Adsense

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Buick Discovery Tour - Buick Regals as far as the eye can see...

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?

After getting through the garage - we're greeted - of course - by a new Buick Regal. Much sportier than the "Grama cars" of the past.

Once inside - there was a nice breakfast spread. Although I wish I hadn't eaten anything since we got food later from our breakout sessions.

They had these 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!)

They also had a table full of iPads for people to play with. I might have pulled up TheFoodHussy.com on all of them. Hahahahaha!

Our first breakout session was Travel. Michael Stern of 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:
  1. 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!
  2. 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. 
  3. Looks for an ambulance or cop car in the parking lot! Why? Those folks know where the good food is...so follow them. 
  4. Roll down your windows and smell! He found an awesome bakery just by the smell. 
  5. 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!)
  6. Go to RoadFood.com (shameless plug).

Next up for our breakout session was Jeannie Pelletier from 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.

These little cupcakes were fantastic! She also makes "cake balls" by taking a cake and crumbling it up - then mixing in frosting. Then you scoop them with an ice cream scoop and dip them in chocolate (shortened version). For the exact recipe you can email treats@couturecakehouse.com and Jeannie will send it to you!

Next up was Mixology! We were about to get our drink on! We came to our chairs and were greeted with all the ingredients for a mock-tail. This session was led by Michael Green - his website - MichaelGreen.com. How do I know? We all had to repeat it after him to be sure we remembered it!

Michael is definitely a character. We were laughing through the entire presentation! He taught us about simple syrups and lots of other things. He warmed us up with some great one-liners as well - What's his favorite drink? The one in his hand right now. He also quoted Ben Franklin with this one, "You can't have great living, if you don't have good drinking."

There's Jen mixing our mock-tail. After trying a drink of our Ginger Green Tea Sour - I looked at her and said "Not bad." Michael caught me and said "Oh she thinks it's not bad - 3 months to create this drink and I get a 'not bad' from the girl in pink." It was hysterical!

We chatted it up after the presentation and he even posed for a picture. He also has all the credentials to back himself up. At the age of 26, Michael was appointed exclusive Wine & Spirits Consultant to a leading industry magazine and held the position for 19 years.

Next up - we got to drive the car! We walked out to a sea of Buick Regals. While this whole day is a fun learning experience - they're also trying to sell the cars dammit! There were enough cars for everybody to drive one. I of course left my drivers license in the car - so I just rode in the back.

The loaded version we drove had GPS and satellite radio. There are also heated seats - which is always nice.

It is sportier...drove nice too. 

Our last session got the entire group back together in one of the awesome rooms of the 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). 

First up - we got a trio of spreads: Tsatziki, Hummus & Roasted Pepper & Feta Spread. Every one of these was absolutely delicious! If you'd like the recipes - leave me your email in the comments and I'll send them to you. (too much to type right now) I was realy impressed right off the bat - these were all unique and amazing. I think my favorite was the pepper and feta - but I love Tsatziki - so I can't wait to make that myself.

We also had a drink from Michael to enjoy with the food. Unfortunately it was too strong for me - it was a Scotch Bonnet Cocktail. Again - post your email and I'll send you the recipe.

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.

He also made these AMAZING Fried Pork & Beef Meatballs. These were so delicate and light. I was amazed by every bite. He fries the meatballs - then makes the sauce and adds the meatballs into the sauce as he's creating it. Again - want the recipe - post your email.

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! 

The best part of the day is that we got a gift! We were all given an autographed copy of Michael's cookbook "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! 

Post a Comment