I’ve always been in awe of latte art. We’re spoiled in Seattle, where our coffee culture attracts an echelon of baristas that I only seem to appreciate when I’m traveling to less caffeinated cities. Chances are, the bearded hipster who pulls your espresso shots at the corner café can pour a perfect rosetta with his eyes closed. I wanted to learn how to do the same. So, I spent the entire day making 50 lattes, back-to-back. As it turns out, latte art is really, really hard.
‘Tis the season of giving, and particularly, giving back. Unfortunately, hunger remains a pressing issue in Western Washington. Every day, far too many individuals and families don’t know where they’ll find their next meal. Luckily, Seattle is home to more than a few fantastic role models for the fight against hunger. One such leader is Chef Maxime Bilet, a member of the Intellectual Ventures team and co-author of the Modernist Cuisine book (available in March 2011). I had the chance to ask Maxime about his work with the Hunger Intervention Program and how modernist cooking fits in with fulfilling basic nutritional needs.
What does the Hunger Intervention Program do, and why is it important to Seattle?
The Hunger Intervention Program (HIP)is a local non-profit here in Seattle whose mission is to provide nutritious meals and basic cooking skills to the homeless and hungry. HIP’s new initiative is the Community Kitchen – an incredible initiative to help empower homeless and low income families to feed themselves by providing hands-on training in food preparation, safety, and nutrition education. They have recently begun using the community kitchen to reach out to mentally disabled patients.
Sure, you claim to avoid fast food chains and only shop at the farmers’ market. But the numbers tell another story. Data recently made available from data.mint.com shows where the people of Seattle are spending their food dollars. The data is based on the credit and debit transactions of Mint.com users in the greater Seattle area.