photos below, but we braved it. And Dan The Tea Drinker and Non-Coffee Drinker enjoyed it. Hehe.

We were greeted by a really nice fellow who also happens to be a musician. Them talented people. Anyway, so he took us around the area and facilities for a better understanding of this beloved coffee that has wowed coffee lovers from all over.

It all begins with this, the hand-picked coffee cherries:

And for the curious, this is what a coffee plant (tree?) looks like, looking so lush and happy (hard not be if you live in Hawaii):

Their Kona coffee cherries are harvested from different small local farms. It is locally owned and operated.  Farmers leave their harvest here:

We witnessed the guy who dropped off these two sacks, as our tour guide nodded to him. Everybody knows everybody. There’s nothing here that resembles a big manufacturer or factory:

At the end of the day after all the cherries have been delivered, it will go through chute for a soaking process called wet milling.

The beans will be separated from the coffee cherry pulp.

The husks that have been separated are sent here right outside the building:

They are later taken back to the fields to be used as a fertilizer. The wet-milled, soaked green coffee beans are then brought to this drying deck for sun-drying. They are raked every hour for a week for them to fully dry. A week!

Once dry, they bring the beans to the next processing facility where the green beans are removed from the parchment [manly hands courtesy of Dan]:

The coffee beans are then sorted according to size, weight, and defects. Apparently, those with defects are sent to those who make “Kona coffee blend”. The primary Kona coffee grades are the Peaberry, Extra Fancy, Fancy, #1, and Prime.

After all that long process these sorted beans are packed for inspection, and sale or roasting at the farm’s own facilities:

And that’s the tour! Thereafter we enjoyed our own cups of coffee and bought bags to take home.

I hope you enjoyed this coffee tour via Gourmeted. Have a cup of hot coffee this afternoon and relax in the midst of the busy holiday week. Now I have to go back to reality and do some chores. :-) Aloha!

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Michael Pollan on ‘Nightline’

I didn’t know about this, I just found it on Serious Eats . Here is Michael Pollan, author of “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” and “Omnivore’s Dilemma” being interviewed:

Here’s part of  the interview:

Nightline correspondent, John Donovan: You think the average person can afford to eat well, eat food, as opposed to…

Michael Pollan: “You know, it’s a problem. Real food cost more than edible food like substances by and large. You can do it but it will either — if you don’t have the money you’re gonna have to put more time. I think we need to begin to spend more on food in terms of money and time. I know that’s not a popular message. People like their convenience food, but this experiment about outsourcing our food preparation to the corporations has failed us. It’s left us really unhealthy, really unsatisfied, and I think it’s undermining family life and community.”

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