We’re Crushing it

Why we Recycle 80,000 Pounds of Glass Each year

 

Because so much of our restaurant’s food and beverages come in glass, we generate a lot of waste with glass bottles: About 80,000 pounds annually, which is roughly the equivalent of 13 average-sized adult elephants!

With our commitment to the environment and a sustainable planet, we didn’t want to throw so much waste in the trash, especially when it’s recyclable.

But because of an awkward trash pick-up station below our building, the City of Cleveland’s recycling truck couldn’t maneuver inside to haul and crush our glass on site. And most private recycling companies require glass to be crushed before they will collect it for recycling.

So we had to find another solution.

We considered crushing our glass on site, but that wasn’t feasible because we didn’t have a glass crusher and buying one was not a reasonable option.

Fortunately, we found Recycle Midwest, a Northeast Ohio company that would collect our uncrushed glass.

Adding this service continues our commitment to sustainability and working to be a leader for commercial – and especially restaurant – recycling in downtown Cleveland. Now that we have created a route for these recycling companies to come downtown, we hope it sparks others to recycle their glass and helps push down the cost as more restaurants participate.

Part of being a sustainable restaurant is taking care of the land and community in which we operate. We consider one of our social responsibilities to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfills as much as we can.

While recycling is important, reduction of waste is even more important. Through this glass recycling process, we’ve become more proactive by eliminating certain products that have excessive packaging. By eliminating the waste in the first place, we’re helping the planet, too.

Like many people in our community, we care about this issue and want to be part of the solution. We believe we’re crushing it!

 

Whiskey Takes Flight

Whiskey Takes Flight

Have you sampled our new whiskey flight? If not, you should land yourself a seat soon to enjoy these five signature bourbons!

 

We’ve partnered with some of our favorite distilleries to create a sampling of single barrel whiskey selections that are exclusive to Urban Farmer.  The flight includes Knock Creek Single Barrel, Cleveland Underground Honey Locust & Hickory, 1792 Single Barrel (full proof), Maker’s Mark Private Select and Eagle Rare Single Barrel Select. The flight lands with an immediate wow factor once served, thanks to the custom reclaimed wood board made by 2 Sails Woodworks.

 

As the flight and presentation concept were crafted by General Manager, Andy Hata, we asked him to share a bit more about the new whiskey flight and what makes it unique.

 

Which distilleries did you partner with and why?

 

Manager Andy: We partnered with Cleveland Whiskey because they are local, but also because they have a unique process that accelerates the maturation of the whiskey. In this process they are able to use unique woods that would otherwise not be used to age spirits. In our case, we decided to incorporate Honey Locust, a tree that is indigenous to Ohio. The Kentucky Bourbons were all single barrel selections. Meaning we, as an Urban Farmer team,  selected a specific barrel from the distillery because we liked the notes of that particular barrel. It was a great educational experience for members of our team to taste the different nuisances from barrel to barrel, as well as seeing the bourbon making process first-hand in Kentucky.

 

What can guests expect when they order and taste the flight?

 

Manager Andy: The flight covers quite a broad range of styles. The Cleveland Whiskey blend, because of the unique woods, offers a very delicate and different profile than traditional bourbons. Then you have single barrel expressions from your major brands such as Eagle Rare, Knob Creek, and Maker’s Mark. I think the highlight piece, however, is the 1792. It is the only selection in the flight that’s bottled at barrel strength. This means you get to taste all of the bold and amazing flavors of the whiskey we selected, without it being diluted to the standard 40% ABV.

 

What makes a good whiskey?

 

Manager Andy: I think this is personal to each person. Just like any food or beverage, “good” is defined by the person enjoying it and the situation. “Good whiskey” is the one that YOU enjoy.  In general though, good whiskey starts with good ingredients (water, grain, and great wood for aging). The distiller then has to find a balance of bold malty, spicy, smoky flavors and subtle smoothness and roundness on the palate.

 

Tell us more about the reclaimed wood flight boards and how you found the maker.

 

Manager Andy:  Sean Kubovcik from 2 Sails Woodworks is someone we’ve been working with for a couple of years now. He’s worked with us on numerous projects and always does an amazing job. We like working with Sean because he’s local, but also shares the same philosophies that we do. He makes sure that his work isn’t negatively impacting the environment and makes sure that everything that he works with is naturally fallen or reclaimed. We just gave him the idea and he just went with it. The design and everything came from him.

 

To learn more about our cocktail and beverage program please visit our drink menu. Better yet, we suggest you pull up a seat, enjoy a flight or signature cocktail and chat with our bartender! We’ve got lots of interesting cocktails and insight to share.

 

Cheers!

 

In The Kitchen With Kara: Mastering Macarons

Urban Farmer, Cleveland’s Steakhouse, Cleveland, OH

In The Kitchen With Kara: Mastering Macarons

As we have recently hosted Macaron Masterclass at Urban Farmer, we thought it would be a good time to get to know the Master behind our macarons, and all things pastry – Chef Kara Swortchek.

 

In case you missed hearing about it, or attending, Macaron Masterclass provided attendees the opportunity to join Chef Kara, at Urban Farmer, to learn the art of making French macaron shells and buttercream filling. The hands-on experience included assembling macarons, enjoying samples prepared by Chef Kara, and macarons to take home, as well. The first class was held February 24th and, due to popular demand, a second class was scheduled for March 3rd.   It seems that everyone loves macarons! And on that note, we asked Pastry Chef Kara for her insight on the delicate treats and a bit about herself in a recent “interview.”

Why are macarons so popular?

Chef Kara: They’re an appealing treat from multiple aspects for a multitude of people. They’re pretty to look at, are adaptable to many flavor combinations, and in their original form, one of the only desserts to be naturally gluten-free

 

How does macaron-making compare to say cookie, pie or cake baking?

Chef Kara:  Macarons require patience and can be intimidating because they are susceptible to mistakes in time and handling. Once you know the pitfalls and how to set yourself up for success, they can be a lot of fun to make.

 

What makes a good macaron?

Chef Kara:  A great macaron is crisp on the outside, with a smooth shell, and chewy on the inside, with a flavorful filling.

 

What flavors are popular now?

Chef Kara:  The classic flavors are always in style, like Pistachio, Lemon, and Salted Caramel. And, there are more adventurous flavors like Hot pepper, Honey lavender, and Lychee.

What can attendees look forward to in your macaron classes?

Chef Kara:  Guests will learn what not to do when making a batch of French macarons, where they could be going wrong, and how to fix their mistakes when possible.

 

How did you become a pastry chef?

Chef Kara:  When I was little, I always told my Mom that I was going to be a “Cooker” when I grew up. I started out in the industry as a short-order cook, working in mom & pop places (I can sling eggs with the best of them).  I attended the local vocational school (Lorain County JVS) learning Culinary Arts and chose to pursue a degree in Baking in Pastry Arts when I left for college. I attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI on a FCCLA (Family, Career, Community Leaders of America) Scholarship and attained a Bachelor’s degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, with a concentration in Leadership. I’ve worked in multiple applications of the industry – from a truck stop, to a hospital, to a luxury resort. I’ve lived in five states and worked my way from an intern, to a pastry cook until I finally got my first Pastry Chef position, a few years out of college.

What is your favorite dessert to eat?

Chef Kara:  Ice cream sandwiches. I could eat them every day.

 

What is your day to day like?

Chef Kara:  I spend my days strategizing and organizing with my team, handing out prep work, and keeping up with costing, ordering and inventory. I also come up with ideas to incorporate new techniques, attend necessary meetings, and help my staff with any issues that may arise.

What led you to Urban Farmer?

Chef Kara:  I started at Urban Farmer as a pastry cook.   I had only been looking for a part time position and I really liked the concept, specifically working with locally sourced products. It’s rare to find places that make their own breads and desserts anymore, let alone a place that believes in sustainability. It turned into a great match for me, and I was promoted to pastry chef within the first year.

To learn more about Urban Farmer classes and the team, please follow us on Facebook.

For those who attended Macaron Masterclass, we hope you are practicing the skills you learned at home! Please share photos of your macaron creations on Instagram by tagging #ufmacaron so we can see your progre

        

Find Us in February

Urban Farmer, Cleveland’s Steakhouse, Cleveland, OH

Find Us in February

Urban Farmer will be about town this month and we hope to see you!

With the start of a new year, we are excited to offer opportunities for you to experience Urban Farmer in new ways and the chance for us to support our community.  This month, we will be participating in Donut Fest and Passport to Cleveland, as well as hosting a macaron class.

Maybe you have enjoyed our steaks or lunch in the past but you haven’t tried our brunch, enjoyed our appetizers, or attended a class. This month is for you!

On February 10th Urban Farmer will be participating in Donut Fest Cleveland. This is the second year for this sellout event and we are excited to be a part of it. Join us, along with the best bakers and finest coffee purveyors in Cleveland, at RED SPACE for the best donuts and joe samples. Pastry Chef Kara has some exciting donut creations in the works that you won’t want to miss.

On February 23rd we’ll participating in the CLEseats Passport to Cleveland, at Lago Events.  Urban Farmer, along with over 20 local restaurants, will be providing samples and a great start to the weekend. Not only will you have a chance to try one of Chef Vishu’s delicious appetizers; there will be live music from the Big Bang Dueling Pianos!

Last, but not least, we’ll be hosting Macaron Masterclass with Pastry Chef Kara Swortchek on February 24th at Urban Farmer.  Participants will learn the art of making French macaron shells and buttercream filling during this fun hands-on experience. During class, attendees will make and assemble macarons, enjoy samples prepared by Chef Kara and also get to take macarons home to enjoy!

We hope to see you at some of these exciting events and look forward to sharing more with our Cleveland community.

“Hot” List

Guess What’s On Our “Hot” List for the 2018 Arctic Winter?

Just in time for the cold and snow, we’re warming up guests with our hot coffee cocktail this winter. It’s so hot that the drink literally goes up in flames as we prepare it for you table-side.

Called a “Café Cleveland,” this dessert drink features locally produced “high-proof” vodka from our friends at Watershed Distillery in Columbus. We add walnut nocino – a dark brown liqueur – contreau, kahlua and la colombe coffee.

The Watershed vodka is made from locally sourced apples and corns, keeping to our farm to table philosophy. We add a dollop or two of homemade whipped cream and sprinkle on some cinnamon to finish it off.

Drink it by itself or pair it with our eight-layer chocolate torte or cookie butter cheesecake.

It’s our “hot” gift to you this chilly season.

Dinner In The Dark

Urban Farmer, Cleveland’s Steakhouse

The lights will be on, but the menu is in the dark until you are served!

That’s right; you won’t know who will be cooking or what they’ll be serving until you attend this unique dining experience at Urban Farmer Cleveland on August 14th.

 

That evening, Executive Chef Vishu Nath and a handful of the best local chefs will join together to create a six course dinner that is sure to surprise and delight you. Each chef will create a course of their choice. Instead of using rules or themes, each course will provide an opportunity for the featured chef to display their creativity and engage your senses as they are inspired. In other words, the chef at your favorite Italian restaurant may surprise you with your new favorite Asian entrée at this event. You wouldn’t want to miss that, now would you?!

 

We’ll be keeping you ‘In The Dark’ as the participating chefs and menu won’t be revealed until you arrive. However, we can share that in addition to six courses of culinary surprises, you will also enjoy carefully selected wine or artisanal cocktails with each course. And most importantly, we want you to know that proceeds from the event will benefit The Refugee Response, a local partner that we greatly value and chose to support for this event.

 

So what’s the 2.0 about? Well, this is the second time Urban Farmer has hosted a Dinner In The Dark event. While it may be 2.0, we are just as excited as the first in 2016 (maybe even more) and look forward to hosting new guests, new chefs and maybe a few returning.

 

We hope you’ll join us for this exciting evening of passion and compassion!

 

Reservations:

Dinner In The Dark

Monday, August 14 at 6:30 PM – 10 PM

Urban Farmer Cleveland

$65.00 PER PERSON, PLUS TAX AND GRATUITY ($86.99 total)

Tickets by Eventbrite – http://bit.ly/2vrtq2a

 

More About Refugee Response:

The Refugee Response was founded in 2009 by two local Clevelanders, Mr. Paul Neundorfer and Mr. David Wallis. In 2010 ground was broken on the Ohio City Farm in Cleveland’s Historic West Side and the Refugee Response began to recruit mentors to support refugee students, established the REAP employment training program and began to sell organically farmed fresh produce to some of Cleveland’s best restaurants, including Urban Farmer.

Now the Refugee Response supports over 60 refugees each year, provides opportunities for hundreds of Clevelanders to mentor and volunteer and supports over 20% of the annual budget from farm sales.
To learn more about Dinner In The Dark, visit: www.dinnerinthedarkcleveland.com

 

Our Very Own Signature Bourbon

 

Our General Manager Andy and our Executive Chef Vishu, took a road trip to Kentucky this week to find our very own signature bourbon. They spent time at Barton Distillery, located in; Bardstown, KY, receiving a tour of how bourbon is made in their facility. Based on our pictures below, we can tell they really enjoyed themselves! But what does that mean for Urban Farmer’s beverage program? While Andy and Vishu were down there, they hand selected bourbons that will be featured at our bar, or table side. Although we do enjoy finding places as close to home as possible, we think it will be fun for our guests to enjoy some Kentucky Bourbon too!

Curious how Bourbon came to be in Kentucky? It began in the 1700s with the first settlers of Kentucky. Like most farmers and frontiersmen, they found that getting crops to market over narrow trails and steep mountains was a daunting task. They soon learned that converting corn and other grains to whiskey made them easily transportable, prevented the excess grain from simply rotting, and gave them some welcome diversion from the rough life of the frontier. Since then, generations of Kentuckians have continued the heritage and time-honored tradition of making fine Bourbon, unchanged from the process used by their ancestor’s centuries before. So how did it get the name Bourbon? Well, one of Kentucky’s original counties was Bourbon County, established in 1785 when Kentucky was still part of Virginia. Farmers shipped their whiskey in oak barrels — stamped from Bourbon County — down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. The long trip aged the whiskey, with the oak wood giving it the distinct mellow flavor and amber color. Pretty soon, whiskey from Bourbon County grew in popularity and became known as Bourbon whiskey. In 1964, Congress officially recognized Bourbon’s place in our history — and our future — by declaring it a distinctive product of the United States. (kybourbontrail.com)

You can check out the distillery Andy and Vishu visited here: http://www.1792bourbon.com/distillery. We’re very excited to be offering a hand selected bourbon exlcusivley for Urban Farmer in our restaurant and please feel free to share your experiences on our social media accounts.

 

Urban Farmer Is Holding A Bake Sale

As the cool weather inspires warm fuzzy feelings and holiday spirit, Urban Farmer Cleveland is gearing up to make the holidays a little warmer for some of our neighbors. We are holding another Bake Sale to benefit The Refugee Response here in Cleveland. The Pastry team is busily making many incredible treats to entice the locals to stock up their pantries for a good cause. One of the students from the organization, who was with us for the last Bake Sale will actually be gaining his citizenship on the day of the 3rd Bake Sale, which is very exciting for everyone. It takes the students several years to acclimate and gain citizenship, so we will be warmly congratulating him on his accomplishment as we continue to raise money for the organization that made it all possible.

Bake a Difference

Bake a Difference

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we all have the act of giving on our minds. Urban Farmer is no different! We are very excited to announce that we will be partnering with Share Our Strength in their Bake Sale project supporting their No Kid Hungry campaign. On November 26th, Urban Farmer will host a bake sale from 9am until 2pm and all proceeds will benefit this great cause. We will have a variety of specialty pastries baked by our Pastry Chef, Jodie Chavious, for you to take home to your friends and family on Thanksgiving. If you are not able to visit the bake sale, you can still help support this great cause by donating on our bake sale’s webpage http://join.nokidhungry.org/goto/urbanfarmercle. Together we can bake a difference!