We all know that the responsible thing to do for the planet is eat local foods which are sustainably produced and purchased only in the season in which they actually grow. But most would-be chefs get discouraged when the only thing popping up a the farmers market during those dull winter months are endless bundles of seemlingly boring Swiss chard. Carli Pierce, a student in the School of Visual Arts Designer as Author MFA program, created a project named Spoonful, which not only helps demystify those sometimes odd local ingredients, but uses recipes, articles, and games to make them more palatable.
Spoonful uses curiosity as the entry point to lure eaters into its fold with a journal, blog and pop-up cooking classes that focus on one local ingredient at a time. For her sample journal issue, Pierce uses mushrooms, which are widely available in most climates year-round, yet whose alien-like forms might scare away the less adventurous cook. The journal explains the different type of edible (and non-edible) mushrooms, includes inspiring recipes that go behind portabello burgers, and even has articles on how to forage for wild mushrooms.
Pierce is busy populating Spoonful’s blog with information about local food and is looking for funding to put the journal in the hands of New Yorkers, and, hopefully, cooking classes to let us know what to do with all that Swiss chard.