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Did Columbus’ culinary skills meet Bobby Flay’s standard?

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Watch Cameron Mitchell’s Ian Rough take him on tonight

Photo provided by Belle Communications.

One of the more satisfying feelings of doing a weekend binge-watching of the Food Network Channel is when a Beat Bobby Flay mini-marathon comes on and an unsuspecting chef walks into his kitchen and roasts him. 

That’s because Bobby Flay only wants to go up against the best, even if it means putting his pride and name on the line. In order to make the show as entertaining and competitive as possible, the producers will reach out to trending restaurants and see if they have it in them to take down the cocky Flay. The restaurants will then get in contact with some of their top chefs to have them apply for a shot at Flay.

Ian Rough, a Columbus resident and corporate chef for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and Ocean Prime, became the most recent Buckeye citizen to have a chance to take on Flay. He got his chance in April of 2019, and Rough’s episode of Beat Bobby Flay–dubbed “Go Nuts!”–recently aired on June 15.

“I know you can’t really prepare necessarily for that first round where you don’t know what you’re going to get, what you mystery item is going to be exactly, but you get some ideas in your head of what you want to do so that when something comes up, you got something you could to go to,” Rough said.

In the first round, Rough competed against California ranch chef Anthony Endy. Christmas Cookie Challenge pals Ree Drummond and Eddie Jackson were the judges on the third episode of the 25th season. 

The mystery item happened to be walnuts, and Rough used his 20 minutes to make a candied walnut salad with a walnut pesto vinaigrette. Although Rough didn’t advance, the judges did praise the creativity of his candied walnuts.

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Flay may have been in trouble if Rough did make it past the first round. Even though there’s no 100 percent preparation for a mystery ingredient, Rough perfected his beef stroganoff in the days and weeks leading up to the competition.

Rough was no stranger to food competitions, however. He’s competed in a handful before and also helped coach a culinary team at Columbus State to nationals.

The experience–getting to be on a game show and have his wife and kids in the announced be teased by Flay–was fun for Rough and even impressed him how much the restaurant experience was replicated on the show.


“How that all came together and the communication throughout everything and the orchestrating and the organization of everything, really it’s a lot of what we do in restaurants too…That communication between them and all being on the same page of what the goal is is very important. They did a very good job of doing that and they’re very fast-paced in that production world.”

Ian Rough, corporate chef for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and Ocean Prime

The show will be re-airing tonight on the Food Network at 8 p.m. and again in the early morning on Friday at 3 a.m. for all you night owls.

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Rye In July: The Ward 8

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We partnered with Brown-Forman, Jack Daniels Rye Whiskey, and local bartender Ben Griest from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to bring a fun twist to your summer cocktails. Rye in July is your go-to weekly drink feature to make while stuck at home for ideas of cocktails. We are featuring The Ward 8 in today's video! This thirst-quenching, summer-ready fresh cocktail is what you need on a hot day like today!

The Ward 8

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Barrels, get your whiskey barrels here!

Julian Foglietti

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Middle West Spirits has just announced a new sale program to unload their growing surplus of whiskey barrels. Barrels will be available for pickup and sale from their warehouse, 470 E. Starr Ave., Sat., July 18,  8 a.m. to noon.

Middle West will sell 30-gallon and 53-gallon barrels for $50 and $75 respectively. You may also pick up barrel staves for $3. 

The barrels for sale were used for either bourbon, rye, or wheat whiskey, and the barrel type can be specified upon purchase. 

Whiskey barrels, and bourbon barrels, in particular, have a long history of reuse in spirit aging internationally. This is a wonderful opportunity for home distillers to snag a barrel for their own experimentation. 

And if your skills lie outside of the world of homebrewing, there are more than enough craft possibilities in one of these recycled barrels.. With projects ranging from bars, to chairs and tables, the DIY-er will have endless options for creativity. 

Barrels will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and can also be reserved by emailing the barrel size and whiskey type to [email protected]

Barrel Bar

Barrel Chair

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Westerville’s Wine Bistro has a new name—reopens Thursday with makeover

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Even though City Brands announced that the Wine Bistro in Worthington wouldn’t be returning, there were initial rumors that the Westerville location also wouldn’t be making a comeback.

Original reports were wrong, and City Brands announced the return of the Westerville Wine Bistro, 925 N. State St.,on July 9 after a light remodel. You can find the (614) report on the City Brands reopenings and closings here.

The remodeling isn’t the only thing that’s going to be new about the Wine Bistro in Westerville, though. Or as we should we say now, NAPA Kitchen + Bar. With locations  in Westerville, Dublin, and Montgomery, Ohio,  NAPA Kitchen + Bar is a sister concept to The Wine Bistro.

“We feel the NAPA Kitchen + Bar concept will really appeal to a wide range of guests in Westerville. We wanted to undertake this conversion for quite a while but never found the right time to close down for the renovations,” Tim Rollins, President of The Metropolitan Companies and owner of NAPA kitchen + bar, said in a press release on Thursday.

The restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m.

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