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It all started when Ellie Weiss called as we were getting ready to close shop for the night and asked if he and some friends could come over for late night Foie Gras for dessert. We are known for our Foie Gras as we serve a monster portion for only 14 bucks. I get so pissed when I see a silver dollar portion for 20 bucks at other places, so I use it as my Fuck you dish and sell it for cost! Call it our loss leader, but it works because we probably sell more Foie than anyone in Ohio.

So…… The boys showed up and I cooked 3 versions for them, all variations of a savory style, they loved them all, but as we were hanging out, and all of us slightly under the influence, I had an idea! I excused myself, hit the kitchen and returned  10 minutes later with a new preparation that was truly a “dessert Foie Gras”.

The Sweet Foie was born! A grilled espresso blondie, seared salt and pepper seasoned slab of Foie, Dark Chocolate sauce infused with rosemary and cracked pepper, a small dollop of whipped cream. Ellie took the first bite and his eyes rolled back into his head. Silence for 30 seconds as we were waiting for some response, and then he started muttering…. Holy shit, Oh fuck, shit… Oh fuck…! At that point we all grabbed a fork and dug in. Within seconds we were all repeating Ellies words in unison. Plain and simple it may be the best, most unique prep on foie we ever had. Smoky grilled blondie is Smoore like, the saltly peppery foie and then the herbal and spicy chocolate all come together as sensory overload.

It has been on the dessert menu for over a month now, and the adventerous customers who order it for dessert all have one thing in common. There eyes roll back and they start muttering… Holy shit, Oh fuck……

Long live the Foie!!!!!!!

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2009 in the bag!

Well we made it through 2009 inspite of all the gloom and doom, whether it was really that bad or not. Much like the weather reporters who freak everyone out with thier forecasts, and drive people to stay home when it is NOT THAT BAD! The media elevated the economic status to red alert and did thier best to scare the shit out of everyone. When the talking heads are recommending people to not eat in restaurants, we have a problem. One of the best forms of entertainent that comes with getting fed is going out to eat! Save the 200 dollars that buys the next playstation rig and keep the kids off the couch! Good idea is to bring the spoiled brats out to eat food that does not come with a plastic toy made in china. I applaud the families who bring thier kids to CROP and sit at the Chefs table to get them excited about food, REAL FOOD! It works every time! Our kids for the most part have become devoid of the desire to eat real food, much of the blame falls squarely on the parents shoulders and it time to get tough! If we are going to combat the obesity crisis we need to focus on 2 simple things. 1- Dont cave to the easy way out and let the kids demand shit to eat. 2- They have to get out and excercise. Bring back dodgeball, bring back Gym class everday, smash the X box and playstation!

Oh well…. Happy New Year and lets hope 2010 brings positive change!

Crop Roots

IMG_0339Gibson Guitars and The Rock Hall Museum created a projected called Cleveland Rocks. They selected 25 artists to design a guitar that will be displayed at the Rock Hall and auctioned off at a gala dinner fundraiser on December 3rd. Interestingly, I was selected as one of the 25 artists, and recieved a brand new Les Paul to rip apart and re-design. Of course I leaned to the food inspiration and created what I named CROP ROOTS. Took a month to finish it, striping, hand carving and laminating. The final work is pretty cool, and Donnie used it at our last Cream of The Crop night and it sounded KILLA!

Now I want it back! May have to bid high at the gala.IMG_0389IMG_0346IMG_0381

Summer Time Gone again

Labor day has passed, summer is figuratively done and manged to have 2 full days off The 4th of July and yes…. Labor Day. For everyone who fantasies about being in this business, find a new fantasy unless you want to never enjoy summer again. Now don’t get me wrong, being as busy as we were all summer is a great thing and we continue to raise the bar with every dish, BUT…… No beach, no golf, no nuthin! The biggest bonus has been great local produce and the Cleveland weather has been superb, GO GLOBAL WARMING!!

Looking forward to a great indian summer!

Rockin BBQ

IMG_17312_SHOT_eIt has taken a week to catch a breath after the Cleveland Food Rocks BBQ, but here it is!
Sun all day, 400+ people, 26 top Cleveland Chefs doin KILLA food,4 bands all featuring restaurant staff and BOOTSY COLLINS Jammin with our Cream of the Crop Band! Gibson Guitars was a key sponsor and hooked us up with the tour bus for the weekend and donated a Cherry SG custom guitar for the raffle, which raised over 2K !!!
Everyone who attended said it was the best food event they ever experinced and I will have to agree! Tons of work but it was a smash and we did what we set out to do. Have a great event, bring the Chef community together, rasie $$ for the ongoing website, cover costs of the event and start a charitable platform with proceeds. Already thinking about next year!IMG_1733

Feed My Team #2

The Browns new running back, Noah Herron has been cooking on the last 2 Sunday suppers. Week one featured his Shrimp Etoufee, this week we did Grilled Hanger steak,Smoked Cheddar Mashed and his Killa Banana Pudding! The guy can cook and he hung on the line for every ticket! Both weeks we had a bunch of his team mates show thier support and they loved the food!IMG_0267IMG_0260

The politics of food

Kind of random, but the Mayor, Frank Jackson finally made it into Crop last week on a walking tour of the Warehouse district. His staff are here every Thursday PM for Get Cropped so I was surprised it has taken so long. Seemed interested in what were doing with Local Crop and Cleveland Food Rocks and we sent him packing with our famous Double Double Lamb SlidersDSCF9544a