Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Forking Out

The food prepared by local chefs for Monday night’s Bastille Day party and fundraiser at Greenhouse Tavern was absolutely amazing, and left no doubt that Cleveland is a top tier town when it comes to dining. Anyone who says different clearly doesn’t get out enough and has no clue as to what’s going in our restaurant kitchens. Because I made paté for the event (see my post from last week), I got to don an apron, pitch in as a helper, and at least look like I was part of this impressive bunch. It was an honor, and the effort of actually preparing a dish for the buffet was a reminder of how incredibly hard these people work in order to bring us good things to eat.
Friday night, July 17, I’ll be at Moxie for the 6 PM “Who’s the Boss” grill-off between restaurant owner Brad Friedlander and Executive Chef Jonathan Bennett. I’ll be eating professionally as one of three judges tasked with determining the ultimate winner of this heated competition. Word’s been leaked that Friedlander is calling on some top talent for an assist with his roast pig and jumbo shrimp, while Bennett, who plans to cook tuna and lobster, aims to capture extra votes by adding his two adorable kids, dressed in chef’s coats, to his team. The public is invited to join the fun, and enjoy the food. Patio diners who choose the guys’ creations as a dinner special can weigh in before we judges make our final decision. 216-831-5599 for reservations.
My next scheduled event chowdown is The First Ever Rock n Roll BBQ Throwdown, July 26 at the Beachland Ballroom, 1-5 pm. I have no official role, and am free to graze just like everybody else on the spread set out by the participating chefs, many of whom also contributed to Monday night’s shindig, representing more than 20 restaurants including Crop, Bar Cento, Fahrenheit, The Greenhouse Tavern, Moxie, and Dante (opening soon- we hope- in Tremont). Always generous in supporting other people’s causes, this time they’re raising money for their own organization Cleveland Food Rocks, a non-profit collaborative of Cleveland-area restaurants and food-service operations dedicated to promoting and encouraging a vibrant local dining scene. Let’s show them we appreciate all they do and their contributions to our quality of life. Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased online, or $30 cash or check at the door. Live music by local bands is part of the mix. The party happens rain or shine in the tented parking lot, 15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland.

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