Saturday, August 8, 2009

Benefit for Veggie U



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It’s been a while since my last post! Even though I’m using this space to help me document things, I do feel kind of bad/guilty, when I’m not posting very often. Eventually I’d like to get on some kind of schedule, but I don’t have the time these days. It's been ridiculously crazy at work (lots of deadlines and overtime). Once dinner and dishes are done I'm too tired to do anything. Plus Kevin hogs the laptop most of the time with all his programming, maybe it’s time to think about getting a second computer? hehe. I've got a backlog of recipes to share, so hopefully I'll catch up soon. No recipe today, but I wanted to share our experience at Veggie U's Food and Wine Celebration. My intention was to get this up right after we went (July 18), but I didn't. Better late than never, I guess.
This summer I've been seeing a lot of food-related benefits being publicized on the interwebs. I keep thinking to myself, I wish I could afford to support all of these causes and attend the foodie benefits I keep hearing about. The very next day (the next day!!) after I started thinking this, I won a pair of tickets to the Veggie U benefit. Heidi Robb was giving away her pair of tickets because she was unable to attend, and 78 people commented on her post to try to win. When she told me I won, I could not believe it! I knew this would be one of the highlights of the summer, and it was. Thank you Heidi!!

Kevin and I had a great time sampling all of the fabulous food and wine! My next post will be pictures of all the spectacular food we ate.

Brief Summary:
- The Culinary Vegetable Institute is in Milan, Ohio (near Sandusky), so we had about a 1.5 hour drive. We almost ran out of gas on the Turnpike in the middle of nowhere. The closest gas station wasn't until our exit. It turned out to be the only gas station in the area at all, and we barely made it.


- I met Chef's Widow and her Chef (Jonathan Sawyer) They recently opened The Greenhouse Tavern. It's the first certified green restaurant in Ohio, and Bon App├ętit magazine just named it as one of their Top Ten Best New Restaurants in the US. I've been following Chef's Widow for awhile now, and it was great to finally meet her. Every time an opportunity arose to meet her (her Kurt Vonnegut Book Club, and various gatherings), I was unable to go. She's awesome and I look forward to seeing her again.


- I met Michael Ruhlman. Okay, this is funny. I saw him 3 times before I had the balls to talk to him. I was too nervous. First, I saw him in line near us, but I couldn't handle it, so we moved. Second time, we were walking toward the building and he was walking away from the building (towards us), I started to veer toward him this time, but chickened out. The third time I saw him he was talking to a group of people or rather they were talking to him. I probably would have chickened out again, but I had a plan. I figured he probably knew Heidi Robb so I was going to name-drop. Afterall, she did test recipes for his and Michael Symon’s book Symon Says…Live To Cook (coming out this fall). I waited nearby, and spoke with him for a few minutes. I told him how I was a fan, and how great the benefit was and that I was lucky enough to win Heidi’s tickets. I also mentioned that I was reading Making of a Chef (it's true, I was). I actually want to read all of the books in Michael's "Chef" series. I’m attempting to read a lot of non-fiction about being in the food business as way to convince myself that I don’t really want to do that someday.


- We toured through parts of the main building and took some pictures from the top floor which was a small room with a bunch of reclining chairs with massaging pads.

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-Sadly, we forgot to take a tour of the Chef's Garden. The last tour was at the same time as the Star Chef Cooking Cook Off, and we got distracted by the Iron Chef style competition (squash blossom was the secret ingredient).


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- The food and wine was amazing! More on that later.


- At the end of the night, we helped ourselves to some flowers from the huge flower garden out by the entrance at the road. They survived the trip home, and even lasted for about a week!


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