From CivilEats.com, an Interview with Devotay owner Kurt Michael Friese
Chef Kurt Michael Friese is the founding leader of Slow Food Iowa, serves on the Slow Food USA National Board of Directors, and is editor-in-chief and co-owner of the local food magazine Edible Iowa River Valley. A graduate and former Chef-Instructor at the New England Culinary Institute, he has been Chef and owner, with his wife Kim McWane Friese, of the Iowa City restaurant Devotay for 13 years. Devotay is a community leader in sustainable cuisine and supporting local farmers and food artisans. Friese is a freelance food writer and photographer, with regular columns in six local, regional and national newspapers and magazines, and his book, A Cook’s Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland has just been published by Ice Cube Press.
CE: What issues have you been focused on?
KMF: Lately a lot more on bringing the ideas about good food to a wider audience. It’s not just about good food, but good food for everybody. I work a lot with Slow Food and it’s been saddled with an elitist bag; and rather than yelling “uh uh” it’s easier to demonstrate with good works that good, clean and fair food isn’t just for upper class white folks, it’s for everybody.
Read the whole story @ Civil Eats » Blog Archive » Faces & Visions of the Food Movement: Kurt Michael Friese.
Dine Out for the Gulf Coast
We shake our heads in astonishment at the level of the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. We want to help, but don’t know how. Seems no one has the answers, least of all BP, who continues to whitewash the beaches in advance of the arrival of Anderson Cooper or President Obama.
Ironically the New Orleans Oyster Festival, postponed from its original 2006 premier by Katrina and Rita, had its inaugural – and likely final – run last week. No one has anything optimistic to tell us about the future of the Louisiana oyster beds. More bad news comes when you talk to shrimpers, longline fishers, trawlers, and on and on.
Soon-to-be-outgoing BP CEO Tony Hayward is saying that it will “pay all legitimate claims” made by the people whose lives their carelessness ruined, but looking at the Exxon Valdez spill for precedent, Exxon tied them up in court for 2 decades and eventually paid a mere 10% of the total claims. So no, I don’t think anyone believes Mr. Hayward.
And so it comes down, as it always does, to the strength, goodwill and generosity of the American people to try and help the victims of still more corporate carelessness.
The first of what I am sure will be many opportunities arrives this week. Jimmy Galle, owner of bay Area seafood supplier Gulfish, has organized Dineout for the Gulf Coast, a 3-day benefit at many of the best restaurants around the country (Devotay among them). The short-term goal of The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund, administered by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is to make emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the oil spill. The long-term goal of the fund is to address the long-term economic, environmental, cultural effects of the disaster, and strengthen coastal communities against future environmental catastrophes by investing in solutions.
Maybe you can’t afford to send thousands of dollars. Maybe you can’t afford the time it would take to go down there and lend a hand. Most of us want to help in those ways, and most of us simply cannot. This is a small way you can help – go to dinner, eat some good food for a good cause.
Let the profiteers and politicians haggle over the blame game. We’ll keep taking small steps toward recovery. Only a fool fights in a burning house – it’s time to help the people.
Iowa Source: Iowa's Best Restaurants 2010
BEST LOCAL FOOD
Iowa City, (319) 354-1001
Our locavore readers are devoted to dining at Devotay. They love the fact that the “fresh, innovative, and soul-satisfying” food on their plate is supporting the farmers in their community. As one voter put it, “They not only talk the talk of eating locally grown, they walk the walk.” Even the farmers can’t say enough good things about this restaurant: “As a local producer, Devotay is very easy to work with.”
At Devotay in Iowa City, Sous Chef Dan Knowles (left) and Executive Chef Kevin Butler (right) search out the best local ingredients for their seasonal menu.
• “Slow food with a commitment to the locavore.”
• “My mouth is watering just thinking about it.”
“My favorite restaurant. Great food, local ingredients whenever possible.”
Other restaurants that are walking the locavore walk include Café Dodici, where everything is made from “fresh, wholesome, organic ingredients . . . nothing out of the can here.” Eating at New Pioneer Co-op, in Iowa City and Coralville, is always, “healthy, local, ethical, and delicious.” At Revelations in Fairfield, eating local is easy and delicious with their local spring-greens salads and sandwiches made on locally baked bread, made from locally grown grains. In Iowa City local farms are well represented on the menu at Motley Cow Café, and at the Red Avocado, where local veggies and grains are highlighted regularly.
See all Devotay’s fellow winners in the other categories at Iowa’s Best Restaurants 2010.
Because of the very large increase in requests for donations, we have found it necessary to change our donations format. We are very pleased to offer Benefit Sunday at Devotay. We have several formats for groups to use as a way to raise some money, without spending any.
There are 3 ways to do this: