Sadly we can’t claim Anson Mills as our own local producer, but we’re damn proud to eat the product all the same. Owner Glenn Roberts, the South Carolina miller who runs the company, has got to be one of the most cutting-edge guys in the country when it comes to finding, sourcing and saving heirloom and artisanal grains like corn, wheat and rice–including many varieties that were nearly impossible to find. (Cutting-edge was of course meant to be a pun, considering the guy restored an old burr mill he now uses to produce products like his incredible grits, cornmeal and old fashioned wheat flours.) A special strain of Carolina rice with roots in West Africa is one of his latest obsessions, as is the original Low Country Creole cuisine that uses it as a foundation. That’s the focus of the next fantastic Fall Dinner Symposium from Bubby’s on Wednesday–you might recall our posts about the Blue Moon Seafood dinner and the Mark Twain Spectacle Feast, both part of the series.
This one is called the Carolina Rice Kitchen: Stay tuned for the menu. In the meantime here are more details about the dinner below, as per Bubby’s press release, but in the meantime, if you’d like to score two tickets to Wednesday night’s dinner with Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills, here’s what to do: The first reader to like Bubby’s on Facebook and post a message on their wall referencing @EdibleBrooklyn wins the pair. (While you’re at it, you might as well as like us on Facebook, too, if you don’t already.)
Wednesday’s Fall Symposium Dinner at Bubby’s:
Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills and the Carolina Rice Kitchen
In the late 1990’s, Glenn Roberts founded Anson Mills and began his epic project to restore the heritage corn, wheat and rice that propelled Charleston,South Carolina onto the world stage before the Civil War. His dogged research led to the identification and revival of extinct grains including Carolina Gourdseed White mill corn and the world famous long grain Carolina Gold, America’s first rice. Roberts also revived lost farming and artisan processing techniques for these grains and their companion crops. One of his goals is to restore the cuisine of these lost foods: the Carolina Rice Kitchen, America’s first creole cuisine.
Our Rice Harvest Dinner will include dishes that feature Anson Mills signature products prepared in dishes that express the extraordinary flavors and textures of the Carolina Rice Kitchen. This is local Lowcountry cookery based upon ingredients that are farmed together or in rotation…a farming style that reveals fundamental truths in ancient foodways: in contrast to foods isolated in monoculture farming, foods grown together in the style of pre-industrial agriculture, then harvested and prepared at the apogee of ripeness, provide remarkable sustenance for body and spirit and create memorable palate impressions. By following the foundations of great farming and matching that farming to its local heritage cuisine, Anson Mills has garnered the praise and loyalty of thousands of professional chefs worldwide.
But Glenn Roberts is more than a determined preservationist, he is visionary critic of American monoculture farming who believes that traditional farming and food are important to the health of the land, its people and their culture.