Jane Milliman is the editor-in-chief and owner of (585) magazine. (585) launched in 2013 and is the only city-regional magazine dedicated to covering food and drink, arts, culture, people, and destinations in the six counties of the Greater Rochester area. Milliman additionally started the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal magazine in 1995 that provides valuable resources and guidance to home gardeners in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca and beyond! We hope you enjoy her responses to our foodie Frequently Asked Questions.
Edible Finger Lakes: What is the most interesting thing you always keep in your fridge?
Sparkling wine. It’s so much easier to throw an impromptu party when you have chilled bubbly on hand. Actually, when I bought my house a few years ago, I was thrilled that it came with a refrigerator with a special, separately controlled, pull-out beverage drawer. It’s always stocked.
EFL: What’s the last meal you cooked for yourself?
Flank steak marinated in oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic, plus a baked potato and broccoli. It’s a fairly standard dinner for me.
EFL: What’s the one kitchen tool you couldn’t live without?
My Dutch oven! You can sauté, stew, roast, make a casserole … even bake a Yorkshire pudding in that thing.
EFL: What’s the one food or beverage you couldn’t live without?
This is very odd, but I could exist on mostly peanuts. Roasted, unsalted peanuts in the shell. I used to worry that they were too high in calories, but then I realized if I ate less of everything else, it was not a problem.
EFL: What was the first Finger Lakes wine/beer/spirit you ever tasted?
Gosh, I have no idea. I can tell you, though, when I first started paying attention. It was a few years ago when I had recently taken over as editor at (585) magazine and one of our writers and I wanted to do a big wine issue. I didn’t know very much about wine, but two somms (Chris Grocki and Steve Keller) ran this Monday wine group for restaurant professionals at Apogee in Rochester that they let us crash for several months. It was amazing—I learned so much. And there I discovered Finger Lakes dry Rieslings. Yum.
EFL: If you could add one item to the Finger Lakes food shed that doesn’t grow here, what would it be?
EFL: What does it mean to you to be a part of the Finger Lakes food shed?
It’s wonderful to be able to live in an area of such bounty. The first time I really grasped the farm-to-table concept I was driving down to Ithaca with my boyfriend and he spotted this tiny little restaurant in Trumansburg called Hazelnut Kitchen. He’s a sucker for any restaurant that has the words “kitchen” or “bistro” in its name, and also he liked the curtains. On our way back we stopped for dinner and I was completely stunned that the kitchen could turn out such magnificence using only local ingredients—especially in the off-season. Since then, of course, I’ve discovered many more such places, and it’s always a thrill, but Hazelnut is the gold standard for me.
The FLX FAQs is a semi-regular column where we nose our way into the minds and kitchens of notable people in the Finger Lakes. Click here for more of The FLX FAQs.