I am continually amazed by the many local chefs and restaurants who not only endure the frenzy of each night’s service at their respective businesses but also give back to the community and great causes. Since I last posted on this blog, I’ve been fortunate to attend and volunteer for several. A few highlights.
Eat Local for the Globe
September's Eat Local for the Globe drew a record number of local chefs bringing their A game for a spectacular dinner to benefit Findlay Market. One of the fun things about volunteering for it was watching the chefs collaborate as they joined in plating each other's dishes. Also, that moment when Jean-Robert de Cavel pitched in at the bussing station. Because, you know, dishes were starting to pile up, and he's not above doing whatever needs to be done.
Top local chefs also turn out to give back to Jean-Robert and his wife Annette, who lost their daughter Tatiana to SIDS and host an annual fundraiser for SIDS research in her honor called eat.play.give. Always delectable!
Cincinnati Chocolate Festival
Cincinnati Chocolate Festival is run be all volunteers helping the Isaac M. Wise Temple Sisterhood raise funds for their year-round projects like Interfaith Hospitality Network, Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen, Freestore Foodbank, The Assistance League, and the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter. I got to sample savory chocolate-laced dishes from their new Cheers for Chocolate wine and food booth in between watching demos and "wrangling" some local all-stars serving as judges. They were happy to participate and didn't need much wrangling after all.
Slow Food Cincinnati Tomatoland Dinner
I am especially grateful to all who helped raise funds for Slow Food Cincinnati (a cause dear to me - I am on the SFC Board). From Molly Wellman's bourbon + tomato syrup cocktail to Megan Ketover's olive oil basque cake with honeyed tomato butter, lemon rosemary ice cream and fennel, and her amazing mignardise plate, we were lucky to have Slow Food Cincinnati Snail of Approval award winners Todd Kelly and Megan Ketover of Orchids, Stephen Williams and Bhumin Desai of Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar, and Local 127's Steven Geddes and Kyle Johnson prepare us a fabulous feast.
LLS Taste of the World at the Newport Aquarium
Here's another great benefit coming up Sat., Nov. 9 that raises funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Tickets are $100 for general admission, or $150 for the Top Shelf Room. But you can win a pair of tickets by commenting here, on the Eggplant To Go facebook page or tweeting/retweeting at @eggplanttogo by 11:59 p.m., Wed., Nov. 6. Participating restaurants include Alfio's buon cibo, Andy's Mediterranean Grill, BB Riverboats, Coffee Emporium, Dewey's Pizza, European Imports, Food Match, Frisch's, Fusian, Keystone Bar & Grill, Palomino, The Party Source EQ, P.F. Chang's, Pit to Plate BBQ, Madisono's Gelato, Red Roost Tavern, Stone Creek Dining Company, Taste of Belgium, and Yagoot.
My thanks to blogger friends Laura and David Arnold of Cincinnati Nomerati for all their work on the LLS benefit and making this giveaway possible. Disclosure: they are also providing me a pair of tickets. I hope to see you there!