Archive for February, 2008

Cattle industry stunned by film, again

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The recent film which spurred a massive recall of beef, and which has encouraged a new scrutiny of cattle industry practices, has an historical precedent. The NYTimes reports on an incident in the 1950’s which echoes the current situation. The article also includes statements by some of the presidential candidates on the issue.

Future Farmers of Scandanavia

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opens this week. Situated on a remote arctic island which is part of Norway, the “Doomsday Seed Vault” will store tens of millions of seeds, from every nation, and will give hope to all that, following Earth’s planetary annihilation, visitors from another planet might find the vault and rebuild a green world.

Myron Beasley on Food, Performance & Community

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

This Friday, February 29th, visiting artist Myron Beasley will give a lecture, “Artist as Critical Ethnographer: Food, Performance, Community” at the Maine College of Art. The talk begins at 6pm, and will be held in the Old Living Room on the first floor, Porteous.

We’re back….

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Actually we’ve been back for a couple of weeks, sorry we haven’t blogged. Funny how it can be quiet in the store and yet we are still busy. We have been working on some upcoming events. The next one being a show of works by a group of students from the Maine College of Art.

The show is entitled Food + Table, and is a collaboration between the Metalsmithing, Jewelry and Graphic Design students of Tina Rath, Alex Rheault and Mark Jamra. The opening reception will take place on Friday March 21st from 5-7pm. We are excited about the show for all sorts of reasons. It will be our first three dimensional show inspired by our favorite muse: food. The art will be displayed throughout the store, and this time that means literally among the books. Each piece will be surrounded by titles that relate to the theme of the work. So we get to interact with each artist and pull relevant books from our inventory. There will also be a catalog of the process and the complete works, designed by the Graphic Design students, that will act as a guide to the show. It will be available for purchase here at Rabelais. The show will be up for a month, until April 21st. We love the people we meet here and the connections that arise from the store. The intersection between art and food is a dynamic place to be.

On March 2nd we finally get to work with our renowned neighbors, Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh at Hugo’s. Rob has put together a menu of five courses for a Dinner of Five Cookbooks. The aforementioned cookbooks include:

The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook by Patrick O’Connell
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
The Devil in the Kitchen by Marco Pierre White
Baking with Julia by Julia Child
El Bulli by Ferran Adria, Juli Stoler and Albert Adria

Yes, I know that is more than five cookbooks, but he’s a chef, that’s his prerogative. We are looking forward to this dinner, Rob Evans is one of our favorite chefs, and a meal at Hugo’s is a great experience.
If you are interested in attending call Hugo’s at 207 774 8538 to make a reservation.
Following dinner, there will be a private viewing of the store, including a selection of some truly rare books in the history of food and wine. Some highlights will include: an extremely scarce presentation copy of the the first edition of Brillat-Savarin’s Physiologie du Gout, the most famous book in gastronomy; an early printing of Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery, the first American cookbook; Parmentier’s Parfait Boulanger, a rare and important work on bread making; and a scarce first printing of Urbain-Dubois’ grand French cookbook, Cuisine Artistique.

We have more Art planned for the walls, and some fascinating authors will be appearing in the store in the upcoming months. It may be cold and snowy in these parts but life at Rabelais is warm, vibrant and inviting. Just like a big pot of short ribs, a loaf of crusty bread, a crisp green salad and a good Rhone.

Oh yeah, and there’s an Asian Death Match on the horizon. Don and I have been invited to cook, The honor at having been invited is followed closely by the panic of what to cook…?!?!