Annual Meeting at Lucky’s Cafe

By Shara Bohach

22 Cleveland Dames were in attendance at the 2013 Annual Meeting at Lucky’s Cafe in Tremont. After the chapter meeting's business including a "Year in Review," Dame Heather Haviland and her fabulous staff dished up an amazing, as-local-as-it-gets menu. She detailed out the ingredients which came predominantly from Ohio farms, and as close as the garden next to the restaurant.

Dinner started with the savory and sweet Butternut Squash Maple Soup followed by a Mixed Green Salad with warm blue cheese dressing and candied pecans. Dames had their choice of House-made Pesto-Ricotta Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce or the Pan-Fried Breaded Chicken Breast with Wild Mushroom Gravy, Roasted, Herbed Fingerling Potatoes, and Sautéed Vegetables. The chicken breast was such a large portion, that every Dame who had it took home lunch for the next day! Dessert, a Chocolate Mousse Bombe made by Heather's pastry chef (pictured here), was as beautiful as it was decadent.

Dames brought their own wine to share over this truly delectable dinner. The table, decked out in a beautiful fall theme with candelabras and fresh flowers, added to the cozy ambiance. A big thanks to Lucky's Cafe for such a great evening! See more photos...


Dame du Jour: Marilou Suszko

By Maria Isabella

What highly successful, veteran magazine editor in her right mind would leave it all behind for a budding new career in the food arts? Marilou Suszko, that’s who.

“Fat paychecks are very nice,” she says, “but loving what you’re doing more than makes up for what doesn’t appear in your bank account.”

After working for more than 25 years for a variety of magazines in the restaurant industry with both the venerable Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and Advanstar Communications, Marilou decided to strike it out on her own — first as a journalist and food writer, then as a culinary instructor and, eventually, author.

It seems Marilou has come full circle to her earliest love: food and family.

“Family gatherings always revolved around food and drink,” explains Marilou. “I had lard-and-butter–using grandmothers who knew how to feed a crowd. In fact, the one food that always reminds me of home is good old-fashioned meatloaf.”

Marilou doesn’t even hesitate when asked who has influenced her love of food the most. “Every single person who introduces me to a new ingredient, flavor, food, or recipe is a significant influence,” she beams.

That influence is most clearly evident in the people Marilou has come to know and respect during her writing of three popular books:  Farms and Foods of OhioThe Locavore’s Kitchen, and her latest (co-written with  pal, Laura Taxel), Cleveland’s West Side Market: 100 Years and Still Cooking, which is, not surprisingly, her biggest professional pride to-date.

“I would like to think that at some point [Cleveland’s West Side Market] will be looked at as the definitive reference for the first 100 years,” reflects Marilou.

When not traveling, Marilou loves to entertain either around her dining room table or in her backyard. “We set up a ton of tables and invite just as many people. I love the buzz and seeing the tables full of friends,” she says.

Marilou is a charter member of LDEI and has served in just about every capacity since the Cleveland chapter formed.

As for what she enjoys most about being a member? “Certainly my fellow members,” she admits readily. “The diversity is inspiring.”

Learn more about Marilou as she shares some fun and interesting insights about herself.

What is your favorite cookbook? I’m really loving Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty right now. But my go-to book and the one that I give all the young people just starting out in life is Mark Bittman’s  How to Cook Everything. I look at that as the new-age Betty Crocker or BHG.

What is your favorite food blog? I like to read Russ Parsons (of the LA Times) plus any other food blog that catches my eye.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Poached eggs in tomato sauce and a ton of cookies.

Any favorite indulgences? Cookies and red wine.

What’s one ingredient you can’t live without? Salt.

What’s the biggest cooking mistake you’ve ever made? Like, a million. But how else could you possibly learn? As a young bride, I made my first corned beef by throwing the cryovacked brisket (still in the plastic) into the water and boiled it to a gray finish. I was thick in the boil-in-a-bag era. The price tag floated to the top of the water.

Name 3 things that are always in your refrigerator. Homemade yogurt, yeast, and maple syrup.

Name 3 gadgets you can’t live without. My immersion blender, KitchenAid mixer, and set of knives.

What would people be surprised to find in your kitchen? I always have a ton of pomegranate seeds stashed in the freezer. Can’t get enough of them.

What is the one thing you like best about your kitchen? I have five windows that look out into the yard…and when it snows, it feels like being inside a snow globe. Stand in my kitchen and you can see the seasons change, the redbuds fill the room with pink, the sun shine in, and even the rain soak the yard.