I suppose if you're going to trust my judgment about restaurants in the Greater Akron-Canton area, you really should know why I'm qualified to have opinions on food and wine.
Most people who know me understand that my life has always been a full platter. By that, I mean that I have always tried to avoid boredom by filling my days with lots of different activities, jobs and hobbies. I have been lucky enough to find work that has been interesting and fun, making me the sort of person who can claim to have never worked a day because I truly enjoy the work that I do.
A brief biography is in order. I was born in Philadelphia immediately after World War II, and I'm on the front edge of the Baby Boom wave. I was raised in Coshocton, Ohio, about an hour south of Tallmadge, where I now live. My dad taught high school physics; I am useless at math! I went to the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State, the US Army, and back to Ohio State after learning that my true calling was writing and photography. I am proficient in many trades, but a master of none.
It turns out that being a generalist is an asset if you're going to travel, write, make art, and try to convince the people you meet that they should also try the things you like. I was fortunate to be able to travel all over the world as an auto racing correspondent for publications such as AutoWeek, Racecar Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, Autosport, and Motor Trend. A stint at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Mansfield and a few years at some Akron-based automotive trade magazines brought my family here. Tom Babcox, the man who recruited me to Akron from Los Angeles, told me that Akron is a "secret paradise" during his sales pitch, and I have never been disappointed that I believed him.
As it happens, I also like to cook, and I've been collecting and drinking wine since 1968. If you travel as much as I have, you find your way into many restaurants. I've bought meals from five-star restaurants and sidewalk food carts from all over the world. I've been exposed to Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Michael Symon, and two dozen other celebrity chefs who have come and gone before them. I know a good restaurant and a fine wine when I encounter one; equally, I can recognize a stinker. But I'm omnivorous, and I don't turn my nose up at hamburger stands or local bars and grilles.
So, if you let me, I will try to be your guide to "Flavor" and "A Full Platter Of Life" in northeast Ohio. Most of this blog will be about establishments; reviews, news, events, tastings. Some of it will be about a more general approach to including food and drink in your daily life. I expect to update this page three to five times per week, so I hope you will be a regular visitor. In fact, I hope you will participate with me as we fill our plates with the best the Akron-Canton area has to offer.