Food & Wine magazine has named two of Cincinnati’s finest young chefs as runners-up for the title of "Most Talented New Chef in America." Daniel Wright of Senate (and Abigail Street) and José Salazar of The Palace are both outstanding, talented chefs who do Cincinnati proud and can truly hold their own against the other eight Great Lakes nominees — seven from Chicago and one from Indianapolis. Since this is a People's Choice award, you can cast a ballot and help bring home this worthwhile recognition of our local dining scene.
Here's a link to the voting, and may the best chef win!
The grilled cheese-n-tomato soup gods at Tom + Chee are no strangers to the spotlight. Since its inception in 2009 as a food tent on Fountain Square, the comfort food joint has gone on to expand to two permanent locations and has been featured on Man vs. Food Nation and Amazing Eats. They even boast a food challenge called The Baker's Dozen: a mad dash to consume a tray full of their famous grilled cheese donuts. So what's next for Tom + Chee? A reality show, apparently.
The restaurant has been teasing the idea via social media and today released a video previewing the show:
Sure, it's a little cheesy (but what else would you expect from a restaurant with the diary ingredient in its name?) and lacking in the production/sound department, but I'm admittedly an automatic fan of all things T+C.
It's a great message to share — small-time businesses really can become successful even in a crappy economy. And with fun characters like Andre, it certainly won't be a boring show. Speaking of, did we just discover Golden Voice 2.0? Entertainment Tonight, are you watching?
Keep your eyes peeled for more Tom + Chee updates, and keep your belly filled with their delicious creations.
Sushi Bears, located in Findlay Market’s Historic Market House, offers Indian and sushi cooking classes for $80 per couple. Led by experienced chefs, the classes for two show proper cooking techniques and dissolve the mystiques surrounding Indian/Asian food cuisines over an hour and a half. You get to choose between the two cuisines and (of course!) there are vegetarian and vegan options for both — just be sure to tell the chef when you schedule your class.
In an effort to curb the copious amounts of money I spend on Indian take-out every month, I opted to take my date to the Indian food class. I scheduled our cooking class on a Wednesday; Findlay is pretty calm during the week (I wouldn’t recommend the weekend because it’s busier and noisier), and coupled with the warm weather, the mood was perfect. Inspired by the market’s intimate atmosphere, I was ready to get down on some good cooking.
We walked up to the counter and our chef was getting the food and tools together, ready to teach. With five years of Indian cuisine cooking experience under his belt, Chef Joshua Stewart was knowledgeable, funny and he (somehow) made cooking Indian food seem effortless.
Over the course of 75 minutes we learned about different spices and ingredients used in popular Indian dishes, how to prepare those ingredients and how to make paneer cheese. By the end of the class we made three different dishes: saag paneer (a creamy spinach dish topped with Indian cheese), golden curry (a base sauce used in around half of all Indian food recipes) and masala (curry with tomato paste and spices). We topped a bowlful of rice with the trifecta of sauces, sprinkled it with homemade cheese and dug in.
In addition to the cooking classes in the Market, the folks at Sushi Bears teach group classes in homes, serve food and drinks to market-dwellers and cater parties and events. Next time you’re at Findlay start off with the wheatgrass lemonade ($2.49), one glass has the same nutritional content as a pound of green leafy vegetables. For a meal try the chicken curry naan-wrap ($5.95) — that’s right, it’s like a burrito, only substitute the tortilla with fluffy naan and a heap of your favorite Indian dish inside. If you’re looking for more traditional Indian cuisine, try the chicken curry meal ($7.95). The portion sizes are pretty big, so be prepared to make some space in your fridge for leftovers.
Judging by the food baby in my date’s stomach (he finished his whole plate), I didn’t need to make room in my fridge. I had a feeling my leftovers would be gone by the end of the evening, and I wouldn’t be the person who ate them. Luckily, Chef Joshua sent me home with a DVD providing step-by-step instructions on the Indian dishes so I can recreate them at home.
Store Hours: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday
Full Disclosure: CityBeat's discount gift certificate program, Perkopolis, offers a half-price deal on Sushi Bears rolling classes, though it was not the inspiration for our intern to try out the class. For more information, go here.
Greater Cincinnati Independent restaurants will present their annual Spring Restaurant Week March 12-21. Each year during this event, local eateries offer diners special deals on a sampling menu. If you've been wanting to check out some new (or classic) area restaurants, this is the perfect chance to taste lots of dishes without dropping major cash.
This year's event features 27 local restaurants including Vito's Cafe, Jag's, Local 127, The Golden Lamb and The Midwest Culinary Institute's on-site restaurant, The Summit. Each spot offers a three-course tasting menu for $26.12. There will also be wine pairings from William Hill Estate Winery and cocktails by OYO Vodka, produced in Columbus using Ohio-grown ingredients.
Eating local gives diners the opportunity to experience Cincinnati's own "flair," but it's more than just a great way to show "team spirit" for your hometown. Money spent at independent businesses is stretched farther and filters back into the local economy. And when restaurants like La Poste and Lavomatic cook with locally sourced ingredients, it creates a chain effect of funds remaining within the Greater Cincinnati market. Meta-local!
Greater Cincinnati Independent also presents a yearly Fall Restaurant Week. Gift certificates and rewards cards are available at eatlocalcincy.com. Go here to check out all participating restaurants for March's event.
Here's the dish on hogs: they rank among the smartest in the animal kingdom and despite the phrase "pigging out," they actually savor their food. On March 1, National Pig Day, Americans across the Midwest don snouts, dress in pink and "eat like pigs" to celebrate their intelligence and contributions to mankind.
Chef Julie Francis at Nectar Restaurant has been offering Dinner Clubs for years. It’s her creative way of building customer loyalty and breaking out of the menu rut every now and then with something completely different. The dinner club menu is generally based on a seasonal ingredient: beets, garlic, honey, pork. Always local, always top quality. Next Thursday, Jan. 26, the menu’s based on one of my favorite foods: beer.
Gregg Wilson from Premium Beverage Supply worked with Chef Francis to develop a menu using beer or beer ingredients in every dish.
Dinner club starts at 7 p.m. and the cost is $60 per person. There will be three beers featured to drink with the dinner as well at an additional charge. Make reservations by calling 513-929-0525.
I haven’t had cable TV for the past five years. We watch DVDs and we’ve got streaming Netflix, so I’ve never missed day-to-day TV — that is, until the season two premiere of Downton Abbey! Yes, I know how big of a geek that makes me. I’ve been pining away to find out what happens next on this Masterpiece Theater British costume drama/soap opera ever since I watched Season 1 in practically one sitting on Netflix. There’s a war, you know!
Poor Bates! Sweet Anna! And would Lady Mary ever confess to her love for Matthew and/or give her sister Edith the slapping she so richly deserves?
Well, apparently I wasn’t alone. The premiere last Sunday night raked in 4.2 million American viewers, which is double the normal nightly average for PBS. It was like the nerd Super Bowl! I went out and bought an antenna for my TV so I could watch it. I felt like a crafty Dowager Countess, but without the corset.
So what British things will we eat and drink while we watch the next episode? Cuppa tea? Chocolate biscuit? I’ll tell you, I’d rather have the lamb stew that the household staff was eating last week than the Crepes Suzette from upstairs that the new maid was asking for. Posh airs, bollocks.
I occasionally work security at stadium/arena events in the area. My supervisor typically sticks me down on the bottom floor of the stadium. My job's pretty easy - most of the time I either sign people in or sit around making sure people aren't wandering about areas they shouldn't be. It's pretty busy most of the time. Several different companies operate at these events: the security firm I work for, media people, caterers, athletes and entertainers.