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NancyH

PLAN: 2011 Heartland Gathering

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Please add Sam Iam and Joyce to all events, including Thursday dinner.

We're really looking forward to another gathering!

So glad that you are both healthy and planning to join. Work on Saturday venue was interrupted by vacation and illness (both me and my computers) - hopefully, I will have this nailed down very shortly.

If others continue to update their status - thank you. I set up an EVite event, but am not quite ready to bring it live - soon!


Edited by NancyH (log)

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Are we confirmed for August 4-7? I'm ready to look at making some reservations for my flights and hotel. Any suggestions on a primary hotel for those of us coming from out of town?

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Are we confirmed for August 4-7? I'm ready to look at making some reservations for my flights and hotel. Any suggestions on a primary hotel for those of us coming from out of town?

David - the dates are confirmed. I'm talking to the Airport Marriott about a room block (we're probably going to have a special Sunday Brunch there at AMP 150). Should have more details shortly.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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How did I miss this! If I can convince my husband to wrangle at least two of the three kids I'm in...

How does everyone feel about me bringing a well behaved 5 yo along?


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I remember a past gathering where someone (one of the organisers??) said it wasn't really for younger children, but there have been young children at other events. I certainly don't mind them! (Except for the throw-up incident, but given that I once threw up on the couch belonging to the Thai ambassador to Canada, I shouldn't really complain about that one :laugh: ).

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We've always brought our son to the Heartland Gatherings and we'll be bringing him again this year (he's now 14). He was older than 5 when we started attending, though, and there were always 2 of us to watch him, which surely made it a bit easier for us. Honestly, he's comported himself better at these events than many of the "grown-ups," including myself. IMO, if minding your child won't be a burden for you, you should feel free to bring him or her.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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::winces::

I have no idea if it's appropriate for me to say so, but if it's a kiddie event, Donna and I aren't going to make the trip. That's like driving 4-5 hours for anesthetic-free, unnecessary root canal surgery. I *despise* screamy little children (and please, for the love of all things holy...if you *have kids*, you have screamy little children, no matter how well-behaved you believe them to be), and I'm perfectly willing to forego the Gathering to avoid the problem. And no: I will never, *ever* have children of my own.

So, I sort of need an executive decision on this topic: are children under 10 going to be part of the thing? It's an important factor for me.

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::winces::

I have no idea if it's appropriate for me to say so, but if it's a kiddie event, Donna and I aren't going to make the trip. That's like driving 4-5 hours for anesthetic-free, unnecessary root canal surgery. I *despise* screamy little children (and please, for the love of all things holy...if you *have kids*, you have screamy little children, no matter how well-behaved you believe them to be), and I'm perfectly willing to forego the Gathering to avoid the problem. And no: I will never, *ever* have children of my own.

So, I sort of need an executive decision on this topic: are children under 10 going to be part of the thing? It's an important factor for me.

Obviously I'm not in charge of making such an executive decision, but if I were, I would never, ever, exclude children from any of the events unless it clearly would be inappropriate for them to be there, e.g., The Violet Hour in Chicago. At our first Gathering, in Grand Rapids in 2003, we had an impeccably behaved preschooler in attendance.

If the thought of even a small possibility of being around a potentially "screamy"-aged child causes you such dread, and you don't trust your fellow attendees to exercise good judgement in such matters, then you're probably much better off not making the trip.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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We've had kids of various ages come through the gathering in past years and it has never been an issue. It's not like there are ever a lot of kids but one or two attached to a group of dozens of adults had never made it feel like a kids' birthday party or anything like that.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I understand Boagman's predicament, although I might not have worded your question in exactly the same way. I, too, would prefer a childless event, but having attended all of the Heartland Gatherings since 2006, I have never come across a child (of the few who attended) who was anything less than pleasant. Perhaps it is due to the pleasant nature of the children, perhaps it is due to the overwhelming number of adults who are willing to engage the children and keep them occupied with age-appropriate kitchen tasks.

As far as other activities surrounding the weekend gathering, parents have been very good about keeping things quite appropriate and recognizing that little Johnny might not really want nor enjoy the progressive six course tasting menu. Of course now that I've said it, I'll probably be proven wrong, but I think you'll be fine.


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I'm going back and forth with the Marriott now. Stay tuned.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Thanks Nancy. I'm in Las Vegas as we speak, on my way home after a weeklong food event in Las Vegas. I need to look at my travel budget for the Heartland Gathering and see where I am with the airfare and hotel. Thanks.

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Boagman -as Tom said - there has never been an age restriction, nor has there ever been a problem with it. And the reason there has never been a problem is because our members have thus far exhibited remarkably good common sense; Lucas is the only youngster I recall at any restaurant (and he has always behaved as a mature young man), and Saturday is more forgiving, because we make it ourselves, and there is usually enough space for everyone to just get along.

That said - Genkinaonna - this weekend is generally speaking NOT a kiddie event. The restaurants we will visit, while open to well-behaved people of all ages, will not be providing "kid-friendly" dining options for our group. While we won't kick out a 5 year old at the door, behavior by any attendee that is inappropriate to an adult venue will not be acceptable.

There is no litmus test for guests, other than that they and those in their charge are expected to behave appropriately for adult venues when we are in them.

There have been some developments in the Cleveland restaurant scene that are forcing me to change some of the plans I had originally made for dining venues etc., but don't worry - it will all shake out for the best by the time we get to August! More info to follow very shortly.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Okay...I'll try to let this allay my fears somewhat, but seriously folks: does *every stinking thing in life* need to be something that young kids get to do? I'm honestly aghast at the very idea of subjecting a kid to the events, activities, and fare we'll be making/eating/exploring and actually believing that there are kids out there who *wouldn't* misbehave. I know I would have at that age! I'd be bored at best, and angry at worst! Then again, my parents wouldn't have subjected me to it in the first place.

I fully admit to the fact that I'm probably a bit oversensitive about the issue to begin with, but that's only because I'm subjected to it at almost every conceivable turn in life, much to my chagrin. It's not like I go to McDonald's with any expectation of quiet, but when I go to a high-end restaurant with entrees in the $30 range, and there's a crying baby at the very next table...people, hire a stinking babysitter. And this happens *all the time*. That was certainly one of the biggest draws of The Feast last year, at least for me. Grown-up Time. With Grown-ups. Eating Grown-up food and beverages (*very* grown-up, the way those drinks were being mixed...YOWZA! ;) ) Wonderful conversation with wonderful people about food, restaurants, recipes, techniques, etc. Not *one* squeal. Not *one* brat running into other people because they can't be bothered to look where they're going. Not *one* "darling" getting (understandably) bored or disliking the food ("I WANT CHICKEN TENDERS!!!!"), or what-the-heck-ever. Not once.

Why, oh why, can't this be a safe haven of sorts? You have no idea (ZERO!) the number of times that I've heard people *in-freaking-sist* that their child would *never* be that way. Invariably, the child *does* get nuts, and one of two things happen:

1. Said child gets free reign to do whatever the heck it wants, because said idiot parent doesn't have any notion whatsoever what "proper behavior" is. When *you* bring up that little Sammy is getting a bit (oh, how shall I put this...) "overly dramatic", you're looked at like some out-of-line person and given the always-dismissive-yet-completely-absolving-the-sayer-of-all-responsibility-in-the-matter line: "They're just being kids!" Obviously. And you're just being a moron.

2. Things get *really* uncomfortable for everyone involved. The kid, responding to corrective instructions from the parent, sulks, things get quiet, conversation is killed, and, like it or not, the kid *remains* the center of attention, much to the chagrin of everyone. And it's *not* the kid's fault! They just shouldn't have been there in the first place! What's the parent going to do then? Leave? By heavens, no...they *NEVER* leave!

I know, I know...I'm pretty seriously nuts on the subject, and I cop to it. That being said, dear sweet merciful heavens...can't we have the age barrier be 10-and-up, with anyone below the age of say, 13, given serious consideration for "Maybe when you're older, honey..." territory? I mean, man alive: do you really, truly believe that a 5-year-old kid should have to put up with what I would have considered at that age a Borefest Supreme with cheese?

It's not my call, like I said, and I'm absolutely willing to bow out now, lest there be problems in the future with said issue. Last year's event, however, led me to believe that it was (even if only unspoken) basically an adults-only event. Do I honestly need to pack Vicodin for the obviously-coming-due-to-misbehaving-kids headache?


Edited by boagman (log)

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I don't remember any children at the events last year, except for Tammy's son, but he only dropped by for a hello and left right away. There were a number of young children (under the age of 12--probably under the age of 8) at Kansas City. I don't recall any poor behaviour on the part of any of them (though I do recall such from some of the adults--ha ha), and the only time I really noticed any of them was when one of them threw up at the end of the night.

I don't even recall young children (under the age of 12) staying for events in Chicago, though I do remember a few stopping by to pick up a parent.

If we're taking a vote, I vote that children be allowed at least to the Saturday dinner, and to any of the more casual outings. Don't know what's on the schedule for Thursday, but the Friday evening dinners I've been to have been a little more adult-only.

But a warning, if I'm cranky, I will still be searing like a sailor, so cover all delicate ears.

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Liam came to the Sunday brunch at Zingerman's last year.

But as others have said, there have been plenty of fantastic kids who've attended over the years. Somewhere there's a fantastic picture of Danielle's daughter wrapping whole fish in bacon. I don't think we should institute some sort of policy against that because of one person's issue. Boagman - if your weekend will be ruined by the possibility of having children in attendance, then I think you should just stay home.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Good news on the planning front! I saw Chef Jon Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern yesterday and we discussed Friday's dinner. He is committed to a dining event out of the restaurant for the first part of the evening, but that will give us an opportunity to enjoy a relaxed Happy Hour at the Velvet Tango Room before we head to dinner. We will plan to begin arriving at GHT around 7:30, with food to begin at 8pm. Jon has just (as in last week) renovated the downstairs room that looks into the kitchen, to hold up to 37 people. My list for Friday night shows 24 confirmed yes and a few maybes - please review the following list of the "yes" and tell me if I need to add or subtract you, and if you have been a maybe, can you update your likelihood of attending?

NancyH +1

Ronnie Suburban +2

Edsel

Tino27

torakris

Kerry Beal

Chris Amirault

rooftop1000 +1

Chris Hennes +1 (1 veg)

David Ross

rooftop1000 +1

David Ross

Boagman +1

Connie Hayashi +1 (1 veg)

Kasw (Karen) +1

Dave the Cook

JAZ

toolprincess

27

If we exceed 37, Jon will still accommodate us in the restaurant.

We discussed doing a family-style tasting menu (which will include several vegetarian items). For those of you not familiar with the GHT, Jon was named one of the US's Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine in 2010, and GHT is Ohio's first Certified Green restaurant. But of course, it's really all about the food, and Jon and his fabulous staff really deliver.

Since I unfortunately missed the last two gatherings, I'd like to get a sense of an acceptable price point for folks (alcohol will be additional and on-your-own). What were the Friday dinners the last two years, and what do folks think is reasonable? Our menu will include Jon's signature items (foie gras steamed clams, a "fifth quarter" item (nasty/tasty bits), frites, roasted pig's face) and other seasonal treats. Once I give him the price point, he'll put together the menu and it should be exquisite.

I am also working with the chefs for Thursday night's Tremont Crawl. We'll start with Happy Hour at Rocco Whelan's Fahrenheit, then walk two blocks to Dante and Lolita (not sure which is going first, but they are across the street from one another).

Still working on Sunday (and the Marriott) - stay tuned.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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NancyH, On March 7, I believe I asked you to add Joyce and myself in for all events. Please add us in now, if not sooner. (g)


Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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I thought I was a "yes", but I might not have been a "100% definite" at that point because I had not booked anything yet (still haven't). But I think I feel pretty comfortable saying I am IN for this gathering.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Sam - you are right - and that is why I am asking the crew for updates. As soon as the pricing is organized, I'll be switching this to Eventbrite.

Friday night dinner at Green House Tavern

NancyH +1

Ronnie Suburban +2

Edsel

Tino27

torakris

Kerry Beal

Chris Amirault

rooftop1000 +1

Chris Hennes +1 (1 veg)

David Ross

rooftop1000 +1

David Ross

Boagman +1

Connie Hayashi +1 (1 veg)

Kasw (Karen) +1

Dave the Cook

JAZ

toolprincess

SamIAm +1

JSMeeker

30


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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. . . if your weekend will be ruined by the possibility of having children in attendance, then I think you should just stay home.

I think this is true as it pertains to other variables, too. As much as the folks who organize and attend this event each year do their best to plan everything out, invariably unforeseen twists and turns come up that are beyond anyone's control. I think that in order to really enjoy this weekend, you've got to be capable of going with the flow.

Unless it is decided that children are not welcome, we'll definitely be bringing our 14-year-old son. He's been to many of these Gatherings and has always comported himself admirably -- and contributed mightily. Also, he enjoyed himself thoroughly at Pierre Gagnaire, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and Alinea (among others), so I'm sure he'll be just fine at any of the meals that are planned for this particular weekend . . . unless the food is bad, then he might explode with rage! :raz:

Fwiw, the only person I remember throwing up at one of these events was a grown-up, so that can happen to anyone! :wink:

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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