On the evening of Thursday, March 23rd, Team PIP headed to Cleveland’s Theatre District for Emerging Chefs’ “ThEATrical” at the East 14th Street Theatre in the Theater District downtown:
Melange’s Executive Chef Adam Bostwick had prepared quite the menu: several courses inspired by a variety of films.
Just like I had done for my event Wednesday night, he had researched, conceptualized and developed his menu to ensure a successful evening. And then life got in the way.
At 7:15AM, Emerging Chefs co-founder Michael DeAloia received word that Adam was unable to partake that evening due to the passing of a family member. But by 7:45AM, Michael’s phone began to ring, and by mid-morning, Chefs Matt Creighton, Jeff Jarrett, Brian Okin, Brian Doyle, Chris Quinn, Kimberly McCune, and Chris McCarthy agreed to step up in order to show their support for their fellow chef and friend.
Melange’s Co-Executive Chef Matt Creighton found himself holding the reigns, leading his fellow chefs through a creative menu inspired by the film clips – each were shown before each course.
Enough with the previews: on to the food! Here’s what was served that evening:
Inspired by 9 1/2 Weeks: Hard Boiled Egg, Tuna and Strawberry Tartar and Kalamata Olive served with a Strawberry Jalapeno Shooter, a mix of a strawberry jalapeno simple syrup & champagne.
Inspired by Forrest Gump: Cleveland Shrimp Gumbo, Shrimp Pierogi and Crisp Fried Shrimp…
…served with an “Adult Dr. Pepper” with amaretto, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, sour mix, grenadine, splash of coke, fresh orange:
Inspired by The Social Network & Meet Joe Black: Chicken Stuffed Chicken, Thai Peanut Butter Sauce, and Peanut Salad…
…served with a Stella Artois with a Salted Peanut Rim.
INTERMISSION: “Sour Patch Kids”
Inspired by Pulp Fiction: "Royale’ With Cheese": Short Rib Pave with Tomato and Kornichon Bruschetta, Crispy Onion, Ketchup Broth, Aged Cheddar and "Big Kahuna Fries"…
…served with an "8 Dollar Milk Shake", with vanilla vodka and Godiva dark chocolate.
Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Blueberry “Wonka Bar” with Gobstopper Brittle…
…served with a Fizzy Lifting Drink, with Brut champagne, spiced blueberry simple syrup & Pop Rocks:
And for the ride home: Inspired by The Godfather: “Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli” (which eaten before we could get to the car for the picture).
My favorites from the menu included:
- The entire 9 1/2 Weeks course: clean flavors from fresh ingredients, some of my favorite things combined on that small plate had me asking for five more. (Wasn’t kidding with that request, although I think Rick Turner thought I was!)
- The “Adult Dr. Pepper”: I may or may not have traded my gumbo and my Stella for a few more of these with my fellow diners.
- The "Royale’ With Cheese": The individual components of this “burger” were special on their own, but if you combined them all, you found a perfect bite of food.
- The “Wonka Bar”: That dessert had our table puzzled with its gelatin-like structure with complex flavors. All five of us at our table were confused, amused and happy to be dipping it in that blueberry compote. I learned via Bite Buff it was a panna cotta. How did we not figure that out?!
Table favorites included:
- The Cleveland inspired gumbo dish: it didn’t hurt that pierogi goodness was waiting for you in the bottom of the bowl! Since it was a gluten trifecta, Hans got my bowl of this table favorite.
- The Stella Artois with a Salted Peanut Rim: My fellow diners were lovin’ on the enhanced beer experience and wondered if they’d get a funny look ordering a salted peanut rim at a bar in the future.
- The “Sour Patch Kids”: While it wasn’t my favorite (I couldn’t place the flavors & foods that confuse me drive me batty), I believe Paul was quoted as saying “I could drink several of these”.
At the end of the evening after a job well done, all the chefs joined Melange owner Andrew Zelenkofske to receive the round of applause that they deserved.
In time of need, what people do for others say a lot about all the parties involved. What I learned Thursday night? That Chef Adam Bostwick is a beloved man by many. That the brotherhood & talent that is the Cleveland culinary scene is alive and well. And that Clevelanders come together to support one another, in the good and the bad. While these chefs were brought together under sad circumstances, their presence lead to a wonderful result. Congrats to them and the Emerging Chefs leadership for a wonderful evening!
I encourage you to check out these recaps of the evening:
- Chef Chris Quinn’s experience as a chef that evening on his blog
- Brad’s event review on Cleveland Food & Brews
- Katrina’s write up on the event at Bite Buff
Ready for the April 13th Emerging Chefs event with Ellis Cooley from AMP 150? Get your tickets today by visiting the eventbrite.com site. Tickets are going to go fast!
Disclosure: I was provided a media pass to the ThEATrical event via Emerging Chefs. In return, I agreed to blog about my experience. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.