By Kimberly StolzPublished February 1, 2012
First thing first, if you plan to go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, you need to make your reservations tout de suite! Many of the city’s most romantic spots, such as The Refectory and Lindey's, are serving special prix fixe menus. Do some research – rock the web, make calls and see what lovely vittles our precious chefs are cooking up for this most romantic of eves.
When the weather outside is freezing, what better way to warm up but from the inside out? A good dose of hot sauce will have you sweatin’ in no time. The North Market’s Fiery Foods Weekend heats up the city February 18th and 19th. With everything from tropical tunes to spicy noms, the Fiery Foods event is an annual fave of capsaicin aficionados. Think you got what it takes? Bust out your secret recipes and enter one of the amateur contests, including hot sauce, salsa, guacamole and chili. Local chefs will strut their spice in a Chef Chili Challenge. If you are all thumbs in the kitchen, but are blessed (cursed?) with an inhuman ability to scarf hot food, compete in the fiery cornbread, jalapeno or hot wing eating contests. New at this year’s event is beer! Both the Columbus Brewing Company and Elevator Brewing Company will be on hand with zesty brews. Visit www.northmarket.com for details.
The Wexner Center’s Field & Screen series is a celluloid celebration of food culture, from examining the role milk plays in our culture via Milk and the Land on February 11th, to getting a ringside seat to watch the genius of Ferran Adria as he and his staff develop the menu for El Bulli, the now-shuttered restaurant that was considered the best in the world during its run, in El Bulli: Cooking in Process on February 14th. If you want to combine the actual eating of food with the watching of it, the dinner & a movie event on February 17th will showcase the talents of chefs John and Kimberly Skaggs of Heirloom on the plate and the talents of filmmaker Ian Cheney as he introduces a double-feature of two of his short works, Truck Farm and The City Dark. For tickets and complete event listing, visit www.wexarts.org.
As consumers become more and more knowledgeable about the provenance of their comestibles, interest in food education, sustainability and policy is not just for “those in the business.” We are all in the business of creating and supporting food that is healthy and makes sense, both economically and for the community itself. To learn more about such matters, take a drive out to Granville on February 18th and 19th to participate in the 33rd Annual OEFFA Conference. This year, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s signature event is themed “Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty” and will feature keynote speakers Woody Tasch, speaking on “Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Matter,” and Andrew Kimbrell, a leading environmental attorney and founder of The Center for Food Safety, tackling “The Future of Food.” Various workshops throughout the weekend will touch on everything from composting to making hard cider, and organic pest management to mushroom logs. For registration information, log on to www.oeffa.org.