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FOOD&LIFE Coming Thursday




Skewered salad


A recipe with shrimp, pineapple D3

40 years as theater usher



NPR site finds tunes that draw music fans By Paul Farhi THE WASHINGTON POST

WASHINGTON — Last year, when the indie folk-rock group the Decemberists introduced a new album, the disc wasn’t first heard on iTunes or MySpace or any of the other big commercial sites. Instead, the Portland, Ore., outfit performed the album live for a webcast carried exclusively on the music website of National Public Radio ( music). Yes, the Washington home of All Things Considered, Car Talk and other earnest news and talk programs. Although the typical NPR news listener probably wouldn’t know the Decemberists from a December calendar, the group knows something about NPR Music — namely, that music fans pay attention to it. The website, officially in business since late 2007, has become something of a taste-making force in the fractured and fragmented music business. Through its blogs, news, lists, podcasts, videos and concert and album streams, the site attracts about 1.6 million visitors a month. The nine-member staff also feeds some of its audio features to the NPR news shows. Recent segments of All Things Considered have featured the


TASTY TWISTS: Maria Gentile, left, and Brittany Baum of Brezel, who make pretzels from home as part of a business that will soon occupy a storefront shop in German Village

Hot pretzels

See NPR Page D4



Comforting snack gaining popularity in new forms They later ventured beyond the standard twisted pretzel to produce hamburger and hot-dog rittany Baum and Maria buns with the same taste and Gentile had a craving for texture. pretzels. In January 2009, their unlikely Not the half-frozen hobby became a business. ones found at sporting events or Dubbing the venture Brezel, a the ones sold at overrun stalls in German term for “pretzel,” the shopping malls. former state-government coThey sought the dense, buttery, workers began hawking their lye-glazed twists closer to what Bavarian-inspired creations at Baum had sampled in Germany., during The two manipulated recipes arty gatherings such as the Agora in their Merion Village and showcase in Grandview Heights Clintonville kitchens, baking and on several Saturdays a oversize prototypes topped with Schmidt’s in German Village: deep-fried pretzel nuggets apples and Kalamata olives. See PRETZELS Page D3

By Kevin Joy



Marvin Isley in 1984

Bass player Isley dies Marvin Isley, the bass player for the R&B group the Isley Brothers, died Sunday in Chicago. He was 56. Isley left the group in 1996 after suffering complications from diabetes that included a stroke, high blood pressure and the loss of both legs and the use of his left hand. By the time he joined his brothers in 1973, the Isley Brothers had established themselves with hits such as the million-selling Shout. Isley moved on to Isley-Jasper-Isley in the 1980s and returned to the Isley Brothers in the ’90s. The group, whose career has spanned six decades, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. At one point, it had five Isley brothers — including Marvin. These days, after a three-year stint in federal prison for tax evasion, only Ronald Isley tours full time.

Sports festival seeks films The Arnold Sports Festival will add a movie event next year. The film festival will take place See SHOW & TELL Page D5



Fresh idea simplifies selling of Ohio fare By Marilou Suszko FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Food Editor Robin Davis will make Grilled Steak With Pepper Relish (see recipe, Page D2), paired with Laurello Cabernet Franc, and demonstrate the roasting of bell peppers on 10TV News HD at noon today on WBNS-TV (Channel 10). Missed the segment? Find it at Dispatch


Jessica Eikleberry, market manager of Local Roots in Wooster

Owners of small farms often feel a need to be in two places at once: in the fields working their crops and out selling their harvest to the public. Yet, as more Ohioans crave locally grown food, farmers and food advocates are coming up with creative ways to unite the product and the customer. Such is the aim of Local Roots Market & Cafe, a new food cooperative in Wooster that puts the wares of about 100 growers and producers under one roof, in a traditional supermarket setting with a strictly Ohio focus. “We recognized that people wanted locally grown food

year-round, not just in the summer,” said Marlene Boyer, the president of the board of directors and a founding member. “A venue for local foods, one that would act as a hub for farmers and producers, had few models to imitate, so we started from scratch.” The group gauged interest from nearby farmers and took stock of what could fill the store year-round — including seasonal products that would broaden the selection weekly. It decided to form a co-op in which producers pay an annual membership fee of $50 to sell their goods and earn 90 cents on the dollar for their See MARKET Page D3

We’re Looking for Leaders Who Love Food! Career opportunities in management and more at the NEW Market District® coming to Columbus this fall! Visit for appetizing positions. A Dining, Cooking & Shopping Destination Unlike Any Other!



PubDate: 06-09-2010

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WHAT’S COOKING The world of food and wine

CLASSES AND DEMONSTRATIONS Classes require advance registration.  Betty Ann’s Kitchen Classes, taught by Betty Ann Litvak: “Picnic Fare” ($45), 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday; 614-846-6518 or  Dorothy Lane Market’s School of Cooking, 6161 Far Hills Ave., Dayton: “Petite Chef Cooking Camp” for grades one through three ($250), 9 a.m. to noon June 14 through 18; “Jeni’s Ice Cream” ($65), 6 to 9 p.m. next Wednesday; 937-434-1294 or www.dorothylane. com  Epicures Culinary, 7601 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg: “Grillin’ and Chillin’ ” ($50), 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday; 614-863-5603 or  Sur La Table, Easton Town Center: “Grilling Local: A Class Inspired by America’s Farmers” ($69), 6:30 p.m. Thursday; “Date Night: Chef’s Table” ($79), 6:30 p.m. Friday; “Niman Ranch Heritage Pork” ($85), 1 p.m. Saturday; “Bon Appetit: Firing Up the Grill for Dad” ($79), 1 p.m. Sunday; “Quick and Easy Summer Meals” ($69), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; “Dinner Party 101” ($69), 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday; 614-473-1211 or  Whole Foods, 3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.: “Raw Desserts Focus Class” ($35), 6:30 p.m. Thursday; “Low-Fat Cooking With Jan: Meat & Veggies” (free), 5 p.m. Tuesday; 614-760-5556  Williams-Sonoma, Polaris Fashion Place: “Skewers, Sticks and Satays” (free), 11 a.m. Sunday; 614-430-0118  Woodhaven Farm, 11401 Woodhaven Rd., Johnstown: “Break Out the Grills” ($41), 6:30 to 9 p.m. next Wednesday or June 17; 740-967-0076

TASTINGS AND DINNERS  Giorgio Italian Restaurant, 2941 N. High St.: summer wine tasting ($15), 6 to 8 p.m. next Wednesday; 614-265-9020  The Hills Market, 7860 Olentangy River Rd.: “Vintage Distributing” (prices vary), 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday; 614-846-3220  House Wine, 644 High St., Worthington: “Don’t Blush Over Dry Roses” ($15), 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday; “Zinfandel” ($15), 6 to 9 p.m. June 17; 614-846-9463  Spagio, 1295 Grandview Ave., Grandview Heights: “Bubbles and French Fries” ($38.50), 7 p.m. Thursday; 614-486-1114, Ext. 2  Whole Foods, 3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.: “Saturday Sips Wine Tasting” ($10), 4 and 5 p.m. Saturday; “Wine & Cheese Focus: Italy” ($10), 6 p.m. next Wednesday; “The Brew Review” ($5), 5 to 7 p.m. June 17; 614-760-5556  The Wine Guy Wine Shop & Tasting Bar, 201 Clint Dr., Suite 200, Pickerington: “Rhone, Baby, Rhone” ($15), 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday; 614-577-9463 or — Compiled by Robin Davis Editor’s note: The deadline to submit items for What’s Cooking is one week before the desired day of publication. Send details to: What’s Cooking, Food Department The Columbus Dispatch 34 S. 3rd St. Columbus, OH 43215 Or by fax ........................614-559-1754 Or e-mail

SHELF HELP Quick review of new products


Buying whole jars of spices for a single recipe can be expensive, especially for folks who don’t cook often. McCormick has come out with single-recipe spice combinations, complete with recipe cards. For example, the Apple and Sage Pork Chop “inspiration” comes with allspice, dried garlic, paprika, sage and thyme. The spices are mixed with flour then used to coat pork chops and as thickening and seasoning for a sauce. The results were basically foolproof and quite delicious. The only drawback is the kits are pricey on a per-serving basis. But for those just learning to cook, the kits can be a great introduction. If you like the recipe, then you can invest in full-size jars of the spices to make it again. The kits are also a great idea for a camping or cabin vacation where you want to cook — but not travel with your whole spice drawer. — Robin Davis Food editor





Here’s a main-dish salad that takes a light approach and a tropical bent, starting with grilled tail-on shrimp and pineapple. Dressing the skewers and the salad is a combination of ingredients that will inspire summer thoughts even on cool latespring evenings. We’re adding another layer of flavor by topping the salad greens with a generous dose of chopped fresh mint. We recommend skewering the shrimp and pineapple separately; cooking time might vary slightly between the two ingredients, and this will give you more control. Besides, the food will be removed from the skewers before serving. If you don’t want to fire up the outdoor grill, you can grill the shrimp and pineapple on a stove-top grill — or skip the grill altogether and broil them. Five-spice powder, also called Chinese five-spice powder, is available in the spice aisle of many supermarkets. But you could substitute 1⁄4 teaspoon of allspice if you don’t want to purchase a whole jar of the spice mix.

GRILLED SHRIMP AND PINEAPPLE SALAD Makes 4 servings As for beverages to pair with this salad, a tart-sweet chenin blanc or sauvignon blanc might be the best way to complement its spicy sweetness. A nonalcoholic blend of pineapple juice and tonic water, mixed to taste, would be terrific, too. Toss in any extra pineapple chunks.

PRETZELS FROM PAGE D1 month at the Clintonville Farmers’ Market. Other folks, too, have had a similar idea: Pretzels — and their cousins, pretzel buns — have become a rising staple in central Ohio restaurants and bakeries. “They’re one of those delicious, salty, carb-y snacks,” said Gentile, 27. “And, when you want one, you want a good one.” After 16 years of success with its deep-fried pretzel nuggets, Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus last year added a pretzel-bun sandwich: the Bahama burger special. “It costs a lot to put a pretzel bun on,” Vice President Geoff Schmidt said. “But it’s been very well-received. It’s a nice product.” Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails, which opened Downtown in 2007, serves its pot-roast sandwich on a pretzel bun. The meat was initially to be featured on a hoagie or potato roll, co-owner Elizabeth Lessner said, but the pairing didn’t click. The pretzel bun has since yielded the best-selling sandwich on the menu. Lessner also understands the economics: At one time offering its chicken-salad sandwich on a pretzel roll, Tip Top charges 50 cents these days for the upgrade. “I don’t know why the South Beach Diet is so popular,” said Lessner, noting that her latest venture, Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog

Although they seem to be popping up everywhere, pretzels are hardly new:  The snacks are traced to the early seventh century, when the first pretzels are thought to have been made by European monks and offered as a reward to children who learned their prayers. (The original shape was even designed to mimic the crossed arms of a praying child.)  The simple recipe became a longtime option during Lent, when Roman Catholics were at one time discouraged from consuming eggs and dairy products during the 40-day religious observation.  Pretzels symbolize good luck in Germany when consumed on New Year’s Day or worn as giant pendants during Oktoberfest. To show affection, boys in Luxembourg give pretzels to girls — the



Entree salad easily given tropical flair and flavor

Twisted history McCormick Recipe Inspirations ($1.99 at Giant Eagle and Kroger)



A generous helping of chopped fresh mint gives another layer of flavor to this shrimp salad with pineapple.

20 tail-on raw shrimp, thawed if frozen 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice 1 ⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons pineapple juice (from liquid in can) 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt 1 ⁄4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder 1 bag (8 ounces) mixed baby greens 1 ⁄2 cup chopped fresh mint 1 ⁄2 cup chow mein noodles Skewer the shrimp and pineapple chunks on separate metal skewers. Combine the oil, pineapple juice, honey, rice wine vinegar, salt and five-spice powder in a measuring cup.

Palace, sells “insanely popular” soft pretzels and hopes to add pretzel buns to the motley array of designer wieners. Huntington Park has served hot dogs on pretzel buns since it opened last year — a move inspired by the fact that most other sports facilities weren’t offering them, said Todd Homan, general manager of the Sodexo food-service provider. “Fans love it,” said Homan, who last year started putting hamburgers on pretzel buns for Columbus Clippers patrons. “A lot of people tell us it adds to the sandwich.” The buns are served at the Red Door Tavern near Grandview Heights — where the Twisted Pelican sandwich, with grilled turkey and Swiss cheese, represents the top seller. Omega Artisan Baking in the North Market moves more than 200 pretzel rolls on Friday and Saturday mornings, manager Brian Ellingwood said, with several customers keeping a standing weekly order for the buttery baked goods. “This is a trend I fully support,” said Vincent Venturella of Gahanna, who orders 10 rolls a week to serve with butter or cold cuts. National franchises, too, have caught the wave, putting subs on pretzel bread at Blimpie stores and the Ruby Tuesday chain — which in November added pretzel-bun sandwiches as part of a menu revamp led by a former New York sous-chef.

larger the pretzel, the greater the love.  More recently, the curvy shape has inspired rollercoaster designs (for rides at select Six Flags and Sea World parks) and, as introduced during the 1990s in Europe, crisscross bikinis.  Pretzels are said to have migrated from Europe to Pennsylvania in the mid-1800s. And they have remained economically significant enough — as a yearly $550 million-plus U.S. industry, according to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels of Lancaster, Pa. — that Gov. Ed Rendell in 2003 established April 26 as National Pretzel Day.  The ubiquitous crunchy pretzels, too, have their origins in Pennsylvania, where a baker once left a batch in the oven too long and ultimately found delight in the crisp texture and longer shelf life that the error produced. — Kevin Joy


Prepare a grill for mediumhigh heat. Pour about 3 tablespoons of the oil-vinegar mixture into a ramekin; brush the shrimp and pineapple with the mixture. (Note: Discard any excess mixture from the ramekin because it has been in contact with the raw meat.) Grill until shrimp is opaque and pineapple is goldenbrown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Divide the greens into four shallow bowls. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of mint over each. Divide the shrimp and pineapple among each bowl. Top with chow mein noodles. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. PER SERVING: 353 calories; 8 g protein; 32 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 23 g fat (3 g saturated); 46 mg cholesterol; 186 mg sodium

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market also carry the rolls. Baum and Gentile of Brezel, meanwhile, have expanded their online and farmers-market business. They recently landed their product at R Bar near Nationwide Arena and the hipster hangout Hal & Al’s in Merion Village. Next month, they plan to open a German Village storefront — changing the homebased baking process into a full-fledged enterprise with commercial ovens. “We sell out every time,” said the 28-year-old Baum, who during the weekend served her goods at the inaugural sausageand-pretzel festival at the Columbus Maennerchor. “It’s crazy. It’s almost like we can’t make enough.” The appeal, said Tom Vaccaro, senior director of baking and pastries at the Culinary Institute of America, is easy to spot. “You’ve got a couple of flavor profiles working within one bread: sweetness, great texture, a nice salt appeal,” said Vaccaro, who teaches pretzel-making at the Hyde Park, N.Y., school as part of a global bread course. “People are seeing it as a nice comfort thing.” Gentile simply enjoys the reception that greets her craft. “Parents come to get their kids pretzels, and they smile,” she said. “It’s one of those treats that are universally loved.”

FROM PAGE D1 sales. (The remaining 10 percent supports operating expenses.) “We wanted the farmers and producers to gain more for what they do,” Boyer said. Compared with traditional farmers markets, Local Roots differs in that the farmers or producers don’t show up there as sellers. “We were hearing from farmers that selling at multiple farmers markets takes them away from the farm too much,” said Jessica Eikleberry, market manager. “They could grow more food but didn’t have a place to sell it. “Local Roots makes it easy on the farmers and the shoppers. It’s onestop shopping for local foods.” The co-op set its sights on a longvacant building, in the heart of Wooster, owned by the Wayne County commissioners. Commissioner Ann Obrecht worked with the group to secure rent-free use of the building for two years. “Agriculture is the No. 1 business in Wayne County,” she said. “We supported Local Roots because it gave small farms in Ohio another opportunity to get their products to the consumer. There’s also a great benefit to having this in downtown Wooster.” Local Roots, in operation since January, had its grand opening in May. With the store busy from the start, Eikleberry hadn’t had time to stop and celebrate. “Local Roots creates a valuable, convenient connection to local foods for people from all over Ohio,” she said, noting that some customers travel as far as 50 miles to the store because it puts so many Ohio-grown and -produced foods in one place. “If it comes from Ohio, we consider it local,” said Eikleberry, adding that the products arrive from throughout the state. The freezer cases are filled with a broad selection of meats, including grass-fed beef, lamb, pork and veal; and pastured poultry. Shoppers also find non-homogenized milk, eggs, butter, raw-milk cheeses, honey, maple syrup, artisan breads, milled grains and specialty flours — plus an assortment of products such as jams, jellies, sauces and salsas; and seasonal fruits and vegetables. For cheese-maker Angel King of Blue Jacket Dairy in Bellefontaine, Local Roots taps a new market for her homestead goat’s- and cow’smilk cheeses beyond the Columbus area — where they are sold at 20 outlets, including Curds & Whey in the North Market and Whole Foods Market. “Local Roots provides shoppers access to other quality, Ohio-based products that might not be within easy reach,” King said. “It easily puts us in another part of the state.” For shoppers such as Louisa ErbDundee of Mount Eaton, Local Roots rounds out what she doesn’t grow in her garden — mushrooms, artichokes and cheese, for example. “You can’t beat the convenience factor,” she said. Local Roots features a demonstration area, cafe and meeting area; and a programming schedule related to locally grown foods, conservation and sustainable farming. Plans include a butcher shop, shared space for producers to create other products and an incubator kitchen.

If you go LOCAL ROOTS MARKET & CAFE, 140 S. WALNUT ST., WOOSTER (330-263-5336) Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays For a list of producers and their products, along with programs and additional store hours through the harvesting season, visit


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Fresh idea simplifies selling of Ohio fare  

My headline for a story about a new food co-op in Wooster, Ohio