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Boston Could Make 'Top Chef' Cut

Calling "Top Chef" fans! The Boston Business Journal is reporting that the popular Bravo foodie show is eyeing Portland, Ore., or Boston for its next stop.

The show's season 9 Texas edition wraps up Wednesday night in Vancouver (the finalists always end up far from where they started). The only Northeast city it's been in is New York City during season 5 and season 8's All-Star edition.

Check out Boston.com's top 10 reasons Top Chef should come to Boston - hit shows, champion teams and, well, we're just cooler than Portland

It's about time the show made it Massachusetts. And don't forget the Berkshires has a very local connection with the show — Pittsfield's Hung Huynh won season 3.

Can you imagine a Boston season? Baked bean quickfires, fancy franks at Fenway, Sam Adams and Harpoon pairings, North End pasta, molecular gastronomy at MIT and lobstah, lobstah, lobstah!

The BBJ says a local ad company is putting its social media expertise to the task of getting "Top Chef" to the Hub. Start hashtagging #yougottatryboston and post your reasons the Magical Elves should pack their knives for Boston on the Facebook page.
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New York Columnist Speaks on France & Food

Staff Reports
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Americans have been in love with French cooking long before Julia Child introduced it to the masses.

But why French cooking in the first place? That's the question New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik will address in "How Did Food Happen in France?" drawing on his musings in his latest book, "The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food."

Gopnik will be speaking in Griffin Hall, Room 3, on the Williams College campus on Monday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. His talk is free and open to the public.

Tracy McNicoll of Newsweek describes Gopnik's treatise as "more ambitious than a history of restaurants — it's about how we taste, dream, and argue about food. He explores the extremes of strict localism… He gets into the heads of apparent adversaries — the meatless crowd and the whole-beast fiends, the Slow Food and molecular movements, the New and Old World wine advocates — and gives each its place in the grand foodie pantheon." "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi adds that it is "The perfect book for any intellectual foodie, a delicious book packed with so much to sink your teeth into."

The award-winning writer is known for his essay collection "Paris to the Moon," detailing his life with his family in the French capital, among other writings. His books "The Table Comes First," "Winter" and "Paris to the Moon" will be for sale before the talk.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, with support of the W. Ford Schumann '50 Program in Democratic Studies, the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program, the Departments of English, German, and Russian.
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Something Fishy Is Happening In The Ocean

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Oceans Symposium at Williams College will show the film "A Sea Change, Imagine a World without Fish," which follows the travels of retired history teacher Sven Huseby as he attempts to uncover the mystery of what is happening to the oceans, specifically the rise in acidity and its effect on the fish population.

The showing is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in Thompson Biology, Room 112, and is free and open to the public. A Q-and-A format discussion, led by The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert, will follow the screening of the film.

The film's website notes that Huseby became "obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans" and how this change can affect the human race after reading Kolbert's article "The Darkening Sea." Throughout his travels in Alaska, California, Washington and Norway, and from his conversations with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists and artists, Huseby learns that increasingly acidic ocean water can effect both the fish population and up to 1 billion people who depend on the protein of those fish.

"A Sea Change, Imagine a World without Fish" debuted in March 2009 and was well received. Southern Fried Science, a blog comprised of marine science graduates, insists for everyone to see this film. The blog said: "Regardless of your science background, you will not only understand the complex science of ocean acidification, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen while you do. I can’t remember the last movie, fiction or non-fiction, that made me so scared, so hopeful, so sad, and so happy within such a short time frame."

Kolbert, now on her 13th year at The New Yorker, previously reported for The New York Times for more than a decade. Since joining The New Yorker, she's tackled climate change, as well as other topics. Her three-part series "The Climate of Man" discussed global warming and earned her the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, the National Magazine Award for Public Interest, and the National Academies Communication Award.

The next lecture of the Oceans Symposium, scheduled for March 6, will feature Scott Doney, professor in marine chemistry and geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Doney will also touch on this subject in his talk titled, "Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Ocean Acidification."
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Red Lion Chef Takes Top Honors at 'Lamb Jam'

Staff Reports
The Red Lion Inn's Brian Alberg took home the top prize in the American Lamb Board's "Lamb Jam" on Sunday.

According to Eat Drink RI, which covered the event at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Alberg's lamb shoulder and kale meatballs, featuring Farm Girl Farm of Egremont's smoked tomato puree and parmesan crustade won not only best overall dish and best shoulder dish, beating out 18 other chefs.

Berkshire Brewing Co. was also there serving beverages along with some notable Boston brewers.

Albert, president of Berkshire Grown's board of trustees, will go to California to compete against Lamb Jam winners from around the country.

A major supporter of using locally grown produce for Berkshires dining, Alberg has organized the upcoming "Preserving the Berkshire Harvest" with other local chefs at the James Beard House in New York on Mrch 2.
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Last Day for Paczki

By Stephanie Farrington
Berkshire Food
Melissa checks a student's dough for elasticity. Lisa Mendel samples the results. Gooey but so good.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, that means, if you follow Polish tradition, you'll be eating a lot of doughnuts today. But not just any doughnuts.

Paczki is a special jam or jelly-filled fried pastry made with butter and eggs in the dough. They're rich, light, delicious and most people have forgotten how to make them.

That bothered Lisa Mendel. Lisa is the organizer of the Polish cooking classes taking place once a month on Sunday mornings at the Polish National Alliance in Adams. She decided to ask Melissa Langenback, who teaches breadmaking at Different Drummer's Kitchen, to give a class on making the lighter-than-air treats.

So on a frozen February morning, a dozen ladies from the community gathered to learn to make paczki from scratch.

iBerkshires was there and thanks to the videography of local film maker Steven Borns, you can peek into a few of the steps that go into this pre-Lenten treat.

Of course you can eat paczki any time you can find them (try the Big Y) but if you want to be traditional, today's the day.

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Stephanie Farrington of Berkshire Food is contributing to our Eats blog — all about food, all the time. 


Seasonal Farmers Markets

Berkshire South Community Market
15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington
Saturdays through Oct. 27 from 11 to 3

Berkshire Mall Market
Sears parking lot, Route 8
Wednesdays & Saturdays through November from 8 to 2

North Adams Farmers Market
St. Anthony's Municipal Parking
Saturdays through Oct. 27 from 8 to noon

Great Barrington Farmers Market
Taconic Avenue & Castle Street
Saturdays through October from 9 to 1

Lenox Farmers Market
70 Kemble St., Shakespeare & Company
Fridays through Oct. 5 from 1 to 5

Oits Farmers Market
L & M Auto, 2000 East Otis Road (Rte. 23)
Saturdays through Oct. 6 from 9 to 1

Pittsfield Farmers Market
First and Fenn streets, across from the Common
Saturdays, May 11 through Oct. 26, from 9 to 1

Sheffield Farmers Market
Old Parish Church, Main Street
Fridays through September from 3 to 7

Williamstown Farmers Market
Spring Street parking lot
Saturdays, May 25 through October, from 9 to 1

Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
The Armory
Wednesdays, 4 to 7


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