Archives For food

Looking at the schedule of amazing festivals happening this week, we thought we’d return to this RhonniRocks about the Clearwater Festival Food Court in 2010 …

The weather for The Great Hudson River Revival, also known as Clearwater Festival was perfect, if a little hot for folks who live all year in this area. We’d staffed our shop with Texans, all of whom were thankful to be anywhere where evening temperatures might get below 85. Heck, here in NY, it got below 70 every evening … what could be wrong with that?

Our street show gig is basically a fresh dessert shop. We dip Fresh Strawberries, Frozen Bananas, and Frozen Cheesecake in molten Ghirardelli chocolate right in front of the customer. We also make a 100% Fruit Sorbet out of ripe bananas and mixed berries. It seems that the dessert button gets pushed later in the day. We won’t have a noon rush, but about 2pm it can really start hopping. If the weather is hot, it’s a banana show; if it’s cold they seem to want the richness of the frozen cheesecake. The strawberries are … well … there are just so many things right about strawberries dipped in good chocolate … they are a steady item.

The Clearwater Festival has one of the best food line-ups of any show we do. The “Real Falafel” shop is there, roasting his eggplant on Friday for his handmade Babaghanoush, and grinding chickpeas for his Falafel and Hummus.

Vegetarian Oasis serves one of the most beautiful Jamaican Curries I’ve ever enjoyed. It was sweet potato, butternut squash, kale, and cabbage in a coconut milk curry, served over brown rice. Exquisite. There were a couple of stir-fry shops, and a shop serving standard hamburgers and hot dogs for the non-adventurous diners.

Breezy Hill Orchard had a shop there too. Festivals aren’t normally Elizabeth Ryan’s venue, but she believes in the purpose of the Clearwater Festival, and she can translate her Farmer’s Market experience into a festival booth fairly easily. She had her beautiful giant Ginger Snap Cookies, Chocolate Chip (of course), several pies, and Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies as big as my face. Her savory menu was a variety of tamales both meat and veggie. All of this could be washed down with her trademark cider.

For dinner Saturday we traded with Traveler’s Kitchen, aka The Potatoheads. They do fresh potato pancakes, as well as designer quesadillas, and a beautiful Tempeh Reuben on marbled rye bread.

This show is a great example of what festival food can be when everyone involved thinks of the audience as connoisseurs of food as well as entertainment. The food vendor coordinator does a great job of keeping the duplication of items to a minimum, while encouraging vendors to be creative with their offerings. The clientele at the festival has come to expect healthier, gourmet options, and happily spends money on food, knowing they’re getting excellent products. I’m not trying to imply that there were not lines for french fries, but those lines were not any longer than the lines for handmade healthier foods.

My recollections of this show involved me having a lot of extra time. The past two years we’ve experienced terrible weather on that weekend, so I really expected to get more pictures this year. However, the crowds this year were epic, so I was busy doing the chocolate thing. I’m really not complaining so much as explaining … a girl’s gotta pay the mortgage somehow.

Just because it makes me happy …

One of my favorite photos from the fall show:

We call him Vandal.

 

Vandal works for me during the Texas Renaissance Festival. I snapped this photo one morning while he was ‘bumping’ the mixer, in order to incorporate all of the flour for the Cinnamon Squealers without making a huge mess. I had been trying for weeks to get a photo of these tattoos, but he always seemed to be wearing gloves.

It was obviously cold that morning, because in this photo he’s wearing pajama pants under his customary cargo shorts and chef jacket.

 

The Cinnamon Roll Situation

RhonniRocks —  January 7, 2013 — 3 Comments

This past fall, at my biggest show, I made a menu mistake. We were able to salvage it and turn it into a giant win, but not before customer feedback stirred us to action.

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Queen’s Pantry, my fall gig

RhonniRocks —  January 27, 2011 — 1 Comment

… the manic highs of a high-volume restaurant mean that I can get paid for my adrenaline addiction, rather than scheduling my next river rafting or skiing adventure. Besides … it’s only 8 weeks in October and November.

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