Our Global Kitchen

Food connects us all, across continents, cultures, economies and generations.  Our Global Kitchen at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History  gives visitors an interactive, comprehensive and stimulating look at what we all have in common-an appetite!

Even before you step in to the exhibit, guests are treated to mouth-watering photos taken by Donna Turner Ruhlman, in Neo-Natural Behind our Local Kitchen.  In her stunning images, food is depicted at it’s source “field, farm or forrest,” and showcases people working to promote sustainability, like Jeremy Umansky and Chef Jonathan Sawyer.

Make your way in to Kahn Hall and you’ll be ushered in to the experience with a movie detailing how, though various degrees of separation, we are all connected globally, through food. Then the origins of seeds and livestock are outlined, along with facts about developing these sources, like how breeding chickens for higher yield grew production of one chicken from about a dozen, to 200-300 eggs per year.

global-kitchen-aztec-market

The portion detailing the ancient marketplace shows what ancient Aztecs grew, ate, and traded for.  Did you know cacao beans were currency at one point?? Yep, you could get a turkey egg for 3, or a whole rabbit for 30!  The exhibit also lays out which nations are the highest importers and exporters of various foods like wheat, beer, maize and soybeans.

Among the many interactive elements of Our Global Kitchen, was a touch screen that shows visitors how things like tuna, lamb and bananas are harvested, preserved and transported across the world.  My daughter’s favorite thing were the “smelling stations” that allowed her to press a button and waft up a scent of something (cocoa, ginger, garlic, popcorn, lemon, etc)

global-kitchen-food-waste

The food waste display was something that certainly struck me, after all….I HATE wasting food.  That’s the whole reason I started this blog.  At this station, guests are shown a visual of what is wasted by a single family of four annually, more than 1,600 lbs of food.

global-kitchen-test-kitchen

To add to the engagement, visitors are encouraged to share food pics on social media with the hashtag #CelebrateFood, and are shown a slide show of such photos.  And there’s a test kitchen that offers up demonstrations from local chefs, and scientific elements, like what your taste buds are and how they work.

For museum purists, there are displays of various peculiar looking utensils, and an eclectic collection of cookbooks that were influential.  I’m proud to say I own a couple of these.

By far the most entertaining element for me was the virtual meal prep.  Through a projector and a touchscreen, guests could see how to prepare tamales, a poached egg with hollandaise sauce, grilled salmon with peaches and a groundmeat soup.  Click here to see my video of it.

The exhibit concluded with an adorable and elaborate kitchen play set from Step2.  My daughter took to it like a food blogger’s daughter would.  She made herself at home and made me ravioli.  In all, a fulfilling afternoon at the museum learning about the thing that we all have in common-FOOD!

 

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Ohio City Provisions: a new, and true Farm to Fork concept

The term “Rise and Shine” was made for people like Trevor Clatterbuck and Adam Lambert.  They have been getting up before sunrise for months, working long hours readying their new project.  And it’s pretty exciting.  Both are heavy weights in Cleveland’s local food scene independently, (Trevor is the man behind Fresh Fork Market, a very popular CSA business (community supported agriculture) in Cleveland.  Adam is a well-established local chef, who’s logged hours in the kitchens of Bar Cento, and The Black Pig, to name just a couple) but together they’re doing something that isn’t being done anywhere else in town.

OCP Rise and Shine

The plans are to open up a market and butcher shop in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, near St. Ignatius High School.  The two plan to grow or raise everything they’ll sell there.  Fans of Fresh Fork will find all the good quality produce they’re used to (sourced from farms within 75-100 miles of Cleveland, organic when possible, and picked at the peak of freshness).

OCP produce

But what’s new, innovative and mouth-watering…is what they’re doing with hogs.  The pair have been experimenting with animal husbandry and feed to develop meat that you can’t get anywhere else in the state.

OCP hogs

I got a tour of the property in Holmes County where they have about 150 hogs on site.  Mangalitsa, Berkshire, Mulefoot, Red Wattle…all new vocabulary to me.  But what they have planned is not…charcuterie.  Yes, please!

OCP jen and a hog

They’ve got a supply chain in place, thanks to their “adventures in hog sourcing.”  The details of which the pair chuckle about, but don’t care to share.  After all, learning about heritage breeds is new territory for them too.  Clatterbuck has a background in business and political science.  Lambert is a self-taught chef.  But the two both seem right at home on the 200 acre property where they plan to get a lot of their product.

OCP Wholesome Valley Farm

They’re promising the best pork in the state.  The red wattles are said to be more tender.  The mangalitsas, used for things like Jamon Iberico.

OCP mangalitsa

What takes time, but will be worth the wait, I’m told…is controlling the product…all of it…from start to finish.  They are playing with breeds and what they feed the animals to get optimal product.  These hogs are given specific ratios of barley and grass from the fields.  Lambert says they have marbled loins, and even appear more red than pink when you cut into them.

Red Wattle Pig at Wholesome Valley Farm in Holmes County, Ohio

Red Wattle Pig at Wholesome Valley Farm in Holmes County, Ohio

Plus, they’re also raising other animals.  They have laying chickens, meat birds and heritage birds, whose pens and coops are moved weekly to insure exposure to fresh grass and soil for them to feed on, not to mention fresh air.

OCP mobile coop

They’re also working on ways to make heritage poultry more affordable. (which currently takes 18 wks.)

OCP heritage birds

The Hereford beef they are raising will be grass-fed, sustainable and have better flavor, according to Clatterbuck.  Those with smaller frames, he says, are easier to finish without incorporating high energy corn and grain.  Their plans also include growing non-GMO (and eventually, organic) corn and soy beans on site so the animals can feed off that.

OCP beef

There is so much in the works it’ll make your head spin.  The infrastructure is already in place for maple syrup production.  There are hives on site, for bees to pollinate the produce and generate honey.

OCP maple syrup infrastructure

They have secured their cannery, bakery, frozen foods and ferments permits.  OCP has acquired heavy machinery like bean snippers and corn huskers to handle the volume when fresh produce “comes in like a hurricane,” as Clatturbuck says.

OCP canned goods

When the store is up and running you can expect incredible products.  Believe me, I’ve had some of Chef Lambert’s charcuterie and it is unbelievable.  A true art.  But he’s even upped his game.  Clatterbuck and Lambert are fresh off a 2 day charcuterie workshop in Gascony, France.

forage with strangers charcuterie

And since it costs more (time and money) to raise these kinds of hogs, you can bet they won’t be selling them as pork chops.  You’ll see smoked and cured meats, specialty sausage and charcuterie.

Rendering of the Ohio City Provisions storefront

Rendering of the Ohio City Provisions storefront

Clatterbuck and Lambert are aiming to open Ohio City Provisions in January.  Can’t wait to see what will fill their cases, and the bellies of Clevelanders once they open their doors.

Forage with Strangers

I had the distinct honor of attending (in all honesty, crashing) a truly spectacular event, the inaugural “Forage with Strangers.”  It brought together influencers, connectors and innovators in Cleveland.  And we strangers bonded over a universal language: GOOD FOOD.

Let’s start with a little “behind the scenes” insight to how I came to be a part of this experience.  Over the course of the last year, I have been trying to immerse myself in the local culinary scene.  I’ve come to know some incredible people and eaten some spectacular food.  Social networking, no doubt, is a huge component of this.  So on Monday night, I started to see posts on Facebook and Twitter about this “Forage with Strangers” concept.  I was intrigued.  Being the intrepid reporter that I am, I started making some inquires.  And by mid afternoon, I was invited to join in.

I love people in the food world.  They just want everyone to have a good time and be well fed. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a microphone, or a a blog.  But I sincerely appreciated the willingness to include me in such a cool and intimate experience.

Here’s what the day was all about:  A creative thinker from The Adcom Group teamed up with Kalman & Pabst Photo Group to orchestrate a networking event connecting local food brand reps, with local farmers and producers.  The idea was to drum up business for everyone involved.  But for as long as I was around, no one mentioned dollars and cents.  Everyone was just talking about food and ideas.  So refreshing and so delicious.  Yet still so productive…and in the end, probably profitable.

The group started the event with a five course “pre-foraging” meal dreamed up by Dante Bocuzzi.  In my year as my station’s designated “food reporter” his name has come up more than anyone’s in the city as the guy you’ve got to work with, and whose food you have to eat.

forage with strangers van

The next morning, the group ventured out in a van to half a dozen locations to “forage” for ingredients that would be used for a catered feast that night.

forage with strangers bounty

Photos Courtesy Cristina Carosielli, Orlando Baking Co.

The 150 mile trek included Yellow House CheeseRittman OrchardsSpice AcresTrapp Family FarmOhio City Farm and Heinen’s.  The group gathered gorgeous fruits and vegetables picked at their peak, artisan cheeses and savory proteins.  In all, 40 bags were hauled back to the host site of the “Forage with Strangers” dinner.

forage with strangers happy hour

When I joined the party it was already time for happy hour.  Chef Bocuzzi and Chef Douglas Katz of Fire Food & Drink worked feverishly with a team of helpers to turn the day’s haul into tonight’s feast.

forage with strangers chefs working

Beer Master Sam McNulty of Bier MarktBar CentoMarket Garden Brewery and Nano Brew among the participants…as was Chef Adam Lambert, of The Black Pig and the upcoming Ohio City Provisions (a partnership with Fresh Fork Market).

forage with strangers table

The space was fantastic…full of natural light, props, and working kitchens for the commercial photographers at Kalman & Pabst to work their magic.

Forage with strangers cheese tray

We started with an impressive array of cheeses from Yellow House and Mackenzie Creamery and a charcuterie display to die for, courtesy of Chef Lambert.  I couldn’t stop myself from seconds and thirds of his chicken liver parfait, topped with Guernsey butter (from his own cows, and flavored with thyme and orange zest)

forage with strangers charcuterie

Wine was poured and conversation flowed among movers and shakers in the food world. I was eager to devour the details, and jealous that I missed all the foraging.

 forage with strangers diners

The inviting communal table set for 30 was soon filled with an incredible bounty.  Everything brought out family style, as you might imagine large farmers’ families do.  Even though the table stretched the length of the large space, there was barely enough room to set all the large platters full of farm fresh food.

tempura fried heirloom tomatoesforage with strangers walleye

Tempura fried heirloom tomatoes and Lake Erie Walleye with miso and radishes.

roaste beet-plum-goat cheese-salad  corn tomoato and cucumber salad

Plum and roasted beet salad with goat cheese.  Corn, cucumber and tomato salad.

Chef Doug Katzforage with strangers roasted chicken

Buttermilk fried chicken livers and Harissa roasted chickens by Chef Katz.  Plus hand made gnocchi ratatouille from the pasta master himself, Chef Dante.

Photo Courtesy Cristina Carosielli, Orlando Baking Co.

Photo Courtesy Cristina Carosielli, Orlando Baking Co.

We ate and talked and shared ideas, and ate and listened and shared seconds, and ate and laughed and shared inspirations.  The meal ended with everyone reflecting on their favorite part of the day.

forage with strangers dessert

There was dessert…oh yes, there was dessert.  Dante made an apple tarte tatin, and Doug crafted a couple of spectacular ice creams with fresh fruit toppings.

I left the dinner table buzzing with ideas and tingling with inspiration.  There are immensely talented people in my city who believe they can change their world and yours with food and shared experiences.  I want in.  How about you? 

Chef’s Garden

Every chef I’ve ever met speaks about the importance of fresh ingredients and working with what’s in season.  What better way to control the quality of what you serve, than to grow it yourself?  

Unless you’re a regular, you probably would never know the volumes of produce grown behind one of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland, L’Albatros Brasserie + Bar.  A tour of their garden left me hungry for a fresh summer salad and ashamed that I haven’t been taking better care of my own garden!

Chef de Cuisine, Temple Turner was gracious enough to show me around and walk me through what they’re growing, and what they make from their more than modest garden.

L'Albatros-greens

The staff works with a gardener, Lois, to plot out their plots and designate the best picking times for things like thyme and basil.  Turner says they are trying to get as many greens in the ground as they can fit.  They use things like Swiss chard and kale for salad specials.

L'Albatros-watercress-table2

Their two cascading watercress tables are just amazing.  They harvest from there every day for use in Watercress Cesar Salads and for garnish on nearly every other entree.

Chef-Temple-Turner

Fragrant concord grapes cover the back fencing.  Turner says they’ll use it in a sorbet, a compote for desserts or a sauce on a protein.  Same goes for the bright and bold currants.

L'Albatros-currants

About 20% of their produce during high season comes from their own garden, but they’d like it to be more.

FRISÉE AND BACON LARDONS WITH POACHED EGG

FRISÉE AND BACON LARDONS WITH POACHED EGG

“It provides some options when a picky table or diner asks to switch things up.  We pick out something from the garden as an alternative, harvest it and cook it on the spot…fresh from the garden,” the chef says.

Peppered throughout the plots are baby strawberry plants.  The fruit easily wilts almost immediately after you pick it.  So rather than incorporating them into dishes, they’ll offer them up to diners during garden tours.  Two or three times a night, guests are brought out into this little oasis after their meal, as a way to showcase what the restaurant does with the space.

L'Albatros-wildflowers

Even the flowers you’ll see decorating the bar, dining room and bathrooms come from this same garden

“It was tough to get it off the ground, and coordinate what they could harvest but once that was determined it got easier,” says Turner.

L'Albatros-watercress-salad

With limited space in the kitchen, trying to coordinate when to harvest and clean large volumes of their own produce in the kitchen is tricky.  But when you taste things like this watercress salad, made up on the fly in the L’Albatros kitchen, you’ll see it’s worth it.

Zack-Bruell-Oil-and-Vinegar

Honey Glazed Grilled Stone Fruit with Mint Lime Yogurt Dip

When you get fresh organic produce delivered to your doorstep each week, it’s easy to get inspired.  Door to Door Organics has been supplying my family with beautiful fruits and vegetables this summer, and asked me to create an original recipe using their inventory.  There was so much to work with, that I actually created two!  The first I’ll share is a sweet app, or light dessert that my guests (and children) gobbled up.  It’s Honey Glazed Grilled Stone Fruit and a Mint Lime Yogurt Dip.  

I’m excited about this post because it is my first GIVEAWAY!  I have a couple $50 gift certificates to give away as part of my partnership with the online grocer, newly launched in the Greater Cleveland/Akron area.  Details and instructions at the end of the post.  Now, back to the business of recipe creation!

I love stone fruit.  Peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines…they’re all wonderful to snack on, and cook with.  And I was happy to discover how much my kids enjoyed them too.  But just slicing them up and serving them plain seemed boring and uninspired to me.  So I took a couple of items that arrived in a recent Door to Door Organics delivery and turned them into something pretty spectacular, and supremely easy.  That’s what makes me one of their #KitchenMavens,I suppose!

mint-lime-yogurt-dip

The dip is just a couple of ingredients, and can be altered based on what you have on hand.  I made it a couple of different ways to see which I preferred.  My first variety (and my favorite) marries just three ingredients:

-5oz.vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of chopped organic fresh mint, the zest of half of an organic lime.  I blended those in a small food processor and refrigerated that while I grilled up the fruit.

Other varieties and variations that also worked for me:

-5 oz. plain Greek Yogurt, a tablespoon of honey, then the same amounts of lime zest and mint.

-5 oz. Stoneyfield Low Fat French Vanilla Organic Yogurt (available via Door to Door Organics) plus above mentioned lime zest and mint leaves.  This version was more runny, but less sour and I know some people take issue with the flavor of Greek yogurt.

julia-loves-yogurt

Bonus: this dip can also be eaten just like regular yogurt, as proven by my best taste-tester and recipe-approver, my 20 month old daughter.

The grilled fruit part is even easier.  Just work with whatever stone fruit you prefer.  I like peaches and nectarines best with this, but apricots and plums will also work.  Since the organic plums and apricots have been on sale and in season with my partner in this post, I used those.  (Note: the fruits hold up better when they’re less ripe) Slice them down the middle and remove the pit.  Then brush each side with some honey and place them flesh side down on a grill or grill pan.  Each piece of fruit only takes a couple minutes on the grill at medium/high heat, just enough to get those beautiful grill marks on them.  Remove them to cool, then slice them up.  And….you’re done!  

honey-glazed-grilled-stone-fruit

Double Bonus: Gotta put a Cheftovers twist on this, right?!   These can also turn into frozen yogurt pops.  I took the sliced grilled fruit and yogurt dip that wasn’t eaten, pureed it in a blender, poured it into Popcicle molds and popped them in the freezer for another time.  They were eaten just as quickly as the yogurt alone.  

  Now to this business of a giveaway!  Want to win??  Please do me the “flavor” of following my pals as Door to Door Organics,

 And my followers and friends will get $10 off their first order by using my exclusive  Cheftovers Coupon.

If you want $50 is FREE ORGANIC GROCERIES delivered to your doorstep, please COMMENT on this post.  I’ll be picking a winner at random.  (and if they don’t operate in your zip code, you can always send the e-certificate to a friend who could use it)

Door to Door Organics: #joydelivered now in Northeast Ohio

To me, getting a fresh organic produce delivery is as good as flowers delivered to my doorstep.  Because in my house, food is love.  And I love what I’m feeding my family now that Door to Door Organics is filling up my fridge.  The food geek in me was pretty excited when the first boxes arrived.

DTD boxes

As part of their effort to spread the word about their new presence in the Cleveland/Akron area, Door to Door Organics, https://ohio.doortodoororganics.com/ offered me the opportunity to try their service and products (complimentary) then provide a review.   I’m a Kicthen Maven!  #kicthenmavenCLE  And what’s best? I have $50 gift certificates and discounts to give away to Cheftovers readers and followers!!  All you have to do is follow my blog, share this post, or comment.  I’ll be randomly selecting winners from those who support Cheftovers and Door to Door Organics. (@dtdorganics, https://www.facebook.com/DoorToDoorOrganicsOhio)

Here’s how the process works: You sign up via their website (linked above) and chose the size produce box you’d like to have delivered to your home or office, (fruits, veggies or a combo) and the frequency (weekly or bi-weekly).  Then you can customize!

What I really like about this service versus traditional CSA’s (community supported agriculture, where you get a grab bag of local, in-season produce delivered regularly) is that you can set your preferences and substitute items.  The complaints I always hear from CSA participants is when something is in season, they often get too much of it, whether they like it in the first place or not.  Door to Door Organics allows you to set preferences when you sign up.

I don’t want anything to do with Brussels sprouts.  I think they taste like feet, no matter how much bacon you cook them in.  So I put those and a few others on my “Don’t Want” list.

On the other side of the coin, I got to put together a list of fruits and veggies that my family thinks are awesome.  Since we are not an “all organic” household either, I chose produce that I believe are worth eating organic (and left out those which don’t matter as much to me).  In addition, you can substitute items.  A few days before your delivery comes, you’ll get an email listing the items that’ll be in your box of #joydelivered.  You’re allowed up to five substitutions.  There are many to chose from and it’s easily spelled out what you can get instead for the same price.

This week I’m planning to make a new enchilada dish (subsequent post and recipe coming soon!), so I substituted something I wasn’t interested in, and added a couple jalapenos.  I also noticed that my “Bitty Box” would have another pound of organic carrots in it.  We hadn’t yet finished the bag that came last week, so I substituted that too.

To finish, I shopped for things I’ll need for the recipe I’m developing, like rice and black beans.  This saved me a “bonus” trip to the grocery store where I’d end up buying more things I probably didn’t need.  I think a dozen organic brown eggs are going to be added to my order every week!  Yum.

DTD organics meat and dairy

I was also pleased to see that the dairy and meat I added to my order came in a well insulated box, as it sat outside on the back patio until I came home that evening.  (the meat that could be frozen, was, adding to the “chill” factor in the “add-ons” box).

DTD cooler box

I am a new customer to the organic groceries world.  So in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, I must say…the price on some of this stuff is significantly higher than I’m used to.  But the “convenience” factor cannot be ignored.  And those who already shop and eat organically are familiar.  I also value and appreciate that the produce is local (when possible) along with products from several vendors.  I love that.

Door to Door Organics Bitty Box, feeds 1-2 adults for $25.99

Door to Door Organics Bitty Box, feeds 1-2 adults for $25.99

I have been meaning to try a CSA for several summers now.  But honestly, adding another errand to my to-do list (driving to a pick-up location at a designated day, time and location) is not appealing.  But getting #joydelivered through Door to Door Organics has been great.  Easy, healthy and delicious.  I plan to continue it!

My readers and followers can get a discount on their first order.  Use https://ohio.doortodoororganics.com/signup?gift_cert=CHEFTOVERS15O