Photo: Jared Whalen at Pigalls circa 2004 (provided by Scott McDonald)
This is not the kind of story I want to write. The unexpected loss of one of Cincinnati’s top talents struck at the heart of our chef community. Chef Whalen leaves a void that will be felt for a long time to come.
Photo: Bridget Lieb in the Kitchen at Sacred Beast
Bridget Lieb is at the top of her game. She’s playfully referred to as the “beast” behind Sacred Beast and if you ever watch her work or hear her story, you’ll understand why. She’s a mom, trained (hard core) chef, business owner and handywoman, if necessary.
Photo by G. Yek: Chef Suzanne DeYoung founded La Soupe four years ago after more than 30 years in the restaurant industry
With more than 20 restaurants lined up, getting “WASTEd” in the city is going to be quite an experience. See what Cincinnati’s leading chefs can do with less-than-perfect food and you’ll be helping La Soupe to feed the food-insecure too.
Photo by G. Yek: Anthony Lange, founder and president of Queen City Mobile Food Truck Association
The first food truck court is about to drop in West Chester–a game-changer for Greater Cincinnati. Outside of food truck rallies and special events, this will be the first place diners can regularly go to for food truck eats. This will likely accelerate the development and vibrancy of the food truck scene.
Photo provided: Louisville-based restaurant LouVino is opening in Over-the-Rhine with chef Tavis Rockwell shaping the menu.
Come August, LouVino: Cincinnati OTR will dish up small plates with a southern twist, a wine list of more than 60 wines along with a complement of witty wine flights. Oh by the way, when they roll out their “boozy brunch,” mimosas can be had for $2. Congratulations to husband-and-wife team, Chad and Lauren Coulter on their expansion to Cincinnati! (Fun fact: Chad is a pharmacist-turned-restaurateur. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from his first career.)
It took a year and a recent BOGO deal but I finally picked up a Prep+Pared kit at the local Kroger. The kit that caught my eye that day: chilaquiles, a tortilla-thickened bean and corn dish with Mexican origin. Not exactly your run-of-the-mill dish.
As promised, the ingredients were pre-measured, prepped, and neatly packed in sealed and labeled bags. The ingredients looked fresh – a nice first impression. There wasn’t a whole lot of cooking to speak of; just about the hardest thing was roasting onions and bell peppers in the oven. The only modification necessary was adding more liquid to get the consistency right.
My friends and I are a tough sell. We work in the food industry and many have either reported bad experiences with meal kits (“disgusting,” to quote one), or simply wouldn’t “go there.” But I’m also a time-strapped mom and between the BOGO deal and mounting curiosity, a couple of Prep+Pared kits followed me home that day.
Well…I’m happy to report the chilaquiles meal turned out nicely. The flavors and textures were well balanced: the toastiness of the pre-charred corn and roasted vegetables, the tangy-savory tomato base, and the crunchiness of the fried tortilla strips were well thought-out components of the meal.
Kudos to the Kroger culinary team on the chilaquiles meal. Because my foray into Prep+Pared was a good one, I’m open to trying other meals in that product line. There are certainly numerous to choose from but I can say this: the chilaquiles kit is a concept well-executed.
Picture by Phil Didion for WCPO: Coppin’s, a restaurant inside Hotel Covington, features a menu inspired by classic gastropub fare with a nod to both the North and the South.
It’s that time of the year again – time to pamper and spoil your sweet mom. Win her over with a tasty brunch. The best part? Let someone else clean up. Yes, she deserves a break. But make your reservations soon – it’s an incredibly busy time for restaurants. Here are 9 places in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to get you started.
Mason High School alumnus, Chuck Pfahler, is known around Cincinnati as an entrepreneur and coffee artisan. He started La Terza Coffee which he has since sold, and went on to start Adesso Coffee, a mobile espresso cart at The Mercantile Library. This summer, this 1994 graduate will return to Mason to expand Adesso Coffee to a permanent home on Main Street. Along with artisan-minded establishments like Wildflower Cafe, this could signal a new chapter for old Mason in food and drink.