Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cooking for a Cause: curry at the food bank

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 1:21 PM

As part of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado's Cooking for a Cause series — which continues Sept. 8 (with Picnic Basket's Jenna Hines), Oct. 13 (with The Warehouse's James Africano), and Nov. 10 (with Jake and Telly's rep Jake Topakas) — personal chef Corey Wilson presented a fine four-course Indian meal ($40 per person; we were comped) last week in Care and Share's kitchen and warehouse area just off Powers Boulevard. 

click to enlarge From left to right: volunteers Olwen, Forrest and Michael Carsten, purveyor George Spencer from Il Castagno, chef (and captain) Corey Wilson, and Donna Ross and Stacey Poore from Care and Share. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • From left to right: volunteers Olwen, Forrest and Michael Carsten, purveyor George Spencer from Il Castagno, chef (and captain) Corey Wilson, and Donna Ross and Stacey Poore from Care and Share.

Wilson, who counts several years at the Blue Star among his experience, says he was partly inspired to showcase Indian food based off a visit to Vij's in Vancouver, which pretty much blew his mind. He walked guests through some history and cultural context of Indian cuisine — why do curry sauces arrive with so much extra sauce in the bowl, often requiring a request for more rice? — noting how it's the most diverse culinary style in the world based on how many ingredients (particularly spices) are utilized.

His on-the-whole beautifully executed plates reflected that diversity, with an abundance of color and flavor profiles, complemented by side sauces (which guests were encouraged to test with each course) to represent spicy, sour, sweet and creamy combos. Area purveyor George Spencer from Il Castagno provided some great wine pairings, following a cocktail greeting of Bayswater Gin and tonic. 

We'll go course-by-course with the photos below, but first I want to share some updates about current initiatives and efforts from Care and Share's chief development officer Stacy Poore: 
click to enlarge A dinner table set among rows and rows of food items destined for those struggling with hunger. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A dinner table set among rows and rows of food items destined for those struggling with hunger.

Construction of a clean room will begin soon to allow for bulk packing of certain items, which will be just one more way in which Care and Share serves the hungry. The pantry also just worked out a new alliance with Starbucks to collect its unsold ready-to-eat meals from 28 Colorado locations and distribute them to partnering agencies who serve the homeless community. Care and Share is among the first six food banks in the country to work with Starbucks. 

In late September, expect the long-anticipated launch of a new social enterprise program through Care and Share called GoalZero Recycling. "We have been perfecting our zero waste efforts for more than six years at Care and Share, and planning our social enterprise for the past three," says Poore. 

How it'll work: "We will be offering cardboard and shrink wrap recycling services to businesses, many with large amounts of these commodities, and there seem to be lots of them," she says. "These two materials are what we have been recycling/have in largest supply. Last year we raised about $16K recycling/selling our own cardboard, shrink wrap, and pallets."

To be clear: "We are not a single stream recycler, our city has plenty of those. We seek customers who have large amounts of the two commodities mentioned, and who want to make a difference by not only diverting these materials from land fill, but working with an organization who seeks to feed people through the gathering and sale of these precious commodities."

For food waste, for anyone wondering, Care and Share already partners with Eads, Colorado's A1 Organics and delivers its organic waste to them (for a fee). Explains Poore: "A1 turns the material into mulch, compost, etc. What is super amazing is that they can take our material in cans, boxes, etc. We don’t have to break it down. Their machines de-package it, spitting the packaging waste one way/turning it into a pulp, and then the organic material into all sorts of lovely sludge like substances that will make plants grow." 

That may be an unappetizing transition into talking about dinner, but try to clear your thoughts and appreciate the prettiness:

click to enlarge Condiments for play. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Condiments for play.

click to enlarge Yogurt marinated prawns in coconut cream curry with pistachio-apricot basmati. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Yogurt marinated prawns in coconut cream curry with pistachio-apricot basmati.
 
click to enlarge Vij's lamb meatballs with pappadam and stuffed potato. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Vij's lamb meatballs with pappadam and stuffed potato.
click to enlarge Dal with naan croutons. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Dal with naan croutons.
click to enlarge Lamb with spicy tomato onion gravy and cumin-fried potatoes. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Lamb with spicy tomato onion gravy and cumin-fried potatoes.
click to enlarge Making new friends in the community, joined for a common cause. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Making new friends in the community, joined for a common cause.
click to enlarge Apricot almond and cardamom mix with cream and cookie crumble. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Apricot almond and cardamom mix with cream and cookie crumble.

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