On April 26, 2015, 13 chefs from around the Short North Arts District are going to get their art on. The chefs recently toured the District’s galleries to admire the art, which they will be using as inspiration for their dishes at the Ninth Annual Short North Gala, presented by Borror Properties. This year, the Gala talent includes several newcomers that includes chefs from both recently-opened restaurants and long-time favorites, as well as an exciting new taste experience – mixologists. Get in on the collaboration and celebrate the Short North Arts District at this year’s Gala with good food, good drinks, and good art. Click here for more information.


Bakers at Short North Piece of Cake
Gala dish: Dessert

For Gabriele Brocker and Mallory Klosterman, there is no question about what aspect of the Ninth Annual Short North Gala they’re most looking forward to: the food. “I love food. Everything about the food,” Klosterman said. “We’re on the same page,” Brocker said as they both laughed.

Their excitement about other chefs’ Gala dishes isn’t the only commonality the girls share. Both bakers started working at Short North Piece of Cake around October 2014 after earning their Baking and Pastry degrees from the Art Institute – Brocker’s from Pittsburgh, and Klosterman’s from Cincinnati.

In the six months the girls have worked in the District, they haven’t yet had the chance to become very familiar with all that it has to offer; however, they already love the neighborhood. “It’s a very active, very fun place to work,” Klosterman said. “It brings a lot of people to this area and there’s a lot of different things to do when it comes to dining out, and with the galleries,” Brocker said. “There’s a lot of arts, which in general just brings people together. I think [art is] a way of showing yourself and sharing yourself, and different types of people getting to know each other.”

mallory galaKlosterman also enjoys the prevalence of art in the District, especially the recent Start with Art campaign. “The Short North Arts District is known for all its galleries, so I think it only makes sense for it to start with art. It was a lot of fun getting to go to the galleries and seeing all the art, and getting to be inspired by certain things for food,” she said.

The bakers feel that the Gala is a unique opportunity to express themselves and get to know their peers in person and through their food. “I’m really excited to get to work with the other chefs, because obviously we’re both kind of new into the culinary game so it’s an honor. I feel like a giddy little school girl,” Klosterman said with a laugh. “I do, too, for sure,” Brocker said. “Just being able to see the little things that everyone is going to do will give us a really good idea of what everyone’s about.”

For their Gala dish, Brocker and Klosterman were inspired by an acrylic painting they saw in Studios on High Gallery that depicts a creek surrounded by tall grasses and reeds. The nature scene, by artist Teda Theis, reminded the girls of a calm, serene early morning. They will be making individual Earl Grey and lavender cakes with lemon ganache and candied lavender and lemon peel.


andrew gala


Executive Chef of The Rossi Bar + Kitchen
Gala dish: Second served course

Chef Andrew Smith of The Rossi Bar + Kitchen is a veteran of the Short North Gala, but he’s looking forward to celebrating the Short North Arts District as much as ever. Smith’s sincere love of the District is a result of the reach it has in many facets of his daily life, starting with The Rossi. “[The District] actually means a lot to me. It brings a lot of business to our business,” he said.

The variety of art in the District is brings a large clientele, for which Smith is grateful for because he feels The Rossi has something for everybody. “Once people realize that, it brings in a bigger amount of people than some other restaurants might.”

Additionally, the breadth of artistic spirit in the District is a personal and important aspect to him. “[Art] has always been a creative outlet for me,” he said. “It’s been huge in my life because it’s been a way for me to support my family and do what I love to do at the same time. My kids are the most important thing to me, and it’s given me the opportunity to show them you can do what it is that you want to do and make a living at it.”

That the District is largely patronized by locals is one of the defining features of the neighborhood to Smith, and he is continually impressed by the neighborhood’s capacity to be a “self-sustaining local business district.”

Smith is excited to honor the sense of community in the District at the Gala and collaborate with his fellow chefs. “[The Gala] is just a great growing opportunity for this area. It’s a way for us to celebrate how wonderful the Short North Arts District is, and I love that [The Rossi] gets to be part of it.” Smith also relishes the challenge The Rossi faces as a small restaurant donating food to the Gala, which helps to fuel his creativity.

Though he is still finalizing his Gala dish, Smith’s inspiration for the dish was immediate. The bright colors and vibrancy of “Corleone,” an acrylic painting by Mac Worthington housed in his eponymous gallery. Smith’s dish will likely feature a brûléed egg yolk in a nod to the white-hot sun presiding over the abstract cityscape shown in the painting.

The Ninth Annual Short North Gala, presented by Borror Properties, will be on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at 6:00pm at the Hilton Columbus Downtown. Click here to buy tickets.

Michelle Gibson