Thursday, August 29, 2013

Orchids to participate in James Beard Foundation's Taste AmericaLocal Dish Challenge

Orchids at Palm Court has joined more than 100 other restaurants in the James Beard Foundation's (JBF) Taste America® Local Dish Challenge. Foodies nationwide can show their local pride by participating in this social media-driven competition.

Chef Todd Kelly has chosen to feature Compressed Watermelon Salad to showcase the best of the local food scene in Cincinnati, from September 1 through October 31, 2013. Orchids at Palm Court will donate $1 from each dish sold to the JBF Taste America® Education Drive, which supports JBF's educational programs on topics surrounding our country's food system. These programs include the annual JBF Food Conference, JBF Leadership Awards , and new Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change.

When the promotion concludes on October 31, 2013, the city with the most Instagram photo uploads will be declared the winner and receive a donation from JBF in the amount of $10,000 or 10% of the proceeds raised nationally, whichever is higher, will be awarded to the city's selected charity. Cincinnati's charity is Freestore Foodbank COOKS! Program.

Diners can support the JBF Taste America® Local Dish Challenge by following the below steps:
Visit a participating restaurant between September 1 and October 31.
Complete list at
Order the Taste America Local Dish
Take a photo of the dish
Post to Instagram with #JBFTasteamerica and the hashtag of your city.
Example: "Just had this savory #jbftasteamerica dish from @orchids_at_palm featuring delicious local produce in #Cincinnati" Dine often and help the Freestore Foodbank COOKS! Program in Cincinnati win up to $10,000

For more information on James Beard Foundation's Taste America®: "Local Flavor from Coast to Coast," please visit www.jbftastamericaorg.

Compressed Watermelon Salad WHERE: Orchids at Palm Court Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza 35 West Fifth Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 513-421-9100

Moonshine University presents full-day Moonshine Enthusiast workshop on Oct. 18

On Friday, Oct. 18, Moonshine University at Distilled Spirits Epicenter will offer a full day Moonshine Enthusiast class that will explore the infamous spirit, from its history in the hills to its modern, legal incarnation. The hands-on workshop includes a cooking and fermentation demonstration, participation in the distilling process and a sensory evaluation. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served. The class takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $395 per person. Moonshine University is located at 801 S. 8th St. Louisville. To register, call (502) 301-8126 or email

Throughout the day, attendees will learn about key terms used in making moonshine; the different types of stills; and the production process. Participants will not only enjoy a lesson on the history of moonshine culture, but will also get hands-on experience in the cooking/fermentation and distillation processes in the Grease Monkey Distillery. The nuances of corn shine, sugar shine and mixed grain liquors will be revealed through a sensory evaluation, and participants will also learn the difference between wild fermentation and pitched fermentation.

Those with entrepreneurial goals in the distilled spirits industry can build on the Moonshine Enthusiast class by signing up for Moonshine University’s 5-Day Distiller Course taking place on Oct. 7 through 11. The course provides a complete overview of the craft of distilling and the beverage industry through comprehensive technical training and business management education. Tuition is $5,500 for an intensive, practical, hands-on learning experience that covers every facet of the craft and the industry, from grain selection to getting your product into the hands of consumers.

Located at 801 S. 8th Louisville, Distilled Spirits Epicenter consists of Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling and offers educational and training resources focusing on artisan spirits. Through hands-on distilling instruction, classes and bottling services, the Epicenter brings Kentucky’s unique distilling legacy to life. Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the sister company to Flavorman, an international custom beverage development and ingredient supply company. Flavorman’s Beverage Architects and the Epicenter’s team of distilling consultants can take your idea through every phase of beverage development and production...from start through finish. For more information, visit and

wineCraft and Hirsch Vineyards offer an informative seminar followed by an elaborate tasting menu from Boca

On Thursday, September 19, Boca and Hirsch Vineyards will kick-off a series of events in partnership with wineCRAFT, the restaurant’s partner and importer of the city’s most sought-after selections. Beginning at 1:30 p.m., winemaker Jasmine Hirsch will offer a free seminar on the Extreme Sonoma Coast with tastes of the vineyard’s famed San Andreas Pinot Noir, recently profile in the Wall Street Journal. Following the educational event, Boca Executive Chef Jeremy Lieb will create a four-course dinner with expertly paired wines from Hirsch Vineyards beginning at 6:30 p.m. The four-course wine dinner, which includes canapés and sparkling wine reception upon arrival, costs $150 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. The full menu with wine pairings is available upon request.

Additionally, on Friday, September 20, Kevin Hart of wineCraft and Jasmine Hirsch will pour the vineyard’s Pinot by the glass and answer any questions from the patrons during dinner service at Boca.

Boca Restaurant, 114 E 6th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

The seminar is free with RSVP with tasting of wine available for purchase; the four-course wine dinner costs $150 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity

Thursday, September 19 at 1:30 p.m.: Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vinyards will lead a seminar on the Extreme Sonoma Coast; limited availability; RSVP is required Thursday, September 19 at 6:30 p.m.: A four-course wine dinner by Boca Executive Chef Jeremy Lieb; limited availability; RSVP is required Friday, September 20 during dinner service: Kevin Hart of wineCraft and Jasmine Hirsch will pour the vineyard’s Pinot by the glass and answer any questions from patrons


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fantasy Football Made Easy from the Draft through the Playoffs at Buffalo Wings & Rings Cincinnati Area Locations

It’s obvious that the resilience of fantasy football leagues has changed the way we follow professional football and even the way games are covered. But it’s also changed the restaurant business in some surprising ways.

President and CEO Roger David says that during the pro football season, Buffalo Wings & Rings sees a decided uptick in fantasy coaches taking advantage of its high-definition matrix television units and he’s added some features to make fantasy leagues feel more at home.

Buffalo Wings & Rings will be kicking off the football season with a custom experience designed specifically for fantasy players. An online reservation system, weekly discounts on food and drinks and a commissioners’ starter pack are among the ways the fast-growing sports restaurant franchise plans to please its sports fans this season.

“Fantasy sports are fun but organizing draft days, league meetings and just enjoying the social aspect of the game calls for the right set-up,” said David. “Our new online reservation system lets players make sure they have a spot to cheer on their favorite teams and key players and maybe do a little polite trash-talking over good food with their friends.”

A prime example of how businesses are catering to fantasy players is BW&R’s Draft Day package. The restaurant makes a huge draft board available to leagues and provides free internet access and a draft kit guaranteeing a seamless experience. Leagues can schedule a draft party using an online reservation system at or phone in to claim their space. On draft day, the commissioner of each league receives a free t-shirt and the ideal draft kit including koozies, Fantasy Cheat Sheets and a playbook of coupons to enjoy throughout the entire season.

“The game has changed and BW&R gets it; Fantasy Football players want the luxury of watching their entire roster without stepping foot into a stadium,” said David. “BW&R provides that luxury with several high- definition televisions within an open, sports-centric environment all season long.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Magnum Taste of the Exotics Debuts In Ohio,Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan (& California) With Four 100% Arabica Specialty Coffee Blends

Following a highly successful launch last month in California, Magnum Coffee Roastery’s Magnum Taste of the Exotics Coffee has just been introduced atmany of the 203 Meijer supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky as well.

Magnum Taste of the Exotics is offered in four specialty 100% Arabica blends created to broaden the global palates of true coffee connoisseurs by helping them travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of their home. Coffee aficionados can savor the cool, clean flavor of Jamaican Blue Mountain, or enjoy a nutty and bright Kona Hawaiian blend. They can meander through a tropical Rainforest or take a safari through South America, Central America and Africa with Organic Fogcutter, a smoky and satisfying San Francisco blend, the only mainland-inspired flavor in the group of four specialty Arabica coffees.

Magnum Taste of the Exotics blends are packaged in invitingly bright and adventurous, four-corner sealed bags. Each distinctive blend features a toucan, lion, tiger or leopard that practically leaps off the shelf amid an otherwise subdued field of coffee packaging. Magnum Taste of the Exotics’ Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend and Kona Blend are packaged ground (12 oz.). Organic Rainforest Blend and Organic Fogcutter debut in whole bean (10 oz.) and are both certified organic by Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) International and USDA. With an MSRP of $9.99, all Magnum Taste of the Exotics packaging features one-way valves to assure the specialty Arabica coffee is packaged after roasting so the freshness, fragrance and flavor of the select beans stay in the bag.

Magnum Taste of the Exotics is the first self-branded line developed by Magnum Coffee Roastery, the nation’s premier supplier of specialty private label blends. Already popular in the company’s home state of Michigan (though new to regional Meijer stores) and available at Bristol Farms and Gelson’s stores in California, Magnum Taste of the Exotics will continue rolling-out in additional states throughout the country throughout 2013 and 2014.

Magnum Taste of the Exotics features the most exquisite aromas, bodies and flavors from beans grown only in the area between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Known as the “Coffee Belt,” this region boasts bean-perfect conditions of moderate sunshine and rain, steady temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and rich, porous soil. Specially selected Arabica coffee beans are grown between 4,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Picked beans are meticulously graded and separated by bean size and density. Magnum employs the ancient cupping technique of judging coffee based on smell and taste analysis to ensure all beans meet the highest standards before roasting.

Each gourmet Magnum Taste of the Exotics blend is sampled and hand-chosen, with beans sourced direct from farmers and co-ops from around the world. As a premiere private-label supplier, Magnum is one of the few coffee roasteries to own a trading company, Café Trading, with time-honored relationships spanning the globe: Central America, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Africa, India and Indonesia.

Magnum Taste of the Exotics are all Fair Trade Products, committed to fair price, direct trade, community development, fair labor conditions, democratic and transparent organizations, and environmental sustainability. “At its best, coffee can not only soothe our souls and awaken our senses, but transport us to other times, cultures and locales,” said Kevin B. Kihnke, President of Magnum Coffee Roastery. “The richness of the world can be seen through the many flavors, customs and food pairings of coffee, which is why Magnum Taste of the Exotics was specially created to offer Meijer shoppers and other discerning connoisseurs a journey to exotic lands they would never otherwise experience through traditional home or coffee shop blends.”

About Magnum Exotics
Magnum Taste of the Exotics brings coffee connoisseurs “a taste of the exotic” every day. Specialty 100% Arabica coffee in four fragrant, flavorful global blends is fair-trade sourced from the region between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn by family-owned and operated Magnum Coffee Roastery, the Midwest’slargest and most modern private-label coffee roastery and packaging facility. Magnum Taste of the Exotics blends are currently available at select fine retailers throughout California and Michigan, as well as at most Meijer locations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. For more information, visit; to find the nearest Meijer store, visit

Green BEAN Delivery launches corporate health and wellness program, lands Macy’s and Total Quality Logistics as first Cincinnati clients

Green BEAN Delivery, an online home delivery service that provides organic produce and natural groceries to Midwest members, announces today the launch of its new corporate health and wellness service in Cincinnati. Fashion retailer Macy’s and freight brokerage firm Total Quality Logistics (TQL) are the program’s first Cincinnati clients. On a weekly basis, Green BEAN Delivery is now dropping off employee produce and grocery orders at their partners’ corporate offices.

Encouraging a community-based approach to corporate wellness, Green BEAN Delivery will also have tents, tables and food samples set up on delivery day as well as staff available to answer employee questions about the produce and groceries on a weekly basis. A portion of sales will be returned to the business on a monthly basis to use toward healthy snacks for the break room, a discount on future employees orders or a donation to the businesses’ favorite charity.

In addition, Green BEAN Delivery will provide the following free tools to make the employees’ healthy eating initiatives a success:
· Hosted Q&A sessions to introduce staff to the service
· Recipes, tips and resources that enable lasting diet changes
· Access to a nutritionist for advice and programming
· Reporting to track participation in the program

“We have had extremely positive feedback to the program from our employees thus far,” said Tami Helling, human resources manager for Total Quality Logistics. “They are extremely pleased with the quantity of food that comes in an order and how fresh it tastes versus what they purchase in stores.”

Businesses of all sizes can partner with Green BEAN Delivery to provide employees at-work delivery of organic produce and natural groceries, and the service is provided without start-up costs, additional management fees or contracts.

“Many business owners are willing to take an extra step to help their employees live happier, healthier lives, and our new platform provides that opportunity,” said Matt Ewer, president and co-founder of Green BEAN Delivery. “Improving your wellness program helps employers encourage a culture of healthy eating, recruit top talent, boost morale, energy and productivity, and develop camaraderie based around wellness.”

Green BEAN Delivery will work with each company to develop incentives that encourage participation and provide benefits back to the employees and business. Each company can have a customized delivery plan to meet its employees’ needs.

Additionally, for companies that want to ensure employees have access to healthy snacks while at work, Green BEAN Delivery’s Break Room Bins program is now available to businesses throughout greater Cincinnati. Through this service, Green BEAN Delivery provides fresh fruits, coffee and other healthy snacks to office break rooms via weekly deliveries.

Since inception, Green BEAN Delivery has invested more than $5 million into local food economies throughout the Midwest. The company is now serving more than 12,000 customers in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind., Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, Louisville and Lexington, Ky., and St. Louis. To date, Green BEAN Delivery has donated more than 240,000 pounds, or 120 tons, of fresh produce to hunger relief agencies in these states.

For more information on Green BEAN Delivery’s new wellness programs, visit or email wellness@GreenBEANdeliverycom.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

OEFFA’s 2013 free public farm tour series continue next week in Fairfield County with a tour of Brandt's Farm on Tuesday, August 27 from 6 to 8 p.m

David Brandt is one of Ohio's foremost cover crop experts and has been promoting conservation on his farm for more than 40 years. David is president of the Ohio No-Till Council and was named Ag Man of the Year by Ohio Farmer in 2011. He farms 1,250 acres of corn, soy, wheat, and hay; raises livestock; and grows five acres of produce for sale at farmers' markets.

A no-till farmer since 1971, David has been using cover crops extensively since 1978. During that time, he has reduced chemical inputs on his farm by 70 percent, and eliminated all chemicals on some of his land. At the same time, David says he's also increasing the organic matter in his soil by up to 1 percent per year, improving water infiltration and reducing run off, and achieving higher yields.

“Cutting back on commercial inputs has been a tough one for me, because we’ve always been taught we need so many pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash to grow a decent corn crop,” David told the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “We’re learning now with cover crops that we don’t need to buy those additional nutrients because we can bring them up from deeper in the soil. They just weren’t available to the crop before.”

He is currently participating in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) funded research into nitrogen fixing cover crops and an NRCS grant to study how cover crop species transport nutrients to the soil's surface.

“I’m trying to pass on what we’ve learned here. I don’t want everyone to reinvent the wheel. I want people to see our failures and our successes,” he told NRCS.

Join David for a twilight tour as he shares his innovative cover cropping techniques and the tremendous impact they have had on his farm.

This tour is part of the 2013 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series featuring free public tours of some of Ohio’s finest sustainable and organic farms. Seventeen tours and workshops, held between June and November, are being sponsored by OEFFA. The series is promoted in cooperation with the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts, who are sponsoring additional tours.

Brandt's Farm is located at 6100 Basil-Western Rd., Carroll, OH 43112.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

118 Twitter Feeds for Food Activists

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bon Appétit Announces the Hot 10: Best New Restaurants in America

Over the past year Bon Appétit Restaurant and Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlon traveled 26,333 miles in 22 states and “ate more, spent more, and endured more sleepless nights.” Why? To compile The Hot 1O 2013: The Best New Restaurants in America. This year’s illustrious list, in order, is:

1. Alma – Los Angeles, CA
2. Saison – San Francisco, CA
3. Rolf & Daughters – Nashville, TN
4. Fat Rice – Chicago, IL
5. Ava Gene’s – Portland, OR
6. The Pass & Provisions – Houston, TX
7. The Optimist - Atlanta, GA
8. Jeffrey’s & Josephine House - Austin, TX
9. The Whale Wins & Joule – Seattle, WA
10. Aska – Brooklyn, NY

“The 2013 restaurant scene is being reinvented by a band of young chefs,” said Knowlton. “The results are not only delicious…they’re inspiring.”

For exclusive recipes and videos from each of this year’s winners check out

Also included in the September issue is “The Foodist 25.” Fish heads, octopus, smartly designed matchbooks, big cheap bears, koozies and lots of Mumford and Sons are only a few of the trends Knowlton spotted over the course of his travels.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Distilled Spirits Epicenter and Flavorman to be featured on Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods America episode airing on Aug . 12

On Monday, Aug. 12, at 9 p.m. EDT, Distilled Spirits Epicenter and Flavorman will be featured on the Louisville episode of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern. The episode, titled Louisville: Bourbon and Burgoo, features Zimmern tasting an alcohol-free bourbon beverage and barbecued sheep meat, according to Zimmern visited Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter in December of 2012 during his culinary tour of the region. Founder Dave Dafoe provided a tour which included the development lab where Flavorman creates beverage formulations, the Moonshine University classroom and Grease Monkey Distillery.

Distilled Spirits Epicenter serves as an education center, training facility and artisan distillery focused on the development of custom spirits. It is comprised of Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling and provides hands-on distilling instruction, expert-led courses and bottling services. Sister company to Flavorman, an international full-service beverage development and ingredient supply company, the Epicenter claims no trademark on its creations, making each project entirely the property of the client. Since its opening, Distilled Spirits Epicenter has conducted a series of Bourbon Enthusiast classes and two five-day Distiller Courses aimed at spirits entrepreneurs.

A success story that has come out of Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the Peerless Distilling Company, which is set to open in downtown Louisville in March 2014. Corky Taylor and his son Carson are behind the endeavor, and Carson learned the production and business aspects of the industry by attending Moonshine University. Peerless Distilling began doing business in Henderson, Ky., in the late 1800s under the ownership of Corky Taylor’s great-grandfather, Henry Kraver and closed in the mid-20th century. Initially, the company will bottle and sell its moonshine product as it works toward developing a four year old Peerless bourbon, and ultimately, a premium, small-batch bourbon to be branded “Henry Kraver.” This is exactly the kind of bourbon culture preservation and revitalization that Moonshine University enables by providing the educational background for entrepreneurs.

Located at 801 S. 8th St., Distilled Spirits Epicenter consists of Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling and offers educational and training resources focusing on artisan spirits. Through hands-on distilling instruction, classes and bottling services, the Epicenter brings Kentucky’s unique distilling legacy to life. Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the sister company to Flavorman, an international custom beverage development and ingredient supply company. Flavorman’s Beverage Architects and the Epicenter’s team of distilling consultants can take your idea through every phase of beverage development and production...from start through finish. For more information, visit and

Metropole in Cincinnati is included on Bon Appétit list of the 50 Best New Restaurant Nominees for 2013

Today Bon Appétit announced the 50 nominees for the BEST NEW RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA 2013 on Restaurant and Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlton compiled the list of nominees over a 120-day, 26,333-mile, 22-state tour of the country. The list is a snapshot of where the food scene is now and where it’s headed.

The 50 Best New Restaurant Nominees are changing the way we eat in 2013. Think Macanese cuisine at Fat Rice in Chicago, throwback French dishes like frog’s legs, onion soup & côte de boeuf for two by famous Miami chef Michael Schwartz and an Italian restaurant that doesn’t serve pasta, L.A.’s Chi Spacca.

On Wednesday, August 14 Bon Appétit narrows down the list to The Hot 10: The Best New Restaurants in America including Knowlton’s pick for the Restaurant of the Year.

For more information and to see the list of 50 nominees, please visit

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cincinnati Sports Two Restaurants With 100 Scenic Views

Based on more than 5 million verified OpenTable diner reviews, the full list spans 29 states – from glimmering oceanfront tables to window seats next to the bright city lights. These scenic spots elevate any dining experience, whether during a regular night out or as part of a last-minute summer vacation.

Congratulations to The Celestial and Prima Vista for making the Top 100 Scenic View Restaurants in America.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Benihana Invites Cincinnati to Sushi + Sake 101

Benihana Cincinnati, part of the nation’s leading operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, invites the public to learn the masterful art of making sushi and pairing sake during its Sushi + Sake 101 class from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, August 12.

Under the guidance of a Benihana sushi chef, attendees will develop the skills to create popular rolls and learn which styles of sake pair best with different types of sushi. They will also learn sushi and sake etiquette, leaving with the skills needed to impress family and friends.

The $35 entry fee includes a sushi appetizer, cocktail, samples of sake and a commemorative photo. Benihana Cincinnati is located at 50 Tri County Parkway. Attendees must be 21 years old to register for the event.

For more information about Sushi + Sake 101 or to register for the event, visit