Big Spoon B’ham: Local artisan creamery hosts workshop
In June 2014, two months after their wedding, Ryan and Geri-Martha O’Hara founded Big Spoon Creamery. The small ice cream business, currently run from a street cart, focuses on seasonal local produce and flavors while collaborating with other local makers like Octane Coffee and Jones Valley Teaching Farm.
On Tuesday, Aug. 11, the O’Haras will share secrets of the trade during Cream of the Crop, an ice cream workshop at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Attendees will be able to sample some of Big Spoon’s most popular flavors and take home a pint of their own creation.
Big Spoon Creamery was first born of necessity, according to Ryan O’Hara.
“After paying for the wedding and honeymoon we had no real resources,” Ryan said.
He and Geri-Martha, both chefs who have worked for Birmingham restaurateur Frank Stitt, had been planning on opening a business that combined their love of ice cream and filled a need for an artisan creamery in Birmingham. After the post-honeymoon excitement settled the timing was perfect, Ryan explained.
“So, we just went for it,” he said.
During the week the Big Spoon cart (or trike, as the O’Haras refer to it) can be found at locales such as Little Hardware, Seeds Coffee, the Summit, Pepper Place Market and Tip Top Grill. Ryan, Geri-Martha and their two employees can be found serving Big Spoon’s biggest hits like peach buttermilk (with Chilton County peaches), Octane coffee caramel and goat cheese fig newton (made with figs from Jones Valley). The company posts the cart’s weekly schedule on social media platforms, and their website is projected to launch next month.
For serious ice cream aficionados, Ryan and Geri-Martha recommend joining Big Spoon’s Ice Cream Club, which delivers two pints monthly to members’ doorsteps. The club is yet another opportunity for the O’Haras to showcase exclusive flavors and highlight other local producers.
Cream of the Crop will take place at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Rd., from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include a pint of Big Spoon Creamery ice cream. To register, visit bbgardens.org.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6
Plant It, Pick It, Drink It: Gin Medleys — Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 2612 Lane Park Rd. Bartender Clair McLafferty and Birmingham Botanical Gardens Plant Adventures program specialist Brooke McMinn will educate cocktail enthusiasts on the history of gin and create classic gin mixes like Tom Collins, Juliet and Romeo and Cucumber Grapefruit Fizz. 6–8 p.m. $25. For more information, visit bbgardens.org.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 7
Bards and Brews Open Mic — Birmingham Public Library. 2100 Park Place. Bards and Brews returns for its monthly slam poetry and beer sampling event. This month’s event will have free beer by Huntsville’s Blue Pants, snacks from local restaurants. 6:30–9 p.m. Free. For more information, call (205) 226-3670.
Southern Summer Night — Avondale Brewing Company. 201 41st St. S. Southern Summer Night, an annual fundraising event hosted by Hands On Birmingham’s Junior Board, will be an evening of food, libations and live music. A silent auction will offer a chance to win the Cabinet of Cheer (filled with wine and beer), and proceeds will benefit the nonprofit. 6–10 p.m. $25. For more information, visit handsonbirmingham.org.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 8
Hops for Hope — Avondale Brewery. 201 41st St. S. The second annual Hops for Hope will benefit Pathways, Birmingham’s only full-service day center for homeless women and children. The family- and pet-friendly event will include live music from The Beatlads and Tres Homeboys, children’s activities, a silent auction, prizes and local food trucks. Adult tickets include a free beer. $12. 2–6 p.m. For more information, visit hopsforhope.swellgives.com.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 9
Tops and Bottoms Italian Family Dinner — The Hugh Comer Home. 5601 11th Ave. S. Guests will be able to create their own Italian dishes during this family-style buffet dinner. The “Big, Fat, Sunday Night Italian Family Dinner” will benefit Birmingham Aids Outreach and The Magic City Acceptance Center. Musicians Sharyn Cox and Paul Morin will perform live. 5:01 p.m. $25. For more information, visit birminghamaidsoutreach.org.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 11
Birmingham Food: A Magic City Menu Signing — Alabama Booksmith. 2626 19th Place. S. Emily Brown will be signing copies of her book Birmingham Food: A Magic City Menu this week. Brown’s culinary history book tracks the legacy of food in Birmingham from its beginnings in immigrant homes to the booming industry it is today. 5–7 p.m. Free. For more information, visit alabamabooksmith.com.
ArtBreak — Birmingham Museum of Art. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Curator of European Art Robert Schindler will lead this week’s ArtBreak in a discussion on prints from the museum’s Green collection. Attendees will be able to enjoy a free dessert from Oscar’s following the lecture. 12–12:30 p.m. Free. For more information, visit artsbma.org.
Ten Percent Tuesday — Rojo. 2921 Highland Ave. 5–11 p.m. Ten percent of dinner and drink sales will benefit the National Eating Disorder Association, which provides education, support and treatment options for individuals with eating disorders. For more information, visit rojobirmingham.com.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13
Raising the Bar — Carrigan’s Public House. 2430 Morris Ave. Birmingham Southern College alumni are invited to learn more about the history of cocktail culture this week from bartender and BSC alum Eric Bennett and the Carrigan’s bartenders. 6–8 p.m. For more information, visit alumni.bsc.edu.