Monday, November 23, 2009

Terra Madre Day!

December 10th is Terra Madre Day and we are doing a mushroom dinner with Tom and Wendy Wyant from Killbuck Mushrooms.

You can look forward to 5 tasty courses that will include a mushroom dessert!!!!

Sign up early, as space will be limited.

I will post the menu as soon as it is ready. I look forward to celebrating this event and hope to procure some interesting heritage products to use in the dinner.

See ya there.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tennessee Truffles

I am currently trying to track down some Tennessee truffles for the winter menu. There is a company out of Tennessee that is currently producing truffles on a plantation in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I hope that we can get our hands on some. It might be pretty hard, because they are pretty popular with big name cheffy-types.

Anyone know if truffles are found in Ohio?

I am also interested in trying "pecan truffles" which grow around pecan trees down south.


I am so excited that we recently received best restaurant from Scene magazine. I hope that we get some new clientele, since I doubt that most of our existing customers read the magazine.

This is a huge honor for all of us. Doug Trattner certainly made us all feel awesome with his kind words.

Congrats to everyone at Fire! Keep up the great work!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Next week, Tractor Pull!!

Phillip took a lil' video on his iphone a few weeks back. I thought I would post it to show everyone that we are really farming, and because it shows off tom's antique tractor.

The attachment I am using is a spreader. We took spent mushroom columns and but them in the trailer. There are large weights at the end that spin like a drunken college girl's vision after to many daiquiris. The spinning action breaks up the columns and spits them out the back. It's pretty impressive to see from the other end of things.

Enjoy below!

The straw helps keep weeds out, retains moisture and provides nutrients. The bed that we covered is where we planted our garlic.

This past Monday, we planted our 1st attempt at cover crops. George bought white clover seeds and we plowed then sowed the lil' buggers.

This might be all we are able to do for this year, but I hope we can still plant some more kale to carry us through our fall menu and into winter.

George, Phil, and I are looking forward to sitting down this week and hashing out we want to grow for for next year. If anyone has any cool ideas, let us know. We would also love advice from anyone that has any.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

super happy exciting fun time!!

This Monday we are going to plant our 1st cover crop...white clover. I am a little bit confused as to how much we actually need to plant for 3/4 of an acre. I think lil' george bought 2.5 pounds and that ought to cover what we need.

We are attempting to plant clover as an alternative to chemical fertilizers. We hope that the clover will give us a jump start for next year. Our goal is to be able to plant lots and lots of stuff next year. It will be interesting to see if the clover makes a difference. Even though i have a limited amount of knowledge about farming, I am becoming increasingly excited about what we are doing.

I am super excited about being able to do a dinner at Tom/Wendy's property next year. This dinner will be incredible because we plan on picking all of our ingredients before cooking them to ensure maximum freshness/flavor.

It is incredibly fulfilling to know that in less than 2 years(i hope) that we will be able to grow most of our own produce.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I am currently in the process of providing a lil' more ownership over this blog to a few of my lovely partners in crime. I am a firm believer in people getting credit for all the work that they do.

I work with some of the best people that I have ever had the privilege of working with. I would love for them to be able to post about all of things that we are currently trying to accomplish from their perspective. the blog will prolly change to "The Misadventures of a Bunch of Dorks That Love Food Too Much". This title is tentative.....the more I think about it, it's kind of lame. I would love some suggestions if anyone has any.

The restaurant is pretty busy. This exciting for all of us, as being busy means that we are hopefully doing something right.

I got to meet Susie Heller last week(she has authored some of the most important cookbooks in the last 10 years). Susie is incredible and has loads of funny stories about Julia Child. I got to talk to her about the cookbook idea that I have pitched to Doug. It will be exciting to see how this takes shape. I would love to be able to to participate in a project that really demonstrates how far we have come as a restaurant.

Melissa Lavinc Smith, who helped me become noticed for my goofy obsession with food tattoos, has a book coming out called Inked Rogue Chefs. This book will be an incredible "coffee table" style publication that is dedicated to chefs that are tattooed up and will also offer up recipes from the chefs featured in the book. I'm lucky enough to be one of the chefs featured in the book and feel like I am not nearly cool enough to be featured in this magnificent publication. I also want to thank Melissa for even considering me to be someone in the book.

This week, provided my seeds come in on time. we are gonna plant Kale and clover(instead of Crimson and Clover........cue the Shondells). The kale we hope to use throughout winter. We are optimistic that the kale will be big enough to justify planting it this late. We braise it, so size doesn't really matter that much. The cold will make it nice and sweet. The clover we plan to plant as an organic alternative to commercial fertilizers. Clover stores nitrogen in its root system, and we should be able to use this to our advantage.

We have decided on some of our "staples" for next year. We are also trying to narrow down
some of the heirloom varieties that we want to plant. George, Phil, and I have talked about planting cardoons, and artichokes to see if they thrive in our climate.


The cardoons and artichokes can provide valuable shade to some of our crops that are a little less than tolerant of full sun. When we get our half acre(courtesy of Killbuck Mushrooms/Tom and Wendy Wyant) fully functional, we hope to able to produce some of our own livestock. This may be a distant dream, but we will see.

Things, all in all, are pretty exciting right now at the restaurant. We have a bunch of dinners planed for the month of Rocktober as well as a menu change for the fall season. I hope everyone is stoked for the new menu. I know I am!!

Please watch the following video and begin to understand how important it is that we start show the animals that eat more respect. This video is part of an underground investigation in England. I doubt that our industrial farms are any better. I love pork, and I love to know that the animals I eat are not mistreated. It's sickening to know that most people in the "civilized world" could care less about what happened to the animal they are eating while the animal was alive.

pig abuse/intensive farming

I won't preach anymore tonight. If you have ever taste meat from a farmer that actually card about the product that they were producing(Aaron and Melissa Miller), you would know the difference. Animals that are raised in poor conditions TASTE like it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bacon and Stuff

Earlier this week, Curtis and I decided to create "the world's greatest savory martini". We started experimenting with agar agar clarification.

I decided that I wanted to do a bacon/blue cheese cocktail. Don't make that icky face just yet!!!!!
so, Curtis and I decided finally upon blue cheese infused gin with a bacon infused dry vermouth.

The blue cheese infused gin turned to be a great success. We decided to use a cheaper gin because we were afraid that infusing/clarifying the gin wouldn't work. IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE COMBINATION!!!!

We are also able to save the blue cheese that we use for the infusion as a garnish for the drink.

I want to invite the owner of Velvet Tango Room over to try this drink when it is finished. I hope Paulius will come over and try my tribute to their Manhattan. I loved theirs so much, that
I had to come up with my own!!!