event recap: 2014 Fabulous Food Show (AKA that time I met Tyler Florence)

Disclosure: In return for offering a giveaway for tickets to the 2014 Fabulous Food Show, I received  media passes to attend the show at the IX Center. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Every year when the Fabulous Food Show rolls around, I get giddy. After  attending three of the previous eight years of the event put on by the IX Center, my favorite parts of the show are the opportunities to learn more about various techniques in the kitchen.

But when this year’s celebrity chef line up was announced, my heart skipped a beat: my chef crush — Chef Tyler Florence — was coming back to Cleveland to present on the show’s main stage. I saved the date of Sunday, November 16th on my Google Calendar and waited patiently for this year’s event to arrive. Not only would my poor husband have to deal with me freaking out about meeting another man, it was on a Browns Sunday game day. God bless my redhead.

Hans and I started our visit to the show Sunday morning with the VIP Experience to meet Chef Florence. Go big or go home, right? He has a new cookbook out — Inside the Test Kitchen: 120 New Recipes, Perfected — which is filled with new techniques for the kitchen to maximize efficiency and flavor.  Less time and energy for a better product? This is my kind of thinking.

Chef walked around to the tables filled with Fabulous Food Show attendees eager to meet him — snapping photos and signing cookbooks along the way. Before I knew it, he  walked over to our group — which included Melanie from Melanie Makes and her two daughters — to chat about  food, but also everyone’s favorite Disney movie, Frozen. 

tyler florence fab food show

Chef was super cool — exactly as he comes off in all of the Food Network shows he’s been a part of. He was super gracious to chat with us, as well as snap a few photos, which I am really grateful for. It’s always fun to meet someone that has taught you something from afar, so thanks Chef for your time.

Managing to still be standing post chat, we did our best to enjoy everything the Fabulous Food Show had to offer:

fab food show 2014

Top left clockwise: Chef Florence and his finished Eggs Benedict, my copy of Edible Cleveland with my media pass, hanging out with Melanie from Melanie Makes, Cincinnati’s favorite ice cream and a visit to see Pope’s Kitchen and Catering stand.

I could spend an entire weekend of the Food Show just sitting in the Main Kitchen Theater. I love hearing these food professionals share their techniques and tales.  Chef Michael Symon’s pasta cooking demo had superior tips and a lot of humor — and that Michael Symon laugh!  Chef Florence shared information on how to poach 12 eggs at one time (his secret: in a water bath in a hotel pan in the oven) and how to spatchcock your turkey this Thanksgiving holiday (link to how to do this method on the SF Chronicle site). Those two sessions alone were such an inspiration to get back in the kitchen — I wish we could have stayed for more.

LONG STORY SHORT: So I met my chef crush, and didn’t pass out. Overall a successful trip to the Fabulous Food Show, I’d say! Plus it didn’t hurt to go home with some of Pope’s Kitchen’s BBQ Sauce (which is delicious, BTW — pick it up at the Cleveland Flea this weekend).  Year nine of the Fabulous Food Show was a blast — let’s see what year ten brings in 2015!

Disclosure: In return for offering a giveaway for tickets to the 2014 Fabulous Food Show, I received  media passes to attend the show at the IX Center. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Interview with Jess Goldstein from Disney’s Newsies (a guest post at PlayhouseSquare’s Behind the Curtain blog)

As I serve as a blogger for PlayhouseSquare‘s Community Engagement and Education department this year, I will take you behind the scenes of each KeyBank Broadway Series show and interview a member of the show’s cast, crew or creative team. The second show in the 2014-2015 series is Disney’s Newsies.

This movie-musical made stage-musical was my JAM at the ripe age of 15. My friends and I would spent hours trying to figure out the choreography from each dance number while belting the songs from the top of our lungs. Many the high school show choir and drama club musical numbers were inspired by the piece, and it seemed like we all had “seize the day” scrawled on their textbook covers. So to say that I was excited to see it included in the KeyBank Broadway Series is an understatement. I was honored to conduct this interview and I can’t wait to see the show this evening!

Visit the PlayhouseSquare’s Behind the Curtain blog to read my interview with Jess Goldstein from Disney’s Newsies.


Newsies comes to Cleveland November 4 – 16 as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series at PlayhouseSquare. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the PlayhouseSquare website.

Thanks again to the great crew at PlayhouseSquare for allowing me to be a PlayhouseSquare blog contributor for the Broadway Buzz program KeyBank Broadway Series. Next up: White Christmas. It will be here before we know it…

Want to read another one of my interviews? Read my last interview — with Jarran Muse from Motown the Musical.

Want to know more about PlayhouseSquare? Stay up-to-date with all of their social media happenings: follow PlayhouseSquare on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare, or on Instagram at @playhousesquare.

A SIDE NOTE SAVE-THE-DATE: Join me at the PlayhouseSquare Partners’ Jump Back Ball Kickoff Party this Monday, November 10th starting at 5:30PM at the new . More info is available at the Facebook event page (and here on the blog on Monday).

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event recap: Cleveland Magazine’s 2014 Best of Cleveland Party

After quite the exciting, emotional and memorable week, it was time to celebrate on a Friday night (instead of heading home to watch Shark Tank). Hans and I headed downtown to Cleveland Public Auditorium for one of Northeastern Ohio’s best events: Cleveland Magazine‘s 2014 Best of Cleveland Party presented by The Collection Auto Group on October 10th.

With a change of layout from the previous year, VIP guests entered via a separate entrance right into the VIP Lounge. I loved the change of keeping the VIP space on the same level as the main floor, and highly enjoyed the very special offerings.


I could have stayed there all night. From Lola, to Trentina, to Pier W to Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen, my belly was already content in the first twenty minutes of being at the event.  But we knew we had more to see in the main hall of the auditorium.

After first checking in with the Harness Cycle table which includes some other local yoga studios (always great catching up with my girl Ylonda — @rosenty76 on Instagram — and the ladies from 3 Sisters Yoga in Avon), we started wandering around the wide array of vendors:

BOC 2014 main hall

Our favorites from the night included:

  • The various offerings from GV Art & Design (I’m overdue for a visit to their Lakewood shop)
  • Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar‘s taco offering (if only it came with a side of their guac…)
  • WFF Pickles — the most delicious of all the pickles that night, IMO, and can be bought at the Kamm’s Corners market.
  • A wheelbarrow of juice from Garden of Flavor. (I might have tweeted this after realizing they were giving away full bottle samples of their White Knight flavor.)
  • Pope’s Kitchen’s bloody mary mix (plus chatting with Clark is always a fun time!)
  • Adega in The 9‘s risotto ball of goodness. YUM.
  • …and getting to catch up with my old college buddy and giveaway winner, @jvalentiGreat to see you and your wife, Joe!

Also, it didn’t hurt to end the round with some vegan chocolate ice cream from Mitchell’s. And  a second round of pumpkin spice for good measure.

Back to the SpaWest VIP Lounge, we found ourselves drawn to the spa services, first hitting up a couple’s chair massage, then a couple’s manicure.


Too bad we spent the next day priming our bedroom for a painting the following day. That manicure looked great at yoga that Saturday morning at least! Speaking of successes at the yoga studio, a final treat was in the VIP bags: a CLE Clothing Co. tshirt, plus other goodies including our own copies of the October Cleveland Magazine issue featuring all the evening vendors.

Since I had an early morning wake up call, it was time to call it a night.  Even in a shorter-than-usual event stay, we had a great time celebrating the best of what Cleveland had to offer in 2014. Many thanks to the entire team at Great Lakes Publishing for having us and making such a fun night possible. Congrats on another successful Cleveland Magazine Best of Cleveland Party — can’t wait to celebrate all that 2015 will have to offer!

Disclosure: I was asked by the publication to help promote this event via a ticket giveaway here on the blog. In return, I received two tickets to attend this event. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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