Lambertville, Princeton & NJ Monthly’s Best-Downtown Showdown; The Story Behind Shibumi Mushrooms; The Story Behind Rachel Weston’s “New Jersey Fresh”

NJ Monthly Turns the Spotlight on Our State’s Most Interesting Downtowns – and You Can Vote for Your Fave

NJ Monthly cover sept 2015

I contributed profiles of 2 downtowns that are dear to my heart: Lambertville & Princeton. They’re among 25 featured in the September issue of the magazine. Read them all, then vote for your favorites here, in the online showdown.

Ever Wonder About Those Beautiful, Delicious Shibumi Farm Mushrooms?

Shibumi Farm Mushrooms

Shibumi Farm Mushrooms

Where they come from and how they’re developed and grown? Me too. Up til now Shibumi’s owner, Alan Kaufman, has been tight-lipped about his business – both personal and professional. When I sat down with him for this in-depth interview in the September Princeton Echo , I knew it was going to be interesting. But he and his story turn out to be downright fascinating. Here’s just a sampling of what I learned:
– He started college at 15
– He has developed 28 strains of mushrooms to date
– Mushrooms are being used to remove Agent Orange from soil in Vietnam
– Shibumi mushroom customers range from Thomas Keller to Blue Apron
– Chicken-of-the-woods (not to be confused with hen-of-the-woods) taste like Chicken Francese all by themselves.

Take the full magical mystery tour here.

Then There’s Rachel Weston’s Story…

Rachel Weston Portrait

Rachel Weston Portrait

You’ve probably encountered Rachel either in print or in person in recent times. This “locavore provocateur,” as I dub her, has been crisscrossing the state doing cooking demos and signings since her book, New Jersey Fresh: Four Seasons from Farm to Table, came out in May.

I got the goods on this born-and-bred Jersey girl, here in the September 2nd issue of US 1. Among the things I discovered:
– She was for many years an award-winning night photo editor for The Star-Ledger family of newspapers
– She won a scholarship that allowed her to spend 10 days trailing and living with Nora Pouillon, whose Restaurant Nora in DC was the first certified organic restaurant in the U.S.
– How to make roux in the microwave.

 

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