I was raised in a town the size of a postage stamp. It wasn’t even a town but a township. Webster defines township “an organized subdivision of a county” Brownhelm Township is anything but unorganized. This small farming community, located 30 miles west of Cleveland and a skipping stone’s throw from the shore of Lake Erie, is one of the most organized communities in America even though you won’t find it in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. During the Great Depression the leaders of this agricultural hamlet decided to get together and provide for everyone in the village who
Chef Otto's Blog
Being raised on the subzero shores of Lake Erie I was virtually guaranteed a white Christmas. Old Man Winter would wallop lake effect snow gripping the Heartland with a slashing chill dissecting your marrow. Drifts as high as the tractor trailers that were stopped dead in their tracks on the Ohio Turnpike. Do you recall the Blizzard of 78? Some called it a white hurricane. I get frostbite just thinking about it. In 1980 I was a young gun, gung ho US Navy Sailor, the pride of the fleet. So imagine the thrill when I received my orders to the
Mole, that wonderful, deep, rich, multi layered intense sauce from south of the border is a complex, intoxicating potion. Its origin is mysterious as it’s spellbinding flavor. There are 32 states in Mexico, two of them lay claim to mole, Puebla, and Oaxaca. There is no absolute documented factual evidence how, when and where mole was created. Unlike other famous dishes, Peach Melba for example. That was created by Auguste Escoffier. He conceived it in 1892 or 1893 at the Savoy Hotel in London in honor of famed Australian soprano, Nellie Melba. Relatively recent history in the gastronomic timeline, Peach
I love music, and the military. I grew up in a home listening to the Andrew Sisters, Glen Miller, & Tommy Dorsey. Music has always been intertwined with the military. Even just a simple cadence when troops are marching is music. Who can forget Bill Murray in Stripes. This cat is a modern day Groucho Marx. With a company of pea shoot green boot campers he sets the tempo with Do Wah Diddy Diddy. The soldiers respond grooving along strapped with duffle bags, marching to the obscure tune by Manfred Mann. You recall them, they went on to cover Spirit
November 5, 2013 is one of those days etched in my memory. I was in Texas, at work, my phoned pinged. An incoming text arrived from my friend Tim Wasylko, a Canadian chef, eh. It was just three words. Charlie Trotter died. Stunned, I called Tim, “What do you mean Charlie Trotter died?” “How?” “What?” “When?” Tim had few answers, only telling me he just saw it on the internet. Tim knew I worked at Trotter’s and was relaying the information as soon as he read it. Then, like a leaky faucet, texts were dripping in. Each text, another tear.