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In the culinary world, the term "farm-to-table" can often be a cliché description used to acquire a hipster seal of approval. But what if the table you were eating at was actuallyon a farm? Chef Ben Bebenroth knows a thing or two about legit farm-to-table dining. After all, he owns a farm.
Many might say that Chef Bebenroth, a native of Cleveland, is a bit of an overachiever. He graduated in the top 10 of his class from Johnson & Wales University, Charleston. Then he went on to cook in some of the best kitchens in Charleston (SC), and Northeast Ohio. Over the years, this up-and-comer has been featured in publications like The New York Times, while winning awards like "Best New Restaurant" (Cleveland Magazine).
But he doesn't let the success go to his head. Bebenroth is a bit granola. His cooking style revolves around his love of serving local, seasonal foods. The real stuff. The good stuff.
In 2006, Bebenroth founded Spice Catering Co., to serve sustainable, homegrown food at upscale events across the region through a commitment to source all ingredients from family farms within a 150-mile radius of Cleveland.
Little did he know, however, that Spice would earn its own cult following due in large part to his Plated Landscapes, a farm-to-table dinner concept designed to connect Cleveland diners with small family farmers.
The concept grew into his widely popular Spice Kitchen + Bar, a permanent restaurant that opened in the Gordon Square Arts District in 2012.
Spice Kitchen + Bar, which is known for its unique and seasonal menu items (the cocktails are divine, too!), gets all of its food from local, sustainable sources — including his own farm.
In 2014, Chef Bebenroth acquired Spice Acres, a 13-acre Countryside Conservancy farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There, Chef Bebenroth and his team grow everything from ginger and figs to tomatoes and cucumbers — all GMO free. Better still, he hosts events and tours right there on the farm for discerning diners.
As is the case when one sources most of its food seasonally, the menu changes pretty frequently. One item, which has remained a staple, is also a fan favorite — the polenta chickpea fries (you'd be nuts to nottry them). Other great options include the Chef's Tasting Menu, which highlights the bounty of the season — straight from the farm.
Located 10 minutes from downtown, preparing foods grown from our 13-acre family farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and from small family farms...