Chef Joshua Steven Campbell of the Mayberry restaurant (915 Vine St., Downtown, 513-381-5999) and the Mayberry Foodstuffs grocery store/market (203 Seventh St., Downtown, 513-621-5555) is a native Cincinnatian, but his culinary travels have taken him to far-away places like the Royal Thai Culinary Academy in Bang Saen, Thailand, and Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas.
Hughes High School is a Clifton landmark. The building is indeed remarkable, but what is even more impressive are the students and staff that call the building a second home. The gargoyles keep watch over the exterior, but one woman, principal Ginger Rhodes (and her staff, of course), keeps the interior running like clockwork.
David Taylor’s tastes range from the international to the simplest of comfort food. His home cooking is mostly one-dish suppers made in his grandmother’s cast-iron fried chicken pan. His meals at La Poste are also straight from the heart — honest food like pork shank with white beans and kale.
No one is happier to see signs of spring than locavore chef Julie Francis, chef and owner of Nectar. She’s anticipating the growing season the way most of us wait for Santa Claus, with visions of sugar snap peas dancing through her head.
When the company restructures and you’re suddenly without a job, you might take a chance like Meredith Trombly and Louis Snowden did when they opened a food stall at Findlay Market called Fresh Table, specializing in organic, locally sourced foods. Meredith was the organic food buyer for Bigg’s and Louis was the corporate chef, both for about five years before Remke took over the supermarkets.
Since opening in November 2007, Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar (519 Main St., Covington, 859-491-7777) has been a small, charming bistro where diners always find great seasonal food and excellent wines. Chef/owner Stephen Williams has been one of the leaders in using fresh, local food on his ever-changing menu. Williams creates a new menu at least five times a year and is currently in the process of drafting a spring version.
Relative newcomer to Over-the-Rhine’s Findlay Market scene, Market Wines (market-wines.com) has quickly become a hotspot for knowledgeable wine lovers and neophytes alike. Owner Mike Maxwell talks about Findlay Market and gives us a video crash course on understanding German wines.
Family-owned businesses are few and far between. A family-owned restaurant that has not only survived but also flourished for over 30 years is even more difficult to find. The Wong family makes the recipe for success look effortless: involve the family in all aspects of the business, produce excellent food, staff each restaurant with knowledgeable and dedicated people and build a large clientele.
Zach Weprin, his brother Josh and their friend Stephan Harman — three twentysomethings who grew up together — are business guys. When they started Soho Sushi (28 W. Fourth St., Downtown, 513-421-7646) last year, it wasn’t on a whim. They were hoping to be the next big thing and it looks like they’re headed that way.
When Sierra Laumer’s sister, Jenna, was battling cancer in 2009, the sisters dreamed of opening a restaurant once Jenna was back on her feet. Jenna lost the war in 2010, and Sierra knew she had to make the dream a reality because, all too clearly, life is too short to play it safe. Sierra and her good friend, Leah Heisel, opened ForkHeartKnife
Summer Genetti — the pastry chef at the Palace Restaurant at the Cincinnatian Hotel (601 Vine Street, Downtown; 513-381-6006) — is an incredibly talented woman who loves her work. When I spoke to her at Christmastime, she’d just put together a series of playful “Teddy Bear Teas” for little guests to discover the magic of fancy tea parties. She attributes her creativity and enthusiasm to her “ADD,” but I think it’s a lot more than that. It’s a gift.
Chef Matt Buschle doesn’t like to take the easy way out. Two years ago at the height of the recession as restaurants were closing all over the area, Buschle decided it was a good time to open up his dream restaurant. Virgils Café (710 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, 859-491-3287) has been packed ever since.
Good food that is not pretentious. That’s what owner and chef Shawn McCoy of the Brown Dog Café (5893 Pfeiffer Road, Blue Ash, 513-794-1610) wants to provide for his guests. And with a creative menu served in his cozy Blue Ash restaurant, he does just that.
New music venue/restaurant MOTR Pub is owned by Dan McCabe and Chris Schadler, who have booked up-and-coming bands for various local venues over the years. McCabe also produces the MidPoint Music Festival and the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for CityBeat and plays in the band The Kiss Me Everlasting.
We all know Hathaway’s (306 Vine St., Downtown; 513-621-1332) as the charming diner in the Carew Tower, a mainstay that’s been serving up breakfast and lunch comfort food for over half a century. But what do we know about its newest owner?