Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Local Eating Connections

   Conversations about local food typically focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and cheese from nearby farms. But there's more to building a local, sustainable, integrated food system. One important idea is to create a supportive economic community that keeps dollars circulating close to home. To do that we need to utilize and consume more of what's produced in the region where we live and work. And these days Cleveland is blessed with a wealth of amazing culinary and beverage entrepreneurs. I have blogged about two of them  Cleveland Whiskey  last February and Luna Bakery Cafe in September, 2011  and this past weekend they came together in an unexpected and delicious way.

photo by Barney Taxel
   We're fans of the whiskey and try our best  demand is intense  to have a bottle of it in the house at all times. And, truth be told, we like to indulge in a bit of after dinner sweetness, especially on the weekends. Bridget Thibeault, pastry chef and Luna's co-owner,  decided to make a special batch of her signature macarons spiked with the brown spirit distilled downtown (and aged at warp speed in a patented process) for Father's Day. When I saw an announcement about this on Facebook, I immediately emailed the husband suggesting he might want to pick some up on the way home from the studio.

   As the still life arranged on our kitchen counter reveals, he did. One bite of the light, crisp, airy cookie sandwiches-two rounds of meringue united by the alcohol-spiked butter cream filling- confirmed this was an inspired synergy. Tom Lix, Cleveland Whiskey founder and CEO, take note. This is a whole other delivery system for your product. Planned as a limited edition treat through the end of June, I hope we don't have to wait a year for more. Perhaps, if customer demand is strong,  Thibeault will consider baking them with some regularity.

  Meanwhile, Thibeault has been busy authoring a new book. Cupcake Decorating Lab: 52 Techniques, Recipes, and Inspiring Designs for Your Favorite Sweet Treats is now available on Amazon.

   In another expression of local and successful symbiosis, startup ice cream makers Jesse Mason and Helen Qin of Mason's Creamery, have a Cleveland Whiskey version. It's one of their many unique and unusual flavors. Spoonable spirits, great concept that totally worked for me.  Try some for yourself- they're scooping this week at the Downtown Farmers Market in Public Square Friday and the Kamm's Corners  Farmers Market Sunday.

 Also, Accent, Scott Kim's University Circle restaurant (my rave review appeared in the magazine last month) is hosting a blind taste test between Cleveland Whiskey’s Black Bourbon and a competitor's. Take the Cleveland Challenge at 6:30 p.m. July11. Stay for dinner; there are lots of exciting dishes on the summer menu.

1 comment:

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