ONCE in Valhalla returns to 156 Highland Ave in Somerville on January 23, 2016
Half price presale tickets are on sale now
From May 28 newsletter
Hey there friends!
It’s been al long time since I’ve sat down to write to the Cuisine en Locale mailing list. It used to be me all the time and I worried about you all getting sick of me. Now I am so busy with my hands in everything that I can rarely find the waking time to type, and there are other wonderful folks getting the information to you about what we are doing, where and when.
I think of you all the time though, and I write to you in my head, and I’ve been toying with the idea of a podcast, because no matter how far we have come (and darlings. we have come very, very far) there is still a mighty mountainous mess of a food system to be dealt with in this country, and more and more in every other country as well.
I often find so much right in front of my nose that the big picture gets blurred. That’s when I have to step back and remember why we do what we do. Or even what we do. What is it that we do again? Why, thanks for asking! We purchase food directly from farmers and cook it for busy city people. And why? To support the growth and wellbeing of local farms, with the purpose of repairing our badly broken food systems.
In all of the planning, and cooking and selling, and delivery; when the bags need to be reordered and the art hasn’t been approved, and the sink starts to link; it can get kind of hard to remember that our purpose is what matters. Our heart is with the farmers and the end goal is to make the most beautiful, delicious, nutritious and clean food we can for you.
To that end, chef Sean and I spent a day with a dear friend and she made little jewel like photos of ten of our dishes, and then a photo of them all together, to show you just what the labour of our love looks like: One week worth of all local, seasonal food. Sourced, cooked, and served with true love, to you, on behalf of the farmers who want for us all to have a sustainable future.
This is what puts it all into focus. This is the reality of what we do. I present love in culinary form, as documented by Melina Vanderpile. Please check out her work, and call her for any product photo needs. She gets it. As do you.
It’s art. It’s protest. It’s celebration. And, who knows? It may even be a practical way to get cargo to market.
and come dine with us when the ship comes in!
Check out the upcoming roundtable we will be hosting with our friends who are sailing down from Maine to bring delicious Maine products to the Boston Public Market- join Maine food leaders Marada Cook, Severine v T Fleming, JJ Gonson, Wenzday Jane and more and taste the terroir of Maine in our special Maine taco features, Monday August 31st.
Read more about the Maine Sail Mission in the words of Rivera Sun
Maine Sail Freight Revives A Salty History of Revolution & Independence
by Rivera Sun
In this new millennium marked by the looming threat of transnational trade deals
like the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), The Transatlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), one unusual trade
adventure, Maine Sail Freight will embark on a creative, bold journey as an act of
defiance against business-as-usual. When Maine Sail Freight launches its maiden
voyage at the end of August carrying 11 tons of local, Maine-made cargo, the
Greenhorns – a plucky band of young farmers – and the sailing crew of an historic
wooden schooner are declaring their independence from corporate tyranny and re-
invigorating sail freight as a wind-powered transportation agent of the booming
local food economy.
And, interestingly, they will carry one freight item that has a long history of
revolutionary potential: salt.
Over a hundred years before Gandhi’s independence movement kicked the British
Empire out of India, the American colonies were roundly beating the same empire
using tools of nonviolent action – noncooperation, civil disobedience, boycotts,
strikes, blockades, parallel governments, marches, rallies, and self-reliance
programs. The two independence movements even shared parallel salt campaigns.
Both the American Revolution and the India Self-Rule movement used salt as a tool
of resistance and liberation. Gandhi’s 1930 Salt Satyagraha campaign is famous. The
1776 New England saltworks expansion is virtually unknown. Indeed, the well-
organized, clearly identifiable nonviolent campaigns are often overshadowed by
violence and war in the retelling of revolutionary era history. The research,
however, testifies to the nonviolent campaigns pivotal role in the struggle.
Know your history, as the saying goes. The British certainly should have. In 1930, one
hundred and fifty years after American Independence, Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India,
commented on the brewing salt law resistance saying, ” At present the prospect of a
salt campaign does not keep me awake at night.” Too bad . . . if he had stayed awake,
studying the history of salt, colonial governments, and independence movements, he
might have lost sleep . . . but he wouldn’t have lost India.
Over a century ago, in 1776, the British Empire lost the American colonies over a
famous tax on tea . . . and salt.
Everyone knows the story of the Boston Tea Party – rowdy colonists, incensed by the
tax on tea, dressed up as Indians and stormed Boston Harbor to dump the contents
of a ship carrying import goods into the water. The colonials boycotted tea,
demanding “no taxation without representation”. Less well known is that the tax on
tea also contained a tax on salt. At the time, salt was a necessity of both household
survival and for the economic functionality of the colonial fisheries, which exported
salted fish. There were, however, no saltworks along the lengthy coastlines of North
America. The salt used by the colonists was imported from the British Caribbean.
When the new tax laws were announced in the colonies, the colonists declared they
would boycott imported goods from Britain, refusing to cooperate. Of course, they
didn’t use the term “boycott”, which would not be coined until 1880, when the Irish
rebelled against the land agent Charles C. Boycott.
The colonists rebelled against the tax laws, declaring independence. A crippling
embargo was placed on the colonies, cutting off the supply of imported salt entirely.
In response the Continental Congress placed a “bounty” on salt to encourage the
young nation to build saltworks and produce this essential resource. Cape Cod
responded to the call, even inventing new elements of the salt production process.
They rejected the process of boiling out the water, as it used too many cords of
wood, and instead developed a system of producing salt that used wind power to
haul the seawater to the drying troughs, natural solar power to evaporate the water,
and a unique construction of rolling canvas roofs that would keep the rain out of the
troughs, then pull back on sunny days to allow the light in. The production of salt
increased the Americans self-reliance, lessened their dependence on the empire,
and strengthened their ability to resist British oppression.
These three dynamics – increasing self-reliance, lessening dependence, and
strengthening the ability to resist oppression – are all elements of what Gandhi
would later call “constructive program”. Gandhi employed eighteen different
constructive programs in his movement, one of which was the production of salt.
The 1930 Salt Satyagraha was a powerful demonstration of the two-fold strength of
nonviolent action. In addition to the constructive dynamics, it also utilized the
“obstructive” dynamics of noncooperation and mass civil disobedience, as well as
many acts of protest and persuasion including marches, rallies, picketing, letter
writing, and demonstrations.
The story is simple: the British Empire held a monopoly on the production of salt in
colonial India, operating the saltworks to their own profit and charging the Indians
for the staple. In 1930, Gandhi decided to openly defy the salt laws, inciting
thousands of Indians to make and sell salt, rendering the salt laws unenforceable
through mass noncooperation. Gandhi, as always, added his usual political clarity
and dramatic flair to the undertaking. Where the Americans pragmatically made salt
as a necessity of survival and a tool of self-reliance, Gandhi’s marches, public
announcements, mass disobedience, and inimitable sense of humor made humble
salt the downfall of British authority over India. Gandhi overtly challenged the
British over salt . . . and won.
Today, contemporary struggles revolve not around colonies and crowns, but rather
between citizens and trans-national corporations. The basic lessons of salt still hold
true for modern times. Increase self-reliance. Lessen dependency on oppressors.
Refuse cooperation with injustice. Build parallel institutions. As Maine Sail Freight
travels from Portland to Boston, reinvigorating traditional ocean trade routes, the
participants are also joining the growing popular resistance to global corporate
domination. As history will attest, their success lies in the willingness of the people
to non-cooperate with business-as-usual, and instead participate with the
constructive actions of local, sustainable, and renewable economies. Here’s where to
find out more and join the Portland to Boston adventure.
Rivera Sun is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection, Billionaire Buddha, and
Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, the cohost of Occupy Radio, and the
cofounder of the Love-In-Action Network. She tours nationally speaking and
educating in nonviolent civil resistance. Her essays on social justice movements
appear in Truthout and Popular Resistance. www.riverasun.com
Chas: We’re sitting here on a themed taco night. However, it’s not a Tuesday. But rather, a Monday. What’s up with tacos not on a Tuesday? More like, how did Taco Mondays come to be?
JJ: Partly to be contrarian, mainly to be difficult. We just seem to keep up with anti-promotions on a daily basis. We’re coming up with bad ideas all the time.
We do tacos on a Monday, because Monday is the day we cook and pack our once-a-week meal delivery program, so, we’re here.
It actually started because we did tacos last Cinco de Mayo, which went over well. Funny enough, it was a Monday!
So, we did it again. And people liked it. Then, we just kept doing it.
It coincides that just as we are finishing with putting the program together, and as the kitchen wraps up, we open for dinner.
It stuck, because, obviously, people love tacos.
At this point, we’ve introduced one other really serious, themed night as part of the weekly rotation.
O.N.C.E= One Night Culinary/Creative/Community Events
SOMERVILLE, MA, July 6, 2015–
It’s not quite a restaurant, it’s not quite a bar, what is that place that used to be Anthony’s up on Highland Ave, anyway?
Dave Cagle, the man with a plan behind the bars at Green Street Grill, Lone Star Taco Bar and Trina’s Starlight Lounge knows, and on July 20th, 2015, he is ready to unveil the first part of his vision- The ONCE Lounge.
In Dave’s words, “The ONCE Lounge is a friendly, neighborhood place with extra great food and drinks. You can come in for dinner or just to hang out, shoot some pool and be social.”
The re-branding of the bar spaces at Cuisine en Locale includes draft beer taps, cane-based sodas, and a fresh, new menu of cocktails and mixed drinks at both bars- the upstairs in the Lounge, and in the Ballroom, downstairs.
The Lounge at ONCE will continue to be open on Mondays for taco night at 5pm
The Lounge is also open for food and drinks whenever there is a public event in either room on other nights. Guests can check our events calendar to see what nights we are open.
The new moniker draws on a ten year history of pop-up food events presented by Cuisine en Locale, all of which bear the name ONCE, for One Night Culinary Events. The ONCE Lounge is positioned to be a new neighborhood social gathering place where you will always find great food and drinks, Dave and the Cuisine en Locale team have brought in pool tables, a Ms. PacMan / Galaga machine from 1981 and a CD jukebox, which they are stocking with just the kind of late ‘70’s-90’s punk everyone has come to expect from the Cuisine en Locale crew.
Monday July 20th, which is weekly Taco Night in the ONCE Lounge, is the starting date for the new ONCE Lounge, and will be followed by a series of industry events and a full scale launch party in September.
The big room downstairs, where shows and large events are held, will be established as the ONCE Ballroom at the same time. Both spaces remain available for both public and private events.
Cuisine en Locale, the area’s premiere all-local event hall and caterer
with Dave Cagle of Green Street, and Lone Star Taco Bar Allston..
The unveiling of the ONCE Lounge at Cuisine en Locale
Monday, July 20th, 2015 5pm-10pm.
ONCE (Cuisine en Locale HQ)
156 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
To celebrate the fruits of an excellent creative collaboration with the launching
of a much needed new watering hole and hang-out on Spring Hill
Free. Cash bar with beer and cocktails, food menu items include small plates
for $6-$12 as well as entrees for $18-$25. Tacos on Monday nights are $4 each.
You, your friend, your mother, her brother and anyone else
who is looking for somewhere to get a good drink, delicious locavore food
and a place to hang out with friends.
Dave Cagle is a 15 year veteran of the Boston restaurant scene. A native of Fayetteville, AR he moved to MA in 2000 to tend bar at the legendary B-Side Lounge. After his 8 year stint at the B-Side he went on to become General Manager of Deep Ellum and Lone Star in Allston. More recently he has been spotted behind the bar at local favorites Green Street and Trina’s Starlite Lounge.
Cuisine en Locale was established as a locavore meal delivery, personal chef and caterer in 2005. In 2013 the company moved into 156 Highland Ave, the historic Anthony’s function halls, first licensing the kitchen to continue doing meal delivery and catering jobs, and then opening the halls for event use in February of 2014. Since moving to Highland Ave the company has hosted numerous galas, proms, weddings and music shows in the Ballroom, as well as establishing a weekly Monday night taco night in the Lounge.
Committed “locavores” always, the company is dedicated to using only the best product sourced from regional farms to create delicious and memorable meals all year round. Working directly with farmers and producers, we bring their food to table, making it good for them and the community at large. In addition we offer a meal delivery program called ONCE a Week, bringing healthy, ready-to-eat meals to busy folks.
Please contact JJ for more details, photos or interview requests.
If you have been in to eat in the Lounge at 156 Highland Ave, you may have noticed that we have been offering housecured wild Bristol Bay Salmon, which is from Alaska, on our menu. And you may have thought, “HEY! Wait. Alaskan salmon is in no way local to Massachusetts! What’s up, “locavores”?” Well, I’m glad you asked, cuz this is really important to me, and I’ve been dying to tell you…
In Alaska there is a place that I have only seen in photos, called Bristol Bay. It is the home to many people who fish for their livelihoods as well as their basic sustenance. It is also vital to the the last remaining wild salmon run that is hearty enough to be commercially fished.
Yes, you read that right. If you are eating salmon that is not wild AK it is farmed. I don’t care if it is called “Wild Atlantic Salmon” on the sign at Whole Foods, that is the name of the type of fish. Most of the stuff we see over here is farmed, and that is a whole other conversation about sustainability and ocean toxification.
Save that, let’s get back to Bristol Bay.
Unfortunately for the fishermen and the fish, Bristol Bay sits on top of an ungodly amount of copper and gold, and there are mining companies who want to blow the place apart to get at those “valuable resources”. The Pebble Mine company has fought long and hard to dig there, and so far has been sort of held back by a variety of studies and restraints put in place by the EPA as summonsed up by the people of Bristol Bay.
Regardless of those restraints, the “valuable resources” remain down there, and the companies who want them will keep trying to prove that they have a better case.
This is where you and I come in. We are not in Alaska. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to Alaska, and I’d like to go, but it’s not going to be soon. Although we over here are not really aware of what is going on over there, there are lots of interested lobbyists who go to politicians in states far away from Alaska and convince them that the EPA is putting restrictions on their mining activities that will compromise the growth of industry, limit jobs, etc. They put pressure on those politicians to support bills that will limit the EPA’s ability to suppress the mining companies progress in any situation, including Bristol Bay.
Do you see where I’m going here?
I’ll get to the point. If Pebble Mine succeeds it will wipe out the last remaining wild salmon run in the country. Maybe in the world, if you look closely. Salmon cannot survive the level of disturbance and pollution that will be caused by the mine. It will be the WORLDS BIGGEST copper and gold mine. The fish do not have a chance. This pisses me off. The ocean is a mess, and getting worse, and this is a really obvious moment to come to the defense of the fish. I cheered when the EPA slowed this project down, and a major investor dropped out, but that was just a little band aid. It matters that people in North Carolina and Massachusetts know what is going on in Alaska because the ocean is everywhere and this affects everyone. You can help by buying wild Alaskan salmon, by telling people about wild Alaskan salmon and by watching out for bills that will reduce the right of the EPA to stop progress on projects that will create environmental disasters.
There is an organization that is well named to help us remember this call to action. It is “Eat Wild, Save Wild”. I am asking you to recognize the importance of the problems we are creating in our food systems everywhere, and to eat local, think global, and sometimes that means acting global too.
If you would like to dig deeper you can do that here:
and I absolutely encourage you to watch the movie Breach to learn more about this important topic. http://www.thebreachfilm.com
Coming to our event space at 156 Highland Ave in Somerville on April 19, we are very excited to present The Juliana Hatfield Three with guests, Potty Mouth.
We will be serving all local fare in the ONCE Lounge starting at 5pm.
Ballroom opens at 7pm
Potty Mouth 8pm
Juliana Hatfield Three 9pm
Tickets are on sale now for $20 in advance
Tickets will be available for $25 at the door after 4pm on the day of show
All ages, 21+ with positive ID to drink
…over at the Somerville Armory and our friend Michael Docter is there again with his amazing root vegetables! Michael is the owner of Winter Moon Roots, a farm where they grow the sweetest, most beautiful roots this side of the Mississippi.
Stop by the Armory on Saturdays this winter to say hello, sample a carrot, and snag a radish or three. He’s got a CSA pick up at Clover, too!
Super delicious food is always a good way to go and our ONCE a Week Gift Certificates make a great stocking stuffer!
For your friends who already have their cooking down, there are a couple cool fairs to check out.