Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
The making of a Madisono's Mad Pop. A year ago in July I started running recipe tests for a concept, real fruit pops made with simple ingredients, that tasted good. I had some pops that were purchased from a local store that were a big disappointment. They were weak in flavor and had very little fruit in them. We were already doing fun experiments with fruits and juices in the shop so why not offer them to our customers? We made them available to Madison's at Findlay and the response was fantastic. This year the Mad Pops have returned to Findlay Market and the response has been great.
The Findlay store sells them out front under the blue tent on the weekends and in the store during the week. Mad Pops are only available at 110 W. Elder St. There is another pop vendor at Findlay Market called Street Pops. They have some unique flavor concepts. We may compete for sales but anyone who makes pops is ok in my book. Our pops are sold for $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00. Compared to Street Pops at $3.00 ea. Madisono's is a great deal when you go for the 3 for 5 deal. Let us know what you think.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I spent today in the company of many talented people. The Midwest Culinary Institute MCI, held the regional young chef competition. These young chefs are in the running to compete at the national level and then international level. As out of town guests, MCI offered the chefs and their families lunch featuring all local products. Wines, beers, and foods. Madisono's was invited to serve gelato and sorbet. The lunch also featured LaRosa's, Montgomery Inn and Skyline. Madisono's is a Cincinnati favorite. Each of the chefs were given a box of vegetables and fruit and the choice of leg of lamb or fish. They had to write a menu, prepare 3 dishes and do it within a certain time limit. Can you say pressure! A couple of these photos are blurry but to be honest these guys were moving so fast it was hard to keep up. They are judged on how they worked, what they saved, threw away and all kinds of things. Chef Jean Robert and Chef Chris Ropp from Kenwood Country Club were part of the judging panel. The chefs had to come up with a show plate and 3 others for the judges to eat from. I saw one of the young chefs finish with less than 5 seconds to spare. It was a great experience. Madisono's will be a part of One Night 12 Kitchens this year and we are looking forward to it. Here are some photos from the event.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The Spring flavors are finally here. I have 4 new flavors to tell you about. You might be wondering where can you buy them? Great question. All are available at Findlay Market and are making their way day by day to our retail locations throughout the city. It might take a little time but they will get there. Before I get into the details on the new flavors I want to let you know about the new packaging. We are using a clear pint container with a very firm fitting lid. It is a # 2 recycle plastic and it is great for left overs. The most important part of this new packaging is that they are extruded in Streetsboro Ohio. That means Ohio workers produce and truck them which means a lower carbon footprint.
Our new label keeps the Madisono's look alive but now you can see into the gelato from the outside. You can see the vanilla bean specs, whole fruit and the zest peeking out. All new flavors and some of the others will get the new package. Eventually all flavors will be in the new package. So what are they?
Cherries Jubilee Gelato: Escoffier’s original dessert and served to royalty, Madisono’s version starts with our Madagascar vanilla base, Michigan tart cherries and Kirschwasser. We blend the cooked cherries into the finished gelato by hand for a marbled finish that is beautiful and delicious.Honey Lavender Gelato: What’s all the buzz about? Local honey from The Beiersdorfer family farm in Guilford Indiana, real lavender and Madisono’s neutral gelato base yields a gelato that is so creamy and smooth it could be called royal jelly.
Lemon with Candied Ginger Gelato : Imagine if you started with 2.5 gallons of neutral gelato base made from scratch. Add the zest of 10 lemons, the juice from those lemons and a whole bunch of candied ginger from the famous Ginger People. Freeze it and put it into packages where you could see all of that goodness from the outside. What would you have? Madisono’s Lemon with Candied Ginger Gelato.
Coconut with Lemongrass and Cilantro Gelato: We thought about calling this gelato Siam Dream but then reconsidered because we did not think that anyone would know what that meant or what was inside. Once you taste it though you will be dreaming. Everything always works out in the end. We use Whole Foods 365 brand coconut milk which contains no sulphites.We will produce these flavors through May. After that we will offer up our Summer flavors and from there Fall/Winter. These flavors are also offered at The Dorothy Lane Markets in Dayton Ohio. Deliveries will start there this coming week. My goal is to continue to offer new flavors for you to enjoy. Some flavors that we have offered in the past have not been as creative. That's not to say Cookies and Cream tastes bad, but using an Oreo cookie (which contains all kinds of extra stuff) is not where we want to be. You can see in the photos that our process is small bath and hand crafted. We will continue to develop flavors that include superior ingredients, feature local sources and make the best tasting gelato & sorbet. Thanks for your support of Madisono's
Saturday, February 26, 2011
This past Friday I hosted a meeting of grocery managers, and other in the DLM organization to discuss our new Spring flavors and bring them up to speed on developments at Madisono's. I sent Joe, my production manager, to The Gem City for the delivery run. I stayed behind and prepared for the meeting. When we had finished our discussions and sampling Tom Winter presented me with the DLM Vendor Honor Roll award much to my surprise. I also received a letter from Calvin Mayne the President and CEO. Here is how it reads
Much of the success of Dorothy Lane Market over the years has been due to the close cooperation of vendors such as you, vendors who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to serve DLM. In 1991 we instituted the DLM Vendor Honor Roll award in order to recognize outstanding vendors for their excellent service.
This is the 20th year for our award and we are pleased to present you with the accompanying plaque as a token of our appreciation for your support, service, and loyalty. You help make it possible for us to be "the store that accomodates." Thank you and congratulations.
It is an honor to receive this award. The plaque and official letter will be on display at Findlay Market. If you are feeling like a mini food adventure consider heading to the DLM Springboro store for some great shopping and eating. It is not that far from Cincinnati and you will be impressed. Consider getting lunch and eating upstairs while a real piano player plays music. They are a full service store and you might find some new favorites. Unlike many other stores where their store brands are cheep knock offs to the real deal, DLM holds their brand to a much higher standard. Their store brands are better than the national labels. They use Madisono's for their gelato and sorbetto and you all know how good that is. If you do go let them know you are visiting from Cincinnati and that Madisono's sent you.
Thanks for supporting Madisono's and Dorothy Lane Markets
Thursday, February 10, 2011
About a week ago I headed north to The Hills Market in Columbus Ohio. They are a great customer of mine and I love their market. If I lived nearby I would most certainly be shopping there. Throughout the store there are tags on the shelves pointing out all of the local products. Their commitment to the local community is goes beyond supporting food producers. My reason for the visit was to serve our black raspberry sorbet at the Mended Little Hearts benefit. The Hills Market hosted the event which featured more than 20 local food producers. Madisono's was paired with Jam Jar sweet shiraz. I believe there were more than 200 in attendance. Thanks to everyone who sampled and took the time for some great conversation. Madisono's will be back next year.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
While selling gelato and sorbet to Cincinnati's top restaurants I have been fortunate to meet some very passionate and unique individuals. Most of the time my routine is one of quick pace and structure. Deliver the goods and get on to the next stop. Very few kitchens are quiet past 11:00am. While preparing for service not many people have time to BS but sometimes they do and I always learn something cool when we do. Chefs and others in the kitchen work weird hours. If I deliver early in the morning they are not even on site. So the other day I invited Pastry Chef Chris Roswog to stop by for an formal interview. I want to get to know the people who use Madisono's on a daily basis, those who make the decisions when it comes to feeding your sweet tooth. Chris is the pastry chef at The Iron Horse Inn located in Glendale. It is located just across the street from our production commissary. This is the first interview so stay tuned for more in the future.
When Chris entered the kitchen he was carrying a unique box. It looked like a little James Bond/ Super Spy/ Techno thingy. When he opened it up it contained a small part of his watch collection. Chris loves watches and we spent some time looking them over. His collection is very impressive. I asked Chris a few scripted questions and here is what he had to say.
1. Why pastry?
Chris has been cooking since he was 5. When he entered culinary school he knew he wanted to do pastry. "Pastry keeps you off the line." Chris conveyed that pastry/dessert allows you to get the last word in so to speak. It is a farewell to the dining experience and he wants you to leave on a high note. Pastry allows him to express that.
2. What is your favorite tool?
"My hands" "You can experience everything from temperature to texture." These are very important in pastry. So much relies on this that nothing cab substitute the hands.
3. What are your favorite ingredients?
"Chocolate, nuts and good eggs." "Eggs are essential in what I do every day." Chris loves the versatility of eggs and the use of nuts, especially macadamia nuts.
4. What was you most inspired creation?
After a short pause Chris shared with me a creation he did at Prima Vista for Valentines Day. Two pieces of puff pastry cut into rectangles with homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream and Red Raspberry sorbet. He has also found inspiration in birthday cakes. He is especially fond of The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Chris has spent years coming up with unique cake creations of his own. Often times it cannot able to be shared on a restaurant menu but with family and friends.
5. Where has pastry been and where is it going?
"Pastry has never been better due to the ever increasing availability of ingredients." "There are so many more options like single origin chocolates." Chris feels that it has come a long way do to this explosion of ingredient options for chefs and will only continue to get better. One thing that he is not sure of is the trend of meshing ingredients that just don't go together. There are tendencies for chefs to use these ingredients to a creative end that is questionable in Chris's opinion. He thinks that the classics are safe and will always have a place in pastry.
6. If you were not a pastry chef what would you be doing instead?
"I would be a race car driver."
7. What are your personal ambitions outside of your pastry profession?
8. What are some compelling reasons why someone should not skip the dessert course when dining out?
"We desire things in life. Like dessert." "We crave the sweet so fill that need." Dessert is part of the dining experience and without it isn't complete. "There are always healthy options on most menus so don't skip just on calorie counting or diet concerns." Chris conveyed to me that there are things in life that you might not be able to make at home due to lack of time, skill, or resources and dessert is a chance to experience those things. "If you are to full consider boxing it for later."
9. How do you use Madisono's?
At the present time Chris is offering 3 gelato flavors served individually in mini espresso cups paired with cookies. The flavors change every 10 days or so. The also have a brownie dessert that is served with the French Vanilla gelato. Chris assures me that as the seasons change so will the dessert options. That the best way to find out what he is doing with Madisono's is to stop by the Iron Horse Inn for dinner, or lunch.
I had a great time getting to know Chris better and I am grateful that he chooses to serve Madisono's with his customers.
Thanks for supporting Madiosno's
Saturday, January 22, 2011
We have some great news. On January 17th Madisono's began producing all of our gelato base mixes without corn syrup! In addition to removing the corn syrup we have also removed xanthan gum from our stabilizer blend. This is also a corn based product. It will take several weeks to move the old inventory out. Why? Over the past year, while doing demos, I encountered many people who either had a corn allergy or knew someone that did. The number of ice cream producers that use corn syrup is very high. A survey of ingredients on the grocery store shelf will confirm that. Wouldn't it be nice to have a product that could be enjoyed by everyone? Well now it can be. So all of our gelato bases are 100% natural.
You might be asking, "why did you use it in the first place?" This is a great question. Here is why. For those of you who follow my blog you know that we make all of our gelato and sorbet bases from scratch. No one else in Cincinnati does this. I have a complex set of equations that calculate butterfat, milk solids not fat, and many other factors that create a great gelato base mix. Gelato has much less butterfat than ice cream. In order to create a creamy smooth texture without all of the fat that comes in a high butterfat ice cream mix, corn syrup can add texture to a low fat mix. It can also help to stabilize the mix. We spent some time running the numbers and producing some batches with adjustments in the formula and without corn syrup. We are thrilled with the results and you will be too.
Madisono's will also debut a new package design and label in the coming weeks. In addition to new labels we will have 4 new Spring gelato Flavors. These should be out around the 2nd week of February. We are going to leave some flavors behind as we move forward. I apologize in advance if one of your favorites is on the list. With my new set of flavors we will be able to offer you more choices over time. It will also be easier for our retail customers to offer all of our flavors. I have heard from disappointed customers that were looking for a particular flavor from a retail location and were unable to find it. I hope to have all of our retail customers offering all the flavors in order to remedy this.
If you looking for a place to purchase Madisono's please look at this list. Raymond Sonof put this together for me. He has a web design business here in Cincinnati. He updated my parents site for Findlay Market. Thanks Raymond for your help. Above is candied ginger which is an ingredient for one of my new flavors. When they are ready to hit the stores we will tell you what is coming. Until then you will just have to wait.
Thanks for supporting Madisono's
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Winter provides some great opportunities for foods. This past Thursday (Jan 13) I had an incredible meal at Nectar. Chef Julie Francis hosts dinner clubs at her restaurant with a unique theme. She comes up with an ingredient finds a local producer or supplier of that ingredient and builds a menu around it. Madison's @ Findlay and Madisono's are this months sponsors for Meyer Lemon. Chef Julie asked Madisono's to produce a Meyer Lemon Sorbet for the menu and so we did. You can see the order in which we set about doing that in the photos above. Have you ever had a Meyer Lemon? They are very different from the regular lemon. Please follow the link for more information on Meyer lemons.
Please see the link for Nectar and get consider signing up for her dinner club announcements. Nectar will host another Meyer Lemon menu on January 20th and there are a few spots open. I intend to produce some pints this coming week to have at Findlay. The menu featured 5 courses with Meyer lemons and at the end of the meal everyone received a Meyer lemon compliments of Madison's @ Findlay. The calamari and fried Meyer lemons were the table favorite. WoW! If you are looking for fresh Meyer lemons stop in to Findlay Market. Look for the sorbet next Saturday. I would also like to invite you to visit Madison's @ Findlay Market new web site. There are some great links there. The store has been opened up to create a comfortable shopping experience with fast check out. Since Keller's IGA closed last week consider picking up your Madisono's gelato there as well as many other staple items.
Thanks for supporting Madisono's