Food

Didriks / flickr

The latest issue of Pittsburgh Magazine looks at the best restaurants in town. But what does the making the list mean for diners, the restaurants and how what does it say about the city? We’ll pose those questions to food writer Hal B. Klein.

On June 23, the United Kingdom will vote on whether or not to split from the European Union.

Those on the Remain Team, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, say Britain will be richer, safer and stronger if it stays with Europe. Those who want Britain to exit — Team Brexit — argue that the British should be able to control their own destiny. We haven't fought two world wars, they sniff, to be pushed around by the bosses in Brussels and told what sort of bananas to eat. Yes, you read that right: bananas.

When the mayor of Philadelphia first proposed a 3 cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, the American Beverage Association was quick to finance a campaign railing against it.

Since March, records show that the industry has financed more than $4.2 million in media buys in Philadelphia to air ads aimed at turning public opinion against the proposal.

A weathered wooden shed that holds wheelbarrows, hoes and other basic tools is the beacon of the Student Organic Farm, a two-acre swath within the larger horticultural research farm at Iowa State University.

On a warm spring evening, a half-dozen students gather here, put on work gloves and begin pulling up weeds from the perennial beds where chives, strawberries, rhubarb and sage are in various stages of growth.

"I didn't know how passionate I [would] become for physical work," says culinary science major Heidi Engelhardt.

The new, redesigned "Nutrition Facts" label is coming. The Food and Drug Administration has announced that the new label will be required on most packaged food by July 2018.

Philadelphia's new mayor wants to do something few American cities have done: pass a tax on soda and other sugary drinks.

So far, Berkeley, Calif., has been the only U.S. city to approve such a tax. That measure was aimed at reducing soda consumption (and the negative health effects that go along with drinking too much of it).

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Christian season of Lent spans six weeks leading up to Easter. For some, that means giving up something they love like chocolate, television or profanity.

Mary Kate Ranii, 25, of Shaler Township said this year she wanted to sacrifice trash.

Thinking Outside The Lunch Box At Project Lunch Tray

Feb 24, 2016
Katie Schratz / Community Kitchen Pittsburgh

School lunches have come a long way from the days of mystery meat and tater tots passing as a nutritious lunch. These days, the emphasis is on fresh and healthy foods.

Community Kitchen Pittsburgh’s Project Lunch Tray will host a two-hour competition for teams of student chefs to create a school lunch from scratch with the help of a chef mentor. The event, free and open to the public for tastings, takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Smallman Gallery in the Strip District.

 

 

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Health Department officials announced their first group of “Live Well” restaurants on Thursday in a continued effort to provide healthier options to locals.

The list, so far, includes the Bridges Restaurant in the Oakland Wyndham hotel and four UPMC hospital cafeterias and cafes.

 

As the holidays quickly approach, Social Club has all the events to get you into the holiday spirit and all the places to buy your last minute gifts this weekend. 

Phipps Winter Flower Show is in full swing. Enjoy indoor and outdoor displays “decked” out for the holidays. The event runs from 5-11 pm all weekend.

ereyesleblanc / Flickr

Joining cities such as Amsterdam, Shanghai and Barcelona, Pittsburgh has signed onto the “Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.” It’s a worldwide effort to examine the system of how food is produced and distributed as demographics change.

Courtesy Mac & Gold

The laws that govern food trucks in Pittsburgh were written in an era when ice cream trucks were the only food vendors on wheels, well before mobile pierogi and taco vendors took to the streets, councilman Dan Gilman said.

For example, city code requires food trucks to move every 30 minutes.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

From vegetable garden bounties to sliced and diced ingredients to plated meals, pictures of food are ubiquitous on social media. Anyone with a smartphone can make beautiful photographs of food.

Onion Maiden

Most people define the vegan experience through what you put on your plate, but VegFest co-organizer Leila Sleiman says there’s a lot more to it.

“A truly vegan lifestyle actually also encompasses not buying products that test on animals, not wearing animal products and not supporting animals in entertainment,” she said.

looseends / Flickr

It’s part Chopped, part Guy Fieri’s Grocery Games, but with a local and educational twist.

Four students from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s culinary program will compete the in the first-ever Farmer’s Market Dash Culinary Challenge at the Green Tree farmer’s market Thursday afternoon.

Courtesy Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants

Pittsburgh restaurant owners, chefs and farmers have teamed with Sustainable Pittsburgh to launch the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program, which recognizes southwestern PA restaurants for their efforts in operating energy efficient and socially responsible establishments, especially as the city’s eateries garner increasing national attention.

British-American Connections Pittsburgh

  Dust off your finest tea service. Queen Elizabeth II will become Great Britain's longest reigning monarch Sept. 9, and Pittsburgh's never been one to snub a good soiree.

“Britsburgh: A Festival of Britain in Pittsburgh” runs through Sept. 14 featuring a variety of food, drinks, music and activities from across the pond.

Festivals, Food and Fun: Social Club June 5

Jun 4, 2015

This jam-packed weekend begins with First Fridays at the Frick. Feel free to bring friends, family and even food to this free event, which begins with live music at 7PM in Frick Park.

The Three Rivers Arts Festival opens this Friday with food trucks, art and free entertainment. The event starts Friday at noon but runs all day and continues until June 14.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

Eating can be mundane. Throwing another item in the grocery cart, ordering the same dish at your go-to restaurant or grabbing something from the fridge. It’s all apart of the routine. But it doesn’t have to be.

In this installment of On the House, food writer and teacher Jessica Server tells Larkin Page-Jacobs about using food as a conduit for mindfulness, exploration and reflection.

As a central H.J. Heinz Company product, pickles have played a key role in Pittsburgh’s past. And if you ask Jeremy Waldrup, president of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, they’ll play a key role in the city’s future as well.

The PDP on Wednesday announced plans for the first ever Picklesburgh food festival, slated for July 17-18 on the Rachel Carson Bridge and supported by prime sponsor H.J. Heinz.

Public domain, via Pixabay

    

Meat is in demand, and prices are up — 11 percent for beef and pork from 2013-2014. And as people pay more per pound at the counter, they may be more selective and interested in just how their meat gets from the farm to the butcher to the dinner table.

Joseph / Flickr

August Wilson is well known for his 20th century cycle of works about the black experience in America. But now an additional play written shortly before Wilson’s death is debuting in Pittsburgh. Actor Eugene Lee and Director Todd Kreidler, Wilson’s friend and protégé, explain what “How I Learned What I Learned” reveals about the playwright’s life as a poet in the Hill District.

"His quality of mind is actually something that comes out in the show, and that's something Eugene really brings out. The way he can twist and turn. I always say that August was a blues man with a jazz mind." - Director Todd Kreidler

Also in this show, a look at how the USDA is taking a new approach to fighting hunger, and CMU students prepare to launch a Xombie into space.

Tzuhsun Hsu / Flickr

Last month Bar Marco, a trendy restaurant in the Strip District, announced that they plan to do away with tipping this Spring. There’s been an outpouring of interest, curiosity and praise from all over the country.

Bar Marco Co-Owner Bobby Fry and Events Coordinator Andrew Heffner talk about how they came to this decision and how they plan to make it work.

A no-tipping policy has pros and cons for owners, servers, and customers. Offering their perspectives are Meg Fosque, the National Development Director for Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), as well as Kevin Joyce, owner of the Carlton Restaurant in Pittsburgh and a member of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.

According to Fry, Bar Marco made the decision to discontinue tipping after encountering research that suggested eliminating the practice could help mitigate some of the restaurant’s scheduling concerns. Workers in restaurants and retail environments often face schedule fluctuations that make their financial and personal lives difficult, Fry says. Bar Marco’s plan to cease the tip system involves creating a conventional forty-hour schedule for its employees and paying the kitchen staff the same as the servers: a standard yearly salary of $35,000.

Look at a calendar lately? That’s right – Valentine’s Day is next Saturday. Wait - don’t panic! Josh and Rachel have a lineup of events for you to enjoy with your loved ones – whether that’s a spouse, partner, best friend, or sibling!

Thursday, 2/13 MAKEnight 21+, My Snarky Valentine 
2/13 & 2/14: Date Night: Wine & Chocolate @ TechShop

Already have plans for next weekend? Great! Book yourself some fun activities for this weekend too:

Yoga in the Square (indoors)
For the Love of Pittsburgh - Food Tasting Party
I Made It! Mine 2015
Carnegie Science Center 21+ Night: StormFest 

Rachel and Josh help you beat those winter doldrums with a slew of brewing and chewing-based events this weekend, and Josh endorses a favorite local establishment that challenges guests to break out of prison.

Saturday, January 31
Steel City Sampler: A Rust Belt Culinary Tour
East End Food Co-op: Winterfest
Pierogi Night: Pad Thai vs. Pierogi

It might come as no surprise that area food banks say they see an influx in people donating their time, money or groceries during the holiday season, but what many do not realize is that the giving spirit seems to hit a lull after the New Year.

“Member congregations are doing food drives … so we do see an influx (in donations) but the need also is increased this time of the year. It’s actually ever present throughout the year,” said East End Cooperative Ministry Executive Director Michael Mingrone.

75 Years of the Nestle Chocolate Morsel

Dec 19, 2014
Ana Liza / Flickr

1939 was an important year in American pop culture. Some of the greatest Hollywood movies, including "Gone With the Wind" and the "Wizard of Oz" were released. Lou Gehrig retired and the "World of Tomorrow" World’s Fair opened in New York.

In the annals of baking, the chocolate chip cookie was created at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. A key ingredient in this iconic cookie is the Nestle morsel, which turns 75 this year. Roz O’Hearn, Communications & Brand Affairs Director for Nestle, talks about the morsel’s past, present and future.

According to O’Hearn, the chocolate morsel has an “accidental” origin story. Near Boston, a restaurant owner named Ruth Wakefield ran the Toll House Inn. Wakefield smashed a Nestle semisweet chocolate baking bar into small pieces to put into her cookie recipe, creating the first chocolate chip cookies.

The Business of Food Banks

Dec 9, 2014
Nancy Furbee / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's mission is to feed people in need and mobilize our community to eliminate hunger.

Their vision is for a hunger-free southwestern Pennsylvania. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at food banks in the region.

Leigh Kelsey / Flickr

Congratulations, you just made it through the biggest eating holiday of the year!

With the fridge full of leftovers, the last thing you probably want to talk about is food, right? Well, travel contributor Elaine Labalme, is here to talk about some food destinations in the region worth visiting.

As many families gear up for their Thanksgiving feasts, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling attention to those who are struggling to put food on their dinner tables.

Casey is pushing for passage of a bill that would expand and make permanent tax incentives for businesses that donate to food banks. Nearly 2 million Pennsylvania residents are food insecure.

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