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Butcher’s Block

Food is the one quintessential thing that binds all of us together. Food not only nourishes our body, but feeds our soul. Food brings us comfort in times of sorrow, food brings joy in times of celebration, and food serves as the original social media bringing friends and family together. This is a column about food. This is a column about the celebrations that require food. And this is a column that will hopefully help you look at food in an entirely new light, with a little light hearted humor along the way.

With more than 15 years working in the food-service industry, I have certainly experienced food in a way that many people have not. When my wife and I purchased our restaurant at the age of 22, we had no idea what kind of ride we were in for. The business concept was simple, but as the economy and our demographic changed we also had to change, or become extinct. Full service catering took the lead, and not only helped our business survive but thrive. I want to preface by saying I am by no means a trained chef; I am a common cook, with a flair for entertaining and a passion for food.

I am frequently asked questions and for recipes after events, so I felt this would be a great forum to share those ideas. This column however will feature not only recipes to help plan the perfect family meal, a romantic dinner for two, or a party for a 100 of your closest friends but will help you create a beautiful tablescape or host a memorable wedding or baby shower. Environment is a key factor to entertaining, and is almost as important as the food!

I have been left big shoes to fill with this column. Many of you reading this were fans of “What the Foxes Eat,” as was I. Jo Fox was a former professor and mentor of mine that I have maintained a relationship with well after my college years. And although she is beginning a new chapter of her life in Ohio, her recipes, stories, and anecdotes will always be welcome on the Butcher’s Block.

So today I will raise a glass with one of my favorite cocktails in celebration of this new culinary adventure we are all taking together. This column is meant to be interactive, some of my best recipes have been ideas derived from others! E-mail me at

Summer Citrus Splash

12 oz can thawed frozen orange juice

12 oz can thawed frozen lemonade

3 cups warm water

2 cups sugar

46oz can pineapple juice

2 liter of Sprite soda

1 bag of frozen mixed berries

*If you’re over 21, add your favorite adult beverage for a little extra zing! I prefer Vodka.

Mix orange juice, lemonade, pineapple juice, water, sugar, and optional alcohol together and let chill. Add frozen berries and soda right before serving.