CMH Gourmand

Culinary Discovery & Misadventures in the Ice Cream Capital of the World (Columbus)

  • Recent Comments

    Jared R. on Back on the Donut Trail: McHap…
    Linda on CLOSED: The Original Leon…
    MikeG on CLOSED: The Original Leon…
    Cindy on A Deal, a Shill and an Ap…
    Elizabeth Lessner on The Road Warrior: Angelo Signo…
    Linda on Columbus Pizza History: A Slic…
    Alan Lieberman on The Road Warrior: Angelo Signo…
  • CMH Gourmand – “a twitter”

  • Categories

  • Top Posts

  • Archives: August 2006 to Now

Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Contest Alert: History Boys and Latitude 41 Enter by January 15th

Posted by cmh gourmand on January 8, 2013

Several loose ends will connect here so bear with me – this is more than just a post about a contest….and it is not even my contest.

Let us begin with the link to said contest so you can enter and leave if that is your modus operadi.

Win Tickets to the History Boys (Available Light Theatre) with dinner at Latitude 41

OK – for those of you still reading, here are the loose ends. First several people who are usually dead on about such things say this play is damn good. Second, Available Light Theatre is one of those many little nuggets in the city that make this a great place to live. Third, Matt Slaybaugh one of the folks behind this theater company has been a mover and a shaker behind the scenes for a long time and this is one of his projects which deserves some attention. Fourth, regular listeners of WCBE Foodcast (which would be Dave Scarpetti, my Mom, Bethia’s Mom and who knows who else), know about our ongoing joke in 2011 about mentioning Latitude 41 in “every episode” but then we stopped. There were some reasons for that – our pal Chef Dave Maclennan left the restaurant, there was a major change in restaurant management and while I did not experience service problems at the restaurant, a fair number of people did. The most vocal of those with poor experiences had no credibility in my book since they were well-known by me to be overdramatic, pretentious, elitist food boors but enough people had similar issues on a lower scale to note some concern so I stepped back and watched to see if the ship would right itself. It has and I will write about Latitude 41 sometime soon. So to make a long story short – Latitude 41 is very much worth dining at – especially for free, if you win the contest. And last and very much not least, I think that the citizens of our fair city need to go to this play for one very important reason.

What is that you ask? To show this is not a city of homophobic hate. A recent incident in the short north earned international attention. The employees of Late Night Slice refused to serve a potential customer who was loud and obnoxious about his disdain for a gay couple in line with him. In addition to the business refusing to serve this person – the rest of the people in the line told this person to take his hate elsewhere. Good for them and good for our city. The subject matter of The History Boys might make that hater cringe but it is a good story and I would love to see a packed house to show that the response of Late Night Slice and the patrons nearby was not a fluke.

If you don’t think you will win the contest or if you can’t wait until the 16th to see it, try to get a ticket for this Thursday (January 10th) and grab dinner with OH! Burgers before the show or at intermission.

Posted in events | 1 Comment »

I Want You: To Eat at That Food Pod Oct 27th 5 to 10 pm for a Good Cause

Posted by cmh gourmand on October 24, 2012

There have been a lot of Food Truck events this year. There are still a few more to come. It has been great to see the community embrace this type of business. In fact, some of you may have been over saturated with Food Truck and Cart events this year. If so, I am asking you to dig down deep in your energy reserves and intestinal fortitude for one more.

The boys from That Food Truck are launching That Food Pod, this Saturday, Oct 27th. A Pod is a gathering or two or more mobile vendors. That Food Truck regularly sets up at the corner of Gay Street and Grant Ave. in downtown Columbus. They decided to do a monthly blow out with some of their mobile food friends to create an event for more mobile vendors and to draw more people to this section of the city. (Foodies note: The new Grass Skirt Tiki Bar is just one block away if you want to drop in there before or after That Food Pod).

After this Saturday, That Food Pod will reappear in the spring to continue the tradition of mobile food downtown. While you are pondering how to spend some of your time this Saturday, I want to give you several good reasons to come support this event.

1) The vendors: That Food Truck, Sophie’s Gastrogi (their second to last appearance this year), Blu Olive, OH! Burgers, Crepes a La Carte, Flat Top Pizza and the Good Frank.
2) Highball Halloween will be Saturday night, so on your way home, you can troll high street to see all the outlandish costumes paraded in the Short North
3) Trick or Treating….but in this case, Trick or Trucking. Kids can go from truck to truck to get Halloween treats….or maybe a trick.
4) The fall menu on That Food Truck is amazing – their mole is the perfect flavor for fall and might just cure the common cold.

So all of the above reasons have merit, but there is a bigger cause to the event which is the real reason I want people to come on Saturday night to drain the mobile vendors of every bit of food they have to serve. Each of you will have an opportunity to help Save The Short Bus.

The Short Bus is the affectionate name that the mobile food community has given the Per Zoot Food Truck. Per Zoot was to have been a vendor at the inaugueral That Food Pod but while the fall brought us leaves and chilly weather, it brought Per Zoot a series of mechanical breakdowns. A Food Truck that can’t move, can’t make money, so owner Matt Swint is taking a day job to expand his culinary expertise and feed his family. Matt had to reluctantly drop out of that Food Pod and out of the mobile food community. As soon as word spread of the demise of Per Zoot, within a day, it was decided that That Food Pod would serve as a fund raiser to #SaveTheShortBus (for you twitter heads out there). All tips from all vendors will go to the Short Bus Fund. Other vendors in the community that can not make it to That Food Pod will be donating tips as well. The goal, is to get the Per Zoot truck in operation again so that Matt can work some special events and occasional weekends to rebuild the war chest to keep Per Zoot in the mobile world.

I will defer to Caroline from That Food Truck to elaborate on this collaboration a bit more:

As we were adding trucks to our Food Pod, conversations were sparked on how to help PerZoot. Our hearts have been filled to know that so many were willing to put in their own hard-earned tip money to back a fellow colleague. We thank all of you who see the importance of community and the spirit of giving to help out others in need. After all, that’s what this food truck life is all about. It’s not easy, it’s not glamorous, and many hours of hard work go on behind the scenes to bring you all of your favorite street side cuisine. It tastes so good, cause it’s always done with love.

So come down with empty stomachs and charitable hearts. The Davidson Family Farms will be donating two 20 lb boxes of pork to be raffled off. Each box includes 5 lbs of sausage, 5 lbs of bacon, a 5 lb roast, and 5 lbs of pork chops. You will be able to buy your tickets this coming week for $1.00 to have a chance to win a box-o-pork. Yes, you must be at the truck pod to collect your winnings. Check our facebook page this week for details on the raffle. All proceeds will benefit PerZoot Truck.

So yes, you read that right – a raffle for pork. The Davidson Family Farm raises great grass-fed pigs and $1 chance to get 20 lbs of pork seems like a great deal to me. Your raffle and Tip money will go to help out a local business person and hopefully get Per Zoot back on the street sooner instead of later with his own locally raised pork served and prepared by the master pork loin crafter and chief dishwasher for Per Zoot, Mr. Matt Swint. It seems like a good cause to my biased eyes and I know Matt is a reluctant but deserving steward for tip money and pork proceeds.

Please come out Saturday night and bring as many people as you can.

Thanks

Posted in events | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Reflections on Veggie U. Food Wine Celebration (With Bonus Event Survival Guide)

Posted by cmh gourmand on July 22, 2012

I have been to countless food related events. Many of them are interchangeable – same food, different venue, different cause. The Veggie U Food Wine Celebration has the elements of many of the events I have been to but the execution and focus on the purpose is a cut above the rest. This farm feast observed its tenth annual installment on July 21st (yes, you missed it). I was happy to be invited as a guest. I have wanted to go for the last four years, but each year I was thwarted by other commitments. Since I first learned about what Veggie U does (back in 2008) I have had an opportunity to visit the farm, meet Farmer Lee Jones, stroll throughout the Chef’s Garden, attend an Earth to Table dinner and I even received a Veggie care package in the mail. So my “grounding” in the organization and the mission was only lacking one piece – the “big show” a.k.a. the Food Wine Celebration.

If you are interested in going next year, it will be in July. Connect with the website, sign up for the mailing list and keep informed of what they are doing, you may just find out how to get an early bird special. The event offers food from over fifty of the top restaurants in the country, a chance to mingle and learn from culinary celebrities, demonstrations, wine tastings, raffles and more. All of that is interesting and for a good cause. Great.

All of the above is well and good, but what makes a difference for me is the attention to details. Each guest gets a program which includes a map showing each tasting station, what it has to offer and which restaurant / chef is serving their best. As an added bonus many of the vegetables for the tastes are from the farm. Also included in the program is an agenda, photos of the chefs and bios for the celebrity chefs and presenters. Prior to the event, detailed directions are made available, the place is a bit off the beaten path but an easy drive from Cleveland….a longer, but pleasant drive from Columbus (don’t pass through Crestline on the way). Parking is offered at a nearby business with shuttles taking guests to the farm and running continuously back to the parking lot throughout the night. On the three-minute bus ride, a volunteer briefly explains the purpose of Veggie U. and covers all the details about the event. The volunteers do a great job throughout the evening: they are knowledgeable about the program, the event, they keep trash cans empty and beverage stations full. This year, there was a large mobile bathroom (not a portapotty) with air conditioning. Farmer Lee Jones mingles freely with all of the guests as do all of the culinary dignitaries. The organizers have learned a lot about event planning in ten years and they know how to execute an evening under the stars.

The most important part of the event is that, in a non pushy way, you know what the purpose of Veggie U is and why you are there to support it with your attendance. Reminders continue throughout the night from many sources. Most charity events I go to usually begin with a small note on a piece of paper I am handed as I walk through the door, which I promptly forget and occasionally a long-winded speech at some point in the evening, usually when everyone is ready to do. At Veggie U the purpose is clear and the food is the bonus for showing your support.

So what is it that Veggie U does? It creates a hands on curriculum for fourth grade students, provided free to schools. Through the course of several months, the program teaches healthy nutrition, sustainable agriculture and plant studies which fits into existing requirements and lessons plans for school systems. The kids sow seeds, watch them grow, discuss the planting process and at the end, eat what they grew in salad form. A classroom can receive a kit for $450 and have supplies refilled for the next year for $225. Funds raised at The Food and Wine Celebration as well as the Farm to Table dinners go to cover the costs above. People making donations can direct their contribution to send a kit to a specific school.

Here are some of my tips for this event if you go next year (these can apply to many large events)
1) Get to the site 15 minutes early to avoid the crowds
2) If a member of a group of three of more, direct one member to secure a table as base of operations
3) Take your own notched plate to attach to your wine glass (you can get a sleeve of these at most party stores).
4) Ladies don’t take a purse, it makes maneuvering much easier
5) Heels might look nice but they hurt your feet and make no sense on the grass fields of Veggie U – you will never see the other guests again so don’t worry if people are judging you.
6) Ladies and gentlemen: wear hats. These make you easy to find, become fans quickly when needed and if the hat is expendable….becomes a defacto feedback. Most importantly, hats create additional personal space which is important for outdoor events with lots of people.

At every event I attend, at some point…..well, at many points, my eyes start to roll and my internal need for order and fairness starts to bounce my soul like a bronco rider in a rodeo. If everyone would take a ten minute training session on my proper etiquette for public events which involve more than three people….the world….at least my world, would be a much better place. Please read the public service announcement below and share with the individuals you know are “those people”. You know who they are. The kind of person who stands in a grocery line for 15 minutes and waits until the transaction is complete before starting to remove a check and filling it out. The kind of people who take thirty bulky packages to the fifteen items or less line. The type of people who use their horns too often and never appropriately. Yes, those people. They go to large events as well and they make the rest of us suffer. Directions for the untrained and clueless are below.


1) If you see a line avoid it or go to the end of line after you identify where the end is.
2) While standing in line….think about what you are going to do when you finally get to the table….plan for how you are going to get the food or wine sampled and then beat it, there are people behind you.
3) Don’t stand, talk, eat or stare blankly into the sky when you are at a serving table….there are people behind you, grab and go.
4) Whatever hilarious joke you have for the server or chef at the table…..they have heard it before – don;t slow down the line, there are people behind you.
5) These samples were plated earlier in the day. If you have a food allergy or dietary issue….there is not much the servers can do for you to change a sample that has been planned, plated and prepared many hours before hand. Move on. Let the people behind you eat instead of trying to recreate a wheel which is trying to roll.
6) If there is not a table for everyone, eat it….and beat it.
7) Identify where the trash cans are, keep tabs on them and use them.
8) Keep your arms, hands, food and drinks close to your chest so as to not spill substances on others.
9) Wearing white or your best outfit to an outside food event is asking for trouble….
10) Approach a sampling table from the right, leave to the left and don’t dawdle. There are people behind you.
11) When moving from point A to point B….keep moving, don’t stop unless you have mounted breaklights and turn signals of your rear end.
12) Don’t block aisles, areas of major or minor traffic patterns….and don’t violate others personal spaces
13) Say excuse me or pardon me when passing others
14) Use your inside voices
15) Bathrooms are for those that need to use them for their intended purpose….these are not for extended cell phone conversations, having philosophical discussions or dawdling around checking your hair…..there are people behind you who need to pee or have problems holding their alcohol. Dump it and hump it.
16) Recycle if you can and if you drop something, pick it up.
17) Say thank you to someone working the event, they rarely get to enjoy what they are doing or eat…until the very end of everything and by then, they just want to go home.

Posted in CLEGourmand, events, Ohio, Road Trip | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Yubba, Dubba, Veggie U!: Food and Wine Celebration this Saturday

Posted by cmh gourmand on July 18, 2012

I have written about Chef’s Garden and Veggie U a few times.  Farmer Jones and company grow great things and Veggie U is their outlet to grow young minds with food education.  I wanted attend the Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration for the last several years, but each summer as the date draws near, something thwarts my plans to go – such as being sold out.  This year is the tenth anniversary for the event so the organizers are going all out.  And…. some tickets are still available.  

I was given a ticket to drive up as a guest (Thanks Guys), if anyone would like to hitch a ride with me (and you have bought a ticket) I may be able to give you a ride, let me know.  

For more details on the event, click here  <-there

Anyone driving up – watch out for Crestline, Ohio – it is a speedtrap.  

I will be live tweeting from the event with some play by play and photos.  I will abide by my first rule of social media “don’t drink and tweet”.

I doubt they have available rooms, but if they do for this event or any other Veggie U. trip, I suggest Captain Montague’s Bed and Breakfast in Huron.  I finally retrieved my photos of the place and will be posting about this great Foodcoast base of operations soon.  

 

 

Posted in events, Road Trip | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Deepwood Dagwood for Dine Originals Week

Posted by cmh gourmand on March 8, 2012

Here is the thing. A good number of people like Deepwood. Unfortunately it seems they never show up at the same time. Well… with the exception of my lunch this past Wednesday. I arrived during what may have been a (Columbus) Alive and Crave afternoon pow-wow / retreat. Other than us, Deepwood was Deadwood. Crickets. Tumbleweeds. Spagetti western music was faintly playing in my subconscious.

I would describe Deepwood as subdued. Unlike Cheers, where everyone knows your name when you walk in the door, at Deepwood, you will receive a pleasant, faint smile and nice service. Subdued. I like it. It aids the digestion. It is relaxing.

The is Dine Originals Restaurant Week, a time for many of our local independent restaurants to shine and show off the best they can do to lure in new customers and shake things up for loyal regulars. Looking for a deal of deals, the various $10 menus are what I target. My old standby was the Pistacia Vera sampler but that has been off the rotation for the last two cycles (Anne and Spencer….think about the children, they need more than Shirred eggs).

I have always sought out the value of the Deepwood lunch but unless you work downtown and actually know where Deepwood is (that was the quiz part of the post) this special experience is limited to a few. If you are reading this early Friday morning, you still have some time to call in sick and give this menu a shot. For the rest of you who can never have this experience, allow me to share.

Here is the menu for $10.


Your choice of any of our sodas

The Deepwood-Our version of the Classic & Colossal Dagwood

Meats, Cheeses and Condiments Layered between House-Made Pepper Jack Bread, House-Made Corned Beef, Tasso Ham and Mortadella Schmear, Roasted Turkey. House-Made Mozzarella, Smoked Gouda. Roasted Tomato, Pickled Peppers, Chef’s Garden Leaf Arugula, Mustard Aioli, Red Onion Jam, Fried Olive Skewer. House-Made Potato Chips

or

Tasting of Signature Petite Sandwiches

New England Lobster Roll with Hand Cut-Fries, House-Made Pastrami with Potato Chips, Lentil Patty with Deepwood Tavern Pickled Vegetables

and

Lemon Meringue Pie


At this point regular readers of CMH Gourmand know what happened. Fearing the Sophie’s Choice of having to decide between choices for this rare lunchtime visit, I played it safe and got both.

The Verdict? Reread the menu above. The size of the description matches the quality and satifisfaction of the Deepwood Dagwood. What a good sandwich! It was easily the winner of the two choices. Exceptional cuts of meat, good flavor. The chips were incredibly good with some house made ketchup I reallocated from the French Fries. Hard to see in the photograph but the mini battered and fried olives of the skewer were really well executed. I am sure they elicit a faint, subdued smile in the backroom. If you have to choose go with the Dagwood.

The Petite Sandwiches are worth the price. Chef Brian definitely had a fun time creating both offerings but I was not as emotionally satisfied after the signature sandwiches. I will state a case for the lentil burger patty sample as better than the hallowed Northstar Veggie burger patty. Really. Serious. The fries are pretty close to perfect. Keep frying Deepwood, you do it well.

As for the pie, if by pie, one means a mini biscuit sized puff of homemade goodness on a stick….OK, but let’s call this a pie pop on the next online menu.

If you feel a little cheated after reading this, knowing that you will not have such an experience for this Dine Originals Week, then I give you this task. Go to Deepwood this month and tell the staff you would like them to serve lunch on a Saturday for the next Dine Originals Week.

If you have missed out on Deepwood, give them a shot. The beer selection, house crafted cocktails and entrees are all well executed. Maybe those that are inclined, could give up not going to Deepwood for Lent.

Posted in events, restaurants | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Suerte Malo Keeps Yerba Buena from debuting in Clintonville on March 3rd

Posted by cmh gourmand on February 28, 2012

The Yerba Buena Food Truck had planned to make it’s 2012 debut back in Clintonville on March 3rd. This community favorite from last summer hoped to join Pitabilities and Tatoheads as the Food truck contingent to help Clintonville Celebrate the Bicentennial of Columbus.

PITABILTIES AND TATOHEADS are in Clintonville from Noon to 3 PM.

Due to an unexpected generator issue Yerba Buena had to bail out at the last minute – but owner Carlos Gutierrez will be there to pass out flyers with information on their new location in Clintonville.

The event will be from Noon to 3:00 PM at Maple Grove Church at the corner of North High Street and Henderson Road. Admission is free. There will also be free goodies from Mozart’s Bakery and plenty of activities related to the history of Columbus.

More details – here

In case you missed the drama of last year, Yerba Buena almost went down as the first food truck booted out of Clintonville by a very small but very loud minority of residents. The owners Carlos and Carolina used the incident as an opportunity to open up in another section of Clintonville in need of more food options, however, news of their move did not get communicated in the community so business flagged. This year, Yerba Buena is back and looking forward to being part of the community. Please come out to show the support Clintonville and the rest of Columbus shares for these small, independent businesses that are adding spice and variety to the day to day diets of us all.

Also come see what Clintonville has to offer. For those of your ready to support The Mid Ohio Food Bank’s Operation Feed, Pitabilities is doing a mobile food drive for March. They will be collecting jars of peanut butter at the Clintonville Celebrates Columbus Event.

Gracias!

Posted in Clintonville, events | 5 Comments »

Mobile Monday at St. James Tavern

Posted by cmh gourmand on February 17, 2012

A Mobile Food experiment has been conducted at the St. James Tavern since early January. The premise: pair a $1 Mystery Beer Can special with a different Mobile Food vendor each week to break up the MEH of Monday and offer a respite from downtown rush hour gridlock. These events serve as an introduction to St. James Tavern for some (voted best bar in Columbus by Columbus Underground). It also provides a business opportunity and a new circle of customers for food trucks that have difficulty serving our CBD (Central Business District) due to arcane city of Columbus codes and zoning laws. The series began with Pitabilities and was followed by Tatoheads, Late Night Slice, Freedom A La Cart and then an encore performance of Pitabilities and Tatoheads.

Times are generally 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm or 7 pm to 10 pm. Saint James and the mobile vendors are still looking for the sweet spot for serving times that maximizes the number of people served and still allows the truck to break even or make a small profit for the night. If you live in Italian Village or want to grow mobile food in the lean times of winter, come out for a Mobile Monday to grow food choices for the core of the city.

Here is the line up for the rest of February.
February 20th – Red Hot Food Truck (a trailer, this is their debut appearance for Mobile Monday).

February 27th – Kolache Republic (serving INSIDE the SJT).

For more details and updates – check out the St. James Tavern Facebook page and follow Food Fort Columbus on Twitter – @FoodFortCMH.

It looks like the series will continue to March…..especially if you come out to support it.

Posted in events | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Burrito Buggy at Byrne’s Pub: Recap and Review

Posted by cmh gourmand on March 26, 2011


Pairing the Burrito Buggy with Byrne’s Pub for their Survivors Party (surviving St. Patrick’s Day) turned out to be an excellent idea. Pat Byrne was happy with the outpouring of Burrito Buggy Bobcats and other mobile foodophiles.

I did worry a bit. The morning on the big day I received one e-mail, a few direct messages on Twitter and several forwarded tweets about the Burrito Buggy being broken down on SR 33 outside of Lancaster. I had not heard anything from the Burrito Buggy and it was 2 hours to “showtime”. I contacted them and started to draft my mea culpa to Columbus. About an hour later I heard back from the Buggy, they had a flat tire and were popping the lug nuts back on to hit the road again.

They served the first two burritos at 3 pm….. to me. I was going to get six, but looking at the line behind me, I could not bring myself to do it. When I left the line was about forty people deep. Reports are the line never got shorter than forty up until at least 10 pm. I heard the line was 1 to 2 hours long at any given time.

Byrne’s is considering making this a yearly tradition. What do you think? I did not know before but Byrne’s has “street meat” most Fridays and Saturdays from 10 pm after.

As for the Burrito Buggy – they had one of their biggest nights ever and are looking to come back to Columbus. Where and when might they appear next?

Check their Facebook to track other appearances and see what people thought of the Big Burrito Night.

Also see what OU Alumni thought about the night.

Posted in events | Leave a Comment »

Edible Books Contest, March 31st: I’ll be the Judge of that!

Posted by cmh gourmand on March 20, 2011

I have a soft spot for food and books and libraries. I have a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science that circumstances have not allowed me to use in a library setting. However, I love libraries, they are wonderful, valuable things and I will do anything to support one.

So, when I was asked if I might judge for the Edible Books Contest, my response was “sure”.

Have people fallen on hard times and taken to book eating? No, thank goodness. However, for the third year in a row, the Worthington Libraries will host a contest which challenges you to create an edible entry with a book or literary theme. I will judge the entries with my writing peers and friends, Robin Davis from the Columbus Dispatch and Nick Dekker from Breakfast with Nick. We will evaluate entries based on creativity, design and taste. I encourage you to come to help out with tasting and to vote for the people’s choice.

I can’t think of a reason for you not to go to this. Unless you are some type of bookburner or anti-dessert protagonist.

If you care to enter, come to the Northwest Library at 2280 Hard Road for registration at 6 pm. Judging will start at 7 pm. Viewing of all of this will occur from 7 to 8:30 pm. At 8:30, we present awards and the entries will be eaten. I can do that. You can do that too. These are hard times. Libraries help people save money, find jobs, read books to their kids and countless other things that make our communities better. These seem like good reasons to come support a good thing.

Care for another good reason? This year, there is a new category – Professional – where local bakeries such as Delicacies by Sheri, Delightful Cakes, Ly-Ly’s Bakery and M. Minick Cake Design will compete against each other (but not against the amateurs). You can expect to eat well at the library and you will not get in trouble for it.

For more information, check the Worthington Libraries Calendar of Events.

Posted in events | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Ides of March 4.0

Posted by cmh gourmand on March 14, 2011

I often wince and cringe when reading blogs that cross the line into navel gazing and T(oo) M(uch) I(nfo). I have been in the TMI mode occasionally over the last several months. I apologize. This post is the last of that series and hopefully a bit cathartic. This explains the decline in content quality and the donut obsession. So you may want to skip this entry and just read tommorrow’s post after I clean out my closet for the last 365 days.

For the Ides for March I have traditionally taken a moment to look back at my 15 best food related things of the last year. When I wrote last year’s edition, I can say I was truly happy (I don’t throw that word around too liberally). I had just come back from a great trip to Berkeley and was excited about what the spring had on my plate and some incredible possibilities for the year. Everything changed at the end of that week. I never defined myself by my day job but I came to find my department essentially no longer existed. My response was to travel around the country for two weeks with my dog to sort out what to do…..I did not figure that out.

At the beginning it was a struggle to think through this edition of the ides. I was not sure I would find fifteen things that were worthy of being happy about. My work (day job), family (the Honduran connection) and personal life each gave me a major sucker punch in the past year. If the stool that is me has four legs, three were knocked off.

I have done the math countless times in the last year and it never adds up. The equation seems to be: Nice Guy + X = screwed. My dog days are not over but my nice guy days did dissapear. I did not deserve any of the three hands that I was dealt but each one did mean that I had to change and it took a while to listen to that. The words intended for the next three paragraphs have been written and rewritten and finally removed after two months of reflection. Among the descriptors I deleted was the phrase “felt like being pissed on while being drowned”. In the spirit of ending TMI and also not wanting anything so negative to be part of my permanent record to the world we will move on. Ultimately, what happened was more dependent on how I respond to them and that was a lesson that came slow but surely as the 365 days came to a close.

There was still a lot of good. This list affirms that.

1. In May, with little planning or even a well thought out trip plan, CMH Tobias and I set out on a journey of discovery. It is all on twitter:

2. Malcom Gladwell is one of my favorite writers. He has concept of connectors. I have been called one on a few occasions. In the fall, an aquintanace approached me at an event I was working. She said “I never told you thank you”. I looked at her puzzled. “You introduced me to Slow Food Columbus, some great restaurants and wonderful people and helped me enjoy my new life in Columbus”. To that I say, you are welcome. As a kid that grew up very introverted and remained socially awkward well past college I never thought I would grow up to hear someone complimenting me for anything social. Now, I find myself surrounded by social media and showing others how to use it.

3. As I was starting to rebound from the first disappointment of the year, I was invited to go to Cleveland to eat and drink….for free. That was a wonderful trip of CLEGourmanding.

4. I had a great time working the Ohio Sweet Hearts event at the Hills Market. I was able to chat with Chef Norman all night and I was given a Jeni’s Ice Cream hoodie for my trouble. I also had a good post party with friends. It was a night to remember.

5. The Columbus Food and Wine Affair is a great event for our city. I have been able to assist as a wine judge for the past two years. Last year, I helped create and execute their social media strategy.

6. I made a lifelong commitment to DK Diner Donuts. I had them the first time in January 2010 but I was hooked by the ides. I think they may be the best donuts in town and maybe the state.

7. I had planned on staying at Rockmill Brewery for 30 minutes. I stayed for several hours. It was one of the best afternoons I have had in a very long time.

8. Mobile food does matter in Columbus. In 2009 it was Taco Trucks. In 2010, the interest expanded.

While most of my start up cash was unexpectedly reallocated to Honduras, I still have an interest in a mobile food operation. I have ¾ of a business plan and some resources but my concept is not going to happen in 2011. Maybe 2012.

9. I enjoyed grilling hot dogs for the masses at The Goodale Park Music Series.

10. I did not know my life bucket list included organizing and leading a parade. If you want to do one, it will cost at least $1000.

11. George Motz came back to town for Hamburger America II, so I took him to Johnnie’s. We did not have enough time to go to O’Reilly’s, maybe for the third book.

12. Hanging out with GA Benton and the crew for the Alive to explore the world of Taco Trucks.

13. Nelsonville, The Spikedrivers and Rhapsody

14. Making really good soup. Really. I made three great soups this year and the key was BluesCreek Farm bacon.

15. Hello iPhone – my new friend. My cell phone died in Mexico so I finally got an iPhone. It does make my day to day life easier.

I still hear “You never answer your phone” – true – I still turn it off for long bursts of time to disconnect since I spend much of the time overconnected. Technology connects us but disconnects us at the same time. I have been in too many social situations where I see people eyes and attention on their phone screens instead of being in the moment with the company they are with. There is a reason there are so many lonely people surrounded by people in the process of becoming connected to everything but each other. We have allowed ourselves to be disconnected from everyone. Stop it. Although I find the need to disconnect more frequently. Do as I write, not as I roll.

So what will the next 365 days bring? I have always had multiple projects going on at any given time, a job to chase, a country or cuisine to explore or multiple missions of great import. I don’t have that. There is no target in my sights. What am I hoping for? I don’t know anymore. That is a scary thing for me to consider. Et Tu Columbus?

(This post is dedicated to Cee Lo Green (musical genius) as well as Fitz and The Tantrums and every angry Metallica song I could find).

Posted in events | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 196 other followers