Tastemakers 2017: John & Anne Reese of Black Radish Creamery
Why They're Tastemakers
Black Radish Creamery has built a following and won several Good Food Awards for its small-batch fruit preserves, like the best-selling Billionaire preserves made with Ohio strawberries and rhubarb; the Imperial Peach with Ohio peaches, cardamom and candied ginger; and Outback Cherry with tart Ohio cherries and spicebush berries. For years, you could only find these artisan jams at farmers markets and, more recently, online. That's about to change as Black Radish takes on a whole new level of visibility after scoring a spot at the North Market.
Wait, Where's the Creamery?
John and Anne Reese recently realized a dream more than a decade in the making when they opened Black Radish Creamery in the North Market. The shop will sell BRC preserves, as well as cheeses from Ohio and around the world (a concept they've been testing at a cheese shop in the market since October). Their shop and café will serve seasonal soups, fondue and grilled cheese sandwiches. It will also sell—drumroll please—artisanal cheeses that John makes at their new commercial-grade kitchen and creamery in Granville. Cheese has always been the couple's goal. It just took a little longer than planned. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York, John learned the craft from local cheesemakers and earned a prestigious certificate from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese at the University of Vermont. The preserves were a serendipitous side business that took off.
Two Weddings and a Cheese Plate
The recipe for Billionaire preserves was born six years ago when John couldn't find a good chutney to go on the cheese plate at his and Anne's wedding. It was a hit. Two weeks later, he made a batch for his cousin's wedding. Guests went crazy for it, and the Reeses realized they had something special.
Where the Magic Happens
Until now, the Reeses have been making fruit preserves in their home (hey, it worked for Diane Keaton's character in 1987's “Baby Boom”). They live in one of those idyllic, family-friendly neighborhoods with a trampoline and Labradoodle in every yard. You'd never guess their living room is full of stainless steel tables and commercial vacuum-sealers. It takes eight to nine hours to make one batch of 120 jars. Their preserves are pectin-free, and fruit is always the No. 1 ingredient. John makes them the old-fashioned way: lots of stirring. His favorite way to pass the time? Netflix.
Suggested Cheese Pairings
Don't ask the Reeses to name their favorite fromage. It's not possible. But they'll happily share some great pairings: Camembert with Billionaire strawberry preserves; fresh ricotta with honey; and Charloe, a washed-rind cheese from Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese, with Imperial Peach preserves.
PREVIOUS GIGS A Swiss-themed restaurant called Chalet in the Valley during high school, flipped houses
MUST-HAVE INGREDIENT Vanilla bean
GO-TO DRINK Negroni
DREAM DINNER DATES “Some of the people I graduated with at the Culinary Institute of America. And Anne!”
FAVORITE DINING SPOTS IN COLUMBUS Wolf's Ridge Brewing, Skillet
PREVIOUS GIG In-house photographer at the Culinary Institute of America
MUST-HAVE INGREDIENT Shaved coconut
GO-TO DRINK “A really good whiskey with one or two rocks”