Cleveland’s top chefs will serve up specialties inspired by their favorite band or musician and dress like the rock stars they are featuring. A special performance by Cream of the Crop featuring special guest Todd Rundgren will top off the night. This event is presented by Maker’s Mark and sponsored by Kia Motors, Ohio Natural Gas, Localcrop.com, Samuel Adams, Sysco, Adcom Communications, Optiem, Premier Produce and Event Source.
Spend an evening sampling culinary delights prepared by the best of the best in Cleveland at more than 25 different food stations. The event will also include performances from bands made up solely of local restaurant employees: The Rare Birds from Greenhouse Tavern, Evil Eye from Happy Dog and Melange from Melange. Maker’s Mark will be conducting an infusion challenge inviting chefs to create a special dish that utilizes their bourbon. The winning chef will receive a trip to the Maker’s Mark distillery in Louisville.
Tickets are $50 and on sale now. Each ticket includes samples of all the dishes offered at each food station during the event, as well as beer, wine and tours of the Museum’s exhibits. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Rock Hall’s education programs and Cleveland Food Rocks will be awarding a scholarship to an outstanding Culinary Arts student at Cuyahoga Community College.
Participating Restaurants are preparing fun “themed” dishes to fit into the spirit of the evening:
• Zach Bruell Restaurants: Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes; TP’s Smoked Pork Butt with beer-braised collard greens, hoppin’ john, and black pepper cornbread
• Bistro on Lincoln Park: Allman Brothers; Grilled “Eat a Peach” peaches with cracked black pepper ice cream and balsamic reduction.
• Green House Tavern: Black Keys; Grilled pork ribs with “thick freakiness” BBQ sauce
• Blue Canyon: Burning Spear; Curried Goat
• Amp 150: Rolling Stones; Beef Tongue with Cabbage Salad
• Moxie: Pink Floyd; “Dark Side of the Moon” pies
• Dante: LSD (Lemon-Scented Doughnuts)
• Bar Cento: Phish; “Bathtub Gin” Gumbo with Mushroom Grilled Cheese and “Goo Balls”
• Melange: George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers: Watermelon “Bad to the Bone” Ribs, Effervescent Chicken Wings, Dill Pickle Popcorn
• Blue Point Grille: Ramones; Oysters Vindaloo
• Caruso’s Coffee: Eric Clapton; Black Coffee “After Midnight”
• ABC Tavern: Meatloaf; meatloaf
• Flying Fig: Delta Blues; an assortment of Southern-inspired tidbits
• Fire: Beatles; “Savoy Truffle” (assorted chocolate truffles)
• Menu6: Psychedelia; Wild Mushroom Rice Paper Rolls and “Strawberry Fields Forever”
• Crop Bistro: Grateful Dead; “Backpack Rollups”
• Prosperity Social Club: Hank Williams ; Jambalaya on the Bayou
• Happy Dog: Elvis; “Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound” dogs
• Johnny’s; Frank Zappa; “Yellow Snow”
• Momocho: Beck; Wild Boar “Satan Gave Me a Taco” Tacos
• Executive Caterers: The Allman Brothers; roasted white asparagus with crawfish, green goddess, and crispy country ham
• Lago: Bob Marley; Marley Meatballs
• Bar Symon: Van Halen; Ice Cream Sandwiches w/Cabo Wabo Ice Cream, Bacon-Apple Caramel Sauce
• Sasa: ZZ Top; “ZZ Top” Sirloin
• Sushi Rock; U2; “Even Better than the Real Thing” Sushi Surf & Turf
• Grovewood Tavern: Iggy Pop; gourmet dogs
Food and music, a natural recipe…
By Steve Schimoler
Owner and Head Chef at Crop Bistro
The synergies between food and music are powerful and as a chef and a drummer, I have always looked at my menu like a set list. Every dish is a song and each “song” is comprised of notes, harmonies, codas, and most importantly rhythm! Our food is a composition of flavors, textures, aromas and just like a great tune, when all the components are blended just right, people love it, the remember it and they can’t wait to groove on it again. Rhythm in the kitchen is paramount. If you don’t have it you’re screwed. The second a band loses its meter, you hear it coming unglued. It’s the same in the kitchen. When we have five chefs in the kitchen jamming on a Saturday night, the whole restaurant feels the vibe and we all feel the intuitive beat of cooking. The biggest difference is that when there are five musicians jamming on stage, we are all playing the same tune. In the kitchen we’re playing 15 – 20 “tunes” all at the same time and keeping a rhythm is very tough. But like a really tight band who anticipates each other’s next beat or lead, the “kitchen band” can rock the house!
Music Equals Food
By Michael Herschman
Executive Chef at Menu6
I have never been able to see music and cooking as mutually exclusive.
From a sensory point of view, a great meal or that catchy beat are remembered by the experience. I remember what my wife was wearing when we had that amazing uni in Toronto or, holy crap the wave of intensity that shot through every body during Jerry Garcia's guitar solo when the Grateful Dead played that Black Peter encore. The sounds, the sights, the smells and the tastes are all equal.
There is never a day in my kitchen when the tunes are not blasting. It sets the mood and pace. When I cooked at the James Beard House in New York in freezing February and the nerves were getting to all of us I found it a point to put on some Lee Scratch Perry. Dance hall reggae, deep dub that smoothed it all out on such an important and intense day.
At menu6, we play a mix in the background of Sixties British Music (the Beatles, the Rolling Stones), mod (Small Faces, the Jam), ska (The Specials, Desmond Decker), Detroit Soul (Aretha Franklin), Britpop (Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene), the Bristol Sound a la trip-hop (Portishead, Tricky), French pop (Stereolab, Serge Gainsbourg), Dance Hall Reggae and Dub (King Tubby, Linton Kwesi Johnson) as as as slipping in a bit of John Coltrane or Miles Davis. This music is wallpaper that keeps a tempo but gels with the contemporary modern design of the room and the food. Keep it hip.
We chose the general sense of psychedelia for our theme for the Chef Jam because every dining experience can open the mind and palate to new tastes or bring back memories that can nourish not just your belly but your soul.
From "Song for a Baker" by the Small Faces of Ogden's Nut Gone to "Something About the Sun" by the Marshmallow Overcoat, food and psychadelia are in the lyrics, in the bands' names and eventually in you.
"Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream..." and have some calamari while you're at it.
Rock on and Feed Your Face
By Dante Boccuzzi
Chef/Owner of Restaurant Dante
For me, food and music have always gone hand in hand. Throughout my career, I have gathered amazing culinary and musical memories.
From the time I started working in restaurants, I was hooked on hard rock. I went out and bought every led zeppelin album and bootleg I could get my hands on. Friday nights found me washing dishes to Dio ( may he rest in peace). Cooking has given me the inside connection to meeting all my favorite musical icons. Because of traveling and expanding my culinary horizons, I was able to travel and see amazing concerts around the globe as well: Eric Clapton in the Royal Albert Hall; backstage passes to CSNY in New York; the Red Hot Chili Peppers album release party in the Big Apple. Just to name a few.
Because of food, I cooked for and met Eric Clapton and Phil Collins in Milan.
In San Francisco, I cooked breakfast for and met Eddie Vedder. I made a birthday cake for Neil Young. And I even drove around town at midnight to buy fried chicken for Bruce Springsteen.
At the end of the day, even the great musicians of our time like to eat.
I believe there are a lot of similarities between cooking and playing music. In both occupations, there is always something to learn, and it can take a lifetime to master either of the crafts. Every chef is looking for his or her own “Stairway to Heaven” kind of dish. It’s that signature dish that you jam to, any chance possible. Everyone wants a copy of it. This is culinary magic that you are truly known for.
I think that menus are just like albums as well. Every chef tries to have that “Thriller” menu.
(Unfortunately, some menus resemble Englebert Humperdinck albums. Try to name some of his songs!)
At the end of the day, everyone enjoys a great meal, a great album, a great concert, or even a great bowl of pasta.
So rock on and feed your face.