The first group is Patrick Testa and the folks at WOSU. They have an annual fundraiser, Chefs in the City, that brings some of the top chefs in the world to Columbus. A few years ago, we suggested adding a quick meet-and-greet and book signing for folks who wanted to meet these chefs but couldn’t attend the fundraiser. The WOSU folks agreed, and a collaboration was born: they provide the chef, we provide some food for the people in line, and the first 50 people to sign up get in for free.
They didn’t have to do this. But they do, and it’s pretty cool.
This year’s guest chef is Chef Hubert Keller, familiar to West Coasters as the talent behind Fleur de Lys in San Francisco, to TV viewers as the handsome chef with the flowing grey hair on Top Chef Masters, and to backyard cooks as the author of Burger Bar: Build Your Own Ultimate Burgers. Chef Keller will be at the WOSU Studios at COSI on Wednesday, May 2, from 12:30-2:00 p.m. to chat with people and sign books.
The other awesome person who prompted me to write this post is Jennie Scheinbach, proprietor of Pattycake Bakery. When I asked Jennie whether she wanted to partner with us for this event, she said, “Sure!” (Keep in mind that Chef Keller started as a pastry chef.) When I suggested making something from Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, she agreed immediately. We got her some pawpaw—a local banana-like fruit—from Chris Chmiel, the local pawpaw king at Integration Acres (Chris, who shipped same-day when we called him? Also awesome) and she started experimenting. When last I heard, she was angling toward a peanut butter whoopie pie with pawpaw filling… which sounds pretty delicious.
Finally, when we asked Jennie what the bill would be, she just said, “Well, you got the pawpaw, so the rest is on us.” That’s 50 whoopie pies, folks. For free. That’s Jennie. And she’s really awesome.
What does this mean for you? It means that the WOSU folks are letting you sit in a room and talk with a world-famous chef, and Jennie is baking you whoopie pies for a post-lunch treat, and all of these things are free. We suggest you do it (sign up here; they actually need to charge you to add you to their signup system, but it only costs a penny).
I hope we’ll see you there.