Chef's Widow loves the West Side Market 100 Year Gala #wsm100

The family and I are long time fans of the West Side Market. For those of you reading who aren't from the 216 area code, the market is this country's longest standing public market. The market is made up of food vendors, produce and protein, fish and cheese mongers, and a few great restaurants. The Chef and I are lucky enough to have found our own piece of West Side Market heaven, as last spring we opened a Noodlecat stand. This fall the Chef finds himself headlining the 100 year anniversary gala alongside my other favorite, Chef Michael Symon. The two of them have worked extra had at bringing in some of our nation's best chefs for what's sure to be a blowout bash. You need to buy tickets to this. If there is one event in CLE that you go to, it should be this. Cause it's gonna be freakin' rad. How could it not be? Look at all the heavy hitters coming to our rustbelt home:

April Bloomfield, New York City Andrew Carmellini, New York City Britt-Marie Culey, Cleveland Karen DeMasco, New York City Chris Hodgson, Cleveland Paul Kahan, Chicago Jeff Michaud, Philadelphia Jonathon Sawyer, Cleveland Michael Symon, Cleveland Marc Vetri, Philadelphia Eric Williams, Cleveland Paul Minnillo, Cleveland Rocco Whalen, Cleveland Andrew Zimmern, New York

Buy your tickets today!!

 

#wsm100

Chef's Widow Loves Cleveland...and Chef Sawyer

Lots going on in the CLE lately...

Team Sawyer lands on the  Vitamix homepage:

Chef Sawyer & Noodlecat wow Philly.

Noolekids make their debut:

The Wall Street Journal gives Noodlecat and Chef Sawyer a high five!

Biggie Smalls makes her etsy debut.

 

My sincerest apologies for being away for so long. We bought a house last month unexpectedly and life has spiraled out of control. For realsies. We be crazy.

xo,

Chef's Widow loves Sawyer's Street Frites

Today is the opening day for Sawyer's Street Frites in the club level of Cleveland Browns Stadium. Sawyer's Street Frites will debut two stands in the club level and will feature a menu of frites, sammies, donuts, peanuts, craft beer, and keg wine!! The mini's and I got a sneak peek yesterday and found ourselves roaming around an empty Browns Stadium:

Sawyer's Street Frites is something we are so PROUD of. I know the Chef was really hesitant at first but after working with the amazing people at CBHospitality we really felt like it was a great fit. Changing stadium food for the better can hardly be a bad thing, dontchya think?

Tonight we open with the Kenny Chesney show and will be open for all of the shows and games following. Get your football on this year & check out the best stadium food you have ever had!!

xx,

Chef's Widow Loves Sleigh Bells

Every now and then the Chef & I get to let loose and partake in some adult activity. Last week the  Chef talked me into going to see one of his favorite bands, Sleigh Bells. The band had eaten at the restaurant and gave our entire staff tickets to the show. We called our babysitter and headed downtown to House of Blues:  

Alexis, rockstar extraordinaire leading lady of Sleigh Bells enjoying some Noodlecat

The Chef & his Widow

Raging

Alexis sends Chef some love

The show was AMAZING times infinity. Alexis is by far the best front women of a band I have seen in I can't tell you how many year. Her voice is wicked powerful and the show she puts on is so ROCKSTAR. I must admit that when I first heard Sleigh Bells album I wasn't impressed but after watching and listening live I can declare myself a fangirl! If you like rock & roll and you like drum & bass/techno/dubstep then Sleigh Bells is for you. Check 'em out!!

 

Have you seen any good shows this summer? Any shows coming up that can't be missed?

Chef's Widows' Son is Technology Obsessed at Nature Camp

Last night the Chef and I dropped the boy off at his nature camp overnight campout. He was all suited up with his sleeping bag, a tent, a change of undies, and an endless supply of snacks and coconut water. Before we left the house, the boy ran downstairs clutching his DS. He approached us and said that everyone in his group was bringing their DS so they could all play together. The Chef and I, always crazy over restrictive when it comes to technology & electronics loosened up our belt buckles and gave in.

As we walked the boy to the campsite to take a few pictures, we listened as the head of camp told all the parents the rule of the night:

If a kid says they want to leave, then they leave. The parents are called and must come get the kid. There is no discussion, no talking into staying, nothing, zilch, zip, home. 

The Chef and I said our goodbyes not even thinking for a second that the boy would want to leave (he had a freakin' blast last year) and left ready to spend a 'night in' without the minis (Biggie Smalls slept at her grandparents). We were about to have some much needed alone time.

We drove home, made ourselves a spritz, and popped in a movie. Naturally we fell asleep halfway through the flick and were awoken at 10:39 pm by the obnoxius ring of my telephone. An unknown number flashed on the screen and I knew immediately that camp was calling and the boy wanted to go home. I groggily answered the phone. The head of the camp informed me that yes my son did want to come home, but that I shouldn't worry or take offense. Take offense? I thought, why in the hell would I take offense? And then she told me. She told me what was so upsetting to my boy that would make him want to leave the campout of all campouts. The boy would like to come home, she said, because there is no wi-fi for his DS. He couldn't get Netflix to work and he wanted to come home.  Shocked and still half asleep I dropped the phone as the Chef kept trying to read my face as to what in god's name was going on.

There's no wi-fi in this tent ma!

He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi. He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.He wants to come home because there is no wi-fi.

Her words kept playing and replaying in my head as I tried to say them aloud to the Chef. Embarrassed as all hell, I found my voice and said that we'd be right over, but first would it be possible to speak with our technology obsessed 7 year old?

I handed the phone off to the Chef and the boy began to speak. He told the Chef he missed me and wanted to come home. The Chef questioned that response and soon heard the real reason. His tent didn't have wi-fi. areyoufuckingkiddingmearewethatbadofparentsthatourkidcantevengotoacapoutwithoutwifi?

I lost my shiznit. The Chef got dressed, put on his shoes and headed 20 minutes east to pick up our mini Steve Jobs. By the time he got there, the boy was snuggled up in his sleeping bag, sound freaking asleep. But a camp rule is a camp rule and my boys drove home (where the wi-fi is a plenty).

The boy woke up early with me today  and I took the opportunity to have a chat with him. He knew that he was in the wrong for leaving nature camp for such a silly reason, but deep down I think he really did want to come home (wi-fi or no wi-fi). I told him that I made a mistake too. I shouldn't have let him take the DS to camp but had felt pressure when I saw that all the boys in his group had been bringing them to camp since day one. I told him I should have stuck to my initial answer of "no you cannot bring your DS to an outdoor nature camp sleepover" instead of succumbing to the "everyone else was doing it" mentality. I was  just as at fault as he was.

You see, as a family we don't hide from technology (duh) but we certainly limit the mini's access to it. We don't have cable and the mini's can only play computer/watch TV/use electronics for 30 minutes a day only if all of their homework is done (during school year) or their room is cleaned (in the summer months). We indulge in movies and silly reality TV on occasion as a family but for the most part we like to spend our time outside exploring our city. When I heard the reason why the boy wanted to leave I must admit, I was devastated and embarrassed. All the hard work I put in to make sure my kids see the world and not a TV screen had just exploded in my face.

I messaged a close friend whose kids were also at the campout and told her what happened. I told her how I felt like shit and was embarrassed that my son had acted like a brat.  She quickly reminded me that it was absurd that a nature camp would allow any electronics at all and that I wasn't totally to blame for my son's techological outburst. I continued feeling bad for a moment and then remembered what this parenting thing is all about.

As parents we make mistakes. We make them on the daily, shit, I make them hourly. We also tend to hold ourselves and our children to obscenely high standards, and when one little thing upset those standards its easy for the world to come crashing down. I know I am a good mom. Deep down on the inside of my soul I know I do a good fucking job. I may say the f word too much (see above) but I know that the choices I make are all for the happiness and goodness of my children.

ALTHOUGH that is a pretty hard thing to remember when a camp counsellor calls you at 10:39pm to tell you that your 7 year old son wants to go home because there is no mutha fuckin wi-fi (my words not his) in his tent. But remember I will, if it ever (and it better not Catcher!!) happens again. 

OH

YEAH...

and

ONE

MORE 

THING:

I love our camp. Like crazy love it. It's old school camp meets the metroparks awesome goodness. But if you call yourself "nature camp" my personal opinion is that you totally shouldn't allow  DS, iphone, ipad, and whatever else I saw 50% of the kids bringing to camp. #justsayin

Chef's Widow has a 7 year old

Catcher, today, July 6th 2012

At night he reads me poetry. As he finishes, his mind jumps to a story that he forget to tell me earlier in his day. Slowly taken over by sleepiness he rambles on & on, soon, his eyes will be heavy and his mouth will gently close. As I sit by his side, I take him in. He is so beautiful to me when sleeps, so peaceful and happy. This time of night always reminds me of what our lives are really about. He reminds without even knowing his does. We are a family built on love and he was the reason it all began. Each day I have become better all because of a little boy who changed my heart forever, my little boy who has the power to consistently show me how amazing this life can truly be.

Happy Birthday Catcher. Thank you for you. 

 

Hard to believe Chef's Widow has been celebrating all these years! Time flies when your having fun.Check out some of the amazing times Catcher has given us over the past 7 years:

#teamsawyer celebrates:

Six Years and Five Years and Four Years andThree Years and Two Years and One Year of CATCHER!!!!

Tips for the Drive-In Movie Theatre

The Chef and I both have an unhealthy obsession with the drive in movie theatre. Our obsession began way back in '96 when we were an item and has now found it's way back into our lives and the lives of our mini's. Our house is about 30 minutes from the Mayfield Drive In and we have already found ourselves there twice in the past two weeks. We LOVE the drive in. We love it so much that I thought I would share a couple tips to have the best drive in movie night ever! Check 'em out:

1. Arrive early!!!

Summer love 

There a couple reasons for this rule. If it is a weekend night the drive-in will fill up at least an hour before showtime. There are also specific rows designated for bigger cars (suv's) that can be very very very far away from the screen. Last week we arrived an hour before showtime and still ended up in one of the back rows (which really isn't that bad but still...) Another reason to get to the drive in early is for the kids. The mini's meet and then play with kids they have never met before. Then every time we come after the know people and the group of kids just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  This past week, the boy met a group of kids playing TV tag. TV TAG!!! Can you believe it?

2. Bring Places to Sit (besides the car)

The mini's may have been a little excited to watch Brave

The Chef is not as big on chairs at the drive in but he still brings them. I am not a HUGE fan of laying on the ground or in the back of our suv (that's totally for sale by the way). I like to watch the movies sitting up. It helps me stay awake for the double feature. You should also bring blankets, pillows, and warm clothes including socks. Even though it might be hot during the day, an open field at night gets plenty chilly.

3. Bring Your Own Food

I heart Trader Joe's

Most drive in's charge a bring your own food fee. Our drive charges $4.00 and I totally get it. The concession stand is where they make the money. Hell it's $18/car which is half of what our family pays to see a traditional movie. For us the concession stand food is gross. Some may like fried nachos or frozen burgers, me not so much. So I hand over the $4.00 and eat my Trader Joe's seaweed snacks like a champ. The kids always pick out something fun before we go to the theatre and no one leaves with a bellyache.

4. BUG SPRAY, BUG SPRAY, BUG SPRAY!!!

Because Lou & I have magical fairy blood we hide in the car from the bugs. They like us way too much.

I am a crazy person when it comes to bugs. I CANNOT stand bugs. Hate 'em with a passion. The drive-in happens to be the vortex of bugs, especially at dusk. I also don't like DEET so my bug spray choices are limited. Thus far my favorite bug spray that actually works is California Baby Natural Bug Repellant. I also like to bring these candles, they smell good and they manage to keep those annoying bugs at bay.

 

Time to get your DRIVE-IN on!!

 

If you are in the CLE and are looking for a drive-in near you:

Mayfield Drive-In

AutoRama Drive-In

 

Eyelash Extensions + Giveaway

Bloggers can be such vain mo fo's and I'm no exception. Most of my vanity gets lost in translation, partly because I have no time for it and partly because the mom in me secretly wants to wear sweatpants and wife beaters all day. Every now and then the vain girl inside of me wants to look hot. I want heads to turn when I walk into a room and I want the Chef to do a double take and then ask me for my number. Looking good has always made me feel good and the month that the Chef went away, I definitely did not look good. While the Chef was in Italy for a month I turned into that girl. I wore yoga pants in public and didn't put on makeup once. Seriously, not once. I think I even managed to go old school hippie and skip the shower for multiple days. No need to shower if I'm not getting any ya know? By the time his trip was coming to an end, the minis and I began to get ready to meet him. As I started packing for our trip, I noticed what a hot, hot mess I had become. My eyes were dark, my skin translucent, and my hair looked like a bad ombre job. I was most definitely not scoring a 10 on the hotness scale.

I decided I need to get beautified. I needed my swagger back before I could see the Chef.

Awhile back I got a message from Christine who runs Skin Deep. Skin Deep is a studio that offers all sorts of permanent makeup and paramedical procedures including breast cancer areola restoration. Christine was curious if I had ever considered getting eyelash extensions. I replied with a 'what in the hell are eyelash extensions?' Turns out eyelash extensions are individual eyelashes glued to your own eyelash that last about a month and make your eyes look like they always have mascara on. They look like falsies but you can't feel them at all. Being the lazy vain person that I am, I agreed to test them out for my trip to Italy. I headed to Christine's studio, Skin Deep and went for it.

A few hours later and my eyes were no longer my own:

Please ignore my dark circles. Sleep was limited that month.

The lash extensions took about 2 hours but have lasted the entire month of June. We left for Italy the following day and the while we were travelling didn't I apply mascara once. All I did, was brush and go. The eyelash extensions that Christine gave me were super duper convenient, beautiful and fun.  I would easily get them done again for every single vacation we take. Hell, I might even start getting them normally. 22 days after Christine gave me eyelash extensions and I look like this. Not bad right?

still with the dark circles jeesh, do I ever sleep?

 

Christine of Skin Deep Permanent Makeup*** has generously offered all of you good people $50 off of an eyelash extension service. All you need to do is mention Chef's Widow when you make the appointment. Christine is also donating a full eyelash extension to one of you lucky readers in the form of a fabulous giveaway!!!

To enter all you need to do is tell me your most INDULGENT beauty treatment or service in the comments. I will pick a winner this Friday. Good luck bitches.

 

****Besides from donating this awesome giveaway Christine also does really amazing work for breast cancer survivors. From Christine:" The most important work I do is tattooing aureolas for women whom have lost theirs due to mastectomies. It's such a terrible thing when these brave women believe they are deformed after surviving such an ordeal." 

Noodlebear

Sometimes we get to do really cool shit at the restaurant like hang out with The Care Bears. As a child of the eighties, Care Bears ruled my world . Care bear stare bitches!! This July, the Chef and I have partnered with AG Creative (the AG stands for American Greetings) to bring the families of Cleveland our pop up restaurant Noodlebear. We hope you can join us and fullfill that lifelong dream  of snuggling with Tenderheart Bear or perfecting your very own Care Bear Stare.

Noodlekids Family Fun Festival

The Chef and I definitely don't hide from the fact that we have kids. Some chefs we know distance themselves from their families and personal lives while at their restaurant. This is something we are just not able to do. We are never gonna own a restaurant that doesn't allow or support kids. Our lives are better because of our children and integrating them into our restaurant life is just as important as our family life.

When we first moved back to Cleveland, the Chef did a kids cooking class at Bar Cento called Cook Chefin'. The Chef would teach a bunch of wee ones how to make pizza and then they would get to make their own pizza for themselves. We loved it so much and it was a great way for us to meet other families in the city we had just moved back too. Since those days we have been dying to do something along the same lines and Noodlecat is the perfect place to start!

On June 24th, 2012 Noodlecat will be hosting it's first every Noodlekids Family Fun Festival!

The festivities will include games, cotton candy, face paint and fun from 1-3 pm! We're even raffling off a Noodlecat gift card and a $200 gift card for a family portrait session with Sarah, just bring a canned good to be entered to win. All collections will be donated to the Cleveland Food Bank. A special Noodlekids menu will also be available for purchase as well as our regular Noodlecat menu. Best known for her work photographing children, Sarah Sloboda documents life in a style that mixes romance and rock-n-roll. Her awards, publications, and clients include Prix de la Photographie Paris, The New York Times, The Knot, Wondertime, Urban Baby, and Sephora, to name a few. Most recently, her signature 3D viewers were written up in Daily Candy.

Now that my kids are a little older I think it's time to get back into the kid game. The Chef and I both love to celebrate food and teach kids about food. It's time those two mixed once again. To get free tickets to the Noodlekids Family Fun Festival click here.

Noodlecat is also looking for some noodlekids to star in their new production. If you've got a kid and they like to slurp then please watch this, then drive to Noodlecat. There's a free choco bun involved.

See y'all cats on the 24th.

Meow. 

Going Vegan

Last month I decided to try my hand at a vegan diet. The Chef goes vegan every year for thirty days and I wanted to challenge myself at the end of my weightless challenge. I also wanted to understand the idea of being a vegan a little bit more as many people who work and dine at our restaurant choose to live with this dietary restriction. I knew that going vegan would be no easy feat so I went to the library and took out every vegan cookbook I could find. I read through each book, cast aside the books that utilized fake food (sorry Alicia Silverstone) as well as the books that demonized carnivores. After a few days I was armed with a meal plan and ready to go vegan.

I didn't give myself a timeline for my vegan journey. I just wanted to see how long I could go and what it is actually like to place such a strict dietary restriction on myself. Starting the week off as a vegan was different and pretty tough. Even though I was making each of my meals from scratch I was always starving. Like starving staving. Like I am going to cut off my arm if you give me a piece of bread starving. Although I felt like I hadn't eaten in weeks my energy level was crazy. I was bouncing off the walls as my belly rumbled loudly.

A few days into being a vegan and my hunger subsided. I began to understand what my body needed and would supplement my hunger with raw vegetables and protein shakes. I also figured out that I am a pretty shitty vegan cook so I decided to get out of the kitchen and into our city's restaurants. My first stop on the vegan restaurant tour was Noodlecat because I knew that the vegan offerings there are not only delicious but quite filling. I was not mistaken and my belly left happy and full of vegan love. My tour of the city continued over the next couple days and I quickly realized that there are not a lot of options for the vegans.  Most restaurants downtown have a few veggie options but hardly any had vegan. I found that my only three good options of true vegan food was Noodlecat, The Flaming Ice Cube, and The Greenhouse Tavern. Back towards my house the options were even slimmer. I think I ate at Whole Foods and Tommy's almost every other day.

I was vegan for almost three weeks. I lost 11 lbs. and felt really good. I learned alot about the dietary restriction that so many people put upon themselves. I learned that the majority of servers (none of ours) hate vegans. Like with a passion. I also learned that most vegans have no idea where their protein comes from. Seriously not one vegan I asked could give me a straight answer about protein. Vegans are also big into converting. When I tweeted about going vegan I was immediately followed by like 100 vegan twitter handles all encouraging me on my 'healthy life' journey. Vegans are also passionate people who take their life choice seriously. An admirable quality in my eyes...

But the thing I learned most is that while I do love my veggies, I also love to eat meat in moderation. Not eating beef tartare for three weeks was extremely difficult and you can bet your ass it was the first thing I ate when I weaned myself off of vegan-ism. For me, going vegan was interesting journey. It gave me insight into the struggle so many people find themselves having when trying to go out to eat and it also taught to always respect people's food choices no matter what they may be.

 

Now can anyone tell me WHERE IN THE HELL VEGANS GET THEIR PROTEIN FROM????

18 days

The Chef & the Mini's on Mother's Day (also the day he flew to Italy)

For the next 18 days I will be a single mom. The Chef will be travelling across the homeland of my grandmother, La Bella Italia, while I wake up every morning at 5 to get the mini's ready for school. He will be dining on the most delicious food in the world, drinking wine every night, and going to sleep amongst fields of olives and grapes while I tend the chickens, mow the lawn, and rear our children.

What. A. Dick.

Trying not to sob on Mother's Day

I kid, I kid. I'm actually crazy excited for his journey. In fact when the opportunity came around he wanted to say no (3 weeks is the longest we've ever been apart), but really, how many chances to go Italy does one person really get? I forced his hand. The first week of his journey starts in Trento, a city in Northern Italy that my dear nonna (grandma) mother was from. Trento located in the Alto Adige valley is a pretty spectacular Italian city that I was lucky enough to live in during my twenties. When the Chef found out he would be headlining a culinary tour of Italy, I suggested that he check out Trento for inspiration for our newest restaurant (coming to University Square this fall). Trento has a pretty cool history because it has changed hands from Austria to Hungary to Italy over the past hundred years and is actually autonomous from Italy. Look it up people. The food, the people, and the culture all take their autonomy very seriously and I thought spending a week there would give the Chef an interesting perspective to Italy. I wrote to an old friend at the emigration office and asked if a stay in Trento would be possible for the Chef. Before I knew it, a spectacular itinerary landed in my inbox. The Chef was well on his way to enjoying a week in Trento that would offer him " a wide range of different experiences to create a relationship with:

  • local Trentino Chefs including Michelin Chef
  • family hotel owners who follow traditional Trentino cooking traditions
  • educational culinary academy to learn modern and traditional Trentino cooking techniques
  • world-known wineries and distillers
  • local products and producers: olive oil, grappa, carne salada, and more"

Sounds great right????

After his week in Trento he will head south for a travelling culinary tour. He will spend 2 weeks eating, cooking, and drinking his way down to the heel of the boot and then will fly back up to meet the kids and I for our first ever NON WORKING vacation. Well kinda sorta non working. The Chef's book deal is signed,  and I am still working on my proposal, so I am sure there may be some book work to do. But other than that, NOTHING, NADA, NONE.  Just family, food, and fun!! The kids are ecstatic for the trip, Miss L can't wait to eat pasta every single day and Catcher can't wait to go to the city without streets. I myself am eager as hell for these next 18 days to pass!

18 days and this is me! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Down on the Farm

Sometimes it seems like our plate is packed so full that it hurts to breathe. I love what we do and I love the life we have chosen but man oh man sometimes I just need a break. This past weekend I took that much needed break at Farmer Lee Jones' house. The Chef was cooking an all vegetarian dinner on the farm to raise money for the Culinary Vegetable Institute. Normally I like to escape to these dinners by my lonesome. I cherish meeting new people who support things we love (hi Ryan!!) and I love to enjoy the Chef's food. This time however, we were without a sitter so I called up the good farmer to see if the kids could sit in. He happily obliged and the kids and I headed up to the farm.

When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find that Farmer had arranged for two local high school girls to hang out with the mini's in the luxurious upstairs loft of The Culinary Vegetable Institute while I didned with the big kids downstairs. The Chef filled up my glass of wine and soon I was off on a crazy and delicious all vegetarian adventure. Here's what I ate:

Greenhouse Tavern Spreads, Smears & Breads

Noodlecat Tsukimono Platter

Appetizers

Lettuce Soup with Spring Herbs

Beet and Sorrel with Radishes, Almonds and Poppy

Togarashi Edamame

Tomato Miso Jam Rangoons with Cream Cheese

ENTREES 

Sauteed Ramps and Fiddleheads with Garlic Shoots and Bernaise

Spring Supple Quinotta with baby Fennel, Favas, Pecorino, Peas, Poached Egg, Fresh mint and

Farmer's Cheese

Ramp Gnocchi with Morels and White Asparagus

Mustard Greens Salad with Thai Basil, Apple Kimchee and Ponzu

Ramp Rice Cake with Spicy Peanut and Tofu Puree

Udon with Spring Onion Confit, Fiddlehead Ferns, Vin Braised Boomers, Garlic Scapes and Miso Pistou

 

My favorite dishes were the lettuce soup (recipe to come soon!) and the ramp gnocchi. SO. FREAKIN'. GOOD. The lettuce soup was so light and airy I felt like I immediately lost ten pounds while eating it. The gnocchi was not as delicate as I normally like it but the ramps added in made each piece I ate, a pop of crunchy earth. Super yum to the max.

The Earth to Table Dinner that the Chef does is easily one of my favorite events of the year. I love that the Chef is really really good at is cooking vegetables in ways that every person would enjoy. He cooked 105 vegetables that night and 110 people left the farm happy, healthy, and full.

The Culinary Vegetable Institute is an inspiring place. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend checking out an Earth to Table dinner or their annual Veggi U Food & Wine Festival. Super fun time, crazy chefs, and wicked awesome food. Team Sawyer will be representing this year in July and we would love it if you could join us on the farm!

 

Happy Birthday Chef Sawyer!

I've known him since I was 16 years old. We met after a party I had at my house went aray. Shockingly the police were called and the next morning my dad found something not particularly legal (although it should be) in our bathroom cabinet. The morning our doorbell rang, his best friend stood on our porch with the hope of finding his lost treasure. My dad being the bad-ass that he was, sent said best friend running. Later that night, my phone rang. It was him. Our relationship began that day. We were instantly friends and soon inseparable. He told me he loved me after three months. I was 17 and my parents were going through an awful nasty horrible no fun divorce. At that time, love was a curse. Love was cruel. Love cheated and love left. Although I said it back to him, I knew deep down I wanted no part of it. A month later I broke his heart.

We found ourselves back together a year later. Unbeknownst to him, his mother had invited me to his high school graduation party and I decided to go. The moment I saw him, I knew what had happened in the past was exactly that. We would become friends again. Years passed and we remained in each others lives. He became my best friend and I his.

Roomies

We found ourselves as roommates in Manhattan after college. Our apartment tiny, dirty, and old. Our friendship, strong as ever. I moved to the city on a whim of brokenheartedness and he was there to pick up the broken pieces. He showed me the city through it's food and I quickly found myself in love with it and in love with him. Our life together started shortly after his 23rd birthday and hasn't slowed down since.

9 years ago...

 

Happy Birthday Jonathon. 

Our journey together over the past 17 years has been outstanding.

It's funny, but even back then, I always knew it was you. 

Here's to 32 more years!!

 

 

Cleveland Rocks

[gallery link="file" orderby="post_date"] Rock Hall Induction Week 2012

What a week we had during the rock hall induction. We hung out with William Shatner  talking food, muses, and kindred spirits. We laughed at Aziz then had dinner with him. We rocked out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and rode scooters behind the restaurant with our kids. We taught kids and families that eating healthy is not only good for you but something you can do with the entire family as we did, making  homemade goldfish for Healthy Kids Day at the Q. We hung out on rooftops as we danced with our kids, once again falling in love with our little city.

Life is good.

Life is crazy.

Happy in Cleveland are we.