In Our Winter 2015 Issue
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
Holidays are occasions for us to treasure and hold close the good things in our lives, and to give thanks for our many blessings. I have a lot to be thankful for.
There is one special person in my life that I want to acknowledge—Claire Loeffelman. Claire came into my life two and a half years ago as I was preparing to open our cooking school, The Seasoned Farmhouse. I had been seeking advice from Betty Rosbottom about her experiences owning La Belle Pomme and she said to me, “There will be people who offer to help you because they love to cook and will want the school to succeed, and when those people approach you, you will say ‘yes.’”
The week before we opened Claire contacted me and asked if she could help and I said, “Yes.” She has been helping me out of the goodness of her heart ever since. When I think of all the things big and small that she does for me it brings tears to my eyes—I would not be the same without her support and the school would not be the same without her presence. Claire had a lot of success in her career and after retiring she decided to put her energy into helping small businesses succeed. What a nice way to share your gifts of experience and perspective.
Claire’s love of cooking and entertaining started early—the roots were planted by her father William “Bill” Maratta. Bill was a New Yorker at heart who lived in West Virginia with an enormous passion for cooking and acquiring the best tools of the day. Claire’s family was the only one in her town to get the New York Times (NYT), which they would read and donate to the local library (which welcomed the copies each week). Bill would read Gourmet magazine and the NYT dining section and would order beautiful French Le Creuset pots, candy thermometers, fish poachers, needles for trussing chickens, and the most beautiful wooden cutting board I have ever seen. When Claire started helping me I would say, “I think we are going to make pâté this week,” and she would say, “I will bring in my Dad’s terrine.” This would happen often. Beef Bourguignon for an event would be cooked in Bill’s Chocolate Brown Le Creuset pot. This legacy that Bill left to his children is present every time they pull out one of his treasured items. What a wonderful way to be remembered.
We have shared the story of Claire’s father on page 46 of this issue of Edible Columbus—a story about how we want to be remembered by our children. How do we share our passions and leave them a rich legacy? I think food, family, and fun are a big part of what is remembered. The cherished family recipes, the traditions, and the excitement of seeing your parents enjoy the hobbies they love. When we looked up the description of the fish poacher owned by Bill it said the most elegant of cooks would have it in their collection. I love that. I have started my own collection of special cooking tools that I hope one day grace the table of my daughter and her children. Thank you, Bill and Claire, for the inspiration.
This issue is rich with inspiration for the winter season, a time to reflect and a time to nourish the ones you love. Thank you to all of our talented writers, photographers, and our team who work hard to deliver stories with heart and passion each season. A special thanks to our advertisers that support our publication. Please support them this season; they are a special group of local businesses.
-Tricia Wheeler, Publisher
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Planetary bakeries and a plate the size of the moon. Yes, thank you, Pablo. When I thought about this letter and all I wanted to say, I had to turn to poetry. Our winter issue marries bread with hunger, cooking with poverty, loss with living, all to shed some light during a season of brightness on “the justice of eating.”
Tricia and I talk often about what stories we’re missing out there and how to capture them for you. When we thought about this winter issue, we turned to the subject of those in need. We were inspired to feature an update about the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and how a new café on the Southside is bringing the homeless and the hipsters together to one table (page 58). Matt Habash and his team are working to get fresh food to the hungry and find equitable, sustainable solutions to food waste and food insecurity. Our story about Kwodwo Ababio and the New Harvest Café (page 41) in Linden mirrors this mission on a microcosmic level. An artist at heart, Kwodwo has created a beacon around beauty for a whole community to grow, eat, and, ultimately, heal together.
Beyond the lack and strife in our communities, there are people abroad trying to survive this winter season. We’re honored to share the cookbook, Soup for Syria by Barbara Abdeni Massaad, with you (page 36). Barbara brought expert and celebrity chefs together from around the world to contribute soup and stew recipes to this wonderful volume, donating all of the proceeds to relief efforts in Syria.
Our celebration of bread is personal. We’re welcoming master baker Sarah Black to Columbus with the arrival of Flowers and Bread (page 50) in Clintonville. Whether you’re an aspiring student of baking, or a lover of all things baked, Sarah will win your heart very soon with her new cookbook and program offerings at Flowers and Bread. We complement what’s plain with luminous winter recipes prepared specially this winter at our cooking school The Seasoned Farmhouse for a special anniversary dinner on February 19 (page 7). The dinner includes Balsamic-Glazed Short Ribs and Caramelized Onions, Shaved Fennel and Blood Orange Salad, Snowbound Cocktails (page 24), and Cranberry Spiced Cheesecake because we love food and we love you. Yes, we do. The New Year marks the beginning of our seventh year of publishing Edible Columbus. Please join us so we can cook for you as a thank you for welcoming us into your hearts and kitchens over the past six years.
I like to dream of what Pablo suggests—a plate big enough for us all to eat from. This link between literature and food—what is real and what is imagined—runs throughout this issue, too, with old and new reads for winter, like the famed food writer Elizabeth David’s Italian Food(page 18) or Gourmet magazine’sRuth Reichl and her new cookbook, My Kitchen Year(page 64). Ruth compiled her cookbook as a journal originally after the devastation of Gourmet’sclosing. It wasn’t until her editors saw the manuscript and convinced her to fill it with photographs that she discovered what she calls, “one of the most beautiful books” she has seen. Through loss she found a way through and back to beauty by being in the kitchen.
I know this path to be a true one. It has been more than a year since I lost my dear, loving brother, Devin. When the winter in my heart rises and I am hungry for a hug or a phone call from him, I turn to the kitchen and cook. I find food again and those “strawberries in snow” bring me back to life.
May you have a winter filled with fire and magic. Blessings and joy to you and all those you hold dear.
-Colleen Leonardi, Editor