All I Want For Christmas Is Food


A few gift ideas for the epicureans in your life, wrapped up in local love.

A share in a CSA
With community-supported agriculture, you are buying directly from the farmer. Your share pays for a season of produce, meats, dairy, flowers, herbs, or whatever specialty the farm produces. In return you receive a weekly or bi-weekly box of food throughout the season (usually May through October), delivered to central locations.
For a complete list go to:

Fresh produce delivered to your front door
Networked with organic growers and local artisans who create products sustainably, Green B.E.A.N. Delivery provides home delivery of fresh flavorful foods free of additives and preservatives to Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton, and Columbus. There are no membership fees, but a standing minimum order of $35 is required.
For more information go to:

Dinner at a Chef’s table
In the belly of the beast so to speak, the chef’s table is located in the kitchen and personally attended to by the chef. The new Taste Of Belgium bistro in Over The Rhine has a very cool chef’s table that seats 10 – 14 people (two seatings, prix fixe), or check out Chef Jose Salazar’s table in the kitchen of The Palace Restaurant at The Cincinnatian Hotel. A protégé of Chef Thomas Keller and winner of the 2011 “People’s Best New Chef Award” (Great Lakes region) from Food & Wine magazine, Salazar’s food is packed with explosive flavors rooted in tradition.
Taste of Belgium:
The Palace:

A dinner party catered by chefs making a difference in the community
Cincinnati Cooks Catering is an arm of the Freestore Foodbank, the largest emergency food provider in the tri-state. Revenue from catered events – staffed by professional chefs – funds the Cincinnati Cooks training program, a free 10-week program that prepares low-income students for work in the food service industry by teaching them culinary and job skills, and provides employment opportunities for graduates. 

A private whiskey tasting
Jay Erisman is a whiskey savant. As the fine spirits manager of The Party Source, he oversees one of the largest retail collections of fine spirits in the country, as well as holds wine, beer, and spirit tastings at EQ, the store’s educational kitchen. But where his spirit really shines is a private party tasting, custom tailored to your appeal. He directed a tasting for eight in my home several years ago that people still talk about.
For a schedule of tastings / classes at The Party Source go to:
For Jay Erisman call (859) 291-4007 or email

A cookbook from the American Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year
Who just happens to be Todd Kelly, the Executive Chef of Orchids. Last month, Kelly released his cookbook, Todd Kelly’s Orchids at Palm Court, co-written with local blogger Courtney Tsitouris. (check out my August interview with them). Wonderful recipes accessible for the home cook, gorgeous photographs, and excellent writing.
Available at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, 35 W. 5th St. (513) 421-9100

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