As a food blogger - I get invites to random events - this time it was for the Buick Regal Discovery Tour. I wasn't really sure what to expect but it said there would be cars and food - so why not go?!
It was held at Cincinnati State a couple weekends ago - I took a TON of pictures...so I'll just narrate along the way.
First - we parked in the garage and saw this bike. I had to take a picture. I'm not a motorcycle enthusiast by any means - but come on - this thing is cool as hell! And it's in Hawkeye colors like my truck! If the owner of this beast reads my post - can I have a ride?
Kind granola bars - Jen really thought they were good. Lots of fruits and nuts - no chocolate coating - so I passed. haha (I saw these bars at Biggs/Remke for 79 cents - not bad!)
TheFoodHussy.com on all of them. Hahahahaha!
Roadfood.com was there to share his thoughts on finding great food spots when you're on the road!
He shared some of his favorites for Cincinnati - it was really funny hearing him say "goetta" - he's so proper with his speech. One of the Buick staff introduced him to Grippos - which he loved. He said he never would have thought to buy them out of a vending machine - but he was so glad he did! He loved Tuckers in OTR.
Michael also shared things about other cities - like in Tuscon you have to have the Sonoron Hot Dog - it's a hot dog wrapped in bacon. Yeah - I'm in! Anybody had one?
Michael also had tips for how to find great food when you're on the road:
- If there's a communal table/counter - sit there! You're much more likely to strike up a conversation with someone and find out that area's "must-have" dish!
- If there's a collection jar for a community member at the counter - eat there and throw some $$ in! This is a sign of a local spot that cares about people in the area.
- Looks for an ambulance or cop car in the parking lot! Why? Those folks know where the good food is...so follow them.
- Roll down your windows and smell! He found an awesome bakery just by the smell.
- Check before you go to see if you can find anybody that USED to live there! They're the best ones to tell you what food you can't miss out on. (Just ask me about food in Cedar Rapids, IA - pork tenderloins!)
- Go to RoadFood.com (shameless plug).
Couture Cake House here in Cincinnati. She shared baking tips and ways to be creative when baking treats.
She made these wonderful pumpkin cupcakes but also said you could use the same cake batter for whoopie pies. My friend Sarah over at Food for Thought just made some whoopie pies if you're not familiar with them.
MichaelGreen.com. How do I know? We all had to repeat it after him to be sure we remembered it!
It is sportier...drove nice too.
Midwest Culinary Institute. It's a teaching kitchen with stadium seating and 2 big screen tvs (which are really blurry). Cool space though.
Here we got to meet Michael Psilakis - he has lots of awards (Best New Chef in 2008 by Food & Wine) and was recently nominated for a James Beard award (like an Oscar for chefs).
Michael P gave us soooo many stories and nuggets of information - I'll share some here:
* His goal as a chef is to take traditional peasant Greek food (his background) and make it fancy - he does it well!
* One of his restaurants has a Michelin Star - one of only 2 Greek restaurants in the world to achieve this!
* He uses Wonder Bread in his meatballs - but cut off the crusts - they don't disintegrate in milk.
* Store fresh herbs in a paper towel to keep the water out of them.
* "Food is like a seed we plant - it grows into something beautiful like a memory."
* "Don't worry about pork fat - think about everything else we do to our bodies. Pork fat is the least of our problems." - in response to question about using pork in the meatballs.
* Add fresh herbs at the END of a dish to add freshness.
This was by far the best meatball I have ever tasted. I could taste the garlic, the fresh herbs, the onion, the cheese, the olives, everything. It was a party in my mouth and I can't wait to revisit that party!
I had to snag a picture with Michael - I can definitely picture him as a judge on Top Chef. He's got a great personality and a wonderful warmth about him. He shared a touching story of roasting lamb with his two year old son and remembering doing that same thing with his father. Moments like that are why he's a chef - food creates memories.
And he told me a great tip for my egg-allergic husband (meatballs always have eggs) - he said just fry them a little longer and no egg needed!
How to Roast a Lamb". I'll definitely be giving this a workout and will be sure to blog a recipe from it soon.
Buick, Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure also made donations to Feeding America as an additional gift.
All in all - what a fun morning. I think next time I get invited to something like this - I'll see if some of you would like to go with me. It's really fun and I love tasting new foods and trying new things. I felt bad that I only brought 1 friend with me (I could have brought 3!).
I hope you all enjoy your secondhand visit to the Buick Discovery Tour!