Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Poked in "The Public Eye"

There are good things and bad things that happen when you're "in the eye of the media." Now, by no way am I saying that I'm a media celeb but with a segment on WGRR 103.5FM every Friday morning as well as the latest blurb in Cincinnati Magazine, Nov 2007, I do get stopped occasionally in the Yummy~mobile and asked if I'm "the radio chef" or if they've seen me on TV or in the paper.

That being said, I was hoping for some good publicity from my small blurb in CincyMag. Lest you think today was all fun, games and good whisking...

Hi, this is Debbie.
Are you the personal chef? I read about you in Cincinnati Magazine and I'm hoping you can help me for Thanksgiving dinner. I want, blah, de blah, de blah....
OK let's talk about...
I want... and want... and want... and want...
I quote a service fee plus groceries.


Uh, hello?
And again,

Hi, this is Debbie.
Same thing, different person. Until we get to the end.

I bought a full dinner from Paul Sturkey for only $169 and he's a real chef.
Guess she put me in my place!

I understand a personal chef service isn't for everyone. But did Chef Sturkey come to your home on Thanksgiving Day, cook the entire menu of only what you want to your family's exact nutritional specifications, serve you, clean up and sanitize your kitchen for said $169?

Hi, yada yada yada
At least this one had some manners.

Wow I had no idea it was so involved and that you provided such a service. Thanks so much but I can't afford you at this time.
No problem, and please call if there's anything I can do to help you in the future.
As they say, any publicity is good publicity. I'm still waiting for the good publicity.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Media Darling?

It's been a great week for seeing Chef Debbie and Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service in the news.

After last week's radio remote with
WGRR 103.5FM and Queen Janeen Coyle, a 4~color photo of me making Butternut Squash and Apple Soup was in the Pulse~Journal. While they had my name correct and they did identify me as a Personal Chef, they didn't have a large enough ink budget to get my company name in the article also.

So today after a long cook day and then a run through Costco and bigg's where I had two customers and one cashier yell at me and a man in a large black SUV flip me off, I get home and open
Cincinnati Magazine, Nov 2007, for a bit of mindless relief before I start dinner. This month's magazine is about parties ~ and finding everything you could possibly need for creating fabulous party ~ caterers, DJs, decorations, valets, etc. And Personal Chefs ~ not just any Personal Chef mind you, but yours truly!

Page 154 of this highly intellectual mag is about "Nosh~Ready Cuisine."
The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who make their own chip dip, and those who do not. For the latter, there are pre~prepped dishes, elegant gourmet take~out, and vat~sized versions of the old standbys. Short of hiring a caterer, it's the best way to get "cooking." Here are a few of our favorite sources for grab~and~go eats.
Now I'm not crazy about being mentioned in the same article as The Party Source, bigg's, Jungle Jim's or Costco, there was one bright spot on this page.

Personal Chefs: You want the party to come out of your kitchen, but you don't have the time or talent? A personal chef is an alternative to a conventional caterer. You'll pay a fee plus groceries and supplies, and the chef will actually use your kitchen to cook. (Some will even fix your family recipes).
Now here comes the good part:

"I'll meet with you, talk about who'll be at your party, what they like to eat, and we'll go from there," says Debbie Spangler of Yummy~issimo! Spangler can do cocktail parties for up to 200 people, buffet~style gatherings, and sit~down family meals (
One thing though, I don't do chip dip. Dijon and wine marinated jumbo shrimp with homemade spicy cocktail sauce; Spicy bourbon glazed beef carpaccio with homemade roasted red pepper mayonnaise; Baby lamb chops with cucumber~mint relish, or a Caviar torte with champagne braised cipollini onions, yes ~ but not just plain ole chip dip.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Sick Yummy~mobile!

Today when I was leaving my Yummy client's home, the Yummy~mobile wouldn't start! Well, let me modify that. It would start but it wouldn't stay started. This client lives way out there ~ you know, go out as far as you can until the road ends, turn left, keep going for another hour, turn right at the green barn and then keep going. Yeah, I can see trying to give the Triple Thing directions out there!

For the one person in Cincinnati who hasn't seen the Yummy~mobile, let me tell you about it: A deep green Ford Expedition with the
Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service garlic logo wrapped around the back and sides. The license plates even tell a story: YUMMMMY. OK, so it is a 1999 and it does have 91K miles but until today I haven't had a bit of trouble with it.

Maybe it was because I was feeling a bit too confident in my car~ness zen. Last week we had to have sweet husband Tim's VW Passat worked on ~ to the tune of $1300. The VW was originally my car and I never had a bit of trouble with it. But when sweet husband inherited it ~ after I stole the Expedition from him ~ he's had nothing but repair bills on the VW. So I was feeling a bit too high and mighty that MY car was running just fine, thank you very much, and that I drove it so well that I never had to take it to the shop. There's some saying about pride and a fall but I can't remember what it is ever since I fell off that ladder this afternoon.

So I finally get the Yummy~mobile started, gun the motor like I'm a 15~year old with a learner's permit, and whip it into reverse. Yummy Client has a very long down~sloping driveway. Put Y~mobile in drive. Start the engine again. And again. And again. You get the idea. When I finally drive into civilization I have to put it into neutral and give it gas (OK gun it like crazy) so that it didn't die at every stop sign, street light or other pain~in~the~spatula rush hour car in my way.

Very long drive later, I get to the repair shop. Sweet husband Tim was there waiting for me and called about nine times during my nerve~racking drive there. Now, I've already packed and unpacked the Yummy~mobile twice today and now have to do it again and attempt to pack it all into the VW.

How fun.

Bacchus and I will be good friends tonight.

Oh, by the way, sweet husband is driving the third car ~ the Blue Bomb ~ until I get the Yummy~mobile back. A 1989 used~to~be blue Olds, somewhere in the neighborhood of 190K miles (we're not sure how many miles as the electronic system hasn't worked in years), no AC, no power windows, sometimes the electronic panel works and sometimes it doesn't and then there's the left front tire that doesn't hold air very well. Oh, and it's so pretty too.

Did I mention he's a really sweet husband?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chris and Janeen Rock!

Yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer had an article about the summer Arbitron ratings.

As many of you know, I have a small segment with the amazing morning DJ team of Chris and Janeen "Married with Microphones" every Friday at 7:45 a.m. on WGRR 103.5FM . The segment originally started as "Tailgate Talk" but evolved into just talking about food, recipes, libations and what's going on in the Cincinnati area. I also have a photo on Chris and Janeen's blog that, when clicked, will direct listeners to my website.

Anyways, back to Arbitron. The article in the Enquirer states:

"The classic hits from the 1970s and '80s on WGRR-FM rocked and rolled into second place among all listeners, as well as the age 25-54 demographic advertisers want. The Cumulus station and the Chris O'Brien-Janeen Coyle morning team had their best ratings in years."
The station had a 6.8% listener share.

Congrats and salutations to my friends, Chris and Janeen! I wonder what their share is every Friday in the 7:30 to 7:45 timeslot?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My First Radio Remote!

Janeen, Me & Nancy
Originally uploaded by yummyissimo

Today I had my first radio remote on WGRR 103.5FM. Along with Queen Janeen (half of the amazing DJ team "Married with Microphones" who make me look like I know what I'm doing every Friday), I was asked to do several cooking demonstrations at Brown's Market for their first year anniversary. A photographer from the Hamilton Journal News was there and took lots of photos of me serving food, passing out copies of my recipes and, of course, talking. On Friday, 10~12~07, there also was article in same discriminating news vehicle which described me as "a WGRR personality and chef." Not sure how the real WGRR personalities will feel about that description, but I think I have TONS of personality! The photo is Queen Janeen (Coyle), me and Nancy Holmes ~ the greatest radio sales rep EVER!

I'm Not Martha Stewart!
Originally uploaded by yummyissimo
Brown's Market wanted me to use their fresh produce so I picked my favorites: butternut squash, apples and sugar pumpkins. With only a 90~minute remote, I didn't want to take the time to clean sugar pumpkins and try to cook them on~site. I cleaned them out early this morning and just filled them with flowers and candles. Martha Stewart I'm not, but they didn't look too bad!

Janeen's and my first cut~in was live ~ they were having taping issues back at the studio, so live we went. Janeen is talking about Brown's Market, the beautiful weather, the auction, the furniture, yada, yada, yada and then she introduced me. Now, being live radio there are no take backs:

"And here's Def Chebbie from Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service to tell us about one of the recipes she's preparing today!" Def Chebbie? "Is it live or is it Memorex" was never a question.

One of my demonstrations today was a modification of Alton Brown's 10~Minute Applesauce. Here's my version and it was a big hit today:

4 cooking apples, peeled, cored, segmented
2 Bosc or other ripe pears, peeled, cored, segmented
3/4c apple cider
1/2c Calvados
3T butter
1/4c honey
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg
In a sealable microwave~safe container, combine all ingredients. Close lid, leaving one corner open to allow steam to escape. Microwave on high for 12 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency. Serve hot, warm or cold.

I made a huge potful of this applesauce and it was gone in about 15 minutes. Was it the perfect pairing of apples, pears and spices or was it the Calvados?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Party with Cincinnati Magazine

So last week, in the middle of my week from hell, sweet husband Tim said, "I saw an ad in Cincinnati Magazine about a party on Saturday night. Sounds like fun. Let's go!"

What? As a Personal Chef and owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service, I cook for a party almost every weekend. Why would I want to PAY to go to one where I have to pay for alcohol and the food will be inedible at best?

The look on my face must have given my thoughts away ~ that or the words that came out of my mouth (something to the effect of) "Are you effing crazy? I have a Saturday night off and you want to go out? I'm staying home!" or something sweet and wifely like that.

So, dressing for the party ~ after donning make~up (which I NEVER wear), extremely high heels, one of my three only non~food stained outfits, and hair that was actually blown dry and not pulled into a ponytail ~ I have to admit I didn't look too bad for somebody with burn marks over 90% of her arms, short nails that haven't been polished or buffed or whatever you do with them and an attitude that screamed "I want to be home in my shorts and braless in a big, baggy T~shirt!"

The bright side ~ and you knew this was coming, didn't you ~ was that I met some people I didn't know. Not only people, but PEOPLE.

We walk in, sweet husband Tim looking smashing and dashing in black, and the first person we saw was
Arun Lai and his lovely wife, Beverly. Now Arun knows even more people than I do ~ and I know a lot of people! The first person he introduced me to was John Allen, Executive Operating Officer of the Cincinnati Reds. I also met David O'Hara, Director of Fusion Gallery an upscale art gallery in the up and coming hot city of Bellevue,KY. Arun also introduced me to Nat Comisar, former owner of the Masionette, Cincinnati's only 5~star dining establishment. Now as owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service in Cincinnati, any time that anyone named Comisar asks for my business card I can't get into my purse quickly enough!

As a connoisseur of alcoholic beverages ~ especially when they are mango based ~ this party was worth attending as I found a new adult beverage that I need to share:

The Woody Mango
2/3 Woodford Reserve
1/3 mango puree
Shake well with crushed ice, strain into martini glass and garnish with fresh mint leaf.

Trust me on this one ~ I had several and I will have all the ingredients to make this at home!

After the party, Kristy and Ryan (see the Yummy Blog of 09~10~07: Timmy~issimo Party Planning) and sweet husband Tim and I went to the Cincinnatian Hotel for more cocktails. I found another mango martini that I have to share with you:

The Cincinnatian Mango Martini
2 parts Finlandia Mango Vodka
1 part Licor43 ~ Spanish Vanilla Liqueur
Splash of Orange, Pineapple and Cranberry Juices
Mix all in shaker with crushed ice. Shake well. Strain into martini glass.

Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!
OK ~ had several more of these and will make these at home as soon as I buy the Licor43.

Thank Bacchus I could sleep in this morning!