Good To-Go’s Thai Curry was honored with Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Snow Award 2014, the most prestigous award in the outdoor industry, given annually to products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials, and performance. So if you’ve had the Thai Curry you should know this award is well deserved.
When founders Chef Jennifer & David Koorits first heard they were receiving this award, Jen said she just about fainted! And who wouldn’t? Not even a year in production and one of her meals won this high honor.
Good To-Go launched in Spring 2014, by husband and wife team David Koorits and Chef Jennifer Scism. Jen is an award winning chef and long-time co-owner of Annisa, a nationally recognized restaurant in Manhattan. Jen has cooked at NY Times 4-star rated restaurants, traveled to over 20 countries studying regional foods, and along with her team from Annisa, has beaten the Iron Chef, Mario Batali, on the TV Food Network’s Iron Chef program. She clearly knows good food!
Although it may still be sinking in for Jen how big this award actually is to the outdoor industry, she feels good that people do like her cooking and want to eat better in the outdoors. David’s reaction was more about pure excitement and a feeling of affirmation for all the hard work they’ve done, especially all the hard work Jen put in to create such amazing products. He’s been in the outdoor industry for a while and has always used the Backpacker Magazine award issue as a “bible for great gear”.
Jen spent a lot of time in Thailand and fell in love with the amazing food and people. She would often cook her Thai Curry recipe at home with David, but it did not translate the same once it was dehydrated. “There isn’t a cookbook on how to dehydrate full meals, so it’s been a process of trial and error” says Jen. She must have gone through 4 or 5 curry pastes before developing the one used now in the recipe. Although the process was challenging, her intentions were to always have a true Thai flavor as well as use vegetables you could identify even after rehydration.
The Thai Curry is obviously working with its amazing flavors and aromas. “The depth of fresh, complex flavor is unprecedented for a dehydrated meal: says Kristin Hostetter, Gear Editor for Backpacker.
So what does this mean for Good To-Go?
“It’s so exciting, we’re actually on the map much sooner than we ever believed was possible” says Jen. David would have to agree “It’s a recognition which will hopefully increase the number of people we can provide great meals for in the outdoors”. It’s always been about real food for real adventure.
At the 2014 Outdoor Retail Summer Show in August, Jen and David were presented with the award, but it still could not be made public knowledge.
But now they can truly celebrate.
Carrying your kitchen: weighing the options for backcountry dining
VERMONT — Going camping and trying to figure out what to bring for food for a multiple-day trip? Here’s a few ideas for adventurers heading out on hikes, kayak tours or even car-camping throughout the Green Mountains, White Mountains or Adirondacks.
If you’re planning on camping with your car close-by, settle for nothing less than a large, two-burner camp stove from companies like Coleman or Primus. Camping here in New England also offers the opportunity to cook over open fires, an activity that is banned in most areas of the West because of high fire danger. Many area sites include fire rings with large, foldable grates you can cook on.
Otherwise, if you’re moving light and fast through the backcountry, your culinary experience will be more limited, but you don’t have to sacrifice variety and spice. Your ability to have hot meals will be determined by your ability to boil water quickly. To that end, backpacking stoves have advanced a long way in recent years, with models from Jetboil and MSR that can boil water in two and four minutes, respectively.
So without going through the very basics, here are a few lightweight options. Some are:
It’s been a long day and the last meal in the twilight hours is an opportunity to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair stressed muscles and recharge its energy supplies. If you’re settled into a camp or a shelter, this is when you can be a little more indulgent with the time it takes to prepare and cook your meal. In many recipes, the mixing and chopping can be done at home and stored in Ziploc bags before you reach the campsite.
Speaking of camp meals
Since the advent of dehydrated foods, the array of meals in compact envelopes has exploded. If you can name a meal it’s probably available in a meal that satisfies astronauts and campers alike. Traditionally, meals in pouches are more expensive than preparing your meals yourself and they also pack a serious dose of sodium. That said, these options can cook in as quickly as eight minutes.
Jennifer Scism, an accomplished chef who previously co-owned a successful restaurant in New York City and co-owner of a new company Good To-Go, based in Kittery, Me., sent Vermont Sports a few of her latest creations, including penne pasta with marinara sauce, smoked three bean chili, herbed mushroom risotto and Thai curry.
Scism has been able to dial down the high sodium found in other camp meals and traded it for a slightly longer cook time. Preparation for her meals is spent entirely boiling one and a half cups of water and adding an accompanying seasoning packet. Pour the boiling water into the pouch, seal it and wait 20 minutes. For a meal in a foil pouch, 20 minutes is a long time to sit and wait, but consider it time to pitch a tent, chart your course for tomorrow or watch a sunset. It’s worth the wait, as it’s one of the better dehydrated packets we’ve ever sampled.
Slightly Less than Roughing It
CAR CAMPING DONE RIGHT
By JASON HEATON on 9.9.14 Photo by GISHANI
Car camping is all about possibilities, whether it’s in the Adirondacks out East, the lakes of the Midwest or the empty spaces of the BLM land out West. Getting to a campsite on four wheels means you can take along a mountain bike, kayaks, hardcover pulp fiction and a cooler of microbrews. This is the camping you remember from childhood — a hissing propane lantern, creaky camp chairs and someone strumming a guitar. You’ll still go hard by day: bag a peak, bomb some single-track, kayak some whitewater. But instead of climbing into a mummy bag in a claustrophobic backpacking tent afterward, you’re listening to Pink Floyd on a bluetooth speaker and rewarding your efforts with a cold one.
I used to think of car camping as cheating. If you didn’t get to a campsite under your own power — by paddle, snowshoes, bicycle or on foot — you were a pansy, a mere weekend warrior. Driving a car to a campsite was for the lazy and the unadventurous. One bad experience lying awake listening to a neighboring RV generator all night and I swore off drive-in campsites for good. But my recent weekend trip to the bluff country of northeastern Iowa has made me reconsider.
GETTING TO A CAMPSITE ON FOUR WHEELS MEANS YOU CAN TAKE ALONG A MOUNTAIN BIKE, KAYAKS, HARDCOVER PULP FICTION AND A COOLER OF MICROBREWS.
We loaded up a couple of kayaks and almost as much gear as the 1953 Everest expedition; instead of Sherpas, we weighed down our trusty Volvo and aimed south. My expectations were low. I figured we’d get a good paddle in and a few beers and be home in time for Masterpiece Mystery on Sunday night. But we managed to find a campsite not far from a kayak put-in on the Upper Iowa River, string up a hammock, pitch the tent and set out for a day of paddling. I felt potential here.
The river was still high from record rainfalls weeks earlier, and we dodged strainers and eddies while gazing at the towering limestone bluffs in this anomalous corner of an otherwise flat state. We paddled until almost sunset, then shuttled the boats back up to our campsite. A few other campers had found the same spot, but my fears of sharing space with a bloated RV were allayed by the quiet murmur from another tent and the crackle of a campfire. We set to work prepping dinner and downing the first beers, well earned after a sunburned paddle. I used the massive cooler they came from, ice cold, as a chair. The sweet corn we bought at the roadside stand was blackening nicely on the grill and the rice was done. That battered picnic table I scoffed at earlier was a welcome place to tuck into our meal (with a full arsenal of proper utensils) and became the arena for a few fierce hands of five-card stud before we decided to turn in. As I laid on my back inside the cool, huge tent, I could hear the gurgling of the river and the chorus of crickets and muted laughter from the next campsite. Loads of gear, easy setup, the great outdoors: this wasn’t so bad after all.
Read on for reviews of the best car camping gear…
GOOD-TO-GO DEHYDRATED FOOD
Sure, car camping means you can bring enough ingredients for a full-on feast, but sometimes you want a one-bag course to go with your brats and corn. The trouble is, a lot of dehydrated camping food tastes like sawdust and has scary preservatives to satisfy the Doomsday Preppers crowd. Good-to-Go foods have ingredient lists that read like a recipe you’d make at home. We put the brand to the real test by trying one of their gluten-free vegetarian offerings, a pasta with red sauce, and found it downright delicious.
See more at: http://gearpatrol.com/2014/09/09/best-car-camping-gear/?read_single=1
Gourmet chef Jennifer Scism takes fresh produce to create her four Good To-Go food offerings and then dehydrates them for your camping or trail enjoyment. Select from Herbed Mushroom Risotto, Smoked Three Bean Chili, Thai Curry and Classic Marinara with Penne. Now there’s no reason you have to leave good food behind when you hit the trail.
We tried the Herbed Mushroom Risotto and Thai Curry while camping in Yosemite. The only prep is to boil some water which we did over our BioLite Stove. So easy to prepare, open the bag, remove the oxygen absorber, add a cup of boiling water (varies with the meal) and reseal. Now the hard part – wait 20 minutes – then open and eat. Really that simple – but so tasty.
This was one of the products we featured during the 2014 Outdoor Retailers Show earlier this year, and we wanted to double back and present those items that actually turned out to be as good as we thought they would be. Now that they’ve stood up during our road trips, we can recommend them unequivocally.
POSTED BY DOUG BARDWELL ON SEP 23, 2014 see more at: http://dougbardwell.com/db/
THIS JUST IN…
Four years ago, sommelier and Iron Chef winner Jennifer Scism co-owned a successful restaurant in Greenwich Village. Then she moved to Maine, took to the trails, and discovered that existing just-add-water meal options didn’t quite measure up to Manhattan’s fine dining standards. So she started crafting her own with a food dehydrator. That led to Good To-Go,which brings Scism’s inspired treats to ravenous backpackers with refined palates. Simply add boiling water, seal the package for 20 minutes, and eat. One forkful of Thai Curry reminded my taste buds of a trip to Southeast Asia. A muddy camp kitchen lit by headlamp took on the sheen of a candlelit dinner under the stars thanks to the rich, creamy flavors of the Herbed Mushroom Risotto with basil pesto. (Good To-Go also makes Smoked Bean Three Chili and Classic Marinara with Penne.) And unlike most of the glorified MREs you see on camp store shelves, these are no salty gut bombs: All of Good To-Go’s meals are gluten-free; many are vegetarian (Scism hand selects fresh veggies to dehydrate); and Scism complements her masterly skills with whole spices. Voilá! Trail cuisine, elevated. 7 oz. per meal; $9.75–$10.75;goodto-go.com
On an August backpacking trip gone awry, my group got lost in a forest thick with the sharp ends of beetle-killed pines. We beat through walls of branches to discover cliffs and quagmires, but never a route to camp. And when my friend tried to save a misstep on a slick boulder, she dislocated a shoulder—then grimly popped it back in on her own. Helpless to ease the dull ache of my friend’s freshly torqued shoulder, I set out to mend group morale with Pat’s Backcountry Beverages.
Here’s how the system works: prime the Carbonator Bottle with an Activator Packet—a mix of citric acid and potassium bicarbonate—and add filtered water and syrupy beer concentrate in the 20-ounce container. Shake for two minutes, let it settle, and pour a nicely frothed pint of the sweetly hoppy Pale Rail (5.2% ABV) or dark, malty Black Hops (6.1% ABV), both brewed with Cascade hops. Each packet weighs 2.1 ounces and the custom container doubles as a water bottle. The takeaway? A 12-pack requires less pack space than a Nalgene. Any beer tastes good after near-crisis in the backcountry. But this group all lives in Colorado, where a robust microbrew scene cultivates beer snobs. We all agreed Pat’s was better than merely quaffable; the reconstituted beer impressed the skeptics and earned a permanent spot on my packing list.$49.95 for Carbonator Bottle Starter Kit; $9.99 for Brew Concentrate 4-Pack; patsbcb.com
Jennifer Scism didn’t want to go backpacking anymore, she told her husband David Koorits. Not if she had to keep eating freeze-dried camping food.
Jennifer was active, but not outdoorsy when she met David six years ago in Maine. He’d traveled the world backpacking, climbing and mountaineering. She was a chef who trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and owned Annisa, a nationally recognized New York City restaurant.
Together, Jennifer and David began adventuring in the backcountry. Their excursions evolved from day trips to lasting a few days to a week, and suddenly they worried about how much weight they were carrying. So they got lighter gear and switched to freeze-dried meals instead of carrying fresh ingredients.
Jennifer loved exploring and seeing new places. She loved escaping, leaving email, phones and work behind for days or even weeks at a time. But as a chef—one who had cooked at four star restaurants and beaten Mario Batali on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef”—she couldn’t abide by the freeze dried food.
Rather than give up their love of outdoor adventure, about three years ago Jennifer began dehydrating meals for camping. She picked her favorite comfort foods like Thai curry, and soon Jennifer and David’s meals were the envy of their friends and trip companions.
The meals they made for themselves and their friends was the start of Good To-Go, a company that makes healthy dehydrated meals for camping, that are so delicious that some people make them for lunch and dinner at home, David said. Dehydrated food, as opposed to freeze-dried, doesn’t get mushy and allows Jennifer to use high quality ingredients.
“I don’t know why more people don’t dehydrate,” David said. “We’re inventing this process.”
Good To-Go currently offers four meals. In addition to the Thai curry, there’s classic marinara with penne pasta, herbed mushroom risotto and smoked three bean chili. All three are Jennifer’s favorite dishes and by chance, since milk and cheese don’t dehydrate well, most are vegan and gluten free. However, the company just recently got its approval to start using meat and will be adding some more protein to the meals.
Jennifer prepares the meals in a commercial kitchen the couple built when she started a catering company near their home in Maine. The food is already sold by about 50 retailers and also available online. But even as the company grows, it stays true to important values. The meals are lightweight and packable for extended trips in the backcountry.
“And the number one thing is taste,” David said. “This is what we eat so it’s gotta be good.”
See more at: http://www.garagegrowngear.com/healthy-dehydrated-meals-for-camping/