Edible Cleveland Winter 2013 : Page 8

EDIBLE NOTABLE DINNER IN THE DARK TURNS 2 is after work in a bar, after we’ve worked 16 hours and we don’t want to talk about food,” says Okin. “This idea got six or seven chefs into the same kitchen, sharing ideas.” In addition, Okin sees Dinner in the Dark as a way to thank the community for their support of Cleveland restaurants. “It’s hard for independent restaurants to survive,” says Okin. “But there are a lot of people who do their best and try to stay away from chain restaurants. So we want to give back to the community that supports us.” After taking the month of November off from Dinner in the Dark dinners will resume in December, with new ideas ideas in the works to make sure that Dinner in the Dark continues to evolve. “We’re looking at other public venues instead of just res-taurants,” says Okin. “We have one pretty much secured for February!” He laughs. “But I can’t tell you what it is. It’s kind of part of the element of surprise.” To learn more visit DinnerInTheDarkCleveland.com. —Liv Combe W hen Brian Okin first approached fellow Cleveland chef Jeff Jarrett with the idea for Dinner in the Dark in October 2010, the duo never thought that they would make it this far. “Quite honestly, we thought it would just be one and done,” says Okin. Now Okin, executive chef at Luxe Kitchen & Lounge, and Jarrett, executive chef of AMP 150, just celebrated their two-year anniversary, and are in the midst of turning Dinner in the Dark into a non-profit organization. A typical dinner goes something like this: Guests buy tickets in advance, but aren’t told what they will be eating or who will be making it, effectively keeping them “in the dark” until the moment they sit down and drape a napkin across their lap. Okin and Jarrett recruit local chefs to each prepare one of the six featured courses for the 60 to 90 guests attending. Ticket proceeds go to a local charity decided upon by the par-ticipating chefs. So far, Dinner in the Dark has donated to 16 different organizations. Though they don’t get paid, chefs gain something uniquely valuable: the chance to collaborate with chefs they would other-wise have trouble finding opportunities to work with. “We’re all so busy that the only time we ever get together A TASTY CENTENNIAL LIMITED EDITION Every great party needs a specialty cocktail, so when the folks at the West Side Market started planning their Centennial Gala, they turned to their neighbors for the perfect drink. Butcher’s Brew was the brainchild of Pat Conway, one of the two Conway brothers who founded Great Lakes Brewery. The beer was developed to reflect the broad swath of Cleveland’s cul-tural history represented by the vendors and cuisine of the West Side Market. “The food aspect was a big part of our process,” said Luke Purcell, a brewer with 17 years at Great Lakes. “The malty profile covers a lot of ground—from spicy food to sweet food.” This Kulmbacher-style lager is a traditional and straightforward lager, slightly milder than the GLBC’s Eliot Ness Lager. The 22-ounce specially designed bottles of Butcher’s Brew were given to guests at the West Side Market’s 100 Year Anniver-sary Gala in October. Tempted to taste this latest new brew? Stop by the Great Lakes Brewery pub located on Market Avenue in Ohio City to see if you can grab a pint while it’s still on tap. And 8 edible cleveland Winter 2013 if you miss it, don’t fret: You still can enjoy a tasty specialty beer. Just ask for a pour of Great Lakes’ most popular limited-edition seasonal brew—Christmas Ale—and raise your glass to the next 100 years of the West Side Market. —Graham Vesey Photos: Tom Noe (chefs); Laura Watilo Blake (brewing)

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