Photograph by Chris Smith
In addition to that breakfast buffet, boxed lunch, or plated wedding-reception menu, order up a side of good karma. Cincinnati Cooks Catering, started in 2006, is a full-service catering business that emerged from and complements the Freestore Foodbank’s Cincinnati Cooks program. Graduates of the 10-week culinary training program, which teaches marketable skills (and positive life choices) to low-income adults, are hired to staff the business; all profits fund the food bank and its associated services. “Not only are you getting a high quality catered experience,” says Sarah Cook, public relations specialist for the Freestore Foodbank, “but the money you’re spending is helping to fuel positive change happening here in the community.” Menus are designed around fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Local vendors—such as Eckerlin Meats and J.E. Gibbs Cheese & Sausage—are involved whenever possible. Options include pre-set menus or a custom design with director Teri Oddo. “There’s nothing we can’t do,” says Oddo.
Cincinnati Cooks, 1141 Central Parkway, West End, (513) 651-0700 cincinnaticookscatering.org
Originally published in the July 2014 issue