By Matt Leingang
Enquirer staff writer
He walks around wearing a red velvet cape and a crown of gold. Lest anyone doubt it, Gene Goldschmidt is Cincinnati's Mustard King.
Goldschmidt and his award-winning mustards were featured in cooking demonstrations at Findlay Market on Saturday, part of the market's continuing efforts to remake this Over-the-Rhine institution and to lure bigger crowds.
Each month, the market highlights a different food. Local chefs cook up special recipes and pass out free samples to shoppers.
"Mustard Queen" Wilma R. Smith of Westwood.
(Enquirer photo/MEGGAN BOOKER)
Mustard was the theme on Saturday. Goldschmidt, an Oakley resident who's been selling specialty horseradish and mustards at Findlay Market since 1999, took the opportunity to unveil his newest creation: a roasted garlic merlot mustard.
"These cooking events are always fun, a great way to interact with people," said Goldschmidt, whose honey mustard won a gold medal in the 2002 Napa Valley Mustard Festival.
Next month's cooking demonstration, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25, will throw a culinary spotlight on apples, said Cheryl Eagleson, marketing director for Findlay Market.
These are new times for the public market, which was built in 1852.
In June, City Council turned over management of Findlay Market to a private, nonprofit agency. That agency, the Corporation for Findlay Market, was formed in 2001 and is now charged with leasing vacant space in the newly expanded market.
A $17 million renovation was completed this summer.
The transition to private management is modeled on successful public markets in cities such as Seattle and Columbus, Eagleson said.
The next phase of business development calls for bringing in more restaurants and vendors with prepared foods, giving visitors a reason to stay and eat, Eagleson said.
The changes are already making an impact.
Stan and Sauny Rockey of Loveland made their first trip to Findlay Market on Saturday, buying some black cherries and cinnamon bread.
"My reaction is that this is more than I thought it would be," said Stan Rockey, 60. "I'm pleasantly surprised at how big the market is."
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