edible COLUMBUS Our Food, Our Land, Our Culture, Season by Season
No. 31 | Winter 2017 Member of Edible Communities
Winter Contents 2017 DEPARTMENTS 4 6 9 14 18 20 22 24 29 31 51 53 54 56
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Local restaurants stoked about the wood-fired cooking craze
FROM THE KITCHEN
By Teresa Woodard
BEHIND THE BOTTLE KITCHENS WE LOVE
AN ORIGINAL Mary Kay Smith and The Winds Café celebrate 40 years of fine dining in Yellow Springs, Ohio
By Nancy McKibben, Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
FROM THE GOOD EARTH EDIBLE ENTREPRENEUR FOOD FOR THOUGHT A TASTE OF HOME
GRAINS & GRIT Behind the scenes on the farm of organic grain growers Tom and Mary Klein and their partnership with Shagbark Seed & Mill
By Colleen Leonardi, Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
LOCAL HERO EAT DRINK LOCAL GUIDE AD DIRECTORY EDIBLE NATION
RECIPES 11 11 12 13 16
Beef Stew with Parsnips Vegetable Crudité with Kale Dip Ancient Grains Salad Chocolate Guinness Cake Limoncello
COVER Parsnips with olive oil and rosemary in a cast iron skillet over a campfire at Rockmill Brewery. See recipe for Beef Stew with Parsnips on page 11. Photo by © Rachel
Joy Barehl, racheljoybaransi.com Scene and fire production by Evan Schlarb.
THIS PAGE By the fire at Rockmill Brewery.
Photo by © Rachel Joy Barehl Scene and fire production by Evan Schlarb.
letter from the EDITOR
ire. It’s what makes cooking possible. The root of gatherings, the bedrock of the hearth, the lightdrenched phenomenon that brings people together, whether in celebration or crisis. Fire heals, and is a symbol of transformation and possibility. To usher in a new year, to truly bid farewell to 2017 and call on the muses to inspire another year of delicious issues for you, we called on fire for this issue.
And as we did, we started to look into the origins of things, like the process of raising organic grain and how grains are fundamental to civilization (page 46), or the Paleo diet that is a choice for many for better health (page 22) or our feature story on the wood-fired cooking craze and how it calls on primal skills and a love for heat (page 35).
edible COLUMBUS PUBLISHER
Franklin County Farm Bureau EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Colleen Leonardi ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
Claire Spurlock CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Steve Berk COPY EDITORS
Doug Adrianson • Susanna Cantor DESIGN
Winter root recipes (page 9) for a holiday or home dinner will get you through the season along with wildcrafted cocktails to inspire your spiritful side (page 14). And when you’re feeling blue and cool, head down to The Roosevelt Coffeehouse and find founder Kenny Sipes (page 51). He’ll warm you up with his sweet face and compelling case for how coffee can help bring clean water, food and freedom to the people. I want to end the year with gratitude for the Edible Communities family of publishers. Earlier this year, when Sonoma and Napa Valley were ravaged by wildfires, and Houston weathered Hurricane Harvey, emails buzzed back and forth with ECI publishers to make sure those affected were safe. It brought tears to my eyes to see firsthand just how committed we all are to each other and our mission to tell these stories even in times of crisis. May you find gratitude this season, where your heart grows by virtue of giving. May you find a fireside to sit by, share stories over and warm your toes and soul. May you stay merry and bright. Live Well, Eat Well, Love Well,
Edible Feast & Kjeld Petersen PHOTOGRAPHY & ILLUSTRATION
Rachel Joy Barehl • Maria Khoroshilova Kristen Solecki • Caryn Scheving Rachel Woodard WRITERS
Heather Bokman • Debra Knapke Colleen Leonardi • Nancy McKibben Megan Neary • Nicole Rasul Polly Rich • Claire Spurlock Teresa Woodard CONTACT US
P.O. Box 21-8376 Columbus, Ohio 43221 firstname.lastname@example.org ediblecolumbus.com Edible Columbus
@ediblecolumbus ADVERTISING INQUIRIES
email@example.com Edible Columbus is published quarterly and distributed throughout Central Ohio. Subscription rate is $25 annually. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from the publisher. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.
PHOTO BY RACHEL JOY BAREHL, RACHELJOYBARANSI.COM
Our winter issue also shares stories of local heroes making a difference in our communities through food and farming. We’re honored to share the work of OSU professor Erin Lin in this issue (page 29), whose research looks at unexploded bombs left after the Vietnam War in Cambodia and the impact they have on farming communities. Chef and owner of Lavash Café, Nasir Latif, (page 31) is one of my favorite hosts in the city, always welcoming me and my friends to a table full of bright, lemon-drenched Mediterranean cuisine to cure our woes from the day with food that brings us back to what it means to be human—kindness. That ethos extends to Yellow Springs, with our feature about The Winds Café chef, Mary Kay Smith, and the café’s 40th anniversary (page 40). The Winds is a place to commune. If you’ve never been, go, no matter the snow.
Side Dish Weâ€™re sharing a glimpse of what fall in Columbus looks, smells and tastes like, through your eyes. Be sure to tag your next edible adventures with #ediblecolumbus. â€”Claire Spurlock
Top, left to right: @oldslatefarm, @farmerleesjones, @alicia.wanders Middle, left to right: @ohiyochocolate, @foxinthesnow, @pauliegeesshortnorth Bottom, left to right: @rockmilltavern, @noryandfely, @alocalchoice 6
from THE KITCHEN
PLANTED P By Colleen Leonardi & Polly Rich Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
arsnips are one of my favorite winter root vegetables. Roasted with honey and rosemary, they serve as a heartier staple than potatoes for me, and are nutritional with plenty of fiber, vitamin C, B-vitamins and mineral content. A member of the taproot family and kin to carrots, theyâ€™re also sweet. And I like a sweet root in winter. See the next page for our recipe for Beef Stew with Parsnips. â€”CL
Our adaptation of winter recipes are classics with a twist. We dial up traditional beef stew with parsnips. For a holiday party crudité, we share a kale dip that you can’t stop eating. Our ancient grains salad is crunchy and full of nutrients from pomegranates to pumpkin seeds, perfect for the vegan or gluten-free one in the family. Lastly, round out the meal with a reimagining of Guinness Chocolate Cake that includes Baileys Irish Cream. Eat well this winter.
BEEF STEW WITH PARSNIPS Adapted from Jamie Oliver 2½ pounds beef chuck cut into 2-inch
2 celery stalks, halved 6 fingerling potatoes, halved
cubes ¼ cup flour to dust
1 package frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 cups dry red wine
2½ cups beef stock
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 carrots, peeled and halved
2 parsnips, peeled and halved Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large oven-proof pot, Dutch oven or casserole, toss meat into flour seasoned with thyme leaves. Add a little oil and tablespoon of butter. Brown beef in batches and set aside. Add tomato paste, vegetables, onions, wine, stock and garlic, and season with salt and pepper and the tablespoon of rosemary leaves. Bring to a simmer, and then cover and place in the oven until meat and vegetables are very tender, approximately 1½ hours.
VEGETABLE CRUDITÉ KALE DIP Adapted from Food & Wine magazine 6 cups baby kale
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sour cream
⅛ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
⅛ cup chopped chives
Blanch kale in some boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Squeeze out all of the water and roughly chop. Mix in all of the other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
ANCIENT GRAINS SALAD Adapted from The View From Great Island 1½ cups cooked wild rice blend 1½ cups cooked white quinoa ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, whole ¼ cup dried cranberries ½ cup golden raisins ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds with extra for garnish 4 scallions, sliced 1 shallot, marinated in balsamic vinegar and minced 4 stalks of small inner celery, diced Dressing ½ cup olive oil 5 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients (with the exception of the dressing ingredients) in a big salad bowl. Mix together dressing ingredients with a whisk and slowly stir into the salad. Keep any unused dressing to add fresh when served. Cover salad and refrigerate until serving. Add pomegranate seeds for garnish. Visit ediblecolumbus.com for our take on a Beet, Greens & Cheddar Crumble and more winter recipes.
What’s In Season Onions Potatoes Winter Squash Turnips Cabbage
Microgreens Sprouts Carrots Maple syrup Cheese
Milk Meats Honey
Local staple crops, such as Shagbark’s Beans and Stone Ground Whole Flours (see page 40 for our story about one of the grain farmers who supplies Shagbark’s organic grains)
GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CAKE Adapted from New York Times Food 1 cup of Guinness
Preheat the oven to 350°.
10 tablespoons butter, unsalted ⅜ cup cocoa powder
2 cups superfine sugar ¾ cup sour cream 2 large eggs 1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream 2 cups all-purpose flour
Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Put Guinness and butter in a saucepan and melt together. Remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar and whisk. Mix together sour cream, eggs and Baileys and add to Guinness-butter mixture. Then gently whisk in flour and baking soda. Pour into pan and bake until risen and firm to touch—45 minutes to an hour. Cool on wire rack, then remove cake from pan.
2½ teaspoons baking soda For frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth and sift in powdered sugar. Add masFrosting
carpone cream and mix until smooth. Frost just the top of the cake so it resembles a “frothy
8 ounces cream cheese
pint” of Guinness.
1¼ cups powdered sugar ½ cup mascarpone cream
behind the BOTTLE
Wild Foraged Cocktails + Recipes By Claire Spurlock
I EXCERPTED FROM The Wildcrafted Cocktail, © BY ELLEN ZACHOS, PHOTOGRAPHY BY © KELLER+KELLER PHOTOGRAPHY, USED WITH PERMISSION FROM STOREY PUBLISHING.
like my cocktails simple, seasonal and savory. The last one’s usually the hang up—many drinks are built with abundant, syrupy sweetness. A good, dry cocktail is hard to come by. So the discovery of The Wildcrafted Cocktail was a real treat—a whole book dedicated to cocktails crafted from foraged ingredients, many of them lending vegetal, spiced, bitter or herbal flavors to the final recipes. Author Ellen Zachos divides the book by components of a wildcrafted cocktail: first detailing the anatomy of a foraged cocktail, then examining garnishes, syrups, wild liqueurs, bitters and spirits. Many of the recipes come from Ellen’s varied arsenal, though she invites guest mixologists to share their selections, too. Foraging and processing tips are interspersed between recipes and each drink is prefaced with an introduction to provide historical context, introduce the creator, give background on the star foraged ingredient or explain flavor combinations. For someone encountering an ingredient or process for the first time, this background is welcome. You certainly don’t have to forage for ingredients yourself in order to create the cocktails featured in The Wildcrafted Cocktail. Many are easy to come by at markets or online, depending on the season. Others have simple substitutes or counterparts in flavor. There’s flexibility in liquors, too. In colder months and shorter days, cocktails with a little more body and richness are welcome. Don’t be fooled by the foraging. There are plenty of winter-friendly recipes in the book that call for pickling, curing, infusing and steeping—all things that can amplify flavor when fresh ingredients are sparse. Nocino, a traditional Italian liqueur made from unripe, green walnuts, is one such example. While it can’t be made until March, when green walnuts are ready, it is a perfect wintertime companion—deeply spiced, dark and versatile in drinks or dessert. Bide your time until the walnut harvest with Watershed Distillery’s nocino, readily available whenever the need strikes.
Citrus shines in winter, too. Ellen suggests two different methods for making limoncello, a bright, classic Italian liqueur typically served as a digestif. “The traditional method calls for using only the zest of the lemons. This is the fragrant, oily, yellow outer part of the lemon skin. The virtue of this method is that you can use the lemon flesh and juice for another recipe. The virtue of the nontraditional method, which calls for using the whole lemon, is that it’s a lot less work, and who doesn’t appreciate a time-saving recipe? “You can’t go wrong with either one,” she says, “because both are delicious: sweet, sour and zingy.” I hope, in the depths of winter, in the pages of The Wildcrafted Cocktail, you find some wild flavors to fill your glass and brighten your days. Cheers.
Claire Spurlock is now Associate Publisher at Edible Columbus after years as a writer and admirer. She earned her degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and now specializes in digital communications, community engagement and professional snacking. She lives in Upper Arlington with her husband.
LIMONCELLO: METHOD NUMBER ONE
LIMONCELLO: METHOD NUMBER TWO
10 Meyer lemons
10 or so Meyer lemons, quartered
4 cups vodka
4 cups vodka
2 cups water
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup sugar
Use a zester to remove the zest of the lemons, discarding the bitter white pith. Combine the
Fill a large jar with the lemon pieces (as
lemon zest with the vodka in a jar, seal tightly, shake and store in a dark place for about 2
many as you can fit in) and pour the vodka
weeks, shaking the jar once a day. Then taste. If the flavor isn’t to your liking, let it go a little
over them. Close the jar, shake, and store
in a dark place for about 2 weeks, shaking the jar once a day. Then taste. If the flavor
After the flavor meets with your approval, make a light syrup by combining the water and
isn’t to your liking, let it go a little longer.
sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves; let it cool. Strain the vodka off the zest and combine it with the light syrup. (Store the zest in the freezer and
Combine the water and sugar in a
use it to garnish various beverages or to flavor nocino, page 166). Pour the liquid through a
saucepan over medium heat, whisking until
coffee filter into bottles. Seal and store for 2 more weeks before drinking.
the sugar dissolves. Strain the lemons from the vodka and set the vodka aside. Put the lemons in the saucepan with the light syrup; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, occasionally pressing on the lemons to release the last bit of juice. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool, then combine with the vodka. Pour through a coffee filter into bottles. Seal and store for 2 more weeks before drinking.
Store limoncello in the freezer so it can be served ice cold without requiring ice, which would dilute the taste and silky texture of the beverage. The high alcohol content prevents it from freezing. Visit ediblecolumbus.com for more cocktail recipes featuring a pink peppercorn rim such as a Gin Daisy and Brown Derby from Watershed Distillery. Excerpted from The Wildcrafted Cocktail, © by Ellen Zachos, photography by © Keller+Keller Photography, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Kitchens We Love By Claire Spurlock, Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
arrie and Kevin Fletemeyer didn’t know it, but for the two and a half years they were living next door to their future dream home. When they heard the house they affectionately referred to as the “blue bungalow” was up for sale, they couldn’t resist the chance to renovate and customize the 1910 craftsman home in a secluded, wooded pocket of Clintonville skirting Whetstone Park. “I love cooking and I also love entertaining and I have a big extended family. So, I wanted a lot of people to be able to fit in it and I didn’t want everyone to get in each other’s way,” says Carrie. The kitchen is subdivided into sections for different activities, many areas topped with open shelving for dishes and decor, all above streaked black soapstone counters that encircle a custom black walnut island filled with drawers. “I wanted specific zones,” says Carrie, “So that little area with the sink is a coffee and drink area, then the little section next to it is kind of like the catch-all area of the kitchen,” she says. “The stove even has its own separate chunk,” she adds, a space lined with hexagonal hand-painted tile, one of Carrie’s “splurges” and a
brilliant burst of color. Lining the top of the oven’s nook is a piece of an original support beam found inside the walls of the house, a piece of its past reincorporated. “We had a dinner party for 20 of our friends and at one point we were literally all in the kitchen and it was totally fine. It was fun,” she says. As a designer, a frequent cook and mom to two young children, “I just wanted it to be really functional but also really pretty,” says Carrie. “I cook every day. I definitely cook every day and I cook most dinners, all lunches and breakfast. I like lots of vegetables. I like ethnic food a lot. It just depends. My husband likes grilling so we incorporate that sometimes,” she adds. And the view from the kitchen is striking. “The windows are one of my favorite things because our backyard looks into Whetstone prairie,” says Carrie. “It’s nice because it’s like you’re looking into the woods.”
Resources and ideas to start imagining your garden while it snows
By Debra Knapke Illustrations by Kristen Solecki
or me, winter is a time to figure out what I will plant in my food gardens and in containers come springtime. What you plant should be based on how much space, time and money you have. Yet it is so easy to be seduced by enticing displays in garden centers and gorgeous layouts in magazines and catalogs. The theory: If you have a plan, your impulsive purchases will be fewer and your satisfaction will be greater. Here are some core ideas to get you started.
Seeds vs. Plants: How could something so small seem so intimidating? Starting plants from seeds is truly not complex. They need light, water and a watchful eye.
But knowing when to start seeds, keeping track of planting depth and whether to start the seeds indoors or out can be bewildering. Consider creating a chart or spreadsheet to keep track of what you have purchased and the planting details described on each seed packet. One of my best resources is the catalogs I receive in fall and early winter. The companies have online stores and a catalog that can be sent out at your request (visit ediblecolumbus.com for a full list). Once you get on a few mailing lists, many catalogs from other vendors will flow into your mailbox. One exception is Seed Saver’s Exchange, which is a nonprofit organization. As a member, you will receive the catalog and newsletter. Whether to buy and start seeds or purchase plants is an age-old question. With seeds you have a bigger selection, especially of heirloom varieties, and buying seeds is less expensive than buying plants. Many seeds will remain viable for up to 10 years, although the percentage of the seeds that will germinate decreases over time. Consider
buying organic seeds—you and your family will be eating the food these plants produce. What if you do not have the time or space to start seeds or the seed-starting window has passed? Buy plants instead. This option costs more, but think of the instant gratification of having a garden already filled with plants. You can find a good selection of well-grown plants at farmers markets, spring plant sales or garden centers. Take the opportunity to talk to the growers of the plants you purchase. They are experts and can teach you a lot. Space: When we picture a garden it is
usually a beautifully planted in-ground plot. This works if you have the space and if your soil is good, or you are prepared to amend it. But if your soil is heavily compacted or low in nutrition and you want to create garden areas with good topsoil and compost, consider a raised bed system. There are many types of raised bed structures on the market. Or build your own—it’s not difficult and is usually less expensive.
As a culture, we are moving toward smaller homes, condominiums and apartments. Containers are the answer for smaller spaces both inside and outside. These movable gardens can easily hold an herb collection, small fruit trees and shrubs or sublime displays of annuals and tender perennials. There are endless container choices that range in materials from classic terracotta to metal to weather-resistant plastics. Another container option is to create successional vegetable gardens. Plant your container with seeds and small herb plants in the early spring (see sidebar). As the season progresses and the spring plants begin to be affected by the summer heat, start your summer planting. In mid-August, transition to late-season crops. In the past, by midsummer, seeds and food plants were just not available. But this has changed. Garden
centers are now embracing and promoting year-round gardening, and there are festivals throughout the summer that celebrate different food plants where you can buy plants and seeds.
Debra Knapke is a horticulturist, author, teacher, lecturer, designer, consultant and is passionate about gardening and an-
One last note about successional gardening: You can extend your season by placing row covers over your containers once the fall frosts strike. Imagine eating lettuce in December and January.
swering gardening questions. Visit ediblecolumbus.com for Debraâ€™s favorite seed companies and how to sign up for seed catalogs this winter.
Pests: Sometimes our efforts are derailed
by animals who find our gardens tasty. There are many books on how to protect gardens from hungry critters. One of my favorites is Backyard Battle Plan by Cooper Rutledge. Another good resource is the local cooperative extension office. And donâ€™t forget your fellow gardeners, who are happy to share their war stories. Gardening may sometimes be a solitary activity, but the gardening community is vast in number, knowledge and good will. Just ask a question.
WHO TO CONSULT Master Gardeners and county cooperative extension offices BYGL (Buckeye Yard & Garden onLine), bygl.osu.edu Farmers markets and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmers Your local garden centers
VEGETABLE & HERB SUCCESSION GARDENS seeded in late March to early April
planted in mid-May to early June
planted/seeded in mid-August
New Zealand Spinach
Lettuce, Tatsoi, Mesclun Mixes
Scarlet Runner Beans
Lettuces, Tatsoi, Mesclun Mixes
Summer Squash, Zucchini Miniature Winter Squash
from the good EARTH
Hunted & Gathered Learning to eat Paleo in a modern world By Heather Bokman Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
xperience has taught me that being an adventurous foodie and embracing challenges can make the journey to health and happiness much less arduous. It can even be fun.
Each of our bodies is its own unique ecosystem that reacts differently to what we eat. I noticed a decline in my own health in my early 20s, after years of living on processed and sugary foods in college. I made simple lifestyle changes at first, such as eating more fruits and vegetables. Because I was not much of a chef, I invested in a juicer and food dehydrator to make my own healthy snacks to eat on the go. Soon I was experimenting with fruit leather and jerky, creating soup mixes and drying herbs and spices. I dabbled happily in my newfound food hobbies for years, learning to garden and cook along the way. I was healthier overall, but I was still plagued with discomfort. Eventually, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and my outlook was discouraging. It didnâ€™t immediately occur to me that any holistic treatment, particularly more dietary changes, could help. Then I read that the Paleo (Paleolithic) diet has been shown to alleviate autoimmune symptoms in some cases.
I had heard of Paleo, and I knew it had something to do with eating like a hunter-gatherer. It sounded simple enough. I already enjoyed growing my own food and eating organically. I also loved rice and cheese, which do not make the cut under the Paleo plan. The Paleo diet is based on eating the types of food that early humans would have eaten; mainly meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This excludes dairy, grains, sugar and even healthier versions of processed foods. The diet and lifestyle stems from the idea that our bodies have evolved to thrive on eating foods that are hunted and gathered from our natural environment. It was certainly an adjustment at first. Learning to prepare flavorful and filling meals with limited ingredients was no easy task, but it became a creative challenge in which I indulged myself. It was exciting when I successfully pulled off a unique Paleo recipe. Then I looked forward to working in the garden every day. My autoimmune symptoms lessened and my health and energy improved dramatically. I was getting closer to achieving the ideal diet for myself, while simultaneously reconnecting with nature.
Above: Heather making Sweet Potato Turkey Chili. 22
Unfortunately, Ohio’s backyard gardens do not grow year-round. There is winter. Paleo does not require eating directly from the earth, but I get a sense of self-satisfaction using homegrown or local ingredients whenever possible. I was determined to extend my eating habits through the cold months, and the gatherer in me started preparing. I got out the food dehydrator and dried herbs and peppers for later use in soups and warm meals. A variety of fruit leather, fruit and nut bars, canned salsa and jerky were also added to my to-do list.
but like most people, I turn to the grocery store for most of my needs. I often envision taking my food explorations a step further by bringing home the delicacy that is wild game.
Admittedly, I’m no hunter in my hunter-gatherer pursuits, but I do eat more meat on the Paleo diet than I did before, which can get expensive. I was fortunate when a colleague gifted me with a few pounds of Lake Erie walleye and perch from his many summer fishing trips. As I prepared the fillets to make fish jerky, I craved the opportunity to stock up on other wild game like many of my coworkers do during hunting season. Having lean, ethically harvested wild turkey or venison would be another exciting taste of the hunter-gatherer experience.
The challenge is what makes the process fun and worthwhile. Who knows? Maybe next year I’ll be cooking and drying a collection of fish fillets that I caught myself.
My respect and appreciation for hunters, anglers and others connected to nature has grown. Having a backyard garden is rewarding, Above: Heather’s homemade fruit leathers.
I will probably never live completely off the land or abide by every Paleo rule given my modern suburban lifestyle. I’m fine with that. My personal journey is about doing what I can to stay healthy while growing in knowledge and experiences as I go. Just like all of my food hobbies, it would take time to acquire the skills I need to hunt or fish.
Heather Bokman is the website and social media coordinator at the ODNR Division of Wildlife. When she’s not gardening or experimenting in the kitchen, she enjoys kayaking, making jewelry and cheering on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Visit ediblecolumbus.com for Heather’s recipe for Sweet Potato Turkey Chili.
Foraged & Sown tasting â€œrealâ€? (aka locally sourced and freshpressed) hard Kuura Cider in Fiskars Village.
Foraging for mushrooms in the morning with their local host in Pellinge.
Nordic D Ventures
Through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Columbus-based Foraged & Sown explores wild edibles and food traditions and practices in Scandinavia By Nicole Rasul Photography courtesy of Rachel Tayse and Kate Hodges
uring a recent visit to Scandinavia, Kate Hodges and Rachel Tayse of the urban farm, Foraged & Sown, explored major cities such as Helsinki. They traveled to small towns like the fishing island community of Pellinki, Finland, where they arrived at the local farmers market by boat. They traversed Finland and Norway, with a short stop in Sweden, where the two met Nordic producers who operate farm businesses similar to their own. This included small-scale growers, foragers and those making value-added products like tea, jam, infused honey and candy. Kate and Rachel enjoyed scouring the Nordic wilderness for mushrooms, berries, spruce tips and nettles with their Scandinavian peers. At Arctic Warriors, a Finnish enterprise that grows and forages herbs for use in medicinal products, they met a 10th-generation herbalist. Yet Kate and Rachel were not on vacation. They were conducting research with the help of a grant from the USDA for their work on
Traditional Finnish savories: rice pudding in rye crust (karjalanpiirakka), salmon hand pie and smoked reindeer hand pie.
their urban farm in North Linden where they grow certified organic herbs, berries and nuts and forage greens, fruits and roots from the properties of family and friends. Foraged & Sown sells this cultivated and foraged produce, as well as teas and salt blends that feature the operation’s harvests, on Saturdays at the Clintonville Farmers Market. Their foodstuffs can be found on the menus of several local restaurants and at Columbus retailers.
THE GRANT In 2016, the farm was awarded a three-year Value Added Producer Grant from the USDA’s Rural Development program. The program aims to fund producers in exploring, developing, expanding and launching new and existing food products. “There’s a lot of skill needed to master value-added products,” Rachel says when detailing her and Kate’s interest in receiving funding from the program. “One must farm, harvest, process and market a product, all while understanding industry regulation. That’s essentially being your own supply chain.”
Braving rainy weather by the shore of the windy, beautiful North Sea.
Foraged & Sown’s $17,000 grant for the project “Preserving Wild Flavors and Nordic Traditions,” will enable the farm to expand its tea and salt blend production processes as well as invest in new marketing resources, such as a revamped website and packaging materials. The USDA is funding half of this amount and Kate and Rachel were able to raise the other half via cash and in-kind support, which was a requirement of the grant. The grant also funded their 25-day trip to explore Scandinavian value-added products during August and September. Foraged & Sown also applied for and was awarded support from the Finlandia Foundation National for research related to wild foods in the region.
BRINGING IT BACK The trip proved incredibly useful for Foraged & Sown and will impact Kate and Rachel’s farm business practices. “Seeing those businesses helped us clarify what we need to do,” Rachel says when talking about their travels. “They are very focused on their product lines. We have been experimental in trying different
Inside the “magical Lapland forest.”
things, which has given us a good idea of what grows and sells well. Now that we have that knowledge, and after seeing the successes in Scandinavia, we plan to focus only on the things that work well.” The two witnessed strong Nordic support for the value-added food industry. “In Scandinavia, commercial kitchen spaces are so much less expensive,” Kate says, referring to a barrier that Foraged & Sown faces in scaling production for their teas and salt blends. Through the USDA grant, Foraged & Sown has been given funding for the use of commercial kitchen space to dry their harvests in the effort to scale their value-added product line. However, after thorough investigation, Kate and Rachel have found only one facility in Ohio with a dehydrator large enough to meet their needs and the cost to use this facility is only fundable for a short time. Their Nordic peers have easily expanded their product lines due to the widespread availability and low cost of commercial kitchens to process their goods. Additionally, Scandinavian countries have more lenient laws allowing extensive drying to occur on producers’ properties.
Foraging for bilberries in the Lapland forest.
Through their Scandinavian field work, Kate and Rachel also found great support for foraging traditions due to longstanding “freedom to roam” law, also known as “everyman’s rights.” Embedded in centuries of history, the freedom to roam law allows individuals access to almost any public or private land and in most instances foraging wild foods is accepted. “There is a culture of trust and abundance,” Rachel says. “I don’t know if it’s because of everyman’s rights or cultural practices, but we saw far less ‘tragedy of the commons.’ We saw zero litter. People take care of the environment in a way that we don’t see in the United States and I think that allows property owners a trust that if someone is foraging on their land they are going to be kind and respectful.”
Nicole Rasul enjoys writing about food history, food culture and profiling our region’s brave producers. She works for The Ohio State University as a program coordinator for the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT). Nicole lives with her family in Clintonville where they enjoy the farmers market and their backyard garden. Follow her on Twitter @foodierasul or view her writing online at nicolerasul.journoportfolio.com.
Grant opportunities for farmers Looking for grant funding to grow your agricultural enterprise? Here are some tips from Kate and Rachel at Foraged & Sown:
Foraged & Sown in Helsinki.
Reindeer crossing the road.
Network and engage potential partners Join listservs
Invest the time and energy into your farm’s paper trail
and engage with organizations in your industry to keep
“Get yourself set up financially,” Rachel says. “Get a business
abreast of funding opportunities. Network with potential
bank account, file business and farm taxes and register with
partners and request their letters of support in advance so
the Farm Service Agency.” These steps may take time but are
that when an opportunity arises you are ready to jump at it.
often low cost or free and will prove useful in the long run.
Ensure that grants won’t distract from your bottom
Pursue feedback from the granting entity See if people at
line In 2016, there were at least nine grant opportunities that
the grant agency can comment on a draft of your application
Foraged & Sown were exploring.
prior to submission.
“For a time, it was insane,” Rachel says.
“Sometimes the difference between being shortlisted or not is just saying things a little differently,” says Kate.
Research grant opportunities that you are considering and, before applying, ensure that the deliverables and deadlines
Own your social disadvantage statuses Many grant pro-
jibe with your business model.
grams give priority points to those who are socially disadvantaged: young and beginning producers, minority farmers,
“Make the grant align with what you’re already doing, oth-
women producers or those under an income threshold or
erwise you’re just going to get pulled in a million directions,”
working in a historically impoverished neighborhood.
Kate says. “I had to get over my discomfort of using the fact that we’re women who farm as a social disadvantage in applying for the Value Added Producer Grant,” Rachel says.
food for THOUGHT
Farming After War Erin Lin and her search to understand how unexploded bombs left after war impact farmers and agricultural growth abroad By Colleen Leonardi Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
ompassion is the word that comes to mind when meeting Erin Lin, assistant professor of political science and global food politics at The Ohio State University (OSU) and team member of the Initiative for Food and Agricultural Transformation (InFACT). As she smiles and beckons me into her office after a long day of teaching, there is a warmth to her presence, a direct contrast to the subject matter in which she has immersed her life and research. After receiving a Fulbright scholarship to study public health policy in a Phnom Penh slum in Cambodia, Erin happened upon the tragedy of unexploded ordnances in the villages in Cambodia where she was living. This led her to a life of looking at how bombs left embedded in farmers’ fields after the Vietnam War carry the possibility of exploding at any moment. A day working in the rice paddy might lead to an explosion, fatally injuring or killing subsistence farmers in rural, sometimes poverty-stricken areas. I sat down with Erin to learn her story and what she sees as a solution for the farmers, the land and cultures around the world still devastatingly impacted by the act of war.
Q: What was it about the old, Cambodian folktales that inspired your work in Cambodia and Phnom Penh? A: After Cambodia gained its independence from France in 1953,
the Ministry of Culture sent out a radio message, asking people to write down and submit their village folktales to the National Archives. It’s similar to what Story Corps does in the United States. People wrote in the most fantastic stories; my favorites were about the origin of the Banyan tree, the reason why Kampong Krasang village is called “Tree Bark Village,” and the adventures of an ancient local prince from Somraong Knor village. I wondered: Do people from these villages still remember these stories? If they do, perhaps villages with unifying narratives are more cooperative and resilient to trauma.
OSU assistant professor Erin Lin.
I spent my first week in rural Cambodia, unable to find anyone who remembered these stories. Instead, people told me the same thing: They personally weren’t aware of these folktales, but the people who would remember are dead either from old age or the Khmer Rouge.
“…scholars have largely neglected the negative imprint war leaves on land.”
Q: Tell me about farming tobacco with your host family in the village and discovering a field of bombs for the first time. A: My host family farmed tobacco, and while I was living with them, we harvested their annual crop. It was an all-day process. The women would start work before dawn to pull the mature leaves. The men then bundled the leaves with rope, and packed them on a motorbike to take to the hamlet. By mid-morning, we would meet back in the hamlet. The women, children and a few of the men would string the leaves onto bamboo skewers. This would leave a sticky residue on your hands, and those who could afford it would spend 100 riel (12 U.S. cents) on a pair of disposable gloves. Then, we’d bring the skewered leaves to a small brick building, and leave them there to cure or dry.
Later, I learned that the United States had carpet bombed the entire area during the Vietnam War. Q: How do the carpet bombs impact the farmers and their ability to grow food for their families? A: The U.S. Air Force dropped 1.6 million tons of ordnance on
Cambodia from 1965 to 1973. The aerial attacks immediately destroyed the farms, roads and lives of many Cambodians, but we sometimes forget that not all of the bombs detonated upon impact. Since the target zones in Southeast Asia are wet, muddy rice paddies, they are sometimes too soft to provide sufficient surface resistance to detonate a bomb. In fact, experts estimate that anywhere from 1 to 30% of dropped bombs remain undetonated. I study how farmers adapt their planting and harvesting strategies around unexploded ordnance (UXO). As a graduate student, I found that Cambodian rice farmers on contaminated land—that is, land filled with UXO—are more likely to produce only subsistence levels of rice, due to fear of running into unexploded bombs while farming. Q: Why is it so hard and costly to remove a bomb from a field? A: Currently every step to find and clear UXO in Cambodia puts
someone’s life in danger. First, the most common technique to find UXO is in-person detection. Someone reports to the national clearance agency that he or she has found a bomb. If the agency has the available manpower, they will send a team over with metal detectors. Once ordnance is found, the removal team moves in cautiously, as the blast radius of a carpet bomb is 200 meters. According to the Cambodia Mine Action Center’s guidelines, a remote lift bag (essentially a large balloon) should be placed underneath the bomb 30
and used to lift the bomb out of the ground. Once it is excavated, the bomb, which can contain 500 to 750 pounds of ammunition— enough to level a couple of houses in Cambodia—needs to be towed to a designated safe location that local residents have been told to avoid. Then, using a wirelessly controlled bandsaw, the trigger fuses at the nose and the tail are cut off. The cost of removal is estimated to be more than $1,000 per piece of ordnance, which means that professional demining is out of the price range of most Cambodian farmers. Q: Tell me about your current research in mapping where leftover bombs still exist. What are your hopes for developing these data? A: I’m working with Rongjun Qin, a computer engineer at OSU, to
develop a machine-learning algorithm that scans high-resolution satellite images for bomb craters. Since the bomb craters provide physical evidence of bomb detonation, we will combine it with the declassified U.S. Air Force payload data in order to estimate the placement of the undetonated bombs, based on flight trajectory and local ground conditions. By identifying the location of UXO through remote sensing, we hope to provide a more efficient way to find unexploded bombs, and create a bomb removal process that puts fewer people in danger. Q: What do you want readers to understand about the impact and legacy of war on farming? A: In academia and in public spheres, it is well documented that war kills people, destroys capital and infrastructure and often fractionalizes society. But scholars have largely neglected the negative imprint war leaves on land, which is a vital factor of production in the developing world. This negative effect is also long-lasting. As long as unexploded ordnance stays in the ground, the land remains dangerous and thus under-utilized. For instance, I show in my research that the UXO left over from a dozen carpet bombs dropped five decades ago can reduce a farmer’s rice yield four-fold. So we need to consider the environmental damages of war, and how they have important, long-term implications for human security and economic development.
Colleen Leonardi is editor-in-chief of Edible Columbus. Her best friend in grade school was from Cambodia and survived The Khmer Rouge genocide. She dedicates this piece to the prosperity of future generations of fearless farmers around the world. Find her online at colleenleonardi.com.
a taste of HOME
At Home B in the World
Left to right: Nasir Latif, co-owner of Lavash, with his son and co-owner, Jamal Latif.
efore I’ve finished introducing myself to Nasir Latif, the owner of Lavash Café in Clintonville, he has offered me coffee, tea, water or soda, my first glimpse at the incredible hospitality to which every person who enters Lavash is treated. Nasir views everyone who comes to Lavash as a guest in his own home. “What do you do for your guest?” he asks, then answers, “Everything.”
Authentic Mediterranean food and the warmth of Nasir Latif bring people from all corners of the region together By Megan Neary Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
“What do you do for your guest?” he asks, then answers, “Everything.”
“I care for them,” Nasir says of his customers, which means, of course, providing excellent service and preparing incredible Mediterranean food. Yet Nasir doesn’t stop there. He truly gets to know his customers as if they were friends. From giving each little kid he sees a treat to maintaining a prayer room where individuals of all faiths can retreat for a quiet moment, Nasir is the perfect host. And his customers notice. In fact, Nasir says one family drives to Lavash from Tennessee every month; others frequently drive several hours to enjoy a meal there. Then, there are the regulars who eat at Lavash on a nearly
daily basis. Nasir knows them all by name and stops to talk with each of them.
place for the sale of food, it’s also for the exchange of ideas and culture.”
daughter, Laila, just completed a finance degree at OSU.
His son and co-owner of Lavash, Jamal Latif, explains, “You’ll often see my dad talking to customers, not only to see how they liked their food, but to learn more about them and their life stories.” He adds, “Early on I realized a restaurant isn’t just a
Treating everyone who enters Lavash as an honored guest is not limited to customers. Nasir also treats his employees in this way. One employee, Walla Karageh, says Nasir “…makes us feel like we are all family here.
“They are my life; that’s what I work for,” says Nasir. “I want them to pursue their dream, too.”
“He’s so kind. He’s so perfect. I’ve never worked with anyone like him,” she adds, and notes he is always willing to help his employees in any way he can. Nasir was born in Jerusalem in Palestine, but came to the United States when he was 17 to “pursue an education and to pursue life,” he says. Before opening Lavash, Nasir owned Firdous Deli & Café on The Ohio State University (OSU) campus and, after the university bought the building, Firdous Express in the North Market. He then sold Firdous Express and went to Dubai, where he lived for three years. In 2008, after coming back from Dubai, he opened Lavash in partnership with Jamal. His reason for coming back: “After living in the United States, you don’t want to live anywhere else.” The menu at Lavash includes the “same recipes, same dishes” that Nasir “learned to cook in Mom’s kitchen.” He even serves his mother’s favorite dish, Lemon Cauliflower Stew, every Tuesday. Every dish Nasir offers is a reflection of both what he learned growing up and of what he has studied over his many years as a chef. Nasir believes in the power of food to connect people, to act as a “universal language.” Nasir loves his work at Lavash. “What’s a better life than this?” he says, “This is a joy.” He adds, “whatever you do with your life, make sure you love it. 80% of our life is work. If you’re not enjoying your work, you’re not enjoying life.” Nasir wants his children to enjoy their work as well, even if that means leaving the restaurant behind. Jamal is currently studying dentistry at OSU. Nasir’s
For Jamal, his dream isn’t so different from his father’s. He plans to remain active at Lavash even after graduating from dental school. “I literally grew up in the restaurant business. I spent every day in my baby carrier in the kitchen of my dad’s first restaurant, Firdous Deli & Café, back in 1989,” he says. Since then, Jamal has learned a great deal about running a restaurant. It’s “almost as if I signed up for a PhD in the service industry,” he says. Jamal’s favorite dish is the chicken kabob entrée. “The perfect bite is a piece of the chicken kabob, dipped in our delicious whipped garlic sauce, topped with red onion and plunging all of that into the bed of rice,” he says. As Nasir shows me around the café, his love is evident. He’s proud of the fresh pita bread that is made from scratch and the shawarma that smells so delicious as it spins on its spit, but his pride doesn’t stop there. He’s every bit as happy to show me his dish tank, where he points out how orderly and clean it is. “Everything is spotless,” he says with a smile. As he leads me back through the dining room, he surveys the crowd at his restaurant, smiles again and says, “we all come from somewhere. Together, we look beautiful.” Lavash Café 2985 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43202, 614-263-7777 • lavashcafe.com
Megan Neary is a writer born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.
From top left to bottom right: lunch at Lavash with hummus and falafel; Nasirâ€™s famous Whole Red Snapper smothered in spices; pita bread warming up; classic Mediterranean pastries.
CAMPFIRE SHOT ON LOCATION AT ROCKMILL BREWERY. PHOTO BY Â© RACHEL JOY BAREHL SCENE AND FIRE PRODUCTION BY EVAN SCHLARB.
Local restaurants stoked about the wood-fired cooking craze
By Teresa Woodard
PHOTOGRAPHY BY © RACHEL WOODARD
Wood-fired pizza at Figlio. “I personally come in on Christmas day and bring one of our three daughters to stoke the fire,” says Peter. “It’s a family tradition.”
he whiff of burning logs. The captivating glow of hot embers. The visual geometry of stacked wood and the aesthetic lure of a beautifully tiled Napoli oven. Add to that the spectacle of live-fire cooking, and it’s easy to understand why this ages-old cooking style is such a hot feature at three local restaurants—Figlio, Paulie Gee’s and Snapshots.
A recent article in Restaurant Business reports “new live-fire-focused restaurants are popping up seemingly every day, and menu mentions of ‘wood-fired’ items are up 7% year over year,” according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor. Ironically, wood-fired cooking is one of the most primitive forms of cooking. Anthropologists’ findings show humans have been cooking over open fires since the Stone Age. The first ovens were fire pits, simple cavities dug in the ground and lined with rocks, which were heated by fire. Next came chamber ovens. Early humble versions were made of clay. More advanced styles of stone, brick and clay evolved from other cultures around the world. Some were vertical ovens like Indian tandoors or Chinese kamados while others were dome-shaped like the Roman ovens. Other milestones brought new fuels and soot-free options like the cast iron oven (1728), gas oven
(1826), coal oven (1833) and the electric oven (1890). Today, woodfired cooking is enjoying a renaissance as customers appreciate the drama of the open kitchen, the hint of smoke and the crackle of food meeting flame.
NEWCOMER: PAULIE GEE’S One of Columbus’ newest eateries in the wood-fired pizza arena is Paulie Gee’s, an import from Brooklyn, New York. Owner-operator T.J. Gibbs opened his restaurant in the Short North in January 2016 and has built a loyal following for his Neapolitan-style pizzas featuring uber-local twists like the Katzingers 83 Reuben pizza and Ray Ray’s hog pit brisket pizza. As T.J. demonstrates his cooking technique, he shares that he was introduced to Paulie Gee and his famous Brooklyn pizza restaurant while studying hospitality and business management at The Ohio State University. After graduation, he accepted Paulie’s invitation to spend a year with him in New York learning the business, so he could return to Columbus and open his own Paulie Gee’s restaurant.
T.J. rolls out the dough, adds the soppressata and cheese toppings for a Hellboy pizza then slides it into the oven on the hot stone floor not far from the coals. “There’s a unique physicality working with such an extremely temperamental oven,” says T.J. as he slides his long-handled peel under the pizza to rotate it a quarter turn. “If you move the pizza eight inches, the temperature can change 100°.” His investors were concerned there wouldn’t be a talent pool for hiring skilled staff, but T.J. was confident people would respond. “Each pizza is kinda like a snowflake, and each one is a little bit different. Everyone adds their own twist to it,” he says.
“Each pizza is kinda like a snowflake, and each one is a little bit different. Everyone adds their own twist to it,” he says.
Following a few more quarter turns, T.J. slips the peel under the pizza to raise it for a few seconds to finish melting its cheese beneath the hot dome ceiling. He pulls it out, drizzles it with Mike’s Hot Honey, then slices and serves it. “After cooking pizzas for long enough you can just tell,” says T.J. as he explains he judges a pizza’s doneness by its weight.
“The key to the bake is in the dough,” he says. “It would be a shame to invest half of the week into a pizza just to drop the ball on the topping table. With our pizza, in this oven, respecting the proportions of each ingredient is everything.”
VETERAN: FIGLIO In November, Figlio celebrated its 25th anniversary. It was the birth of owner Peter and Laurie Danis’s first daughter that spurred the couple to leave their law careers and open the restaurant. “We decided life was too short to practice law,” says Peter. “We needed to do something on a daily basis that gave us the same joy, passion and excitement of that day [of their daughter’s birth].” The couple chose to focus on pizza and pasta, drawing culinary inspiration from their travels. “We wanted a concept that would last,” says Peter. “The pizza and pasta became our palette that we could paint upon and change the colors for different trends.” From the start, they made a conscious decision to cook with a woodfired oven. “First, it’s authentic cooking that’s been done for thousands of years. Second, there’s a sense of theater for customers in an open display kitchen where the oven takes center stage. And third, the intense heat of the wood oven—at 650° to 750°—imparts an aromatic element and quickly crisps up the crust yet keeps the inside soft.” They ordered a custom oven from an award-winning Toronto pizza restaurant owner and have kept its fire burning 24/7 to avoid the risk of cracking a cooled oven floor. Paulie Gee’s owner T.J. Gibbs and his wood-fired oven.
“That’s the challenge of mastering a volatile heat source,” says Lucas. “It requires skill and vigilance.”
“I personally come in on Christmas day and bring one of our three daughters to stoke the fire,” says Peter. “It’s a family tradition.” Among the biggest challenges is the steep learning curve for cooking in wood-fired ovens. “It’s more difficult to train people on,” he says but he’s had success recruiting students from The Ohio State University, including an engineering major who appreciated the thermo-dynamics of the oven and an architecture major who appreciated the oven’s dome shape. He says he encourages his staff of 150 employees to “keep trying until you fail. If you do not fail, then you aren’t trying enough.”
POP-UP: SNAPSHOTS At Snapshots in Granville, photographer-turned-restaurant-owner Lucas Atwood fires up a portable wood-fired oven on the back patio of his restaurant. On pizza days, he sets up a work station where guests can watch him roll out his signature pizza dough, top it with locally sourced ingredients and cook pies three at a time. “I got burned out of the photo business and decided to go full time in the restaurant business with my own place that combines my 38
passions for art with food and entertaining,” says Lucas. Nearly four years into his seven-year restaurant tenure, Lucas was gifted a portable hand-built wood-fired oven on wheels. “The owner couldn’t keep it and knew I would put it to good use,” he says. Lucas also inherited his fireman father’s interest in fire and the pizza dough recipe he made as cook for “a lot of hungry men and women” at the fire station. His signature dough is filled with herbs and a hint of brown sugar. Lucas brings plenty of showmanship to his pizza making. Sporting his “bad-ass chef ” apron and mohawk hair style, he stands in front of his graffiti-painted oven that serves as a backdrop to his cooking stage. He assembled a make-shift stage of custom wooden pallets atop sticker-covered steel drums. Here, he works from a series of circular wooden cutting boards to roll out dough, chop ingredients and assemble pizzas with plenty of panache. “I roll out and don’t toss the dough,” he says. “I want to keep it even and get it as thin as possible.”
He prefers smaller pizzas for more even cooking and tops them with a scratch-made sauce of “not as juicy” grape tomatoes, olive oil and shallots. He selects a dryer cheese mix to keep the pizza from getting too greasy. Lucas says he learned the art of wood-fired cooking through “plenty of trial and error.” “It’s very temperamental,” he says. “You really have to be on your game.” Weather can bring added challenges to the task. For instance, humid or rainy days demand more cooking time for the pizzas. “That’s the challenge of mastering a volatile heat source,” says Lucas. “It requires skill and vigilance.” Thankfully, Lucas’ efforts are rewarded with a loyal following and plenty of five-star reviews. “One pastor customer told me ‘You have a very impressive congregation.’ That changed how I saw my job not just about making money but also about reaching out and sharing love.”
Teresa Woodard is a freelance writer and couldn’t be happier about working with her talented daughter Rachel, who is studying photography at the University of Cincinnati DAAP (Design, Art, Architecture and Planning Program).
Wood-fired pizza from Snapshots.
“To be sure, there are times when it is not practical to cook over a wood fire—but as I have found over the years, a charcoal fire, a gas grill or even a cast iron pan on the stove of a home kitchen can serve to create the texture and wonderful slightly burnt taste of open-fire cookery.”
—Francis Mallmann Gas Stove vs. Electric If you’re of the culinary persuasion, cooking with a gas stove is the way to go. The open flame of a gas stove allows for subtleties in temperature changes, making for better food. It’s as close as you’re going to get in your kitchen to a campfire. Plus, it allows for charring and toasting foods, and flambéing, in a way electric stoves cannot compare. Roast It Real Good Winter = Roast. Roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary take on a candy-like quality without forsaking nutritional value. My house gets warm with the oven pumping at 400°, and smells like the forest. And I don’t have to work over the stovetop; roasting is effortless, baking in flavor and packing in the heat to warm me up. Grilling While It Snows I have a friend who swears by grilling yearround. With his cigar and cellphone, he stands by the grill in 30° weather to get a good roast on a steak. Compromising nothing just because it’s freezing, he loves the contrast of the hot grill to the cool air. For the outdoor enthusiast, just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean the grilling has to stop. Woodstove Memories Ever visit a friend with a woodstove burning when it’s cold outside and notice how you never want to leave? That’s because the radiant heat off a woodstove is kin to the heat off a campfire—intoxicating. Different from a fireplace, woodstoves offer the true hearth experience. Your home carries the life of fire in an energy-efficient way, and some folks even cook on their woodstoves.
An Original Mary Kay Smith and The Winds Café
celebrate 40 years of fine dining in Yellow Springs, Ohio By Nancy McKibben Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
y youngest son earned a place in family lore when he noted as a 5-year-old that my parents’ golden anniversary represented a “long, serious time.” That phrase comes to mind when considering the 40-year anniversary of chef and owner Mary Kay Smith and her Winds Café in Yellow Springs, Ohio—40 years is a long time, and like any restaurant, demands a serious amount of hard work. As serious as Mary Kay is about her life’s work, the flip side of serious is the deep joy and fulfillment she finds in cooking and serving delicious food to both the neighbors in her community and the many tourists who pass through (and often return to) Yellow Springs each year. “I’ve been coming here since 1982,” says customer Patty Hicks of Columbus at a recent lunch at The Winds. “It’s where I learned about fine dining—about how
important fresh food was, and the use of spices and herbs.”
FROM QUIRKY BEGINNINGS . . .
The original Four Winds Café, an experiment in fresh food (think homemade yogurt and sprouts) and cooperative ownership, began in February 1977, the same year that 20-year-old Mary Kay moved to Yellow Springs from Beavercreek. Her partner, Kim Korkan, worked at the restaurant, and that December Mary Kay came on board as a dishwasher. “I already loved to cook and eat, and then when I worked there I got the bug,” she says. The café’s Japanese cook, Iko Wright, “had lived and cooked all over the world. She started teaching us everything she knew.” Mary Kay found that the life suited her. “I’m not an office person. Restaurant work is for adrenaline junkies, which is me. I love
the hurry-up panic of the kitchen, the don’t-know-what’s-going-to-happen rush.” As the appeal of restaurant life faded for others in the co-op, Mary Kay and Kim bought up their shares. Iko departed after four years, and eventually the restaurant belonged solely to Mary Kay and Kim, and finally to Mary Kay alone, its name officially shortened by then to The Winds Café, because “everyone always shortened it” anyway “People today don’t realize in the late 70s and early 80s there was no food culture,” she says. “There were no fresh herbs unless you grew them.” For several years the restaurant did grow vegetables, “but that was so much work. It was easier to network to buy local food.” Now the restaurant deals with about 10 local farmers. “Like Doug Seibert at Peach Mountain, and we have Orion Organic Beef in town.” A luxury, considering that
“The speed of life now speeds up people’s perceptions. But,” Mary Kay says drily, “you can’t speed up food. It still takes a certain amount of time to roast a chicken.”
Labelle Duck Leg and Thigh with Autumn Succotash: Served on a rustic plate from Naysan's Miami Valley Pottery, this juicy Hudson Valley duck leg is marinated, seared, then braised until silky and tender. Accompanied by a succotash of dried and fresh beans.
From top left to bottom right: Chef Mary Kay Smith of The Winds CafĂŠ; Acqua Pazza: Naysan's pottery sets off this classic Italian dish of seared and braised halibut served with garlic-sauteed escarole, torn basil and grilled garlic toast; inside the dining room at The Winds CafĂŠ. 42
back in the day, “we had to drive to Cincy and go to a huge Italian store” just to purchase olive oil and San Marzano tomatoes.
. . . TO FINE CUISINE
In addition to food that comes from producers who are, according to The Winds website, “humane, ethical and environmentally friendly,” Mary Kay keeps the menu seasonal, and as local as she can. “No tomatoes in winter,” might serve as the kitchen’s motto. Dining in a restaurant used to be a more leisurely experience that included checkwriting, adding the bill by hand and looking at a sales tax chart. “The speed of life now speeds up people’s perceptions. But,” Mary Kay says drily, “you can’t speed up food. It still takes a certain amount of time to roast a chicken.” She notes that today’s dining trends toward small plates, more of a “sharing community” approach. “And protein is not so much at the center of the plate, although we still sell our pork chop like crazy.”
Mary Kay employs 32 and is now older than nearly all her employees. “I don’t buy into the idea that when we were young, blah, blah, blah, everything was better. I think millennials are awesome.” She praises her kitchen staff, saying that they still show her new things in the kitchen.
THE VENN DIAGRAM OF YELLOW SPRINGS: FOOD, ART, COMMUNITY
Naysan’s exhibit at the restaurant.) “Naysan is one of my favorite artists,” Mary Kay says. “He was one of my bussers when he was in high school.” And Mary Kay does pursue one other creative art: writing the menu descriptions. For example, a dish of beans called “Field of Sunflowers:” Don’t you love the field of sunflowers on 68 just north of town? Driving by always makes
You may remember Venn diagrams from a long-ago math class: circles that overlap to illustrate relationships. In the case of The Winds Café, the three overlapping circles are art, food and community, and their intersection is the restaurant.
me think of Van Gogh, which led me to try these creamy, lavender-colored beans from heirloom bean and legume producer, Zursun. Stewed slowly with white wine, garlic, dark leafy cooking greens and the famous French herb mixture known as
“My original fantasy was to be an artist,” Mary Kay says. “Now I have a different kind of artistry where I create dishes, not paintings. The restaurant is the closest I get—I can hang out with artists and choose art for the restaurant.” The iconic salt shakers that grace each table come from the hand of Naysan McIlhargey of Miami Valley Pottery. (See sidebar about
herbes de Provence, the rustic beans are served with hot rice, a dollop of whipped goat cheese and a spoonful of our housemade tapenade.
Who could resist? The field of sunflowers she references is planted on the Tecumseh Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1990 by citizens of Yellow Springs. To circle back to the Venn
Fried fish with Green Goddess: Mary Kay's unique version of fish and chips includes lemon slices crisp-fried with potatoes and herbs and, of course, meaty white fish chunks.
diagram metaphor, The Winds Café is a supporter of that local nonprofit, a conscious decision on Mary Kay’s part to support charities “that affect Yellow Springs and that I really believe in.”
A LONG, SERIOUS TIME
The Winds Café’s 40 years may be a “long, serious time,” but Mary Kay is surprised at the idea that 40 years of the same basic job (which, for a restaurant owner, includes tasks as diverse as cooking, bussing, serving, hosting and unclogging toilets) could be boring. “We change the menu all the time, and there are always new customers and new vendors,” she says. “And new projects.” Like moving the restaurant to a building across the street in 1990, constructing a pleasant, shaded patio and establishing a wine store next door. (See sidebar below.) “And we have wine tastings and dinner—those are
nice, because you can do a small-scale set menu.”
why I love it so much. It’s a quirky town, but we put up with each other’s quirkiness.”
She finds real satisfaction in her work. “I’d have a hard time working for anyone else and I know that. I like calling the shots. I like making really good food that people love. I like working with my hands, and I like welcoming everybody to the restaurant.”
The Winds Café
Mary Kay isn’t yet considering retirement— ”I would have to figure out what to do”— but she does think about writing a couple of cookbooks. One of them would talk about life in a restaurant in a small town. “We couldn’t survive in a town of fewer than 4,000 unless it was also a tourist town,” she says. But a small town offers “an allegiance to people.” When bad weather strikes, “people in Columbus and Dayton stay home. That’s when locals come out to every single business to support us. That’s
215 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs, Ohio 937-767-1144 Reservations recommended
Nancy McKibben is happy to combine her loves of eating and writing with the opportunity to advocate for sustainable agriculture in the pages of Edible Columbus. Her latest project is Kitschy Cat Alphabet, a rhyming alphabet book in postcards. She is also a novelist, poet and lyricist, the mother of six and the wife of one. View her work at nancymckibben.com; contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE WINE CELLAR Across from the ivy-clad, cobbled path that is the entrance to The Winds Café is their darling, the Wine Cellar. Bright, airy and always featuring a smart wine selection of “high quality wines emphasizing independent winemakers with artisan spirits and Old World wine values,” the Wine Cellar also carries regional brews like Rhinegeist Brewery from Cincinnati and Yellow Springs Brewery. While drink is the focus, they get it extra right with local flavors to complement the bottle you bring home. A Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream case waits for your after-dinner pint of cream. Local honeycomb, Marcona almonds, decadent chocolate and a selection of beans and rice from Zursun Idaho Heirloom Beans are for the picking. At daybreak, the little wineshop delivers fresh loaves of bread, cookies and baked goods from The Winds Café kitchen. The word is they always sell out and loyalists like to reserve their bread ahead of time. And they host special dinners and events in the loft space upstairs. Looking for a specially catered event with wine pairings? The Winds Wine Cellar may be just the right spot.
A PERSIAN DELICACY The Winds Café hosts new art shows every two months within the café. Starting in November and running until January 1, local potter Naysan McIlhargey of Miami Valley Pottery will share his newest body of work in a show titled “Persia.” Inspired by traditional ceramic art from Iran, Iraq, the Persian Empire and Syria, the show features handpainted pots by Naysan inspired by the ancient drawings and patterns of Persia, dating from 900 A.D. to the 14th century. The Winds Café will also feature a special Persian dish on the menu, to be served in Persian dishware created by Naysan. A must-see event and a must-taste experience.
Top left: Artist Naysan McIlhargey of Miami Valley Pottery. Bottom left: Naysan’s collection of Persian pots for the show at The Winds Café. Bottom right: Naysan’s grandmother’s journal written in traditional Arabic and inspiration for his show.
“One of the biggest keys to organic farming is that it’s educational,” says Tom Klein, son of Walter J. Klein.
Top: Wapsie Valley corn. Tom will dry the corn to save seed for the next growing season. Bottom: “It’s fun,” says Tom when we talk about farming organically.
Grains & Grit
Behind the scenes with organic grain farmers Tom and Mary Klein and their partnership with Shagbark Seed & Mill By Colleen Leonardi Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
t’s a blue-grey Ohio day and Tom and Mary Klein are readying for our visit to their certified, organic grain farm in Carey, Ohio. Mary emailed me the night before to tell me she’d have lunch ready for us; homemade chicken soup, salad and pumpkin cake, to be precise, all made with ingredients from the farm. As we drive up, their old dog Max greets us with a bark then a wag and Tom makes fun of how overdressed we are in anticipation of a winter that hasn’t yet arrived.
Familial. Our time with Tom and Mary became warmly domestic as they welcomed us into their life. Lo and behold, gathering around grain is in our blood. Early humans adapted grain into their diets as far back as 10,000 B.C. Yet it wasn’t until the Stone Age when man started to grind down wheat to make flour, and soon learned how to grow food instead of hunt and gather for it. Less time moving meant more time communing. Grain farming led to a life of dwell instead of a life of roam. Tom and Mary exhibit a rootedness that is rare these days, both in theory and practice. They believe “organic farming is a cause.” Tom’s grandfather bought the farm in 1926, and Tom grew up there and started growing organically in 1996. Met with much speculation and mockery by other farmers in his community for going certified organic, Tom persevered. By day, he was an industrial arts teacher. By morning and night, a farmer through and through. Mary worked as a teacher as well while tending to the family, cooking, preserving and farming. Today, Tom and Mary have three sons, all engineers, and grow landrace (heirloom) crops, including Wapsie Valley corn, Red Fife wheat and Einkorn wheat for Athens-based Shagbark Seed & Mill, along with spelt and sweet clover. Without these well-tended and well-loved grains, Shagbark would not have the certified organic crops needed to produce their wellknown corn chips and tortillas, corn meal and so much more. As you visit with Tom and Mary here within these pages, we hope you get a sense of just how determined and vibrant these grains they grow really are, and, by extension, how vibrant and determined Tom and Mary have become in stewarding a better environment by way of grain for the next generation. As we looked at the Einkorn wheat grown by Tom and Mary, Tom handhusked a kernel for me to taste the seed inside.
Look for part two of this story in 2018 as we go behind the scenes to see how the grain is processed from Tom and Mary’s farm into Shagbark’s line of Ohio-grown certified organic products.
Top: Red Fife wheat stored for the winter. Bottom: “That’s what I like to see in the wintertime…covered in green,” says Tom, as he looks out over one of his fields newly planted with seed.
Top, right: Hybrid corn at rest for the season, blowing in the blue-grey Ohio day. Harvested on November 4, the corn will be marketed. The stalks will be worked into the ground and a cover crop of wheat will be incorporated.
Bottom: Tom shares a spelt seed that is still rooting into the soil with me. “It looks pregnant,” I say. “I’ve never heard it described that way,” he chuckles.
“Nature will heal herself,” says Tom. 48
Top: Wapsie Valley corn drying for seed, the same corn Shagbark uses for their products. “We know that Tom and Mary are going to grow these particular crops that we’re interested in,” says Shagbark coowner Michelle Ajamian. “This year we also got a sample of Einkorn from them, and they also grow the Red Fife wheat that we now offer, so we make Red Fife wheat basic flour, and then chefs can order all different kinds of custom siftings depending on what they’re planning to do with it, and we do the same with our spelt flour. Our relationships with farmers: We find out what they’re growing and how much, and we try to market it as much as we can.”
Bottom: Inside the kitchen of Mary Klein where her chicken soup was prepared featuring homemade noodles made with their local pastor and their farm chicken preserved with care by Mary. “We love our little slice of life and all it holds,” she later wrote to me after I thanked her for such a lovely visit. Left, Bottom: Tom shows us his solar panels, installed in 2012. When Tom’s granddaughter saw them she said, “It’s really nice Grandpa put mirrors out for the cows to see themselves.”
Top: The family farm record from 1945, an antiquity much admired by our chief operating officer, Steve Berk. Bottom: Mary and Tom insist on showing me one of their treasures from their time spent in Malaysia while in the Peace Corps. The parasol, made by the village children, was used by Mary during the hot, sunny days. “They all knew how to make these,” she says.
founder of The Roosevelt Coffeehouse By Colleen Leonardi Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl Why clean water, hunger and human trafficking as core issues of the mission of your nonprofit coffeehouse?
What’s really special about these issues is they’re non-divisive, so we can all agree wherever we stand faith-wise, political-wise, race-wise, economic-wise, that nobody should starve to death, no one should lack freedom and nobody should die of a preventable, water-born disease. So as divisive as the world is right now, it’s non-divisive and it’s been a blessing that it’s unified our community because those are things we can all get behind. How can coffee serve as a vehicle for restorative justice?
First, being a youth pastor, I spent a lot of time at Starbucks and found myself trying to study and think through things. Second, the millennial generation, for us, we felt was gonna be the people that would totally get what we’d be doing. And, third, everybody will commune in a coffee shop. Just having some personal experiences traveling around…I mean, I went to places to pray, I went to places to be mentored,
So we can all agree ... that nobody should starve to death, no one should lack freedom and nobody should die of a preventable, water-born disease. and every place I went I found a coffee shop to kinda debrief and meet.
business conversation. But we’re doing really well.
I think, too, that we wanted to create the type of the community that felt the power of the ability to make a difference, and that the people that were making a difference in other places and in other ways would find this place a way to participate in that—to meet new people—and that happens all the time.
If you’re comfortable, you can’t exhibit faith. Faith requires risk. If you’re not willing to risk anything, what is the process by which you need faith? If you’re a faith believer, especially in the church, then you’re believing in a God you’ve never seen, you’ve only heard stories on, so if that’s the faith I have, if I don’t exhibit risk, than what’s the point of it?
Our core values are love, justice, coffee, humility and optimism. That is the goal of every human being that works for me and works for this organization, so that everybody that walks into this space feels like “this is so inclusive, this is so kind.” Really, the core value is love. What does it mean to have faith and create a community around faith for you?
I’m a guy that just believes it will be provided for, and that doesn’t make for the best
The Roosevelt Coffeehouse partners with organizations “that we KNOW are building wells and latrines, feeding people locally and internationally, and rescuing and restoring dignity to those who have been enslaved.” Learn how you can donate and be a part of the mission at rooseveltcoffee.org.
Local Guide Finding Ohio-grown goodness to eat and enjoy doesn’t have to involve hours at the stove, or online searching for the right place for dinner. These fine establishments offer locally sourced, seasonally inspired cuisine every day. The farm-to-table movement in Central Ohio starts with our farmers and growers producing flavorful, beautiful food. They take pride in delivering the best of what they grow and harvest to Columbus markets. Edible Columbus connects these farmers in the farm-to-table movement with other growers, producers and food artisans to help our local food community prosper. Our dining guide features restaurants and chefs that work with these farmers and growers to showcase the finest foods of our region. By visiting these establishments, you’re supporting Central Ohio businesses dedicated to local and sustainable sourcing, delicious food and our communities.
JOIN US IN 2018! You’ll reach our audience of eager readers, eaters, shoppers and drinkers—who are loyal to local— and receive placement in our print and digital “Eat Drink Local” guides. Contact email@example.com to learn more.
Ray Ray’s Hog Pit rayrayshogpit.com Clintonville (food truck) • 614-753-1191 2619 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio Westerville (walk up window) • 614-329-6654 5755 Maxtown Rd. Westerville, Ohio At Land Grant Brewery • 614-404-9742 424 Town St., Columbus, Ohio We serve authentic barbecue, consistently crafted every time. It’s our mission. We smoke our meats, low and slow, with a nice coating of dry rub, using our own style. Our friendly and skilled staff is focused on giving you an expertly crafted product and the barbecue experience you crave. North Market northmarket.com • 614-463-9664 59 Spruce St., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter We are Central Ohio’s authentic public market. Since 1876 our independent merchants and farmers have loyally served the community and its visitors, delivering personal, personable service every day of the week. We provide an authentic Columbus experience that highlights the diversity and vibrancy of our community. Katalina’s katalinascafe.com • 614-294-2233 1105 Pennsylvania Ave., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Live • Love • Local! Katalina has chosen each ingredient to make the most of her mantra: Fresh, homemade food with attitude but no pretense. Local, organic picks make food even more delish! Rockmill Tavern rockmilltavern.com • 614-732-4364 503 S. Front St., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook and Instagram Rockmill Tavern is located in the heart of the historic Brewery District, serving creative and comforting food for breakfast, lunch and dinner alongside handcrafted Belgian-style beers, cocktails and wine. Join us for happy hour, business meetings, a family meal and anything in between.
Be sure to support our advertisers, as they generously support us! #LoyalToLocal
Flowers & Bread
abbyf.com 614-214-9096 firstname.lastname@example.org Find on Facebook and Instagram
flowersandbread.com 614-262-5400 3870 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
oaklandnursery.com Locations in Columbus, Dublin, Delaware and New Albany Find on Facebook and Instagram
Backroom Coffee Roasters
Franklin County Farm Bureau
backroomcoffeeroasters.com 614-563-9410 3216 S. 3 Bs and K Rd., Galena, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)
Bexley Natural Market bexleynaturalmarket.org 614-252-3951 508 N. Cassady Ave., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Bluescreek Farm Meats & Market bluescreekfarmmeats.com 614-504-6605 8120 U.S. 42, Plain City, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Bonhomie Acres bonhomieacresmaplesyrup.com 614-501-4681 7001 Quaker Rd., Fredericktown, Ohio Find on Facebook
The Butcher & Grocer thebutcherandgrocer.com 614-372-5376 1089 West 1st Ave., Grandview Heights, Ohio Find on Facebook and Instagram
Columbus Craft Cocktail Tour columbuscraftcocktailtour.com Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Dine Originals Columbus
Gateway Film Center gatewayfilmcenter.org 614-247-4433 1550 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Harrison Farm harrisonfarm13.com 614-271-0304 5278 Berger Rd., Groveport, Ohio Find on Facebook and Instagram
The Hive thehivemburg.com 937-869-6280 22 S. Main St., Mechanicsburg, Ohio Find on Facebook and Instagram
Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) discovery.osu.edu/focus-areas/infact/ 614-292-5881
It's All Natural itsall-natural.com 614-476-6159 1360 Cherry Bottom Rd., Gahanna, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
dineoriginalscolumbus.com 614-315-1966 Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
jorgensen-farms.com 614-855-2697 5851 E. Walnut St., Westerville, Ohio Find on Facebook and Instagram
Dutch Creek Winery
dutchcreekwinery.com 740-818-4699 Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
localrootspowell.com 614-602-8060 15 E. Olentangy St., Powell, Ohio Find on Facebook and Instagram
Explore Licking County explorelc.org 740-345-8224 455 Hebron Rd., Heath, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Nick Miller at Nationwide Insurance agency.nationwide.com/nick-miller-in-columbusoh 614-889-0701 Find on Facebook
oeffa.org 614-421-2022 Ext. 202 Find on Facebook and Twitter
Rockmill Tavern rockmilltavern.com 614-732-4364 503 S. Front St., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Shawâ€™s Restaurant shawsinn.com 740-654-1842 123 N. Broad St., Lancaster, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Snowville Creamery 740-698-2340 snowvillecreamery.com 32623 St. Rte. 143, Pomeroy, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Union Station 1820 visituptown.org/1820 937-642-6279 227 E. 5th St., Marysville, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Weilandâ€™s Market weilandsmarket.com 614-267-9878 3600 Indianola Ave., Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Watershed Distillery watersheddistillery.com 614-357-1936 1145 Chesapeake Ave., Suite D, Columbus, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Worthington Indoor Farmers Market worthingtonfarmersmarket.com 614-285-5341 7227 N. High St., Worthington, Ohio Find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Peachblow Pottery peachblowpottery.com 740-548-7224 13262 Hartford Rd., Sunbury, Ohio
years of Edible Communities
With a credo of “If you want to eat local, it helps to read local,” Edible Communities has grown to become the largest media company exclusively devoted to the local good food movement. Here are a few memorable milestones:
2002 Edible Ojai launches in California. The one-color, 16-page quarterly newsletter about food and its makers debuts with a print run of 10,000 copies. After one year, Edible Ojai has subscribers in 43 states. 2004 Saveur magazine features Edible Ojai in its “Top 100” January/February issue. As a result of that mention, Edible Ojai founders Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian launch Edible Communities, a network of licensed magazines and websites devoted to celebrating local, seasonal food. Six “pilot” territories are identified; by year’s end, Edible Cape Cod debuts and is quickly followed by five other titles. 2004–2008 Edible Communities grows from seven to 30 magazines, all locally owned and operated by licensed publishers in their respective communities.
Kirschenmann, Paul Willis, Marion Nestle and Ruth Reichl. Edible Toronto becomes the first Edible title to launch in Canada. It will eventually be joined by Edible Vancouver, Edible Ottawa and Edible Montreal. In August, Edible Communities is featured on the front page of the New York Times food section. During the following 12 months, the company grows from 30 to 60+ magazines.
2009 First Lady Michelle Obama starts a vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House to encourage healthy eating and sustainability. It is a precursor to her “Let’s Move” program dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. 2010 The first Edible Institute, a twoday thought forum about the present and future state of local food, is held in Santa Fe, NM. The company’s first book, Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods, is published by John Wiley and Sons.
2011 Edible Communities is honored by the James Beard Foundation with its firstever Publication of the Year Award. In announcing the award, the Foundation recognizes Edible publications “as a valuable resource for exploring the impact of regional food and agriculture from a grassroots perspective…. [The organization’s] body of work reflects excellence in the ever-changing world of food journalism.”
2008 Edible Radio makes its debut. The
2011–2013 Four community-based cookbooks—Edible Brooklyn, Edible Seattle, Edible Dallas & Fort Worth and Edible Twin Cities—are published by Sterling Epicure.
2006 With the directive to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma is named one of the 10 best books of the year by the New York Times. The New Oxford American Dictionary names “locavore” its Word of the Year. The word is defined as “a person who endeavors to eat only locally produced food.”
series of podcasts features interviews with thought leaders in the food world, including Dan Barber, Gary Nabhan, Fred
2014 Edible Communities founders Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian are named to Fortune and Food & Wine’s list of the 25 “Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink.” Stating that family farms “should be at the heart of all agriculture, food security and nutrition agendas,” the United Nations declares 2014 the “International Year of Family Farming.”
2014–2015 “The Victory Garden’s Edible Feast” television show begins airing on PBS nationwide. 2015
Sales of organic foods reach $40 billion, up from $15 billion in sales in 2006, according to the Organic Trade Association.
The USDA Farm to School Census shows that school districts purchased nearly $800 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen and food processors/manufacturers during school year 2013–14, a 105% increase over the $386 million of local food purchased in the 2011–12 school year.
2016 Edible Communities reaches 100 licensed magazines in communities across the United States and Canada. The company now prints 6 million magazines each year. The new and improved EdibleCommunities.com launches, featuring content from the organization’s local communities.
2017 Edible Communities launches Good Spirits, a national event series to showcase artisanal wine and spirits. —N.P., ECI