Off the Hook!

Off the Hook!

Off the Hook is a culinary event focused around sustainable fish from the sea, local aquaculture, and seafood vegetables. 

We arrived on the scene and the place was alive with people moving totes full of equipment and fresh ingredients in through the loading dock of the Newport Aquarium. Chefs excitedly greeted one another as they and their small entourages started setting up shop at the multitude of stations popping up in various different parts of the aquarium. As start time drew near, we made our way to the VIP area where we came across the likes of Justin Dean and the Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey crew doing their own prep work. Bob Perry (Chef in residence at UK) was shaving thin slices of dry aged ham from an heirloom hog, and serving it alongside other cuts of charcuterie from the same breed, with a few pickled veggies. Meanwhile the event staff was serving Mad Tree beers, vino from Old 502 Winery, + the Biltmore Estate, and spirits from Boone County, New Riff, + The Neeley Family Distilleries. 

Meanwhile in the aquarium proper, somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 chefs (some renowned far & wide, others - local hero’s) served up sustainable goodies almost as diverse as the ocean is vast; to include Monterey Bay Aquariums offering - where lox & cream cheese met Nashville hot chicken on a baguette and partied in my mouth. We ran into Kayla Robison of Arnold’s fame, the Commonwealth Bistro boys, and the fine folks from Bouquet Restaurant (to name a few). As the night progressed, I found myself somehow mixed up in Rachel DesRochers’ mostly-innocent plot to hug - and possibly kidnap;) a penguin. In the end, we settled for petting the sweet little fella, which was probably in all of our best interests.

A special thank you goes out to everyone that made this all happen. When it was all said and done, we met some cool people, ate some fantastic fare, and helped support sustainable eats. Also I got to pet a penguin. 

-Jim G. 

Sponsors for this event included: 

Edible Ohio Valley, The Monterrey Bay Aquarium, Carriage House Farm, Bouquet Restaurant, The Mad House Vinegar Company, The Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Kentucky Proud, 80 Acres Farms, La Soupe, Hotel Covington, Chefs Collaborative, Mad Tree Brewing, Old 502 Winery, Plymouth Springs Fish Company, Wave Foundation of Newport Aquarium, & eovfoundation.org


A portion of ticket prices benefited:

Chefs Collaborative, Chefs Collaborative Local Group - Ohio River Valley (#orvcc), the Wave Foundation, Edible Ohio Valley Foundation and La Soupe Cincinnati.


Participating Restaurants:

Bouquet (Covington, KY) // Coppin's (Covington, KY) // Boca (Cincinnati, OH) // Mita's (Cincinnati, OH) // Anchor OTR (Over-the-Rhine, OH) // Ashbourne Farms (Kentucky) // Indigenous (Sarasota, FL) // Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey Bay, CA) // Arnold's Bar and Grill (Cincinnati, OH) // Preux and Proper (Los Angeles, CA) // Sleepy Bee (Cincinnati, OH) // A Tavola (Cincinnati, OH) // Berry Center (Kentucky) // Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey (Cincinnati, OH) // And more!!

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