Join us in downtown Bloomington on Saturday, June 22nd to sample some of the finest flavors the nationally recognized Bloomington food scene has to offer. Over 50 area restaurants, breweries and wineries serve up their favorite dishes and libations with entertainment enjoyable for all ages!
Congratulations! Bloomington made the list!
Bloomington has been named one of the Top 10 Foodie Cities by Livability.com, a national website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America’s small and mid-sized cities.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Urbanspoon has named Yogi’s Grill & Bar one of the most
popular restaurant bars in the United States based on coverage and reviews from
professional food critics, bloggers, the Urbanspoon community, and diners.
“Many people don’t think of the food when thinking about bars, but the Urbanspoon
community does!” said Patrick O’Donnell, Urbanspoon. “Whether you are on the hunt for
a craft cocktail inspired by the Saint Patrick’s Day or some good food to eat with a pint of
beer from a local sports bar for March Madness, this list includes 200 bar options
BIRA, Downtown Bloomington, Inc. and Visit Bloomington are proud to host a professional service seminar on Wednesday, May 22 entitled “The Art of Giving Great Service”- How Zingerman’s treats Customers Like Royalty with featured speaker Ann Lofgren and opening remarks by Jeff Mease of One World Enterprises.
Learn what drives the culinary professionals of
BIRA; their experiences, their history and their
Where/ when did you start cooking? What inspired you?
I started cooking at a young age helping my mother in the kitchen and cooking fish and game that my father and I would take from the lakes and woods of Southern Indiana. Inspiration comes from the drive to create and make people happy doing something that must be done, eating.
Training? Where have you worked?
My training has been exclusively on the job and in the trenches of kitchens. Mostly I have worked in Bloomington kitchens, Truffles, FARM, the Rail, Collins Dormitory. My first restaurant job was at a Frisches Big Boy in Indianapolis
What is your favorite food to eat?
I love seafood of all types. Some of my most memorable meals were on Maryland’s Eastern Shore picking blue crabs and eating french fries bathed in vinegar. Others on this list include fresh water fish, venison, cured meats, fermented vegetables, good pasta, and homegrown vegetables.
What is your favorite cuisine to cook? Why?
I really enjoy the big, fresh flavors of Latin American cuisine. I practiced archaeology in Central America and had some of the most memorable dishes of my life. There, Farm to Table isn’t just an idea or gimmick, but a way of life.
Give me an example of a Springtime menu you would like to cook for someone special.
A spring menu should include foraged foods such as ramps or nettles, maybe some morel mushrooms, fresh fish, lots of garden herbs and early veggies and a nice chilled Rose wine.
What do you do to insure quality of food going out to your customers?
Insuring quality food begins with informed and proper purchasing of menu items. Letting the fresh ingredients speak for themselves and preparing the tougher items using the proper techniques and complimentary flavors. Quality food is also the task of the entire kitchen, so proper training of everyone in the BOH is imperative. Tasting everything!
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your career?
I am proud to have had the opportunity to help open FARM under one the nation’s most talented Chefs in Chef Orr. Proud of making a living out of my passion.
What motivates you to do your best as a Chef?
First and formost the motivation comes from a food-hungry public that spends their hard-earned money at the restaurants I am fortunate enough in which to work. The unattainable yet ever present idea of perfecting a craft and passing that on to young cooks and chefs also motivates me. On a personal level motivation comes in the constant creative pressure this competitive industry provides.
One of the unofficial icons of Bloomington has been sitting atop the Monroe County Courthouses since 1826. Many refer to him as "Charlie the Tuna." We, at BIRA, have also adopted him as our symbol of Home. Charlie likes to make his rounds among the BIRA restaurants. More Information