Lake Erie Ink cooks up creativity

Dee Perry, emcee for Stirring Stories in 2017, regaled the audience with a story. [photo: Amy Rosenbluth]

Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is stirring up something special. Its 2022 community cookbook, Stirring Stories, has inspired another round of community, cooking and storytelling—reimagined. 

The 2023 iteration of Stirring StoriesStirring the Plot—aims to raise program funds for the nonprofit through community workshops and a culminating fundraiser. 

The first course of the project comprises a series of writing workshops led by an LEI teaching artist, held at restaurants around Greater Cleveland. These Mix It Up events, hosted in partnership with local chefs, are open to community members over the age of 14 (cost is $20 each), with the exception of the Aug. 12 program. Events will be held on June 14, 6:30–8 p.m., at Larder, July 9, 3–4:30 p.m., at Ninja City; July 15, 9:30–11 a.m., at Convenient Vegan; July 24, 2:30–4 p.m. at Amba; June 29 and Aug. 24, 6:30–8 p.m. at Mitchell's Ice Cream; Aug. 12, 6–7:30 p.m., at Doki Doki (this event is specifically for teenagers, and is donation-based); and Aug. 16, 6:30­–8 p.m. at Saucisson.

Other community Mix It Up workshops will also take place free of charge: June 20 and Aug. 22, 6:30–8 p.m., at City Fresh; July 18, 1–2:30 p.m., at Public Square; and Aug. 12 from 10–11:30 a.m., at Noble Gardeners Market (at the corner of Noble and Roanoke roads).

In addition, community members are invited to contribute a recipe to this year’s cookbook. Writing samples of up to 250 words relating to place or palate are also welcome submissions for the project. The cookbook submission deadline is Aug. 25.

“Everyone is connected,” said Amy Rosenbluth, LEI's executive director. “When the community engages with us in creative projects it’s strengthening that support network for the youth we serve; it's also modeling a creative community.”

“Being a part of this project helped me feel more in community with my neighbors,” said Eli Millette, friend of LEI and a Cleveland Heights resident. “Cooking and eating together has always been a part of how my family stays connected, so participating last year helped me feel more connected to everyone else who submitted a recipe.”

To close the project, LEI will host Culinary Creativity on Sunday, Oct. 1. The event will launch Stirring the Plot, and raise funds to benefit the nonprofit. By attending, guests will help support ongoing after-school programs, Comic Con, and the annual Teen Book Project, all while enjoying the Dunham Barn venue and interacting with local chefs.

To learn more about LEI, to register for upcoming Mix It Up workshops, and to buy tickets to Culinary Creativity, visit

Alexis Watkins

Alexis Watkins is the Cleveland Foundation intern at Lake Erie Ink: A writing space for youth.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 3:57 PM, 06.29.2023