Frances Kroner: Food event designer, chef

Name: Frances Kroner
Title: Food Event Designer; Chef/Owner of Feast Cincinnati
Age: 26
Neighborhood: Northside

What do you do?
I design dinner parties. In 2008 I started Feast Cincinnati, "an underground pop up restaurant for your friends in your home,” a personal chef service that allows guests an opportunity to play host to a restaurant in their home for the evening. About a year later I started stretching my horizons with the themes of these dinners, with titles like "Adventures in Food Cartography" (where we explored food as a map, food is a map, where does it come from and where does it take you) and many other obscure dinner party themes.

Thus Breaking Bread with the Creatives was born. BBWTC is a branch of Feast that focuses on collaboration between myself and other artists/musicians/fellow creatives. What starts out as a dinner inevitably turns into a celebration of talents. You can also find me at Picnic and Pantry, a Micro Market and Catering Company in Northside, where I am the Market Chef.

Why do you do it?  
I love food and cooking, but I realized after graduating from Midwest Culinary Institute that what I loved most about food was how it brought people together. Being given the opportunity to take over a person’s evening with these events is such an honor and I try to recognize that by putting all of my energy into not only serving delicious food but also by trying to push the boundaries of what an eating experience can be by manipulating the presentation and environment that accompanies each meal.  

Why Cincinnati?  
Cincinnati has all the perks of a small town -- community driven spirit and camaraderie -- with lots and lots of room to expand. There is so much that Cincinnati still can be introduced to. It is exciting to be living somewhere that has so much potential.  

What do you love about the city?
The people. As a native I have always felt supported and inspired by all the people I interact with every day.

What are you trying to change about the city?  
I have really enjoyed watching the growth that seems to be picking up speed over the last few years in Cincinnati. I would love to see further development between the food and arts scenes.  

What's next?
Well first on my list is delivering this wonderful baby I have been carrying for about six and a half months thus far. After that I plan on rolling out the next round of Feasts beginning this summer 2012 with the continuation of a three-part series of dinners that explores the connection between music and food. "Edible Music Theory" was the first, where local musician Peter Adams and I worked together to create a menu that helped further define 12 elements of music theory -- guests were given a description of the element, then played examples as they tasted each course.

The next will be "Eat My Song," where we will take the work that we've done with the theory and put it to practice with a song played live married with a conductor of sorts that will instruct when each bite is to be taken.  With an emphasis on bigger collaborative efforts with local artists, musicians and other creatives, I would like to keep expanding my own idea of what a food event is and how it can breathe new energy into our social gatherings.  
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