Wednesday, 11 June 2014

EatWith, Round 2: Parisian Bistro-Style Food Fare

Two Saturdays ago, Brianne and I joined host, home cook, and food enthusiast Tess Geer at her French-style country home in Westerville for another delicious EatWith dinner. Following our previous (and first) experience the week before, the bar for me was set rather high. Tess, as expected, did not disappoint, offering us and her other Westerville-area guests a menu brimming with bistro food fare appropriate for any time of the year. On the evening's menu: olive selection and roasted almonds; goat cheese, leek and mushroom tart; roasted lemon chicken with potatoes and carrots; romaine salad with lemon dressing; cheese selection; madeleines and mocha pots de crème.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Cooking in Columbus: Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin et al.

Hello, Food Fans! It's been a while for many things, as they relate to this blog, chief among them being a meal post. Last night, Brianne and I ventured to a local Meijer and amidst a growing sense of hunger bought a slew of ingredients which will eventually find a place here. For dinner, and in under an hour and a half, we pulled together a meal which stuffed ourselves with ingredients costing in total no more than $15. On the menu: apple-stuffed pork loin with toasted white rice, seasoned kale with bacon, and angel food cake with strawberry-rhubarb compote.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

In Pursuit of a Provençal Summer... in Ohio

Tess finishes off a large pan of haricots verts with freshly ground black pepper and a blend of rosemary, lemon, and garlic salt
Over the course of two Slow Food Columbus encounters, I have since felt privileged to have met Tess Geer, owner of Gourmet Salt Blends, and--most recently--Ohio's first EatWith host. The EatWith concept is fairly straightforward: folks passionate about food, cooking, and hosting, invite diners from around the world to eat with them. But it's not just anyone who gets to be certified and insured by those running EatWith. After proposing a unique offering as part of their application, potential hosts undergo a series of paperwork, interviews, and trainings. Tess has made it through the process and as my luck would have it, her angle is à la française. A frequent traveler to France (she has a home just outside of Paris) and connoisseur of regional traditions and tastes, Tess invites her guests to dine at her beautiful French-inspired country home. The emphasis, it should be noted, is that she does not only cook for others, but more importantly she eats with them. The result is an unforgettable experience, and one which I learned first hand a few days ago leaves you with a feeling that you just dined at a longtime family friend's home. Indeed, you might very well walk away from an EatWith meal by Tess with a sense that this was an everyday affair and not an EatWith event. In this post, I'd like to highlight the test meal that Tess concocted, an EatWith offering aimed at transporting guests to a summer in Provence.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Restaurant Review: Scrambler Marie's

Scrambler Marie's on Urbanspoon

Somehow more than a month has past since my last blog post, and wow have the past weeks been flown by with foodie flare! Before I catch you up on my latest adventures--more recently those from Texas--I wanted to post a review of a brunch place in the Polaris area of Columbus. For those of you who may not have known, earlier this year Learning through Food was featured (along with local bloggers The Breakfast Grub Guy and Leptologists at Lunch) in the January 2014 issue of CityScene Magazine. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by Amy Burns, who teaches (and has since revamped) Family and Consumer Sciences at Centerburg High School. I presented to her Foods for Life classes, as well as students studying agriculture sciences. Throughout the semester, Amy's Foods for Life students have been blogging about food (coincidentally, and not at all surprisingly, on-line blogging and food critique were the foci of my presentations); now that their semester is coming to a close, they had one blogging assignment left: to take all they learned and put it into practice into an in-depth restaurant review. Grateful for the opportunity to join them, I gladly accepted Amy's invitation and alongside her seniors and Steve (a guidance counselor at the high school), I embarked on a journey to Scrambler Marie's.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Happy First Birthday, Alfie's!

Alfie's on Urbanspoon

Evening greetings, foodies and food-consumers alike! Despite the handful of other restaurant experiences I know I need to write about, I feel compelled to jump ahead and share with you my experience this evening back in Granville, as this is obviously freshest on my mind. Tonight's attention is being duly paid to Alfie's Wholesome Food, which held its first birthday party today. Perhaps you may remember my blog post of Alfie's opening day last year? Regardless if you ever read it, I expressed my hope then that Alfie's would be well established in Granville. By the looks of the crowd that descended upon East Broadway and behind the Robbins Hunter Museum, this locavore restaurant certainly has. In addition to the opening of neighbouring Wisp Knitting Shop, there was certainly much for Chef/Owner Sam Dodge and his team, as well as Granvillians and visitors, to celebrate.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Quick Notes from the Short North: Arch City and Mac's

In my world of food, the opportunity to try out new recipes and restaurants is quite plentiful. And for those who know me well (as a food blogger, at least) know that I aim to use my blog (and how up-to-date I am with it) as a metric when it comes to accepting such opportunities for learning through food. Well, with the semester quickly winding down, I haven't done the best job keeping up with this thing and I certainly haven't stopped cooking and eating, as has hopefully been evident in my recent swing of catch-up posts. (If it's not evident yet, it should be in the next few days.) This being said, I wanted to make sure I include here my restaurant experiences at Arch City Tavern and Mac's Café.

Epic Food Day #2: Cleveland

Last month, Brianne and I went on an epic food day journey to Pittsburgh. Just a few weeks later, we ventured about two and a half hours northeast to Cleveland, the county seat of Cuyahoga County (the most populous county in Ohio), to get a sampling of its culinary offerings. In addition to checking out the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Museum of Art, a fair amount of equal time was spent at Cleveland's oldest publicly owned market--West Side Market--and Cleveland Chop, both of which are reviewed in this post.