Sustaining Cleveland’s food boom

Katie Couric
Global Anchor

By Alexandra Zaslow

If you’re looking for a place where the food keeps getting better and better, look no further than Cleveland.

Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric got a taste of the city while visiting as part of her “Cities Rising” series.

“The food scene preceded the renaissance that happened here,” Zack Bruell, one of Cleveland’s biggest restaurateurs, said. “Then it just exploded.”

Bruell played a major role in the city’s food explosion. After finding success on the West Coast, he moved to Cleveland and has since changed the city’s restaurant game.

In 2004 Bruell opened Parallax, a seafood restaurant and bar that had 25 employees. In the past 13 years, he has opened eight restaurants around Cleveland with more than 500 employees total and cuisines ranging from French to Italian and even Asian.

Ohio City Farm, one of the largest contiguous urban farms in the United States is also bringing jobs back to the city, employing refugees in an effort to help them settle into the country and create a more diverse food system.

“We have an amazing restaurant industry here in Cleveland, and so it really helps to sustain that in providing fresh food,” Carrie Miller, Ohio City Farm’s director of neighborhood services, said.

The farm works to provide fresh, local and healthy food to Cleveland, especially the city’s underserved residents. It is conveniently located behind the historic West Side Market.

The market, which is Cleveland’s oldest continuously operating municipally owned market, opened in 1912 and is now home to more than 100 ethnically diverse vendors.

“We still want our pierogis, our bratwurst and our beer,” Doug Trattner, one of Cleveland’s biggest food critics, said. “But we also like farm-raised food done in a creative way.”