Julie Niesen | WOSU Radio

Julie Niesen

Julie Niesen has been covering local food since 2008. Her award-winning blog, wine me dine me, has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, Serious Eats, The Cincinnati Enquirer (and its former weekly, Metromix), WCPO Digital, City Beat, WCPO-TV, Fox19, and many more. She is a longtime resident of Over-the-Rhine, where she lives with her menagerie of pets. When she's not eating food, thinking about food, cooking food or writing about food, she runs a thought leadership program for a technology company in Chicago.

As some may know, Cincinnati is the birthplace of Reform Judaism. In 1853, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise came here and enacted changes that drastically altered Jewish life, such as choral singing and seating men and women together in pews. His temple – now his namesake – still stands Downtown on Plum Street. In 1888, Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz started Manischewitz in Cincinnati, the famous kosher brand whose square matzoh (an unleavened bread) was revolutionary because it was made by machine (and thus no longer round). Manischewitz was based here until the 1930s, when it moved to New Jersey. 

Imagine the Hollywood-depicted dark, moody jazz bar: maybe it's in the Marais in Paris, or down an alley in Chicago. Carpets on the wall for insulation, warm lighting, a dark conversation corner so chatty couples don't disturb the musician, a chalkboard with drink specials, a surly-on-the-outside bartender who's actually a teddy bear, a woman making sure everyone's drinks are filled and that everyone is welcomed. 

After a long Ohio winter, today is the first day of spring and, just a week from now, the first day of baseball season.

Editor's note: March 8 is International Women's Day, and the theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter, the aim of which is to create a gender-balanced world. When it comes to the restaurant business, the numbers aren't encouraging. Except, maybe, here in Cincinnati. Below, WVXU food writer Julie Niesen gets to know a few of the local women breaking that mold, whether they mean to or not. 

Molly Wellmann has been keeping a secret.

In December, Nightclub & Bar, the bar world's major trade organization based in Las Vegas, told Wellmann, owner of Japp's and Myrtle's Punch House, that she was nominated for their Best Bartender/Owner of the Year award. A week ago, she found out that she was picked unanimously for this prestigious award, making her the first winner in Cincinnati, or even outside of New York, San Francisco or Las Vegas. 

Working in the food and beverage industry isn’t easy - between the hours, the heat, the physicality and the demands of the public, there’s not a lot of time for self-care.

Many workplaces, businesses, places of worship and schools have food donation drives to help those less fortunate during the holidays. For those of us who want to help, what should we give?  

This election is going to be a nail biter... or cause us all to go off of our diets in an extreme way. 

If there’s anything more iconically Cincinnati than our chili, you’d be hard pressed to find it. Spaghetti, topped with a thin, sweet-spiced meat sauce and a pile of bright orange cheese: locals generally love it, and everyone else is just a little confused. Where did it come from? Why do Cincinnatians love it so much? Is it even chili?

De Stewart, proprietor of Colonel De's Gourmet Herbs and Spices at Findlay Market, died Thursday of an apparent heart attack, according to Colonel De's Facebook page

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. Kids are back in school, we put away our swimsuits, and we start thinking about pumpkin spice lattes and brisk fall weather. There's just one problem...

A familiar face is moving from a Cincinnati institution to an up-and-coming brand.

In 2016, reports surfaced of women being drugged at bars near local universities. Meanwhile, another bar was getting negative attention on social media for hiring bartenders with a history of sexual assault. To Maria Cole and Kendra Massey, that meant it was time to take a nationwide program and bring it local.