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Victoria Public Market at the Hudson Opens Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Victoria Public MarketThe new Victoria Public Market at the Hudson has opened in Victoria, British Columbia. Modeled on public markets such as the Ferry Building in San Francisco and the Atwater Market in Montreal, Victoria's public market is located in the historic Hudson building in downtown Victoria near the spot where a farmers' market ran from the late 1800s until around 1960. The new market will feature day tables for farmers and a commercial kitchen for cooking classes, urban agriculture workshops and special events.

Also included will be semi-permanent kiosks and permanent vendors that include local favorites Silk Road, Salt Spring Cheese and Wildfire Bakery. Tours of the market and a larger farmers' market will be available on Wednesdays. Regular hours are expected to be 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information on the new Victoria Public Market, visit victoriapublicmarket.com.

 
A Tasty Way to Explore Sacramento Print E-mail
Written by Lisa Armstrong   

Local Roots farmLocal Roots Food Tours was developed in 2010 with a simple concept: I wanted to share my passion for the great local cuisine found in the Sacramento area. After participating in several food tours across the nation, my husband and I realized that many of the dishes being offered consisted of ingredients from our own Sacramento Valley. As a gardener and a chef, I wanted to highlight the farm fresh food and inspiration of our local chefs -- so I researched restaurants offering local food and the history of some of the oldest neighborhoods in Sacramento.

Our first tour was the "Origins of Sacramento," a walking tour that ventures into Midtown's Sutter District and East Sacramento's Fabulous Forties. The tour showcases restaurants that provide authentic tastes from the diverse groups that forged our great city and created its agricultural dominance. I hand-select the establishments that have rich California history and support local farms by using fresh fruit, produce and meats.

Local Roots wineLast March we launched a tour in nearby Murphys, California. Aptly named the "Queen of the Sierras," the old mining town of Murphys is the perfect destination for a food and wine tour. Another new tour is the "Gourmet on K Culinary Walking Tour," which shows participants everything gourmet along one of Sacramento's most historic streets. Folks are guided down the city's original main street, exploring the beautiful architecture with many stories dating back to the 1800s. Locals and tourists alike enjoy this culinary excursion as it enlightens their views of the most controversial street in the city.

More tours are on the way. And, for those interested in more information on local food and history, my Local Roots blog is updated daily with recipes, events and coverage of Northern California "foodie" news. Along with the tours, this virtual table provides another opportunity to connect with fellow food enthusiasts, fostering that most intangible -- yet valuable -- result: a sense of community, right here in Sacramento. You can also visit our Facebook page or find us on Twitter @LocalRootsFood.

 
Phuket's Paresa Resort Adds Hydroponic Garden Print E-mail
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Written by Ann Shepphird   

Paresa PhuketThe Paresa Resort, located on Kamala Bay in Phuket, Thailand, has added its own eco-friendly hydroponic garden. The new garden, which already accounts for 30 percent of the herbs and greens that are used in the kitchen, was designed to grow products for both the kitchen and spa -- with extras grown and donated to the local community garden at the Kajonkiet International School Phuket.

Herbs and salad greens to be grown for the kitchen are decided on by Executive Chef Ryan Arboleda (right) and currently include Holy Basil, green and red lettuces, and lemon grass, which is used in the tea that greets arriving guests. Also grown are bananas, which are used in the morning smoothies.The resort also offers daily traditional Thai cooking classes using herbs from the hydroponic garden. At the Spa by Paresa, local Pandanus leaves are picked and burned to release their sweet-smelling scent, and fresh papaya, which has enzymes and vitamins that are good for the skin, is incorporated into treatments.

 
Experiencing Agriturismo in Italy's Piedmont Region Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Pellegrino and Matt Scialabba   
Langhe Peppers from PiedmontThe region of Piedmont is not one of the more famous regions of Italy -- certainly not as famous as Tuscany or Sicily -- but in terms of its abundance, it ranks right up there as one of the best. Truffles, Barolo and Barbaresco wines, chestnuts, and fabulous produce in every season, the region is a food lover’s dream. Adding to the beauty and character of the region is the fact that a majority of the farms are family-run and many have become agriturismi: working farms offering lodging and meals to adventurous travelers. We spent four months traveling through Northern Italy and working at the agriturismi. As chefs and cookbook writers, we learned about the close connection to the land and the rhythm of farm life and brought these experiences to our cookbook “The Italian Farmer's Table.”

In September, we will be taking a group to Piedmont to experience the agriturismo culture first hand.  For more information on what we think will be a great adventure, check out our website: liveit-italy.com/trips or contact Ashley at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 860-729-1185

To get you in the mood, here is a recipe from the Piedmont region – a great one if you (or your local farmers market) has a yield of peppers coming soon. (Click "read more" for recipe.)
Read more...
 
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