Foray into Prep+Pared

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…

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Your mom would love any of these 9 places for brunch on Mother’s Day

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.

Click here for more: Mother’s Day Brunch 2018


Mercantile Library’s popular Adesso Coffee cart expanding to a brick-and-mortar site in Mason

Photo: Iced mint latte at Adesso (provided – photo credit ©GinaWeathersby)

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.

Click here for more: Adesso Coffee to open brick-and-mortar in Mason

My Artisano Foods, popular South American-style cheesemaker, is now working its magic in Lockland

It takes someone with a special set of skills to make great cheese. With patience, creativity and a scientific mind, Eduardo Rodriguez of My Artisano Cheeses & Yogurts has unlocked the art and science of this very organic craft. At the same time, he’s woven his Venezuelan heritage into his tasty creations. Now in Lockland, this artisan cheesemaker is poised to take his craft to the next level. Happily, other artisan-minded food makers – La Terza Artisan Coffee Roasterie and FAB FERMENTS – are in the same neighborhood. Yes, tasty collaborations are under way. Local chefs and other marketplace players like Nathan Mantia of Tēla Bar + Kitchen and Alice Bruns Chalmers of Ohio Valley Food Connection are devoted fans of Rodriguez’s cheeses.

Click here for more: Artisan cheesemaker relocates to Lockland

Tahona Kitchen owner sets opening date for new restaurant Clyborne in Mason

Photo: Crispy Chicken Legs with Gochujang Sauce (photo by Ross Van Pelt RVP Photography)

Mark your calendar. Clyborne will open on April 10, bringing the experience of urban dining to the suburb of Mason, OH. This is the second restaurant in Greater Cincinnati by Scott Schmidt, a 30-year hospitality veteran. The culinary team comprises chef-heavyweights: Aimee Saling, Mark Bodenstein and Will Wadsworth. Expect elevated New American cuisine, chef-driven, with a heavy emphasis on scratch-cooking.

Click here for more: Tahona Kitchen owner sets opening date for new restaurant Clyborne in Mason

L. Mari Catering Brings Multicultural Dishes Made with Love and Soul

Meet Salimah Mari Abdul-Hakim of L. Mari Catering. She’s out to make her mark in Cincinnati’s food scene, and I have a feeling she’s going to make a big dent! She cooks, she hustles, and she connects with people through her food. As a graduate of MORTAR, a business accelerator for local entrepreneurs of color, she has earned nothing but high praise from Derrick Braziel, MORTAR’s co-founder and managing director. Look out Cincinnati.

Click here for more: L. Mari Catering Brings Multicultural Dishes Made With Love and Soul

Seven Hills Grad Ned Elliott Returns Home to Open a Restaurant in Over-the-Rhine

After living away from Cincinnati for 20 years, Seven Hills grad, Ned Elliott, comes home to open a restaurant. His restaurant, Foreign & Domestic, is expected to open in Over-the-Rhine this August, marking an expansion of the Foreign & Domestic brand which Elliott started in Austin, TX, nearly eight years ago. You can look forward to a menu that’s “new American with a French twist,” but uniquely Cincinnati.

Click here for more: Seven Hills Grad Returns Home to Open a Restaurant in Over-the-Rhine

Sweet potato dumplings in a shallow bath of lime and paprika saucer covered with baby kale (photo by Brooke Shanesy)

Culinary Swagger Belies Polite Chef of Please, Ryan Santos

Photo: Sweet potato dumplings in a shallow bath of lime and paprika sauce covered with baby kale (photo by Brooke Shanesy)

Peel away the cuisine and accolades, and you have an introspective man who finds it difficult to talk about himself. That awkwardness was on display when I asked Ryan Santos to describe himself. “I have no idea how to do that,” came the muffled reply, as he grinned and blushed.

As the chef and owner of the acclaimed Please in Over-the-Rhine, Santos carries the kind of culinary swagger many chefs can only aspire to. But he’s too polite to talk about it.

Click here for more: Culinary Swagger Belies Polite Chef of Please, Ryan Santos

9 Exciting Restaurants Coming to Greater Cincinnati in 2018

Just when you thought the dining scene couldn’t get any hotter, a host of exciting new restaurants are poised to open in Greater Cincinnati this year. Most of them are by chefs and restaurateurs we already know and love — some expanding their stakes while others striking out on their own for the first time. There are a couple of brand new entries, including a Louisville-based restaurant looking to join the Cincinnati community. If you like to eat out, 2018 is going to be another very good year.

Click here for more: 9 Exciting Restaurants Coming in 2018