People from all over the region flock to the annual summer street fairs in Cleveland Heights' Coventry Village; although low-key and neighborly, they're not just for the neighbors. People come for the food, crafts, wares, performances, book-signings and kids activities, and even to register to vote. But they're expensive to organize (police presence, sound equipment rental, clean-up), and the city isn't in a position to help. So the Coventry Village Special Improvement District is holding a benefit called A Taste of Coventry at 7 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the B-Side Liquor Lounge (under the Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., bsideliquorlounge.com). For $25 advance or $30 at the door, you get to sample offerings from the diverse restaurants on Coventry Road. Tickets are on sale at Coventry merchants Vidstar Video, Mac's Backs, the Grog Shop, Fast Eddy's Chop Shop, Big Fun and Delphic Books. Or send a check or money order with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: CVSID, 2533 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44106-2709.
— Anastasia Pantsios
Chefs are reaching out to the Obama administration, and not for a bailout. Chefs Collaborative, a nonprofit advocating for sustainability policies, sent the president the following letter on Earth Day, April 22:
"Dear President and Mrs. Obama,
"We, the undersigned chefs and food professionals of Chefs Collaborative, thank you for beginning the critical work of steering our country onto a more sustainable course. We have read with great pleasure and pride that you are giving much-needed attention to sustainable food issues; we write now with a renewed sense of hope that together we can change the way we think about food in this country.
"Indeed, through the example set by the White House kitchen, you have the ability to continue to show the country that your staff prepares and serves food that reflects the important connection between our food choices and the long-term health of the nation. It is an opportunity to serve food that celebrates our rich cultural heritage, our diverse culinary traditions and the historic agricultural backbone of our nation."
Read the rest at chefscollaborative.org. Local signers include Steve Schimoler (Crop Bistro), Michael Symon (Lola) and Mariann Janosko (Lake Erie Creamery). Visit Crop to try the new Yes We Can Cocktail. — Frank Lewis