My week in food obsessions

Mar 27th, 2015 | by Eat Drink Indy | Jolene’s Blog, News

Cooking. Restaurants. Ingredients. Chefs. Wine and spirits. Cookbooks. Farmers’ markets. Food sites. Yeah, I pretty much think about food-and-drink-related stuff just about all the time. so here are things I’m obsessing about right now.

Tasting menus. I love the idea of small portions of a lot of things, trying a collection of dishes that a chef has chosen, rather than ordering a bunch of random small plates or the typical salad, entrée and dessert.

Spring ingredients…by which I mean morels. I swear I’m going to plan a trip to my family’s stand of woods in northern Indiana, and I’m going to find some. (I’ll also be talking morels April 11 with chef Becky Hostetter on Nelson Price’s radio show “Hoosier History Live” on WICR 88.7.)

stanley tucci cookbook

Frites. I’ve been kind of disappointed in them lately, so I need to devote some time and attention to re-tasting my favorites and maybe finding some new standouts.

Stanley Tucci’s The Tucci Cookbook. I loved the movie “Big Night” that Tucci co-wrote, and this book  was written with the chef who helped Tucci with his culinary research for the movie. (Of course, I also liked Tucci in “Julie & Julia,” which was also food focused, and “The Devil Wears Prada,” which wasn’t. But still.)

Castle Valley Mill in Pennsylvania. Why? Because  Cleveland chef Jonathon Sawyer posted this description of a dish made with Castle Valley Mills’ rye berries on Facebook:

“Cavier pop exterior & creamy rich wheaty interior. Seasoned with duck drippings, sumac, spice bush, wild carrot seed & poor mans pepper for the YSF tonight. It’s almost like all other wheat, rye, spelt & farro berries are a dry chewy mess by comparison. Thanks Castle Valley Mill.”  Find him on Facebook and look at his rye berry photo.

I’m also kind of obsessing about Sawyer, since he has managed (again) to hit the short list of James Beard nominees – the only chef from the Great Lakes region (which includes Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan) that’s not in the Chicago area. He’s been on the finalist list in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well, and was in the “Rising Star” category in 2010 and 2011. Of course, another Cleveland chef – Michael Symon — has been a Beard award winner, which certainly helps focus attention on a city.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer at the 2014 South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for SOBEWFF

Chef Jonathon Sawyer at the 2014 South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for SOBEWFF

Sawyer just followed me on Twitter; think he’d give me an interview? I’d drive to Cleveland for that.

And on the way there or back, I could stop at the Chef’s Garden, one of my destination obsessions. There’s a honeybee lecture and dinner on April 14 and an Earth-to-Table dinner April 18.

And speaking of Twitter, I’m also kind of obsessing about the advantages of the Periscope app vs. Meerkat for streaming video on Twitter…. So what are you obsessing about?


Jolene’s Blog

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Where to eat now

Hedge Row

350 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis

Sugarfire Smokehouse

24 W. Washington St., Indianapolis


Oca (inside Sun King Brewing)
135 N. College Ave., Indianapolis