Saturday, 22 February 2014

Bringing Change to a Familiar Space: The Edit Room

Last week, I attended my first OEFFA conference, held annually at Granville High School and now in its 35th iteration. I went as an exhibitor, sitting at the Slow Food Columbus table and chatting with folks not only about the Slow Food movement and the work we're doing locally, but also about Columbus's diverse, growing food scene. In retrospect, it's the confluence of these types of lived experiences and dedication to the local, regional, and national food scenes that makes being a part of (and researching) Columbus so much fun. It's not all that often I get to catch up with Denison and Granville folks, let alone meet owners and producers of companies that I've known by association (e.g., Shagbark and Kombu-tea), as well as Facebook and blog followers I never knew I had (e.g., Local Food Coordinator Jeff Givens of Sanfillipo Produce). Among those I saw at the conference were Erin Harvey of The Kale Yard and The Going Green Store (who co-presented at one our Food and Culture Colloquium events) and Bryn Bird of Bird's Havens Farms, both of whom invited me to a "Cocktails and Community" happy hour hosted by the Licking County Local Foods Council. (As some context, I had been a part of the early stages of their work during my last year at Denison.) The site of the happy hour, and the principal focus of this post, was in a place which houses a catering business known as The Edit Room.

Depending on how familiar you are with the dining options in Granville, you might notice an all-too-familiar sight to your left upon entering The Edit Room. The bar is the only remaining post-renovation element of one my favourite Granville restaurants, The Short Story Brasserie [1,2], which closed rather unexpectedly a few years ago. Today, the rest of the space has indeed been edited by owner Lucas Atwood, a space which now accompanies Lucas's other business Snapshots (formerly The Junto Club, one of the first restaurants a pair of my Denison colleagues took me to, and a locale I've dined at since then), located off to the left and down the steps below of the wrap-around porch. The Edit Room, as you might be able to guess from the above right photo isn't the largest space and is thus a perfect setting for an intimate happy hour such as this one. The room itself is rather flexible, fitting sitting and standing arrangements up to a rather tight 40-person seated dinner.

Speaking of dinner, let's talk a bit about the food Lucas had available for us to chow on while we chatted.

After passing by the chocolate covered strawberries on the centre table (and snagging one... or two in the process), Lucas had an Asian-style lettuce wrap stir-fry (which included water chestnuts and walnuts) station, paired with hands-down my favourite thing of the evening: a baked brie dish complete with whiskey and brown sugar.

The stir-fry just had enough of a tolerable heat to it, the individual ingredients melded into a composite flavour that worked well against the crisp, refreshing lettuce. Sitting in a pool of its own utter deliciousness, the brie wheel, additionally topped with berries, was just begging to be eaten, to which I happily indulged.

Against the other window, and among the other items on the table, Lucas had set up a bread station with spreadable options of an Asian pear chutney made with pears from the summer harvest, a red pepper chutney made from produce from the Sunbeam Family Farm, and cream cheese.

And to the right of that, sitting decadently atop an old stereo(?) was a luscious cheesecake, the recipe of which belonged to Lucas's great-grandmother. Topped with a beautiful cream cheese icing, the cake itself was incredibly moist and full of textures, all of which sat in a warm, toasted, and contrastingly textured and crumbly crust.

With that, I'll sign off here. Many thanks to Erin and Bryn for the invite, and to Lucas for all the great food! For these and additional photos, please click here.

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