Eating the Tree of Life @ NYS Museum

Last night the Almost Foodies crew went on a field trip to the State Museum for the month long Wednesday night series of Eating the Tree of Life. Awesome premise, no? To celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and 150th anniversary of his theory of evolution published, the museum is cooking up and serving samples of the tree of life!
Let me say – I am SO down with cooking up the tree of life. It is a delicious tree.

Yesterday’s presentation was on Vertebrates – meaning everything with a spine. First off – have a snack before you go. I mean it. We usually eat dinner later in the night, so I didn’t think there would be a problem, but as soon as I walked in, I was hit with the wonderful smells of cookery. I almost started gnawing on my chair midway through the presentations.


It’s like Alton Brown and Good Eats on crack. Smells filling the air, preparation behind presentation, all rolled into a ball of wonderful to excite the senses.

They’ve teamed up biologists with local chefs to give presentations on the subject. The creator of the Eating the Tree of Life series, Dr. Roland Kays (Curator of Mamals, which we all decided was possibly the best title ever) was the presenting biologist, and Chef Tony Destratis of the Lake George Club was the presenting chef. Both were excellent lecturers, although I zoned out a bit crossing my fingers for the first sample they handed out to the audience…

Ox tails.

Made earlier in the day and cooked to yumminess.

Thankfully we got some. All of us Almost Foodies were whispering “C’mon! Over here! Please, please, please, please, please…” and we got some samples to share. OMG. I need to make my own ox tails. I love you Chef Tony Destratis.

They also demonstrated frogs (frog leg gumbo), fish (cubed cooked salmon with cured meat (freakin gooo-ood) and gravlox (really freakin good), and… now I can’t remember… Darn you memory! I wasn’t even drinking last night, so my memory is just crap. Was there one more I am forgetting?

All I know is it was an awesome program. The auditorium really filled up a little after it started, and I can’t wait to check it out again next week. They switched the schedule up a bit, so Plants is next week. Tasty, tasty plants.

7 comments
  1. jmp said:

    I’m definitely going next week.

  2. aww crap! I’m gonna be sunning myself on a beach and can’t go. Have some yum plants for me : )

  3. ellie said:

    When is plants? Cos I love eating plants!

  4. renee said:

    those oxtails were best meat i’ve ever eaten in my whole life! omg!that was a super fun adventure! i still need to look at my photos. i’m guessing they look a lot like yours.see ya next week!

  5. jmp – sweetphairhead – thanks. Thanks a bunch. I just had a dream about being on a beach last night! 😉ellie – Next weds! renee – Yes they SO were. I think there needs to be an oxtails party.

  6. ellie said:

    I get out of work at 6pm, but could actually leave at 5 if the stars align. We should go together!

  7. Thanks for the kind review. I just posted a video with some highlights on youtube. Note that this week, Feb 11th, is plant-day.

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