Lately, there has been good news coming out of the Capital Region. And thanks to Brooklyn Rescue Mission Farm owners The Reverends DeVanie Jackson and Robert Jackson, we’ve learned there’s great food and hospitality being served up there (and as of last Sunday, here), as well.
Yes, indeed. The Jackson’s brought Noah Sheetz, the executive chef of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany, to Brooklyn last week for a private event, The Brooklyn Rescue Mission Fig Brunch, celebrating recent local efforts to raise the community’s awareness of the importance of eating healthy to have healthier lives. This, by the way, is in sync with the Governor and Lady Paterson’s Healthy Living campaigns.
We also learned that Sheetz, a local foods enthusiast (www.noahsheetz.com), is looking to incorporate in the meals he serves at the mansion, “local” farm-fresh foods from communities around the state.
The Jackson’s party included a coterie of their friends whose personal and day-to-day work lives revolve around fresh-food activism. The event took place on the Brooklyn Rescue Mission Farm on Decatur Street.
The seven-course menu was divine: Coconut crusted figs, arugula with figs, goat cheese and crushed almond brittle, lamb chops with fig glaze, pan-seared flounder with fig-infused balsamic and olive oil, savory crepes, potato corn cakes, braised greens, crepes with figs and sweet ricotta, home-made seltzer with Divinitea cherry hisbiscus tea, Salmon Run pinot noir and Brotherhood Riesling.
Food sources included: Meadow Brook Farm in Clarksville, NY; Thomas Poultry Farm in Schylerville, Kale and collard greens from the Executive Mansion Gardens, Goat cheese from Nettle Meadow Farm, Flounder from the Atlantic ocean, Flour and Cornmeal from Wild Hive Farm; Potatoes from Noah Sheetz’s own garden and arugula from the Produce Project in the Capital District Community Gardens (Troy, NY).
The great meal inspired healthy discussions. We received updates from representatives of Central Brooklyn’s small “green food” business movement, organizations like City Harvest and the Brooklyn Food Coalition, bent on changing the food systems and how we interact with them. Did you know that local public schools have “Wellness Councils”, a fresh and wholesome idea that may go to rot unless we demand activation? Now we do.
Next week, Noah shares a recipe and his thoughts on school food issues. You’ll also find out more about that fig tree, the Brooklyn Rescue Mission Farm’s story, and what’s happening around town on the food-and-health front.
Meanwhile, the answer to what you’re hungering to know is: Governor Paterson’s favorite dish is lamb. His favorite vegetable, asparagus.