Cleveland’s amazing West Side Market turns 100 years old and celebrates tomorrow with a great big bash of chefs and food. Greenhouse Tavern’s Jonathon Sawyer had it right when he called it “a cathedral of meat.” Right on! The building itself, completed in 1912, one of the few municipally owned and continuously running markets in the country, is flanked by vegetable venders. Cheese and dairy run the inside north wall. Nuts and prepared food and pastry run the southern boundary. Kate’s Fish on the eastern side of the market sells pristine fish. Near her, I buy coriander seed, curries, and pink salt from Narrin Carlberg’s amazing spice booth. French lentils and other spices are on the west side of the cathedral, across from Sawyer’s Noodlecat, selling steamed buns and fresh ramen. Can we just take Sawyer’s Read On »

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  My Dinner with Pardus Originally posted July 31, 2008 Do you have any veal hearts?” Pardus asked. The vendor, with happiness and surprise, said, “I do!” He pulled it out of the cooler and said, “How about five bucks?” “Sold!” What happens when a chef visits for the weekend? My old instructor and now close friend Mike Pardus (pronounced PAR-dus—some people think because he’s a chef, it’s pronounced par-DOO) visited recently. The main fact about Michael is that he is a cook in every fiber of his body, meaning, in part, that when he’s away from his work as a chef instructor at the CIA, when he can do anything he wants because he’s on holiday, he chooses to cook all day. Which is what we did. An impromptu meal, Cleveland style. The occasion Read On »

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Dan Moulthrop, a former journalism student of Michael Pollan, interviewed the writer before a sold-out crowd at the Ohio Theater last week. I asked Dan, Curator of Conversation at The Civic Commons, a Knight Foundation project to use new media and emerging technologies to strengthen civic engagement, for his thoughts on Pollan’s visit. —M.R. by Daniel Moulthrop I woke up this morning from a dream in which I’d taken Michael Pollan to the West Side Market. It’s just an echo of his Monday visit, and a remnant of a strong desire the Cleveland ambassador in me had to show him both that place and the Ohio City Farm. Here’s my big takeaway from Monday night: The food system I grew up with is not the food system we’ll necessarily be stuck with. At one point Read On »

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