Findlay Market Launches Pop-up dinner in Support of Cincinnati 2016 Bockfest
Cincinnati’s 24th annual Bockfest™ will take place the weekend of March 4th– 6th. It begins with a parade on Friday starting at Arnold’s Bar and Grill, and ends at Bockfest™ Hall at the Christian Moerlein Brewery. Here the first keg is blessed, and Bockfest™ officially begins. (Bockfest™ website http://www.bockfest.com/about-us/)
What is bock beer anyway? — Around 700 years ago, German monks in the town of Einbeck developed a nutritious, malty, dark, high alcohol beer to help sustain them during the Lenten season, an intense period of fasting. This style beer was adopted by brewers in Bavaria where the local dialect corrupted Einbeck to Einbock (the German word for Billy Goat). Hence we have Bock beer symbolized on labels and at festivals by a goat. Cincinnati’s Bockfest™ goat this year and the last four years is Schnitzel who resides in Northern Kentucky.
On Thursday, February 25th, Findlay Market led the way for the beginning of the 2016 Cincinnati Bockfest™ with the first Market sponsored pre-Bockfest pop-up dinner. The dinner was provided by some of the most notable Findlay Market vendors. They produced excellent theme related dishes that were served at Jeannette Werle’s Cake Rack Bakery on the south side of the Market.
Maverick Chocolate’s owners Paul and Marlene Picton were eager to create new culinary delights when asked to participate in the pop-up dinner. Their business, now open a year and a half at the Market, is gaining a reputation for outstanding truffles. The excellent truffles they created for the dinner were based on some previous experiments with beer truffles.
Marlene said, “Christian Moerlein’s Emancipator Dopplebock beer was added to the ganache and also to the praline pretzel coating.” “An active role within Findlay Market is a key part of the Maverick business model” said Paul. Relatively new to the community, they believe it’s important to actively participate.
Debbie Gannaway, owner of Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen has been involved in Bockfest for the last seven or eight years. Debbie started making bockloaf about five years ago.
A pork meatloaf seasoned like a bockwurst sausage with the addition of bock beer, which, said Debbie “could be called a Dopplebock Loaf”. Debbie serves the bockloaf with grilled onions, mustard and sauerkraut. This was accompanied by two delicious sides, a bacon kraut slaw and a bacon, corn, potato salad. A wonderful dish like this served in a festive atmosphere can add a whole new dimension to the relationship of Findlay Market vendors and their customers, promoting the values of friends and family beyond those of seller and buyer.
A pair of bookend courses came from the same location, Madison’s Market. Sarah Dworak and Iwona Przybysz’s of Babushka served up a tender warm pierogie starter. Matt Madison, the son of Bryan and Carolyn Madison brought a creamy bock beer gelato dessert from his Madisono Gelato venture that specializes in seasonal and exotic flavors.
That bock beer gelato was certainly a winner. Both the pierogie and gelato treats are available from the Madison’s Market location. Bryan said he and his family “are pleased to participate in this initial pop-up dinner and hope it leads to more successful events that bring Findlay Market customers and vendors together”.
A team of Findlay Market volunteers and staff set the tone for a very pleasant evening and provided excellent service greatly contributing to the success of the pop-up dinner. That team was captained by Kelly Lanser, Events and Promotions Manager, a three-year veteran with Findlay Market. Kelly also coordinated the participation of the vendors
The team at Findlay Market launched an innovative concept with this pop-up dinner. The vendors and staff and all those who attended the event deserve a big thumbs-up for a job well done as Findlay Market pioneers.
John Connors Cincinnati Freelance Food Writer