New work: Portrait of an artist.

In 2015, we began publishing Last Word in Edible Ohio Valley magazine, the very back editorial page of the magazine featuring a Q&A with notable Ohio Valley people. It’s one of my favorite elements of each issue, and one of my favorite things to write. I love these interviews and the opportunity they afford me to meet interesting people and ask them interesting questions.

Our first Last Word subject was Jim Tarbell, who many people call “Mr. Cincinnati” for his roll-up-your sleeves investment in the city. I’ve spoken with arts figures including Cameron Kitchin of the Cincinnati Art Museum and Victoria Morgan of the Cincinnati Ballet. Former Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. Musicians Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of Over-the-Rhine.

My conversation late last summer with 93-year-old wildlife artist John Ruthven may have been my favorite. Read this, and you might imagine why I fell so in love with this talented man (photographer Michael Wilson told me he did, too), who’s considered the “Modern Audubon.” When I visited his home studio, he had four works in progress, and was looking forward to a duck hunt with friends the following week.

New Work: Cincinnati Visitor Guide 2017

So, the assignment was to write about 5 iconic dishes from across Greater Cincinnati. Not fancy food, necessarily. Not things we’re 100% known for, like goetta or chili or Graeter’s ice cream. But dishes that if you’re a newcomer to the city, and you’re hopping around to the city’s distinctive neighborhoods, that you’d most definitely not want to miss.

Like a Zip Burger. This family-friendly little joint in my neighborhood dishes up arguably Cincinnati’s finest burger: a super high-quality beef patty ground to order, cooked on a flat-top and served on a soft bakery bun.

Hard work, right? I know.

Check out my profile of 5 Hot Dishes in Cincinnati’s booming food scene, part of the 2017 Cincinnati USA Visitor Guide.

2016: A (writing) year in review.

Globally speaking, I’m beyond ready for 2016 to beat a hasty retreat. Seriously.

Professionally, though, I’m still marveling at what a great year it was. Seriously.

I was fortunate to collaborate with a number of longstanding and new clients, broadening and deepening my portfolio of writing about food and wellness. My work fell evenly into two camps: writing for publication and online marketing content. The subjects were inspiring, the teams fun to work with, the finished projects stuff I’m proud of. A few high points:

A visit to one of my top clients. After working together — closely, on lots and lots of projects — for two years, I traveled to connect in person with my colleagues at the Produce Marketing Association. We’ve worked together to promote dozens of global events for growers/suppliers/retailers in the fresh produce and floral industry. It was so neat to meet the PMA team face-to-face. And 2017 looks to hold even greater collaboration.

Giving life to local food coverage. Call me old-fashioned, but I still love reading the local newspaper over my morning coffee. And my recipe file is full of old clippings from newspapers’ food sections. So when editor Amy Wilson asked if I’d regularly contribute to the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s weekly food coverage, I jumped at the chance. I got to write about the pleasures of eating breakfast for dinner, shared delicious ways to enjoy summer tomatoes, and declared that making your own butter is just about the best thing ever. Coolest encounter of the year: Running into an Enquirer reader, toting my recipe for herb and spice cashews that she’d cut from the paper, as she was buying the nuts at Dean’s Mediterranean Market. Local food — and local media — for the win!

Tackling a new medium: recipe videos. You know those 1-minute recipe videos you see in your Facebook feed all the time? Turns out, those take about 2 hours to film and are a whole lot of fun to create. Working with Curiosity Advertising and their client, The Christ Hospital, we’re rolling out a series of quick recipe videos.

Supporting local food producers, farmers and retailers. Serving as editor of Edible Ohio Valley remains a passion and pleasure, as we get to tell the stories of people who are working hard to bring beautiful, healthful food to our tables here in Cincinnati. One of my favorite stories to write this year was a feature on farmers’ markets and their importance to our community, economy and our collective health.

Here’s hoping you had a productive and fulfilling 2016, and that 2017 will bring you more of the same!


New work: Christ Hospital wellness site.

My food writing work hits the sweet spot when the subject intersects at healthy and local. So my new collaboration with The Christ Hospital and agency Curiosity Advertising is right in my kitchen, so to speak.

We’re working together to spotlight local food — producers, farmers’ markets, seasonal flavors — and encouraging the Christ Hospital community to cook and eat healthful foods. In addition to a new series of recipe videos — SUPER FUN! — I am writing online content around healthy cooking and eating. My subjects so far include a feature on local winter farmers’ markets, strategies for stocking your pantry to make home cooking easier, and ‘locavore’ New Years Eve party ideas. Take a look at some of the work:

New Work: recipe videos.

I’ve just launched a cool new collaboration with the creative team from Curiosity Advertising and their client, The Christ Hospital. We’re working to develop friendly, approachable stories and videos that encourage people in the Greater Cincinnati area to cook healthfully, love local food and pursue their wellness goals.

First up: a video demonstrating how to make an easy recipe for roasted fall vegetables. Click the image below to see the video!



Recent work: Mohawk Maker Quarterly

Writers truly geek out when their work is published — even more so when their work is presented in glorious, beautifully designed fashion. I’m lucky. I get to work with creative people who turn my words into really cool printed pieces.

For more than a year, I’ve been collaborating with the insanely talented people at Hybrid Design in San Francisco on a covetable quarterly publication that celebrates creativity, artistry and the maker culture. Mohawk Paper produces the Mohawk Maker Quarterly for its audience of printers, creators and designers. Here’s a look at Issue No. 7, which carries a theme of Character:



New work: Healthy Living News for Meijer

I recently wrapped up work on a campaign for Meijer called Healthy Living News: I contributed content about wellness, healthy foods and lifestyle tips to this in-store consumer magazine. Working with the creative team at IN Marketing Services, we created four bimonthly publications of about 20 pages each. Take a look!

Meijer HLN SO cover

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Now available for preorder: The Findlay Market Cookbook.

Findlay Market cooking demoOver the weekend, I did a little cooking demonstration featuring recipes from the upcoming “The Findlay Market Cookbook.” It’s finally on its way to the printer this week, with an expected delivery at the end of October. The book is now available for preorder online, and a launch party is in the works. Now comes the (fun) work of promoting the book to spark sales.

Promo for The Findlay Market Cookbook.

I was super excited to see the first promotion of “The Findlay Market Cookbook” over the weekend at the Ohio Valley Greenmarket event sponsored by Edible Ohio Valley magazine. Karen Kahle of Findlay Market was there telling folks about the market and its great programs, and she had a display that promoted my forthcoming book. I haven’t (yet) seen a cover design or interior pages, but seeing this promotion started to bring the project to life for me.

The Findlay Market Cookbook promo

Cookbook feedback: It’s all good.

I was thrilled to get a note today from my publisher, Michael Turback of Farm Fresh Books, with feedback on my manuscript for “The Findlay Market Cookbook.”

I am delighted to report that editing has been completed, and your manuscript is now in the hands of the designer. Having done this a few times myself, I know what it takes to put it all together. The stories are interesting. The recipes are wide-ranging and home kitchen friendly.  And you’ve truly captured the essence of Findlay Market. I am confident your effort will be applauded and rewarded.

So, what occurred in the editing? Spelling and grammar were nearly perfect throughout (thank you!). A few vendor stories were tweaked for clarification.  Some headnotes repeated information already included in the stories, and a few others seem to need a bit more to say about a particular ingredient. Those changes were made, along with embellishing a dozen or so recipe names in the spirit of fun. Thanks again for making my job so easy.