513{eats} SIDS Fundraiser~A Year of Chefs {Queen City Style} 2013

photography by Gina Weathersby
design by Lisa Ballard
written Ilene Ross

Who wants a calendar? YOU want a calendar! Especially when it’s as beautiful a calendar as this one is, and filled to the brim with delectable food, and delectable Cincinnati chefs. And, just when you think it can’t get any better, consider this; our calendar was put together to benefit a most valuable cause…The de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation.

The de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation (formerly 7 DAYS for SIDS) is an organization founded by Jean-Robert & Annette de Cavel, a dedicated group of volunteers, and local restaurateurs. Their mission is to raise funds for research, education, and outreach, as well as for the Tatiana de Cavel Scholarship at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State. Annette and Jean-Robert lost their daughter, Tatiana to SIDS in June 2002. Their wish is that no family should have to experience the same devastating loss.

So, open up your wallets, find a spot on your wall, and get ready to drool, Cincinnati!!! $39 + 6.5% sales tax + $3 s+h

{11″ x 17″ hinged at the top for hanging}
front and back covers

inside~months




delve Into Your Culinary Future With ChefSteps

written by Ilene Ross
photography by Gina Weathersby

We asked the seafood hawker at the infamous Pike Place Fish Market if he knew where to find ‘Delve Kitchen‘ and we were met with quite the quizzical expression. In fact, very few people know that quietly taking place on the third floor of Seattle’s bustling Pike Place Market are some very serious experiments. Seriously delicious gastronomic experiments, that is.  But if things go according to plan, soon the whole world will know, and everyone who wants to will be able to participate. On our recent trip to Seattle to attend the Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Food Summit, we dropped by, and dragged Cincinnati chef Steve Geddes of Local 127, as well as farmer Justin Dean of Relish the Garden along for the ride.

Born of the culinary masterpiece that is the world-renowned Modernist Cuisine, ChefSteps- operated out of the Delve Kitchen-is the latest venture of Chefs Chris Young, Grant Crilly, and photographer Ryan Matthew Smith. It’s an online free-to-learn culinary school that will offer everyone-from professional to home enthusiast alike-advanced techniques including the first class available, sous vide cooking. Lot’s more content is on the way soon. Yes, there will be homework and tests. The courses will not only be free, they will be interactive, and live “office hours” will be offered with the ChefSteps team to gain valuable feedback on students’ progress.

Anyone who owns the behemoth 5 book Modernist Cuisine set breathes rare air. Owning the collection means you’ve shelled out hundreds of dollars to possess what Chef David Chang considers, “The cookbook to end all cookbooks.” Legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià said, “This book will change the way we understand the kitchen.” Why then is the ChefSteps offering their vast wealth of information now for free online? “It may turn out that we’re totally crazy, but we wanted to share our knowledge digitally with the community.” said Young. “Right now, we’re not paying ourselves.” He goes on to explain that there is money being made through the parent company, Delve in consulting work, and that there will eventually be an online ChefSteps store as well. As to why original Modernist Cuisine co-authors Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet are not involved in ChefSteps, Young says, “They wanted to go a different way.”

Chef Grant Crilly prepares the perfect morning Seattle latte for us. What a warm welcome!

Kitchen, science lab, photo/video studio. Everything takes place in this 4000 square foot light-filled space overlooking Pike Place Market. Creative Director Ryan Matthew Smith edits a video shot the night before.

The loft is a carefully put together collection of used hi-tech equipment gleaned from craigslist etc.  This place is totally a grown-up example of “boys and their toys”, with the Cincinnati guys oohing and ahhing over such items as the high speed centrifuge, the giant sous vide bath fashioned from a re-purposed sports tub, and a freezer that freezes so quickly, cell walls don’t burst when meat is frozen.

…but, there’s always room for the white board.

Chris explains to me why the group chose sous vide cooking as their first lesson for the ChefSteps experience. “There are deep misconceptions about it. But, if you think about it, the definition is really just about accurate temperature. A conventional oven is never going to be accurate. Sous vide is really just an excuse to talk about the ingredient we all use every day; heat. Sous vide cooking guarantees the temperature is accurate.”

Chef Grant prepares the ingredients for Salmon 104° F, the dish that is presently found on the ChefSteps website as Chef Steve Geddes looks on.

Perfectly cooked salmon is seasoned with Maldon sea salt and a spice rub of coriander and black pepper. The plate is garnished with horseradish cream, watercress puree, pickled onions, and olive oil.

After our lunch, the Modernist Cuisine was cracked open and talk turned to meat cutting and Bourbon. Justin was all set to show the guys some new techniques, but alas, our plan to find a whole hog and break it down was thwarted by the fact that one was not to be found so late in the day. Next time….

All that meat talk left us a bit peckish, so thankfully, Chef Grant brought out a secret stash of sous vide short rib pastrami. This is the kind of stuff they usually save to barter for goods and services. If it wasn’t bad form, we probably would have licked the cutting board. We were, and remain, ever so grateful.

{find this post shared on honest cooking’s blog as well}


A Year of Chefs…Queen City Style

written by Ilene Ross
photography by Gina Weathersby

If you’re like us, you can NEVER get enough of our stellar Cincinnati chefs. Not only do they cook delicious food and look fine while doing it, they are integral members of our community, especially when it comes to doing good works. In our minds, there are no more worthwhile charities than those that benefit children, and one that is near and dear to our hearts is The de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation. We’ve gathered together a group of some of The Queen City’s most talented chefs to put together a calendar to benefit this important foundation.

The de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation (formerly 7 DAYS for SIDS) is an organization founded by Jean-Robert & Annette de Cavel, a dedicated group of volunteers, and local restaurateurs. Their mission is to raise funds for research, education, and outreach, as well as for the Tatiana de Cavel Scholarship at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State. Annette and Jean-Robert lost their daughter, Tatiana to SIDS in June 2002. Their wish is that no family should have to experience the same devastating loss.

The eat.play.give. Friends and Family Brunch and Silent Auction is this Sunday, October 14th. This family friendly event benefits the foundation and features food and beverages from Greater Cincinnati’s best chefs, restaurants, and purveyors. Participants include: Jean-Robert’s Table, Queen City Cookies, Daveed’s Next, Mayberry, Taste of Belgium, The Coffee Emporium, Jean-Philippe, Chocolatier, Keegan’s Fresh Seafood, Oriental Wok, Cumin Eclectic Cuisine, Orchids at Palm Court, eat well Catering and Takeaway, La Poste Eatery, Keystone, Riverside Korean, Velvet Smoke BBQ, Otto’s, Bouquet, Via Vite, Jeff Ruby’s, Senate, Sung Korean Bistro, Winecraft, and Nicholson’s.

Not only is this a time when our food community comes together to support this valuable foundation, it is the first time that that our 513{eats} calendar will be available to purchase. Proceeds will benefit the foundation, and we are proud to make this contribution. Please join us at the brunch, purchase a calendar, spend freely at the auction, and most of all, have a good time. After Sunday, the calendar will be available on our site for $39 + 6.5%sales tax +s/h, and you’ll be able to see exactly WHO is featured throughout the rest of the year!  But you’ll all purchase one on Sunday, right?  Purchase your brunch tickets at www.eatplaygive.net

PURCHASE YOUR CALENDAR HERE

Magical Mystery Tour- Le Diner en Blanc Cincinnati

written by Ilene Ross
photography by Gina Weathersby/Kiwi Street Studios

A long time ago in Paris, a man named François Pasquier decided to invite a few friends to the Bois de Boulogne for a picnic. In order for everyone to find each other in the park, they were all instructed to dress in pure white. The event was such a huge success that the following year each person invited a few friends, and, well, you get the picture. The event quickly morphed into “le Diner en Blanc” -The White Dinner- with people dressing in all white, packing the most elegant of meals, and descending upon an unknown landmark until the very last minute for an invitation only “pop-up” evening.

Flash forward a quarter of a century, and after the hugely successful, tres chic Diner en Blanc danced it’s way around the European continent for a while, it’s finally landed in the Queen City, with this past Saturday night’s inaugural event.

For weeks in advance we plotted and planned. We scoured boutiques and our favorite vintage haunts for elegant attire. We hit farmers markets, gourmet shops, and wine stores for the finest comestibles and champagne. And we questioned. Where would the highly anticipated soiree take place? Would our table setting win one of the highly coveted prizes? And of course, the question on everyone’s mind; would the weather cooperate? And it did. In spades. On one of the most picture-perfect evenings, we all showed up at our designated pick up spots, boarded our buses, and off we went. It was only when we were all comfortably ensconced in our seats were we informed of our dining destination. The lovely Lytle Park in The Lytle Park Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  We were delighted!

In no time at all, dozens of buses surrounded this jewel box of a park, and the tastefully clad crowd emerged. From tutus to top hats, boas to bustiers, people had gone all out. As a jazz band lured us in, the 1000+ throng quickly set about arranging tables and chairs, linens, the finest of china, crystal, and silver, candelabras, sophisticated floral arrangements, balloons, and of course, the most delectable gastronomic fare. We commenced with the traditional white napkin wave, and the dining began! Food and spirits were all shared, as they were meant to be, and people naturally flitted from table to table to catch up with friends.

As dusk descended, we were provided sparklers for even more of a festive touch, and a D.J. took over the music duties so that revelers could hit the dance floor.  Giant balloon lanterns were launched into the clear night sky providing a magical effect, and under the watchful eye of President Abraham Lincoln, we boogied the night away.

{Photo diptych above of Abraham Lincoln and dancing scene courtesy of Jens G. Rosenkrantz, Jr. Thank you Jens!)}

{find this post shared on honest cooking’s blog as well}

Squeezing Out the Last Little Bit of Summer

The long summer days are quickly dwindling away, and the kids are heading back to school. But the garden is still bountiful, and there’s always time to get in one more barbecue with friends. This refreshing twist on the traditional Gordon’s Cup Cocktail is not only perfect for entertaining, it takes advantage of the delicious vegetables that nature has on offer. So, stir up a pitcher, take your place by the grill, or on the chaise lounge, and enjoy the few sultry evenings we have left.
You may remember some of these images from our story ‘en famille’ from the Summer Issue starting on page 246.

photography by Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios
written by Ilene Ross
recipe courtesy of Brett Zwolinski/babas corner

Variation on a Gordon’s Cup
Print
Recipe type: cocktail
Author: courtesy of Brett Zwolinski
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1/2 of 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
  • 2- 1/2 inch peeled cucumber rounds
  • 1 small stalk and some foliage fennel
  • 1/4 cup gin {preferably Hendricks}
  • 1 1/2 T simple syrup
  • 1 cup cracked ice
  • 1 pinch crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 pinch crushed sea salt
Instructions
  1. To make the simple syrup, stir 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil for 1 minute. Cool, then chill (can be stored for later use).
  2. Put lime, cucumber, and fennel in a cocktail shaker and muddle until the lime is juiced and the cucumber and fennel are pulpy.
  3. Add gin, simple syrup, pepper, salt, and then ice. Cover and shake for about 30 seconds. Pour contents-do not strain-into a rocks glass. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

You can also find this post on the Honest Cooking blog, where we are honored to be guest contributors.

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