Kurt Michael Friese

Kurt Michael Friese is chef/owner of Devotay in Iowa City, serves on the Slow Food USA Board of Directors, and is editor-in-chief of the magazine Edible Iowa River Valley. He is the author of two books, including A Cook's Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland and Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots on the Chile Trail (which he co-authored with Gary Nabhan and Kraig Kraft). He lives with his wife Kim in rural Johnson County.

Fork in the road

Let’s (re)do school lunch

Are corndogs a vegetable? There has been a cultural revolution in this country over the last 50 to 75 years, a sort of intellectual cleansing that has removed from most people’s minds any understanding of …

Andalucia in a bowl

From southern Spain, the king of summer soups

Spanish steps to the perfect summer soup.Like Penelope Cruz, my restaurant has a Spanish accent. I can’t quite say “theme,” because the menu is far from 100 percent Spanish; but we focus on tapas and …

Catch my drift?

With a gust of wind, an Iowa crop duster can squash an organic farm

A crop duster in action.Photo: Roger Smith via FlickrGrinnell Heritage Farm is 152 years old. Andrew Dunham is the fifth generation of his family to work this land about 50 miles east of Des Moines. …

Lunch-hour follies

As GOP politicians take the school-lunch debate to new lows, perk up with berry ice cream

Stick a spork in it: Is this really the best we can do?Photo: bookgrlA few years ago I was asked to serve on the Wellness Committee that was being formed by the Iowa City School …

Little feast on the prairie

From grass to grill, a Midwestern farm struts its stuff — and dishes up delicious lamb chops

The chefs of “Lambstravaganza.”The best part about my work with Slow Food USA is getting to experience new people, places, and especially great foods. Such was the case this past weekend as I traveled to …

Slicing and dicing reality

From “local” Lays to Oprah’s KFC promo, hypocrisy abounds in the food world

War is peace, junk food is real food….Nobody likes hypocrites, despite the fact that everyone is a hypocrite to one degree or another: the smoker who tells her kids not to smoke; the closeted politician …

Farm team

In the lush dirt of Iowa, community grows alongside veggies

ZJ Farms: Everyone’s a farmhandI had the pleasure the other day of visiting ZJ Farms, the anchor of Local Harvest CSA, which is one of the biggest in the area. Farmer (and pillar of the …

Ultra-Healthy or Overindulgent?

What we eat when we eat alone

My dear friend Deborah Madison has created a delightful book called What We Eat When We Eat Alone, an investigation into some of our most intimate moments.  When no one is looking, no one is …

Sorrel of the story

From a zingy spring herb, a soup for sipping on the porch

Leaves of sassbeckyannisonGardeners and gastronomes fawn over sorrel — and almost everyone else ignores it. That’s a shame. An early-spring green with brash lemony flavor that comes from an abundance of oxalic acid, sorrel is …

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