you have (0) items in your itinerary!

Archives
 
 

Subscribe to
our E-Newsletter

   

Blog

RSS

Soup’s on at Dooley O’Tooles

Jan 19, 2017 by Andrea Davis

SoupWhen temperatures drop and cold winds blow through Hamilton County, Doug Kemp knows he is going to be spending more time than usual in the kitchen.

Kemp owns Dooley O’Tooles in Carmel, which has been warming up patrons with a wide variety of homemade soups since 1985. Weekday mornings begin at the steam kettle, where he transforms four of his 100-plus handwritten recipes into some of the restaurant’s most popular menu options. The restaurant is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

The three soups available every day are among his most popular creations: creamy Chicken Velvet, traditional Hoosier Chili and hearty Irish Stew. Kemp gets to experiment with the soup of the day—a nice, thick corn chowder when I stopped by on a recent Tuesday.

There are no limits to Kemp’s creativity—some of his more unusual offerings include Creamed Artichoke Soup and Mexican Cheese Soup—but he only has a few days to fill each week thanks to customer demand. Clam Chowder has been the Friday specialty for as long as he can remember, and the Tomato Bisque with Blue Cheese has occupied Thursday’s soup-of-the-day spot for the past few months.

Like many of his recipes, the cheesy bisque came about as the result of a customer’s suggestion. One of his regulars had tried something similar while traveling and urged Kemp to give it a go. It quickly won a place in the rotation.

“I create as I go,” said Kemp, 60. “Somebody gives me an idea—patrons, friends, employees—or I have memories of things I ate as a kid. These aren’t family recipes, but some of them are definitely influenced by what my mother and grandmother made.”

His middle-of-the-road Hoosier Chili, for example, is similar to what he found on his childhood dinner table. His Chicken Velvet, which includes a dash of curry and ginger, was inspired by something he ate as a child while on vacation in Michigan. It’s reminiscent of the locally famous L.S. Ayres Tearoom version, he said, even if the recipes are “very different.”

Doug Kemp
Then there are the “creative whims” that inspire concoctions such as Stuffed Red Pepper Soup or Italian Beef Soup. Whatever he comes up with, you can count on it being made from scratch from the best ingredients in the kitchen. Kemp’s Southern Pork Chili starts with fresh ground pork loin, for example, and the Irish Stew is made with filet mignon and sirloin steak tips.

“I get an idea, and then I sit down and start writing the recipe,” said Kemp.

Although some of the kitchen experiments don’t pan out, his biggest soup-related frustration is not being able to offer the successful creations often enough. Two popular recipes are available just once a year: Irish Potato Soup is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition, and Creamed Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup is a March 18 staple.

Kemp learned soup-making basics decades ago when he was going through a restaurant chain’s training program. Assigned to make cream of mushroom every day for a week, he considered it drudgery. But in his own kitchen, it has become a passion.

“You can be so creative and go so many different directions with them,” he said. Kemp even has been known to labor over a stockpot at home on the weekends.

Soup sales are strongest during the winter, as you might expect. Dooley O’Tooles may go through upward of 15 gallons a day when business is booming. On a recent chilly Friday, the restaurant sold out of Clam Chowder—all seven gallons—by 7:30 p.m.

In addition to the cups and bowls on soup on the menu, Dooley O’Tooles sells cold quarts of its three mainstays that customers can warm up at home. One loyal patron has picked up Irish Stew for her daughter’s birthday meal four years in a row.

Kemp fields frequent requests for his soup recipes, but so far he has kept them to himself.

“I tell them on the day I decide to retire, I’m going to write a cookbook,” he said.

The big pile of recipes he keeps in a drawer likely will be much larger by then. Kemp said he loves what he does and has no plans to hang up his chef’s knife anytime soon.

“I have no desire to retire,” he said. “None at all.”

Giveaway

Hamilton County Happenings - Jan. 18

Jan 18, 2017 by Hamilton County Tourism

This week, cook dinner hearthside at Conner Prairie and more. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Hearthside Suppers
Hearthside Suppers at Conner Prairie
Jan. 18 - March 12
Conner Prairie | Fishers, Indiana

Help prepare, serve and eat a candlelight feast straight from a 19th century cookbook.

Nickel Plate Arts
Artist Next Door
Jan. 18 - 28
Nickel Plate Arts | Noblesville, Indiana

Artists of all skill levels and ages will showcase work during this exhibit.

Palladium
Neil Berg’s “101 Years of Broadway”
Jan. 21
The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts | Carmel, Indiana

Listen to a sprawling revue of American musical treasures. While you’re there, check out the Great American Songbook’s new “Ella Sings the Songbook” exhibit.

Winter Farmers Markets
Winter Farmers Markets
Jan. 21
Around Hamilton County, Indiana

Stock up on fresh, seasonal produce in Carmel and Fishers.

Devour
Devour Indy
Jan. 23 - Feb. 5
Participating Hamilton County restaurants

Try something new and enjoy a three-course, value-priced menu at restaurants in Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield.

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.

BrewsShopping

Know before you go: Center for the Performing Arts

Jan 12, 2017 by Lindsay Parker Williams

Palladium Whether your new year’s resolution involved supporting the arts or exploring new places, checking out The Center for The Performing Arts in Carmel, IN should be at the top of your list. What better escape from the chill of winter than a performance in one of their three world-class spaces, including the Palladium, The Tarkington, and The Studio Theater? Below are some of our top tips to get you ready for an evening at one of Hamilton County’s best arts and culture venues.

10 Things to Know Before You Go

1.  Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or at the box office. For a full list of performances, check out the calendar. There are performances almost every day of the week and in many different price ranges. Don’t forget about the many theater performances as well that take place in the two smaller venues, including many that are family friendly.

2.  Did you know you can save up to 30 percent when you take advantage of a Series Subscription, which lets you purchase tickets to multiple performances? They also have a Choose Your Own Series that lets you mix and match your tickets. Perfect for anyone with eclectic taste. Students can also get discounts on tickets with a student ID.

3.  Unlike many performance venues, parking is FREE at The Center for the Performing Arts. There is a parking garage located onsite as well as street parking. Valet parking is also available beginning one hour before any performance at the Palladium. For a complete list of all parking options, click here.

4.  You can grab dinner at one of the many restaurants nearby before or after a performance. divvy, a small plates restaurant, is one of my favorites and is perfect for group dining as everyone shares a few bits of a variety of dishes. divvy is located right next to the Palladium and can be accessed from the same parking garage. The Carmel Arts & Design District is located just a few blocks away and features even more dining options. The Palladium also houses The Basile Café, open before select performances and during intermission.

Lang Lang 5.  The Palladium’s exterior features Indiana limestone and is modeled after La Rotunda in Italy. The 8,500 square feet inside the building is filled with special details that make the space as much an attraction as the amazing performances happening inside. The acoustically perfect performance hall features a variety of seating options including some seats located behind the stage, which give you a unique view of the performer and the audience.

6.  The Studio Theater is an intimate black box space that seats 250 and can be transformed in a variety of ways. This makes each performance extremely unique and gives the performers lots of control on how they interact with the audience. Just this season, you can catch everything from Shakespeare to Broadway to a magic act and experience it up close.

7.  Don’t underestimate the diversity of the performances at The Center for the Performing Arts. I was blown away by the upcoming performance schedule’s wide range of music styles, performance types and international performers. If you think there is only classical music at a venue like this, you’re missing out on huge range of shows that are taking place throughout the year. If you usually take in the symphony, why not stretch yourself with a country performance by Kenny Rodgers? If you typically see artistic theater productions, why not try out a Latin Dance Discovery Class where you get up and learn alongside others? Be adventurous in the new year!

8.  Look for family friendly performances to introduce your kids to a love of the arts. Check out Peanut Butter and Jam sessions throughout the year that allows little ones to get up close and personal with a variety of performers. Most take place Saturdays at 10:30. The cost is $10 per ticket but each purchase includes two free adult tickets, making this a very affordable family outing.

9.  If you’re between the ages of 21-40 and interested in connecting with other performing arts fans, check out The Scene for young professionals. Membership is $45 and includes 40 percent off The Center Presents tickets as well as one free ticket voucher and access to exclusive social events.

10.  Be prepared to be amazed at all The Center for the Performing Arts offers. There are more than 50 “The Center Presents” performances each year (pop, rock, country, folk, classical, jazz, world music, dance, family, holiday) and up to 400 arts and community events are held on the campus. If you’ve been thinking about checking out this award-winning attraction, right here in Hamilton County, this is the year to give it a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The expansive art world of Hamilton County

Jan 11, 2017 by Shelly Bergman

Gallery Walk Calling all art enthusiasts! Indianapolis is rich in art and culture between Mass Ave, Fountain Square and White River, but don't forget about Hamilton County. People travel from afar to immerse themselves in Hoosier arts around Carmel, Noblesville and beyond, and the art scene is only growing larger.

As our world gets increasingly busier, taking time for ourselves is rare. Turning off your phone and taking the time to stroll through a gallery can bring peace, reflection and inspiration to your life.

If art is more of a social event for you, Carmel Arts and Design District hosts Gallery Walks every second Saturday. Gallery Walks feature new exhibits at the local galleries and have a wide array of activities throughout, such as live music, caricature drawings, wine and canvas events and scavenger hunts.

Nickel Plate Arts A majority of the galleries and studios have excellent space for your private events, wedding receptions or birthday parties. Several locations also offer classes and camps throughout the year. Comic art, acrylic painting, guitar, drawing, art as a business, art history, watercolor, knife painting... the list continues in the broad range of art classes offered around Hamilton County.

So put on your walking shoes, turn off your phone and head out to enjoy the exquisite works by local artisans at the art galleries of Hamilton County.

Art Galleries in Hamilton County

Art Splash Gallery
Carmel, Indiana

Coats Wright Art & Design
Carmel, Indiana

CCA Gallery & Gifts
Carmel, Indiana

Evan Lurie Gallery
Carmel, Indiana

French Bleu Fine Art Gallery
Carmel, Indiana

Hoosier Salon
Carmel, Indiana

Inspire Studio & Gallery
Carmel, Indiana

Magdalena Gallery of Art
Carmel, Indiana

SoHo Cafe & Gallery
Carmel, Indiana

Soori Gallery
Carmel, Indiana

Nickel Plate Arts
Noblesville, Indiana

Hamilton County Artist's Association
Noblesville, Indiana 

For a full list, visit our website.

Make a day of it! Here are some local restaurants to grab a bite while you're out touring the galleries. 

How are you going to get more involved in the arts in Hamilton County? Tag us on social using #VisitHC and @VisitHamiltonCo.

Hamilton County Happenings - Jan. 11

Jan 11, 2017 by Hamilton County Tourism

This week, enjoy free admission at Conner Prairie, watch ice sculptures come to life and more. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Wine and Pizza
Class in a Glass: Wine and Pizza
Jan. 11
Blackhawk Winery and Vineyard | Sheridan, Indiana

Taste wine and discover what variety pairs well with pizza.

Hearthside Suppers
Hearthside Suppers at Conner Prairie
Jan. 13 - March 12
Conner Prairie | Fishers, Indiana

Help prepare, serve and eat a candlelight feast straight from a 19th century cookbook.

Russian Ballet
Russian National Ballet Theatre
Jan. 13 - 14
The Tarkington at the Center for the Performing Arts | Carmel, Indiana

See ballet brought to life with impressive technique and artful poise.


Clay Terrace
Ice Sculptures at Clay Terrace
Jan. 14
Clay Terrace | Carmel, Indiana

Watch ice sculptors in action at 10 a.m. and admire their creations throughout the center to highlight the shopping experience.

Gallery Walk
IU Health North Hospital Gallery Walk
Jan. 14
Carmel Arts & Design District | Carmel, Indiana

Wine and dine in a local restaurant, browse new exhibits and explore Main Street.

Conner Prairie
Free Admission Day
Jan. 16
Conner Prairie | Fishers, Indiana

Honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision with special programming and free admission at Conner Prairie.

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.

BrewsShopping

Hamilton County Happenings - Jan. 4

Jan 04, 2017 by Hamilton County Tourism

Start the new year on the right foot. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Winter Farmers Markets
Winter Farmers Market
Jan. 7
Around Hamilton County, Indiana

Stock up on fresh, seasonal produce in Carmel and Fishers.

Nickel Plate Arts
First Friday
Jan. 6
Nickel Plate Arts | Noblesville, Indiana

Unwind at this free monthly celebration of the arts, with activities, entertainment and more.

Palladium
Songbook Academy All-Stars
Jan. 7
The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts | Carmel, Indiana

See the seven Songbook Youth Ambassadors perform an inaugural All-Stars concert.

Beef and Boards
Shear Madness
Jan. 4 - 29
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre | Hamilton County, Indiana

In this hair-raising comedy, the cast combs through the clues to solve a murder above a hair salon.

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.

Hamilton County Happenings - Dec. 28

Dec 28, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

It's the final week of 2016 - ring in the new year with these events! Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings.

Holiday Drop-In Classes
Holiday Drop-In Classes
Dec. 28 - 30
Nickel Plate Arts | Noblesville, Indiana

Getting stir crazy over winter break? Bring your young artist to create an afternoon art project at Nickel Plate Arts.

Holiday Adventures
Holiday Adventures at Conner Prairie
Dec. 28 - 31
Conner Prairie | Fishers, Indiana

Season’s greetings from 1836! Experience the holiday with Prairietown residents.

Beauty and the Beast
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Dec. 28 - Jan. 1
Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre | Carmel, Indiana

“Be our guest” and see this “tale as old as time” come to life on stage.

Reynolds Light Display
Reynolds Christmas Lights Display
Dec. 28 - Jan. 1
Reynolds Farm Equipment | Fishers, Indiana

This free annual Christmas lights display returns to dazzle the winter sky with more than two million lights.

Palladium
New Year’s Eve Extravaganza Presented by Taft
Dec. 31
The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts | Carmel, Indiana

Enjoy fabulous food, dance the night away and ring in 2017 with style at the second annual New Year's Eve Extravaganza

Winter Break
Winter Break Sewing Camp for Kids
Jan. 3 - 5
Always in Stitches | Noblesville, Indiana

Has cabin fever struck? Kids 10-12 years old will learn sewing basics making a drawstring bag, pillowcase and sewing caddy in the class.

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.

ShoppingBrews

Seven ideas to beat winter break boredom

Dec 27, 2016 by Sarah Buckner

 

Oh the weather outside is frightful…

This winter break, I am taking a little time off work to relax with my kiddos. The only trouble is that Chris, 8, and Emmy, 6, get super bored when we are locked in the house for a little too long.

I don’t want cabin fever to get the best of us, so I have a plan of action for when they are eager to explore.

1. Create a masterpiece at Nickel Plate Arts
Take your budding artist to Nickel Plate Arts for a range of awesome afternoon art projects Dec. 28-30 from noon – 5 p.m.! My daughter recently told me she wants to be an artist when she grows up, so this is the perfect place for us to go. Kids of all ages are welcome, and at just $10 per project, it makes for an affordable activity. Parents must accompany their children during the class, but all materials and guided instruction are provided by staff and volunteers. Projects take about one hour to complete. Best part? No need to register — just drop in!

2. Indoor fun at Conner Prairie
Here’s a little known secret: the inside of Conner Prairie is just absolutely amazing. There are tons of interactive aspects for kids of a variety of ages to enjoy, and it would be easy to spend an entire day playing. During Holiday Adventures, you can explore Prairietown to see how settlers celebrated the winter season in 1836 or admire the delicious and impressive Gingerbread Village

3. Brunch at Bub’s Café
The brightly colored décor at Bub’s Café gives my little family vacation vibes. So when we are missing the sunshine, we plan to stop there for mid-morning pancakes.

The list goes on, including:
-Jump away the extra energy at SkyZone in Fishers
-Play a round of laser tag at Laser Flash in Carmel
-Sled down the hills of Flat Fork Creek Park in Fishers
-Paint pottery at Kiln Creations in Noblesville

For more ideas, check out our winter bucket list video above and start crossing activities off the list.

The Year in Photos: Instagrams of 2016

Dec 22, 2016 by Katie Utken

Our Instagram followers tag us in some incredible photos all year, so we decided to highlight just a few of our favorites from 2016.

Follow us @VisitHamiltonCo and tag us or use #VisitHC for your chance to be featured!

@food_infatuated // Wilson's Farm Market - Arcadia, IN

Wilson's Farm Market

 

@yelpindy // Prairie Guest House - Fishers, IN 

Prairie Guest House

 

@indyschild // Tina's Traditional Old English Kitchen & Tearoom - Carmel, IN

Tina's Traditional

 

@rachelgetsindy // Eggshell Bistro - Carmel, IN

Eggshell Bistro

 

@mightytomany // Flat Fork Creek Park - Fishers, IN

Flat Fork Creek Park

 

@uslacrosse // Grand Parks Sports Campus - Westfield, IN

Grand Park

 

@kayjayreed // Rail Epicurean - Westfield, IN

Rail Epicurean

 

@luisruvi // Conner Prairie Treetop Outpost - Fishers, IN

Treetop Outpost

 

@brookekilley // Spencer Farm - Noblesville, IN

Spencer Farm

 

@cookwithsabrina // Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay - Westfield, IN

Torch Relay - Westfield

 

@bre_daugherty // Conner Prairie - Fishers, Indiana

CP Balloon

 

@letslovelocal // Hamilton County Courthouse - Noblesville, IN

Noblesville Square

 

@luisruvi // Cool Creek Park - Westfield, IN

Cool Creek Park

 

@connerprairie // Conner House - Fishers, IN

Conner House

 

@intorchrelay // Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay, Monon Trail - Carmel, IN

Torch Relay

 

@ambassadorhouse // Ambassador House and Heritage Gardens - Fishers, IN

Ambassador House

 

@simplymemle // Conner Prairie - Fishers, IN 

Golden Eagle Inn

 

@brockw20 // Potter's Bridge Park - Noblesville, IN

Potter's Bridge

 

@milesofadventure // Clay Terrace - Carmel, IN

Clay Terrace

Hamilton County Happenings - Dec. 21

Dec 21, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Santa Claus is coming to town! Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings.

Nickel Plate Arts
Holiday Drop-In Classes

Dec. 21 - 30
Nickel Plate Arts | Noblesville, Indiana

Getting stir crazy over winter break? Bring your young artist to create an afternoon art project at Nickel Plate Arts.

Holiday Adventures
Holiday Adventures at Conner Prairie
Dec. 21 - 31
Conner Prairie | Fishers, Indiana

Season’s greetings from 1836! Experience the holiday with Prairietown residents.

Reynolds Light Display
Reynolds Christmas Lights Display
Dec. 21 - Jan. 1
Reynolds Farm Equipment | Fishers, Indiana

Don’t miss your final chance to see this free annual lights display.

Santa Sightings
Santa Sightings
Dec. 21 - 24
Throughout Hamilton County, Indiana

Santa Claus is coming to town. Snap a photo with him at Clay Terrace or visit Santa’s House in Noblesville.

Beauty and the Beast
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Dec. 21 - Jan. 1
Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre | Carmel, Indiana

“Be our guest” and see this “tale as old as time” come to life on stage. Compliment the experience with a themed tea time at Tina’s Traditional Old English Kitchen.

Museum of Miniatures
Special Miniatures Exhibits
Dec. 21 - 31
Museum of Miniature Houses & Other Collections | Carmel, Indiana

View this extensive collection of miniatures, featuring exhibits like Fashion Dolls, Hidden Treasure of the Museum and
Hoosiers Making Miniatures.

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.

 

Giftable Guide 2016

 

Request the 2016 Hamilton County, Indiana Dining GuideDownload the Hamilton County, Indiana AppRequest the Official 2016 Hamilton County, Indiana Travel Guide