Posts Tagged: Amina Harris
How about “A Taste of Mead and Honey?”
That’s even better!
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is planning a "Mid-Winter Beekeepers Feast: A Taste of Mead and Honey" on Saturday, Feb. 8 in the foyer of the Sensory Building, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
The gala, one-of-a-kind event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will include appetizers, drinks, salad, main course, cheese course with honey comb, and dessert and mead flight.
Amina Harris, executive director of the UC Honey and Pollination Center, teases us with: “It is early February. Pink and white buds are peeking out on the burnished branches of the almond trees all over central California. Bees come out to bask in the warmth of the afternoon sun following the dark, cool days of winter. They gather pollen and nectar to begin building their strength and their colony for the coming year. Each evening they return to the warmth of the hive.”
Wait, there’s more.
“Our night will begin with sparkling mead cocktails and end with a mead flight, guided by Darrell Corti. Music, a silent auction, and great food will fill the evening.”
Great food? Indeed! Check out the menu, the kind you’d find at a five-star restaurant.
Cracked Dungeness crab on Belgian endive, and shitake mushroom soup shots.
Sparkling mead, sparkling water and wine pairings with each course
Navel and blood oranges over winter greens and tupelo honey vinaigrette
Roasted lamb shank with dried fruit and rosemary infused sage honey, polenta squares with tomato and mushroom ragout, and oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with thyme butter
Cheese Cream with Honey Comb:
Honey comb paired with Laura Chenel Orange Blossom Chevre, and Point Reyes Blue and Manchego cheeses
Dessert and Mead Flight:
Three select meads, Häagen-Dazs Honey Vanilla Ice Cream, and old-fashioned butter cookies with pistachios
Designing the menu: Ann Evans, nationally known consultant in consumer food and agricultural education and founder of Slow Food Yolo County, and chef Mani Niall of the Sweet Bar Bakery, Oakland, and author of “Covered in Honey” and “Sweet." The Buckhorn of Winters is catering the event.
Tickets will be available Ded. 2 at http://rmi.ucdavis.edu/events. Single tickets are $125, and table for eight, $1250. (Contact Amina Harris at email@example.com or Tracy Disslin at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Is it February yet?
When February arrives, honey bees will be out pollinating the almonds. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
There also could be a "u" in mead, as in "you."
There's definitely a honey bee, as without the bee and the honey, there's no mead.
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, headed by executive director Amina Harris and headquartered at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, is planning a mead-making short course, billed as "the first of its kind in the country."
The event, "Mead-Making Short Course: From Honey to the Shelf," will take place Feb. 6-8, 2014 at RMI.
What is mead, you ask?
It's the world's oldest alcoholic beverage. "It's a fermented blend of pure honey and water," Harris says. Sometimes mead makers also add fruits and spices to produce a dry, semi-sweet, sweet or even a sparkling mead.
Mead, says Harris, is "the golden libation of the Norse gods, a staple throughout the Middle Ages." It's now making a comeback in the United States. More than 150 meaderies belong to the American Mead Makers' Association, according to president Chris Webber.
The UC Davis short course has engaged the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology and some of the country’s leading mead makers and experts.
“I met, Frank Golbeck, a fledgling mead maker, at a conference this past spring," Harris recalled. Golbeck asked if she could "put together a seminar of some sort could be put together for mead makers like him." Harris began pursuing the possibilities as soon as she returned to campus.
Since then, Harris has worked with Professor Dave Block, chair of the Viticulture and Enology Department, to create a program that will take participants from tasting and buying honey, right through the process including fermentation and filtration." Specialists will present the sensory aspects of mead: smells and taste, defects and texture. Also planned is a tour of the world’s first LEED Platinum winery at RMI.
“Once we had the program fleshed out, I began to contact the movers and shakers in the mead industry," Harris related. "With their help, we tweaked the initial plan and added some special tastings, educational panels and information about the current state of the honey bee and beekeeping.” International wine expert and local personality Darrell Corti will help lead a mead tasting to teach what to look for in a finished product.
As of mid-October, 20 persons have registered. They span the United States: Alaska, New Hampshire, Florida, California, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, and Colorado.
The Honey and Pollination Center's mission is to showcase the importance of honey and pollination through education and research. The Center works with the agricultural, beekeeping and food service industries. The stakeholders include growers, grocers, chefs and students.
Meanwhile, the year-old Center continues to be quite active. On behalf of the Center, the UC Davis Bookstore is selling Northern California wildflower honey and pollinator note cards.
Another project is to develop a Honey Tasting and Aroma Wheel. “As more and more people become interested in artisanal and varietal honeys, it is believed the Center could help them understand the depth and flavors of honey," Harris said. "The wheel will be a terrific education opportunity."
Additionally, the Center plans to develop a Master Beekeeping course offered through UC Davis.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn how to make mead, you can register for the short course for $425 before Dec. 1, 2013 and $500 afterwards. The program includes classes, tours and most meals. To enroll, access rmi.ucdavis.edu/events or email Harris at email@example.com for more information.
Want to friend the Center on Facebook? Go to https://www.facebook.com/UcDavisHoneyAndPollinationCenter.
Mead! It all begins with the honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Amina Harris, executive director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, displayed honey and note cards at the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' 25th annual College Celebration. The photos on the note cards were donated by Kathy Keatley Garvey.
The buzz around UC Davis is about "The Wings of Life."
The Disneynature film, narrated by Meryl Streep, will be part of the "Evening of Inspiration" on Wednesday, July 24 at the UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane.
Sponsoring the event, to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., is the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, headquartered in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
The film, a French-American documentary about the precarious relationship between pollinators and flowers, is billed as a "Davis premier." It will be shown starting at 7:30 p.m. at the UC Davis Conference Center, said Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center. A discussion by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg will follow. The conversation promises to be lively, inspirational and educational as the film focuses on such pollinators as bees, butterflies and bats.
Prior to the showing, guest will gather at 6:30 for honey tasting; music by Terry Press-Dawson; and education by pollinators.org. The UC Davis School of Education will co-sponsor the event.
The cost is $5 per person, with online registration encouraged. For online registration and more information, go to https://registration.ucdavis.edu/Item/Details/83.
That's the buzz around UC Davis!
Oregano is a favorite of honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
(Editor's Note: This luncheon has been postponed until October 2013. Details forthcoming)
The buzz around the UC Davis campus is a June luncheon.
Not just any luncheon, but "A Luncheon in the Garden."
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, directed by Amina Harris, is gearing up for the event, to be held Saturday, June 2 from noon to 3 p.m. in the UC Davis Good Life Garden, by the Robert Mondavi Center for Institute for Wine and Food Science.
Its purpose is to introduce and support the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center to the community. As Harris describes it: "A dazzling five-course meal will be served, from appetizers to cheese and desserts. Each course features honeys from around the globe. Food and drink created by chefs, apiaries, wineries and meaderies and the farmers of California."
Sponsorship of this event supports the mission of the Honey and Pollination Center. It will:
- Promote the use of high quality honey in the California market, help ensure the sustainability of honey production in California, and showcase the importance of honey and pollination to the well-being of Californians.
- Spearhead efforts to gain support and assemble teams for research, education and outreach programs for various stakeholder groups including:
--The beekeeping industry
--Agricultural interests who depend on bee pollination
Tickets are $125 per person. A limited number of tickets is available. "A Luncheon in the Garden" promises not only to usher in June, but provide honey and mead enthusiasts and food connoisseurs with a day to remember. The last day to register is May 24. For more information, contact events manager Tracy Diesslin at (530) 752-5233 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matched pair: Honey bees on blanket flower (Gaillardia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Amina Harris of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center will, too. She's offering honey tasting, along with arts and crafts for kids, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the south building of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI).
And both are free.
Mussen will greet folks from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Briggs Hall courtyard as they sample manzanita, pomegranate, lima bean, orange blossom, almond blossom and northern desert shrub (from Nevada) honey. He's coordinated the honey tasting for more than three decades.
Over at the RMI, visitors can sample honey, take a photo with a bee lady, make a cute bee that doubles as a handheld fan, buy a jar of honey, and buy notecards (yours truly donated the photos for this worthy cause).
Not to be outdone, staff research associate/beekeeper Billy Synk of the Department of Entomology's Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility will provide a bee observation hive in Room 122 of Briggs Hall. Folks can single out the queen and distinguish the worker bees (females) from the drones (males).
It promises to be a sweet day.
(And, oh, by the way, if you want to taste more honey flavors, be sure to register for the Honey and Pollination Center's "Luncheon in the Garden" on June 2 at RMI.)
A frame of honey in the apiary of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Beekeeper Brian Fishback of Wilton shows his daughter, Emily, a bee observation hive. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)