Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Commissary

I recently had dinner at a new kitchen in Columbus. The Commissary isn't a restaurant but a food gathering place for the community. Food entrepreneurs can get help starting a business, established food businesses can access prep/storage space and test new concepts, and the public can meet for classes, events and food conversations.

My invitation came as a result of my contribution to The Commissary's Kickstarter campaign. The community helped build the space and donors were the first people to see it. In addition to a certified, commercial kitchen, The Commissary houses a dairy processing room, home-base for food trucks, a library and a hosting/event space.

The evening included a tasty four-course Korean/Mexican infusion meal prepared by Chef Laura Lee, owner of Ajumama food truck. I'm always interested in conversations around the production and preparation of food and some of the best discussions I've had happened over a meal with people I just met. The talk at our table of seven included everything from which restaurants offer the best biscuits to challenges of home cooking to antibiotic use in livestock populations.

I learned a few things, tried some food I've never eaten before and talked with new friends about growing a local food culture. It was a good night.

The Commissary recognizes it's supporters with a wall of wooden spoons. I'm famous!

The commercial kitchen.

The Commissary walls are decorated with food murals compliments of local artists.

The meal included a sampling of tacos: Left to right, Korean al Pastore (pork),
Wild Sesame Barbacoa (goat) and King Trumpet Mushroom including huitlacoche,
known as corn smut in ag circles. I'd never eaten the fungus and found it to have an earthy
 corn flavor. That's right farmers, corn smut is a delicacy!

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