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10 thoughts: Steve Schimoler

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Steve Schimoler is the chef/owner of Crop Bistro & Bar in Cleveland, OH. He’s also the owner of a product development company called Right Stuff, the creator of, an online farmers market, and the driving force behind Cleveland Food Rocks, a non-profit band that links the city’s food and music scenes.

1. One thing you don’t know about me is that I’m not a bad painter once I actually sit down in front of a canvas and have the time to tune out the world.

2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Dave Burke. I’ve known him for a long time and we have very similar whimsical approaches to food and I know we could jump into each other’s kitchens and not miss a beat.

3. One of my most memorable meals was at The Fat Duck in Bray, England. Heston Blumenthal just knocked it out of the park and it was the first time I really enjoyed eating a meal that judiciously reflected molecular gastronomy and delivered real innovation without being a high school science project.

4. If there were no Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves and Jif Creamy Peanut Butter I’d have no reason to live.

5. My go-to drink is Maker’s Mark on the rocks. I usually don’t even need to order it at the local haunts, it just appears. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

6. If I were on death row my last meal would be a hefty slab of seared foie gras with blackberry gastrique, a grilled veal chop with morel cream and shaved white truffle, apple tarte tatin and a bottle of Sean Thackery’s Orion Syrah.

7. My worst culinary creation was ravioli filled with squid ink for a private party that the hostess requested. I thought the dish was a total train wreck, but the guests said they liked the ravioli. They had to be politely lying.

8. If I could change one thing about me it would be to say “no” more often.

9. My favorite junk food is a bag of crinkle-cut potato chips and a whole container of sour cream French onion dip with an ice cold PBR.

10. If I wasn’t a restaurant operator, I’d love to be on tour with a rock band as the drummer.

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