CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Posts Tagged ‘Hills Market’

Hills Market + Snowville Creamery = Beer Floats!

Posted by cmh gourmand on May 27, 2009

Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream Social

Jill from the Hills teamed up with Jen and Warren from Snowville Creamery to craft a pairing of two of my favorite things – ice cream and beer. Visitors could sample either separately or even better – together in the form of beer floats (or a FrostTop Root Beer float for the timid, young and infirm).

There were many skeptics about beer floats but most were converted after the end of the the evening. I now will break down the steps in the process. DO TRY THIS AT HOME.

Step 1:
Get Snowville Creamery milk, a lot of ice, some sugar, vanilla and a few other items.

Step 2:
Pour, dump and spoon ingredients into your ice cream maker. In this case, Snowville’s bicycle powered ice cream churner. This is one of the coolest things ever.

Step 3:
Wait about 45 minutes for the ice cream to churn and chill. “Let” other people pedal the bike because it is fun, fun, fun! Then get a glass.

Step 4:
Select a beer. This is where people get a little squeamish. You have to choose good beers to make good floats. Jill and the Hills did a fine job with selection – three beers were picked that were float friendly.

Orange Blossom - Orange Ale * Framboise - Raspberry Lambic * Hoppin Frog - Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Orange Blossom - Orange Ale * Framboise - Raspberry Lambic * Hoppin Frog - Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Step 5 & 6:
Put scoop of homemade ice cream in beer glass. Drink float.


My favorite was The Orange Ale Float – it had an orange creamcicle quality that was perfect for a hot night.

Camera provided by and photo taken by Hungry Woolf

Camera provided by and photo taken by Hungry Woolf

It was a good evening for all. A few biked the Olentangy Bike Trail which conveniently ends at the Hills Market. For those of you looking to get a disinterested person on a bike then on the trail – dangle the Hills as the end of the road reward. If there is not an event going on – there are plenty of treats to be had including: pints of Jeni’s Ice Cream, Pistacia Vera cookies, Dorothy Lane Market Killer Brownies, Sugardaddy’s Brownies and many more reasons to ride.

Snowville makes it to a few events at the Hills Market and other places in town and sometimes they bring their bikeomatic ice cream churner with them. If you see it in action – get your ice cream first and shop later, homemade ice cream scoops out quickly.

Gourmand’s Note:
A funny things happened to me on the way to the market…..

I charged my camera battery for this occasion, but forgot to put it in my camera. Fortunately, there was a Hungry Woolf at the Hills. She loaned me her camera and one of her photos so I can promote my beer float cult. Thanks B.

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Posted in beer, culinary knowledge, ice cream, markets | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The Market Report – What You Are Missing.

Posted by cmh gourmand on February 24, 2009

Hills MarketPistacia Vera Dessert Pairing with 5 wines and 1 beer (Cherry Lambic), February 12th

It was a wonderful night. Pistacia Vera now sells select items at the Hills. They make a multitude of memorable macaroons, some of which you can savor at Hills. Several of my usual suspects finally joined me for a night at the Hills, including Hungry Woolf so I will defer to her excellent post.

Hungry Woolf at the Hills

New eventful evenings are on the horizon at the Hills Market including a cooking class with the Restaurant Widow – Lisa Dillman. Sign up – you will not be disappointed. Sometime before Spring passes by I plan to have Hill’s Cheesemonger, Kent Rand on Columbus Foodcast.

The North Market – 4th Annual Fiery Foods Festival (February 21st)

I found myself at the North Market on official business as judge for the Professional and Amateur chili contests. There were eleven samples ladled by the professionals then a taste off between two at the end to decide second place. This was the chili contest cast of characters.

Kevin Bertschsi – Alana’s Food + Wine
Jerry Bullock – North Market Poultry and Game
Stephani Janel Hedgepath – Barley’s Brewing Company
Rocco Valentino – Pasteria
John Dornbeck – Basi Italia
Justin Shoults – Handke’s Cuisine
Matt Prokopchak – Trattoria Roma
John Skaggs – MyCateredTable.com (formerly of Northstar and L’Antibes)
Anthony Frazier – Urban Chefs
Ken Smith – Catering Consultant
and I apologize – another really good chili maker disappeared from my notes, done in by a kidney bean

Update:
Under the kidney bean, the name was (Thanks MM) Tom Hoover from Happy Trails.

Chef Chili Challenge – Prize: (see photo a little farther down) and $200 in North Market gift certificates.

Chef John Dornbeck and wife Trish Gentile serving chili

Chef John Dornbeck and wife Trish Gentile serving chili

Each chili blended different ingredients and styles to create very unique flavors – savory and sweet; mild and wild: hot and really hot. My favorites were crafted by Jerry Bullock, John Dornbeck and a name smudged out with chili sauce that was a spicy southwestern chili with corn and zucchini. John Dornbeck always has a wild card up his culinary sleeve for North Market contests (he would make a great Iron Chef contestant). His version of chili included chorizo and espresso. If it had a fried egg on top (known as Estilo de Colleen) it would be the perfect breakfast dish. (By the way, Basi now has an incredible 1/2 price deal Monday to Thursday early evenings, check it out – but don’t steal my seat.)

The chili champion (in a very tight race) was Jerry Bullock from North Market Poultry and Game. If you have not sampled the cuisine at his side counter, try it next time you visit – his crew always have several slow cooked surprises to serve.

Customer Chili Cook Off – Prizes: first place winner $100 and the runner up $50 in North Market gift certificates.

This was another competition with narrow margins between victory and defeat. There were 15 chili recipes to sample, including chili from The Restaurant Widow (Lisa is everywhere).

My kudos and respect go to Robin Davis, Food Editor for the Dispatch. She and I were the only judges to sample all chili concoctions in both contests. We both survived. I plan to sit next to her at any future competition because she always packs an epinephrine pen with her for unforseen ingredients. As a judge with a fish allergy unsure if he was allergic to shark chili last year, Robin is a handy person to have within arms reach.

Other events at the Fiery Foods Festival:

Wings of Fire Wing Eating Contest; Two divisions: “Hot and Extremely, Insanely Hot”

Cajohn’s took over the upper level kitchen all day for their Fiery contests and for cooking. Chef Steve Lawrence and I go back to Kindergarten so it is a personal and professional pleasure to sample his culinary creativity.

There were also free fiery foods galore to sample while exploring the market festivities.
Mary Martineau knows how to make the North Market fiesta like it is 2099. Thank goodness she does not make it Macarena like it was 1989.

Cheeses sampled by Curds and Whey - including Satanic Goat - no joke

Cheeses sampled by Curds and Whey - including Satanic Goat - no joke

Stop missing the good stuff. Both the Hills and The North Market have plenty more in store for March and beyond. Take a reusable bag, support local business, meet the people that keep Columbus on the culinary radar, take a cooking class and enjoy.

A Gourmand disclaimer:

(Pardon the lack of advance notice for these events, my wireless connectivity has been frequently foiled this winter. I love living in Clintonville – (although Victorian Village has been calling my name for months) however the ancient electrical grid in my neighborhood and the bone numbing cold has not been friendly to my high speed connectivity. It has encouraged some hefty weight gain but I guess polishing off pancakes, sampling 20+ chilis, scouting 4 taco trucks and hosting a Mardi Gras party in a 12 hour period will facilitate fatty tissue).

Posted in culinary knowledge, events, markets | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Hills Market – 2009 Wine and Cheese Tasting Line Up

Posted by cmh gourmand on January 24, 2009

I wrote and raved about Hills Wine and Cheese tastings in 2007 and 2008. Each month, the market presents an evening of wine, cheese, and appetizers (featuring the cheeses) inspired by a country, region or theme. Constance (wine director) and Kent (cheesemonger) pair up to create the wine and cheese pairings. They guide us through each wine we drink and each chunk of cheese we devour to fill our minds with knowledge while we fill out stomachs. It is a great night of good conversation with interesting and diverse people.

A taste of a tasting is offered in Columbus Foodcast, episode 15.

Here is the line up for 2009:

Seating is limited, reservations can be made at 614.846.3220. The cost is $35. Take your seats at 6:30 PM or I will steal your cheese.

January 29 – Ohio

(Post Post – 01/30/09)
This is what we had:

Wine
Firelands Winery Sparkling, NV
Ferrante Winery Vidal Blanc
Harpersfield Pinot Gris
Markko Vineyards Chardonnay
South River Winery Trinity
Kinkead Ridge ‘River Village Cellars’ Cabernet Franc

Hors D’oeuvres...

Ratatouille Bruschetta (Served with Ohio Goat Cheese)
Mini Cheese Artichoke Hearts (Served with Ohio Monterey Jack)
Stuffed Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cheese and Bacon (Served with Ohio Smoked Cheddar)
Savory Spinach Cheese Squares (Served with Ohio Farmers’ Cheese)
Sour Kraut Gouda Balls (Served with Ohio Caraway Gouda)
Feta-stuffed Mediterranean Pocket Pitas (Served with Ohio Feta)

February 26 – Germany and Switzerland

March 26 – East Coast U.S. and Canada

April 30 – France

May 28 – Greece

June 25 – West Coast

July 30 – Spain and Portugal

August 27 – South America

September 24 – Italy

October 29 – Australia and New Zealand

November 19 – Autumn Cheeses and Wine

December 10 – Sparkling Wines and Cheeses

Posted in cheese, culinary knowledge, events, markets, wine | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

A Tale of Two Tastings – Hills Market and Tip Top

Posted by cmh gourmand on April 21, 2008

Hills Market had a British Beer and Cheese tasting on April 17th. The turnout was smaller than I expected, only eight souls, but we had a fabulous time. Kent Rand walked us through the cheeses and Constance Begue covered the background of the beers we sampled. Kent did a wonderful job creating appetizers to complement the beer and cheeses.

This is what we sampled:

All the beers were Ales.

Beer: Smithwick’s Irish Ale (Ireland)
Cheese: Blarney Castle (Ireland – semi-soft, park skim milk)
Appetizer: Melon balls wrapped with Blarney castle cheese and a dusting of pistachio nuts

Beer: Samuel Smith Organically Produced Ale (England)
Cheese: Cotswold (England – semi firm cheddar)
Appetizer: Flour tortilla with mayo, spinach, Cotswold cheese, roasted red pepper and grilled chicken breast

Beer: St. Peter’s Golden Ale (Wales)
Cheese: Red Dragon (England – Cheddar blended with toasted mustard seed and a bit of ale)
Appetizer: Brioche with mesclun, red dragon cheese, roast beef and a drizzle of horseradish

Beer: Black Douglas Ale (Ireland)
Cheese: Dubliner (Ireland – aged semi-firm)
Appetizer: endive leaf wrapped with ripe pear, Dubliner cheese, thyme, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper

Beer: Fuller’s Extra Strong Bitter (England)
Cheese: Stinking Bishop (England – soft English stinky cheese)
Appetizer: a wafer-sized slice of fig almond cake with Stinking Bishop cheese and dried cranberries

Beer: Kelpie Seaweed Ale (Scotland)
Cheese: Shropshire Blue (England – aged Stilton)
Appetizer: baby portabella mushroom caps stuffed with Shropshire Blue cheese, tomato bruschetta and Panko bread crumbs

This is what you missed, make sure to give at least one of the Hills tastings a try in the future.

May 29, 2008 – Wines & Cheese from Spain 6.30 p.m.

June 26, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from Greece 6.30 p.m.

July 24, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from Italy 6.30 p.m.

August 21, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from Australia 6.30 p.m.

September 25, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from France 6.30 p.m.

October 23, 2008 – Octoberfest: Beers & Cheeses 6.30 p.m.


Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails partnered with the Columbus Beer Wench for the first Tip Top Drink with the Wench Beer Sampling on Sunday, April 20th from 5pm until 8pm. The sampling included beer, and generous helpings of Ohio Nachos (housemade potato chips topped with melted cheese, tomatoes, green onions, black olives, jalapenos, and sour cream), Sweet Potato Fries and Red Bean Hummus.

We sampled six different beers, three from the Tip Top menu and three candidates for new beers to update the menu. Each person had the opportunity to vote on which of the current beers should be discontinued and which of the new beers should be added to the Tip Top beer selections. Beers chosen by the group will be featured as local selections. The end result, two old beers stayed and one new beer was added.

The Columbus Beer Wench coordinated the pours and poured on the commentary with a touch of charm. Tim Lessner, co-owner kept the food coming and added some Surly Girl insight. Andy Wuelfling from Premium Beverage Supply gave us insider information on each of the beers and clarified that in the industry – there are two schools of thought on just about anything so the end result is essentially – if you like it, it is good.

Here is what we tried.
Southern Tier – HopSun (my favorite)
Lagunitas – The Censored – (formerly Chronic) Cooper Ale

Flying Dog – Old Scratch Amber Lager
Flying Dog – Garde Dog (Biere de Garde)
Southern Tier – Phin and Matt’s (the owners) extraordinary ale
Ft. Collins Brewery – Retro Red

The bolded selections were the winners.

So – as I often say, if you can not find something to do in Columbus – you are not looking.

Posted in bar, beer, beverages, cheese, Columbus | Tagged: | 2 Comments »