The holidays are coming and Cincinnati’s culinary scene is buzzing with anticipation.
For some, however, the festive mood isn’t just a family tradition.
The city of Cincinnati has had a strong culinary tradition for many years, but it’s about to enter its “foodie” phase, said Chris Kocher, executive chef at the historic Hotel Monticello.
It’s the next phase in the city’s foodie renaissance.
It all started with a single meal, Kochel said.
In the early 1900s, Chef Eugene Burdon opened his first restaurant, the Burdons Restaurant, on the corner of North Broadway and North Seventh Streets.
A few years later, the restaurant closed.
In the mid-19th century, the family of James H. Koche opened the first French-American restaurant in Cincinnati, which quickly became the city of the East.
It was known as the Biddle House.
It also was the home of James Biddle, the first chef to be appointed to the U.S. Senate, according to Kochers website.
Then, in 1919, a new restaurant opened on North Broadway called The Diner, with an impressive list of customers.
The owner, Charles Biddle Sr., opened a second restaurant, The Kitchen, on North Ninth Street in 1923, and in 1924 the Diner reopened on the site of the old Hotel Monticlello.
In 1926, James Biddies brother, James Kochei, opened a restaurant in downtown Cincinnati, with the name The Hometown Grill, and it was a huge hit.
It opened in 1930 and remained open until 1953.
The restaurant was so popular that it was able to continue operating after the death of the family patriarch in 1949.
The Diners name was retained by the city, and the Diners restaurant became the home to many of the local restaurant chefs, said Kochers website.
The family’s culinary success helped Cincinnati grow.
With the introduction of the food truck and restaurant chain, Cincinnati became known as a destination for dining, music and cultural events.
The restaurant industry was booming, and many restaurants began to expand their business.
It made Cincinnati one of the most desirable places to live, according Koches website.
Now, with over 40 restaurants and a growing population, Kontchos business is booming, with more than 3,000 restaurants in the U: Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Memphis and Cincinnati.
It’s not only the restaurants, but also the food.
Kontches restaurants are also popular for their food, including their signature fried chicken sandwiches.
“I think it’s just really about how you serve it,” said Kontcher, who has also helped develop several other restaurants in Cincinnati.
“It’s about having an authentic Cincinnati flavor.”
Cincinnati is also a popular place to work in the restaurant industry, as well.
Kons restaurants employ more than 2,400 people, with almost 90 percent of those jobs being related to food, according the restaurant and food service industry trade group, Restaurants and Beverages Association of America.
The popularity of the restaurant scene in Cincinnati is attributed to its many diverse cuisines.
It offers a mix of traditional dishes, new and more experimental creations and the chefs themselves are constantly adding to their repertoire.
“There are a lot of great chefs in the world, but Cincinnati is a hotbed of creativity,” said Kevin L. Brown, executive director of Cincinnati’s FoodWorks Alliance.
“We have great chefs and we have chefs who are passionate about their craft, but they also bring a lot to the table.
Cincinnati has some of the best chefs in America.”
Kocher said he’s not surprised that Cincinnati has become known for its food, as it’s a popular gathering spot for families.
“It’s just a great mix of people who love cooking, love food and love food culture,” he said.
“They’re all great.
The food is great.”