About the Gourmand
CMH Gourmand is authored by Jim Ellison. I am a food lover and writer.
CMH Gourmand is designed to share my culinary adventures in Columbus (and sometimes all over the world). My purpose is to promote eating local. If we can eat local ingredients, great, if not, then how about at least knowing the person on the other side of the counter and in the kitchen. Columbus is an undiscovered culinary capital. Our city has a lot to offer, but to find it, you have to look around a little bit and eat outside your comfort zone. I’m not talking about comfort as in that extra notch to add to your belt or driving somewhere dangerous – just taking a small risk for a great meal. Many people get locked into eating at a few places over and over again. So consider me a travel agent…for food finds. I am here to take the fear out of your dining. My goal is that you will not find yourself whining that there is nothing (culinary) to do and no where to eat.
Here is my spin on what this blog is about
I have two pet peeves in relation to dining in Columbus. The first, there is no need to be an apologist for Central Ohio dining – we have a great selection considering the size and level of diversity of our city. The second peeve – when someone asks you where you are from – don’t add Ohio, just say Columbus and when your friends come to visit don’t take them to Applebees – this is your city – show it off.
I am a lifelong resident of Columbus – in particular, Clintonville. I started writing professionally about food in 1998, crafting culinary tales for Ohio Magazine, C-Bus Magazine, Citysearch.com and other publications. I also track the best ice cream in the Buckeye state on my website Ice Cream Ohio.
Locally, I judge for various food contests including the North Market and the Ohio State Fair. I am contributor for food related information on Columbus Underground. I team up with Columbus Underground and Wild Goose Creative for several fun food festivities such as the Pizza Grand Prix, BaconCamp, BeerCamp and the Dagwood Challenge. I am a wine judge for the Columbus Food and Wine Affair.
Nationally, I am a Kansas City Barbeque Society Certified BBQ judge, a Zagat rater, and I contribute to Roodfood.com. I have been referenced in the following books: Everybody Loves Ice Cream by Shannon Jackson Arnold, Midwest Scoops by Michael McGarry, Hamburger America by George Motz and his follow up book: Hamburger America: Completely Revised and Updated Edition: A State-by-State Guide to 150 Great Burger Joints. I worked on two books to date, both went belly up before publication, but I now know a lot about pizza and regional sandwiches. I also have a Masters degree in Library and Information Science so in addition to eating to excess, I can research to the extreme as well.
I expanded my social media domain as the co-host of Columbus Foodcast, a (now defunct but fun to listen to) podcast focused on local restaurants and food venues. You can find the podcast on I-Tunes and as a link on this blog. I am 1/3 of the team behind TacoTrucksColumbus.com as well as a contributor/editor for alt.eats.columbus and Street Eats Columbus.
In July of 2011 Andy, Bethia and I teamed with Mike Beaumont (master of all things video and audio) and Johnny DiLoretto (master of all things Johnny) to create Foodcast on WCBE. The show airs every Saturday at 2 pm just before the Splendid Table.
Once in a blue moon I pop on the local radar: Columbus Dispatch – December 2007; Alive – January 2009; Columbus Dispatch – June 2009, This Week Newspaper – August 2009, Columbus Dispatch – September 2009, Best Columbus Underground Event of 2009: Pizza Grand Prix IV (January 2010), Alive, “Taco Truck Tour” (April 2010), The Metropreneur” (January 2011), Social Media Adapts to Dining Out – Columbus Dispatch” (September 2011),
CMH Gourmand and CMH Tobias in Columbus Monthly” (July 2012) and Writing and Food morphed from hobby to Job – This Week Clintonville September 2012″
If you see a guy that looks like Alton Brown snapping a photo at a hot new eatery or a hole in the wall diner, it is probably me.
What is a CMH Gourmand?
CMH GOURMAND charts my culinary adventures in Columbus (OH). I travel a lot in and out of Ohio (16 countries and 42 states to date – although you are most likely to find me in Australia or Athens when I am on the road). I link some of my out of town eating on this blog. CMH is the airport code for Columbus. Gourmand – is defined as “A connoisseur of fine food and drink.”
And to clarify the difference between Gourmand, Gourmet, and Epicure -
A gourmet is a person with discriminating taste in food and wine, as is a gourmand.
Because gourmand can also mean “one who enjoys food in great quantities” or even “a gluttonous eater,” care should be taken to make clear its intended sense.
An epicure is much the same as a gourmet, but the word may sometimes carry overtones of excessive refinement. This use of epicure is a misrepresentation of Epicurean philosophy, which, while it professed that pleasure was the highest good, was hardly given to excessive concern with food and drink.
(Thanks to Answers.com for that answer).
I was asked about my credentials online and I took the above and some other items and condensed into the list below.
2 years of restaurant and supervisory experience in a restaurant
Level 1 Food Safety Training (twice)
Graduate of Hot Dog University in Chicago
Mystery Shopper/Diner for Cameron Mitchell restaurants 2001 – 2002
Professionally writing about restaurants since 1998
CMH Gourmand 2006 to present
Taco Trucks Columbus 2009 to present
Street Eats Columbus 2010 to present
WCBE Foodcast 2011 to present
Countless cooking classes and workshops since 1993
2nd place in three Chili competitions
Kanasas City BBQ Society Certified BBQ judge
Judge at Ohio State Fair Food Competitions 2010 to present
Judge at North Market competitions 2008 to present
Judge at countless pro and semi pro contests
Coordinator of Pizza Gran Prix 1-6
I eat out a lot
I work for the Food Fort where I work with and consult with food trucks, carts, food based businesses, restaurants, etc.
Have owned and operated a social media consulting company that works exclusively with food based businesses for 3 years
I am a keen observer of the good and bad in the service industry and have over 20 years of front line customer service experience
I am sure I forgot a couple things.