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 (Ohio, the Midwest, and in the old days 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 may 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, Stock & Barrel and other publications.
Locally, I judge for various food contests including the North Market and the Ohio State Fair. I was a long time contributor for food related information on Columbus Underground. I teamed 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 was 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, and The Columbus Food Truck Cookbook. I worked on three food related books to date, all went belly up before publication, but I now know a lot about pizza, regional sandwiches and Columbus Restaurant and Brewery History. 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 from 2009 to 2010. I was 1/3 of the team behind TacoTrucksColumbus.com as well as a contributor/editor for 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 / 90.5. The show aired every Saturday at 2 pm just before the Splendid Table from July 2011 to July 2014.
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 an overweight 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 in and out of Ohio (17 countries and 48 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 once asked online, with a bit of snark, about my credentials. So I took the above and some other items and condensed into the list below. In addition to being obese, there is also some legitimate “science” to balance out my art of eating.
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 2014
Countless cooking classes and workshops since 1993
2nd place in three Chili competitions
Kansas City BBQ Society Certified BBQ judge since 2005
Judge at Ohio State Fair Food Competitions 2010 to present
Judge at North Market competitions 2008 to 2013
Judge at countless pro and semi pro contests
Coordinator of Pizza Gran Prix 1-6
I eat out a lot
I worked for the Food Fort for two years where I consulted for food trucks, carts, food based businesses, restaurants, etc., as well as created events and opportunities for our members.
I owned and operated a social media and small business consulting company that worked exclusively with food based businesses 2010 to 2015.
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 co-owner and lead guide for Columbus Brew Adventures (brewery and distillery tours) since 2013.
Mystery Shopper for a “fast casual burger chain” 2015 to present
I am sure I forgot a couple things.
Eat, Drink, Repeat and Enjoy.