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Should We Open-Source WhatIsFresh?

Re-posted from our founder’s blog: http://bit.ly/fmoU3Z

About 18 months ago, I taught myself to code in Ruby on Rails by building a site called WhatIsFresh.com.  WhatIsFresh is a guide to local food and farmers markets in New York City.

Open-Source It?

Some folks have floated me the idea of open-sourcing at least some elements (but maybe all) of the WhatIsFresh code, so that a larger community could make it a more robust (and possibly, national) solution.  

I’m strongly considering this move and wanted to bring it to the Internets to solicit interest and suggestions from developers, designers and anybody else who could contribute in a meaningful way.

WhatIsFresh is Awesome

From my perspective, the project was an incredibly rewarding success.  The New York Times called it the “best guide to what’s available in which Greenmarkets” and Tasting Table said the site “brilliantly makes sense of the dozens of Greenmarkets scattered around Manhattan and Brooklyn.”

Even more importantly, thousands of people use the site every month to find great local food, farmers and markets in New York City.  Google Analytics tells me we’ve had hundreds of thousands of page views over the last 18 months for a site with no budget, no advertising and a focus on only farmers markets in two boroughs of New York City. 

The current site is pretty well designed, user-friendly and provides the best information on markets in New York.  But I think it could do so much more!

What do you think?

I’m excited to hear from people who might be interested in contributing to an open-sourced WhatIsFresh.  If you have ideas, suggestions, concerns, let’s hear em.

Mike

Grilled Pork Chops with Tomatillo-Apple Sauce

This is the first in a series of guest posts by some of our favorite New York City chefs.  If you like this piece, please click here to recommend us for the Tumblr Food Directory!

By Ivy Stark, Dos Caminos
Photos by Jonathan Meter

Our region has an amazing variety of delicious apples.  So with the fall season here, I recently set out for a day of apple-picking at Alstede Farms in Chester, New Jersey.  We came home with two bushels of apples that inspired this great pork dish that we’re currently offering as a special at Dos Caminos.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for the Tomatillo and Green Apple Sauce
  1/2 lb fresh tomatillos, husks discarded and tomatillos rinsed
  2 Granny Smith apples
  1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs
  1 garlic clove, minced
  1 teaspoon ground cumin
  1/4 cup apple juice
  1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  1 tablespoon mild honey
  1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo

Ingredients for the Pork Chops
  3 tablespoons ground coriander
  3 tablespoons ground cumin
  2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  3 tablespoons olive oil
  4 (2-inch-thick) loin pork chops

Process

1 . Stir together coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil and stir until combined well. Rub spice mixture all over chops. Let chops marinate while making sauce and preparing grill.

2 . Simmer tomatillos and 3 cups water in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos are just soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool 15 minutes.

3 . While tomatillos are cooling, core apples and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Purée tomatillos with remaining sauce ingredients except apples in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in apples.

4 . To cook pork using a charcoal grill: Open vents on bottom of grill. Light charcoal in chimney starter. Leaving about one quarter of grill free of charcoal, bank lit charcoal across rest of grill so that coals are about three times higher on opposite side.

5 . Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack over area where coals are piled highest for 3 to 4 seconds. Sear pork on lightly oiled grill rack directly over hottest part of coals, uncovered, turning over once and, moving around grill to avoid flare-ups, until well browned, 10 to 12 minutes total. Move pork to coolest part of grill, then cover with inverted roasting pan and grill, turning pork over once, until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of each chop (avoid bone) registers 150°F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 minutes (temperature should rise to 155°F).

Ivy Stark is the Executive Chef of the Dos Caminos restaurants in New York City.  Follow her on Twitter.

Jonathan Meter blogs at Bite Sized. He’s a professional photographer in New York City.

Behind the Scenes: Dos Caminos Shoot

Last week we were thrilled to be invited into chef Ivy Stark’s kitchen at Dos Caminos restaurant in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.  We were also privileged to be joined by Jonathan Meter, an amazing food photographer.

Why were we hanging out with Ivy & Jonathan?  A photoshoot for our next blog post, of course! It may have been a rainy day outside on Hudson Street, but in the Dos Caminos kitchen it was all seasonal flavors of fall comfort food. Here are Jonathan and Ivy working their magic …

While you wait for Ivy’s tasty fall recipe, you should follow Ivy on Twitter and check out Jonathan’s blog.

Eat well,
Mike

New Guest Posts & Opportunities To Contribute

As we settle into fall, we’re excited to bring some new approaches to the WhatIsFresh Blog.

CHEFS
We’ve started by inviting some excellent New York chefs to contribute guest posts here on the blog, and they’ve graciously agreed to bring their thoughts and recipes to these pages.  We’re very excited to bring you these new perspectives over the coming weeks and months!

OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW CONTRIBUTORS
As Meaghin moves on from a successful run writing for the blog, we have a new set of opportunities for people who want to contribute to one of the most popular Food blogs on the Tumblr network!  Thanks to our awesome readers, the WhatIsFresh blog receives thousands of visitors every month and has been included as a top food blog in Tumblr’s Food Directory for the past year. We’re also a Tumblr Staff Pick.

If you’re looking to build an online presence in the food world, this is a great opportunity to connect with our existing audience.  We’re looking for writers and photographers who are passionate about bringing their perspective on local food, farmers and markets to our readers.  If you’re interested in working with us, please check out our job page for details: http://whatisfresh.com/home/jobs

Eat well,
Mike