Archive | Spring 2014

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Contents Spring 2014





Photo by Alison Bickel.



Local Chef Wins National “Good Food Award”
Masterful Mixture of Milk
The Shortest Distance Between Farm and Table
Certified Cicerone to Sustainable Brewmaster



Sticky and Sweet: Syrup, the Natural Treat

Celebrating the Fabric of the Local Food Community




Spring is the ideal time to try sugar snap peas, which get their name from their sweet flavor and “snappy” crunch. A cool season vegetable, they grow on climbing plants, which require a trellis or support structure. At your local farmers market, choose fresh, tender bright-green pods. Peas are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables and in the United States were planted by both Christopher Columbus and Thomas Jefferson.


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Bartender Jake Moore mixes two Debonair Pears in a mixing glass before pouring them into chilled coupe glasses


From Garden to Glass

Jill Cockson’s Beet Boulevardier being poured into glasses.


Bitters and Shrubs Make a Splash in Craft Cocktail Revival

By Sandra Wendel
Photography by Ariel Fried


Jill Cockson’s signature tonic, a local commercial product, sits alongside her beet shrub, a distinctive addition to her Beet Boulevardier.

A resurgence in mixed drinks is taking place across bars in the Heartland,
and if you’re game to experiment, you might try making some of these not-so-traditional cocktails at home using exotic spirits and stuff you can grow in your own garden.

Part science and part art, the pre-Prohibition revival drinks made under the deft hands of a skilled bartender are “variations on old traditional cocktails,” said Jill Cockson, bartender and partner in the Other Room, an establishment in Lincoln’s Haymarket.

But the secret ingredient used by a new breed of mixologists is often a dash of handcrafted bitters or a splash of a sweeter shrub (a vinegar-based concoction with many uses when mixed with or without liquor). You’ll have to develop your own recipes for these (or look online), but this article gives you some guidance.

New Twist on Classics

Take the Whiskey Sour, for example. Binoy Fernandez, owner … Read More

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In Season


Collard Greens
Garlic: Scapes & Green Garlic
Herbs: Various
Lettuce: Various
Mustard Greens

Morel Mushrooms
Onions: Spring & Green
Peas: Shell, Snow & Sugar Snap
Peas: Shoots & Tendrils
Potatoes: Early Red
Zucchini Blossoms

Cheese: Artisan & Farmstead

Breads & Pastries 
Granola & Grains 
Honey, Jams & Jelly 








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On the Plate

Infused Oil

Infused oil is a creative way to use garden herbs to add distinctive flavor to your recipes. You can use the oils in marinades, sauces and dressings, on their own drizzled over vegetables or as a dip for warm, fresh bread.
When making infused oils, use only glass jars and bottles—oil doesn’t absorb anything from glass—that have been prepared by sterilizing in a dishwasher or boiling water. Before beginning, make sure the jars and herbs are completely dry to avoid bacterial growth in the oil. When preparing herbs, you’ll want to release the oil and flavor by bruising (gently bending and pinching leaves) or rubbing them together.
You can infuse oils at room temperature or by using heat; either method is effective and both methods produce tasty results.

Photo by Mary Oswald

Yield: 1 cup

¼ cup fresh herbs
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Wash and dry herbs completely. Bruise or rub herbs and place in prepared glass jar. Add oil to cover herbs and close jar. Place jar in dry location with indirect sunlight for 1 week, swirling or shaking every day. After 1 week, taste the oil. If too mild, let sit until desired strength. Once … Read More

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Edible Discovery

Sticky and Sweet

on Fenner, in his 16th year of collecting sap, explains the process during the annual maple tree tapping at Botna Bend, an event open to the public.

Syrup, the Natural Treat

By Cheril Lee • Photography by Alison Bickel


Candy made from maple sugar is a product of the sap that comes from the silver maples at Botna Bend.

When you think of the state of Iowa, what comes to mind? Wind farming? Corn? Hawkeyes? All true. But, how about syrup? Yes, syrup, the sticky brown stuff that goes so well on pancakes?

People generally don’t think of Iowa as being a maple syrup producer because we definitely don’t have the concentration of maple trees other states do. But if you have even one maple tree, you can tap that tree and get sap from it to make syrup,” said Jon Fenner, park ranger with the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board.

In March every year, the Conservation Board holds a Maple Tree Tap event for the public, where attendees learn a little about the history of tapping as well as what kind of tree to look for and how and where to tap it.

A little

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The Last Bite


Five Nebraska chefs were honored by their local farmer counterparts at the 2014 Producers Choice Chef Awards on January 19, 2014, at Metro Community College’s Institute for Culinary Arts in Omaha. The evening served as both a friendly competition and a fund-raiser for the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society. Farmer members of NSAS voted for the best chefs who work to support and promote the local food community. A cocktail hour preceded a five-course meal, which was prepared by chefs using seasonally available ingredients. The honored chefs included were Paul Kulik from The Boiler Room and Le Bouillon, Nick Strawhecker from Dante Pizzeria, Clayton Chapman from The Grey Plume, Matt Roush from bread&cup and Joel Mahr from Lot 2.

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Aiden Powers, William’s son, holds one of the family’s favorite hens, Henny Penny.

Young Farmers

Growing Farmers: One Meeting at a Time

By Summer Miller
Photography by Alison Bickel

William Powers stresses the importance of building the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society in such a way that it includes families at every stage of life. William and his son, Aiden, check on the cows

Aiden Powers, William’s son, holds one of the family’s favorite hens, Henny Penny.

People line each side of the long, narrow brewery. Some stand, some sit, but all lean in close, engaging in a cacophony of conversations about beer, farming, food and hops. William Powers waves at me and begins to weave himself through the torrent of attendees at the Nebraska Hop Growers Association meeting. It’s one of many events he travels to in any given week as part of his efforts to help strengthen the fabric of the local food community.

William is the executive director of the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting local food and agriculture systems. The title really means he serves as the event planner, farmer recruiter and communications coordinator for the organization, but perhaps his most important role is working with young or beginning farmers to ensure a viable future … Read More

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Food for Thought

Welcome to the third year of Edible Omaha. Looking back at our humble beginnings—with no prior publishing experience—Lucy and I continue to be grateful for the amazing advertisers, contributors and readers who support our mission to build a sustainable food community in the greater Omaha area.

Our vision for Edible Omaha to become the local voice for local food is resonating. Readers have told us that in the pages of Edible Omaha they have been able to find local food, learn new things, build relationships with farmers and food artisans and experience events that would have previously gone unnoticed. With each issue the connections become stronger.

In addition to the privilege of producing this beautiful magazine, Lucy and I also have the opportunity to support the local food community in ways that extend far beyond the pages of the magazine. We attend many farm-to-table dinners, farm tours, movie screenings and farmers markets. We sponsor and volunteer our time, working side-by-side with our advertisers at their events.

Those events are great, but some of our most meaningful work comes when collaborating with motivated organizations to find out what is needed most and then getting involved. We have been active participants … Read More

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Good Food Awards 2014, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA.

Spilling the Beans

Local Chef Wins National “Good Food Award”

Bryce Coulton’s Hungarian Salami

Photo by Marla Aufmuth

Bryce Coulton cracked a book about Cold War–era Polish sausage and thumbed the pages. He blended spices, fat and meat, cooked and tasted, then cooked and tasted again. The flavors were bland and timid, not at all what you would typically expect from cured and cooked meats in a frigid climate. It was the Cold War, however, and Poland as well as Hungary were part of the Eastern Bloc. Many of these recipes were government issued, guided and dictated.

Bryce, chef and co-owner, of the French Bulldog, a deli-style eatery in Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood, was fascinated by the history of such recipes and decided to use them as a baseline for creating his own balanced, creamy and flavorful Hungarian Salami. He went to work developing a blend of spices and testing different grinds to get the perfect meat-to-fat ratio. Little did he know his experimentation would lead to a moment months later when he would walk across a stage in San Francisco and accept the Good Food Award for sustainable, local and exceptional charcuterie.

Winners were selected in a blind tasting by 225 judges. … Read More

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Prairie Plate

Spilling the Beans .

The Shortest Distance Between Farm and Table

Prairie Plate Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Prairie Plate Restaurant

Thankfully, farm-to-table restaurants are becoming more common in our region. And although the number of eateries that can make that claim have grown, there aren’t many restaurants where you can see the farm food you’re eating grow right outside the window. But that’s the unique claim Prairie Plate Restaurant can make.

Located northwest of Waverly, Nebraska, Prairie Plate is the latest chapter in Jerry and Renee Cornett’s story. Jerry and Renee met over 20 years ago when they were both in Navy flight school, training to be helicopter pilots. Renee always had a love for cooking and food, preparing meals for others through her travels. During the years in the Navy, Jerry and Renee traveled around the world, and they tried a wide variety of cuisines and restaurants. When they landed in the Omaha metro area, Renee attended the Institute for Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College.

When their military careers were over, they wanted to start a business of their own. They ultimately went in a direction that capitalizes on Renee’s love of food and cooking. On a lakefront property near Waverly, … Read More

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