May 20, 2013 -
Summer’s almost here, folks! And with it – outdoor entertaining season. Are you ready? You might have your grill menu all figured out, but what about the party punch? In the hot summer months, few things are more refreshing than an icy cocktail that keeps the party cool and the conversations flowing.
In that department, our Bar Manager, Dave Hridel, has you covered. Sure, you can come enjoy our farm-to-bar cocktails on the Spice patio anytime…
…but if you’d like to DIY our drink list for your next patio party, we can help you there too!
Introducing our Farm-to-Bar cocktail classes, where you’ll learn learn THREE different cocktails with ONE seasonal ingredient, including practical tips + tricks that you can take home to truly impress your guests.
Weather permitting, we’ll host our summer series classes on the patio. You’ll enjoy an entertaining tutorial on three preparations, followed by a largish sample of each cocktail, and some small plates to snack on.
Each class will have its own seasonal fruit theme:
June 23rd: Strawberries
July 21st: Blackberries
August 25th: Peaches
September 29th: Apples
…and feature herbs from our edible landscaping.
Why not learn a little something new while you drink? Join us for one or more of our Farm-to-Bar cocktail classes. Classes are $40 and space is limited – call 216.961.9637 to reserve your seats!
Posted in: Spice Kitchen+Bar
Tags: Dave Hridel, specialty cocktails, Spice Special Events
March 19, 2013 -
You may have seen this picture in the private dining room at Spice Kitchen + Bar…
It’s a Plated Landscape dinner, circa Mackenzie Creamery, Spring 2012. This shot actually turned out much better than the previous year, which had us scrambling for a rain plan. We packed into Jean’s charming farmhouse, and were rewarded for our temporary inconvenience during third course.
There’s always a story to be made at a Plated Landscapes event.
We’ve been throwing these farm parties for seven years now to celebrate the growing season.
It’s also a chance for guests to get to know the farmers, and learn about their land.
Once seated, guests settle in. Surrounded by the richness of the landscape, they toast with strangers, dine under the sunset, then finish the last bite by lantern light.
We hope you’ll join us for our 2013 season, when we’ll feature a collection of six of the region’s most well-planted farms, hand picked for culinary adventure.
Regulars – and those who’d like to be – please call us anytime to hear about our Plated Landscape season pass!
We can tell you that we’re switching it up this year, complete with new possibilities to explore. And maybe a scavenger hunt or two. As usual, the menus will be a surprise, planned only a few weeks in advance to coincide with what will be growing in our dining room that evening. We also have a fresh music line up for your listening enjoyment.
At the end of the day, there are few things more fun than dozens of well-fed folks laughing under the stars.
Read more about Plated Landscapes over the years.
“The food was extraordinary, the setting charming, the spirit friendly, and when darkness wrapped itself around our gathering something kind of magical took hold.”
-Laura Taxel, Cleveland Magazine
“Wide cracks in the plank siding barely keep the chilly winds at bay as guests warm themselves with sips of hot cider spiked with dark rum and French ginger liqueur.”
-Michael O’Malley, The Plain Dealer
“Fueled by kinship, boozy cocktails, wholesome foods, and the fading summer sun, guests seem to loll about in a blissed-out stupor.” -Doug Trattner, Scene Magazine
Special thanks to these photographers for capturing our memories…
the illustrious Paul Lender
the awesomeness Keith Berr
the totally terrific David Hornek
the ever-great Christina Bright
the uber-talented Tess Smith
the visionary Kayla Westfall
the guy-with-a-great-eye Mr. Borcherds
Posted in: Uncategorized
March 12, 2013 -
Rebecca may have acquired her craft working long hours in some of Cleveland’s top kitchens…but she got a head start in her family’s kitchen, standing alongside her mom when she could barely see over the countertop! If that doesn’t melt your heart, maybe this bit of awesomeness will – Rebecca grew up on a blueberry farm. That’s bonus points in our book.
Rebecca believes that you always take out what you put in. Hard work has led her to be Spice Kitchen + Bar’s Sous Chef, and she’s an important part of what makes the end product so sensational.
Q. You’ve worked in some pretty great kitchens in your career. What’s different about working in the Spice kitchen? What’s a typical day like?
A. As a chef you strive to put the best food out, but it’s hard when you don’t have the best ingredients. It’s so nice to have access to fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, because it makes the food that much better. Typically, I work the line side-by-side with Executive Chef Brandon (Walukas). It’s good team-building for all of us. Everyone is working the same – very hard.
Every day changes so drastically at Spice. One day you’re working at a Plated Landscape dinner and the next you’re picking your own produce to throw in a salad. I’ve never worked anywhere like this. The continuous change pushes you to work harder and better.
Q. Many of your products are crafted from scratch. Tell us about that! What are some of the house favorites?
A. Everything that we do is from scratch, but our Kombucha is amazing and I think everyone else would agree. We do rotating cocktails with it. The Grape-Apple Kombucha is my favorite. We use local apples from Rittman Orchard and grapes that have been growing right here behind the parking lot! It’s nice that we can feature something on our menu that was there before we even moved in.
We also do a lot of beer and wine-based vinegars at Spice. My love for fermentation has really grown since I started working here. I get a lot of inspiration from Sandor Katz – he’s got a wild fermentation book. I went to his fermentation workshop back in 2009 at Oberlin College*. Anyone can pump co2 into a container, but I prefer the natural, slow way. It’s become my passion to create my own products from scratch through a lot of reading and research.
Q. As an artisan chef, what other sources of inspiration do you draw from?
A. Reading and researching is definitely my biggest source of inspiration. My house is full of cookbooks. The Internet is also a nice shortcut, but I prefer sitting down with a stack of cookbooks and digging through them to come up with my own recipes.
Q. Did you ever have a moment when you realized that you were meant to be a chef? If you weren’t doing this, what else would you be doing?
A. I blame and love my mom for being a chef. She’d always take the time to teach me. I would stand on a stool and we’d make breads, pastas and all sorts of things. I’ve known since then that I wanted to be a chef. It’s really why I am where I am today. If I weren’t doing this, I’d have some aspirations to get back into farming.
Editor’s note: Sandor Katz continues to do wild fermentation clinics across the region, so be sure to check one out before your next pickling adventure. Becca will join him in Oberlin on March 12th, but he’ll also make an appearance at the Root Cafe on March 14th.