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Posts Tagged ‘Slow Food Columbus’

Mission to Athens: Farmers Market and more

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 16, 2009

A while back, I wrote that I was working on an Athens food tour and needed to get my rear in gear. It happened. Thanks to hard work and great leads from Kate Lainhart at Greener Grocer, some very patient and helpful folks in the greater Athens area, some fast footwork by Bear and Colleen at Slow Food and divine intervention in the weather arena. Here is the story from Bethia (Hungry Woolf) on the Slow Food Columbus blog – Slow Food Athens Weekend Tour June 2009

As part of my reconnaissance to put the tour together, I made my first trip to the Athens Farmers Market. The Market is open all year on Saturdays and Wednesdays from April to December. Hours are 10 AM to 1 PM.

Athens Farmers Market Link

We have a great selection of farmers markets in the Columbus Metropolitan area. There are some up and coming markets in Granville and Lancaster. However, the Athens Farmer’s Market has a history, depth of vendors and an energy that makes it unique and worth the road trip to Athens. Here the commentary ends and the photos begin. This also marks the premiere of the Athens page for this blog. Athens has become my second Ohio home and the world of food there is so amazing it deserves a page to itself.

Posted in markets, Road Trip | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Slow Food Columbus: Snails Slide South

Posted by CMH Gourmand on November 13, 2008

At some time or another, a food blogger will beg forgiveness for not posting or not posting well. That time has come for me. (CMH Gourmand is a pro bono blog). I have been swamped professionally and personally – mostly for the good… I think : >, for several months. So I ran away to San Diego for the Food and Wine Festival to get caught up on my writing in between meals.

 on the farm

On November 2, eighteen members of Slow Food Columbus headed to tour Athens. The trip was coordinated by members Alyssa, Liesl, and Arlene. The symbol of Slow Food is a snail. So we called the tour “Snails Slide South”. I’ll take a little credit for the name. I have posted a lot about Athens. I must admit I have always been smitten with Athens, especially the food scene.

So what is Slow Food? A quick answer is it is the opposite of fast food. The general concepts of Slow Food are: knowing where your food comes from, knowing who is growing or preparing it, eating local and seasonal food when possible, and getting to know the people at the table while you enjoy as well as learn about what you eat. Slow Food links well with the Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan posts from a few weeks ago.

A picture is worth a thousand words, Slow Food deserves much more than a sound byte / bite, so I am going to show you my Snails Slide South photos to help explain what the Slow Food is about. We have a very active chapter in Columbus with over 90 members. Check out the Slow Food Columbus blog to learn more about upcoming events and how to become a member.

Another benefit of Slow Food is fine friendships. I have the honor to call the Columbus Convivium leaders Colleen and Bear Braumoeller my friends and co-conspirators. Colleen has started working at the Greener Grocer at the North Market which is a natural extension of Slow “Fooding”. See Colleen below doing some Slow Food / Greener Grocer field research.

 In the Field

My best Brit, Bethia, aka Hungry Woolf is a member as well. She writes excellent posts about many of the Slow Food events and eating adventures.

Our first Stop was Village Bakery (268 East State Street).

 Village Bakery

We started with brunch, basking in the sun on the patio of Village Bakery’s night time pizza place – Del Zona Pizza.

Del Zona

I opted for the Huevos Rancheros.


In between good food and conversation, we had the opportunity to hear from the people behind the counter at Village Bakery. We learned about their business, food philosophy and how they connect with the community. We were also able to ask questions and sample some of their baked goods. Village Bakery was packed with people waking up from Halloween the night before so our speakers alternated with each other so they could cover the kitchen.

 Lecture 1

It was a pleasure to met with Christine Hughes, the owner of Village Bakery. She is a prime mover in the Athens food scene. She is also growing the Green Plate Club to help improve school lunches and food education in Athens schools.

lecture 2 Hughes

Christine then headed with us to Green Edge Gardens about 15 minutes outside of Athens for a farm tour. We toured the growing area for their multiple varieties of mushrooms (which are used at several of my favorite restaurants in Columbus). Christine helped us understand the connections between local farms and business.


We then moved on to see their microgreens (as seen with my Huevos Rancheros).

Micro Greens

I encountered something I had never seen before, this plant with the colorful off shoots is called Freckles.


We wrapped up with a tour of the fields to learn about the variety of crops Green Edge grows as well as the innovative techniques they use to produce their mostly organic produce through Ohio’s often variable four seasons.

After the farm it was back to Athens to visit Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery, for a microbrewery tasting and tour.

 Jackie O’s

Jackie O’s brewer, Brad Clark, poured through their microbrewed beers, offering samples of each and telling us the story of how each beer came to life, often with the addition of local ingredients.



We also had an opportunity to eat an example of Slow Food in action. Jackie O’s incorporates spent wheat used in brewing into their house made pizzas.


Bear, is our bourbon expert. He does not have much affinity for beer in his spirit world. However, he discovered a Bear friendly beer at Jackie O’s – Joe the Plum.

 Bear Beer

Hmm, looking at the ingredients it is easy to see how this beer has courted Bear’s taste. Joe the Plum is an excellent example of Slow Food in action. The wee comes from Village Bakery. The mix is soured with local micro flora. The 10.5% alcohol content might help a bit as well. However, I believe the key to the magic the brew brings to Bear is it’s aging process. And, the use of the barrel promotes recycling.

 Barrel aged

After sampling Jackie O’s selections, we were able to go behind the scenes and tap into the brewers knowledge of the beer making process.


At the end of our tour several of us walked to Casa Nueva for a sample of salsas and appetizers before hitting the road back to Columbus.

Many of the Athens restaurant owners and food purveyors grew their roots at Casa Nueva, which is an employee owned cooperative restaurant. Looking at the back of the “Casa” menu, there is a long list of local suppliers. The cooperative mindset continues after people leave Casa to start new businesses. These folks continue to work together to support each others ventures instead of competing for consumer dollars. This is how they are growing sustainable local eating one bite at a time.

Posted in bakery, beer, culinary knowledge, events, Road Trip, Vegetarian Friendly | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Slow Food Columbus is Moving Fast – Debrief on the Inaugural Dinner

Posted by CMH Gourmand on March 22, 2008

Slow Food Columbus served up their first dinner “Local and Loving It” on March 20th at Cafe del Mondo. In spite of competition from March Madness, The Celebrity Chef’s Dinner and other Columbus activities – the event was sold out with a waiting list of 8 people. Having a local chapter of Slow Food was long overdue – so thanks to recent immigrants Colleen and Bear for adding this to the Columbus plate.

I was one of the guests with the honor of spending the evening enjoying a great meal with some wonderful people. The menu is listed below.



Bruschetta with organic tomatoes and basil

paired with Dal Bello – Rosa della Regina – Brut Rose


Salad featuring Blue Jacket Farms mozzarella, Green Edge organic spring mix and mircrogreens, tomatoes, and a wonderful crouton

paired with and (2006) Cantina del taburno falanghina

Piatti Principali

Organic Pasta Bologonese with Spectrum Farm beef and organic vegetables

Rosemary garlic Mount Victory Porkloin

Farfalle all’olio (vegetarian)

Sauteed organic Green Edge greens

Artisanal bread

paired with 2004 Tenuta delle Terra Nere Etna Rosso “Calderara Sottana”


Baked organic apples – spiced and carmelized

served with Jeni’s Ohio Spicebush Berry ice cream

Paired with 2004 Lenotti Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico, Veneto

Capping off the evening


The creators on site from Slow Food Columbus (Laurie, Haley, Colleen, and Bear – and others behind the scenes) did a wonderful job putting a fine evening together. Wine pours were generous and helped fuel many good conversations at every table. Among the guests were the owners of Northstar Cafe and a manager from their Short North restaurant. In between courses we heard from the owners of Spectrum Farm (talking about their beef), Mt Victory Meats (discussing his business and the pork loin we were eating) and The Greener Grocer. We also heard from the owner of Cafe del Mondo / Fruta del Mondo discussing his business and well as why all breads and pastas are not created equal. The morsel I picked up from his talk – it really is worth paying a little more for good pasta and good bread – they are so much better for your body and and the flavor difference is significant. I also learned that “good” pasta can be placed in ziplock bag and frozen for a quick meal later.

Please take a look at the local Slow Food site for the full scoop on the evening (with photos).

Keep an eye out for more events from this group, it is still a very new branch of Slow Food. Based on conversations I had with Bear, Colleen, and Haley I am excited about how Slow Food Columbus is helping grow the ever expanding food culture of Columbus.

Another side note – I love to see local groups and people connect- the cool snail T-Shirts for Slow Food come from local T-Shirt shop extraordinare – Skreened.

Posted in Columbus, culinary knowledge, food | Tagged: | 1 Comment »