Nuggets!

The in-box is FULL of nuggets! Here are a few…

Angie Ortmann, AKA @STLWineGirl has launched Cork Dorks with Forks. Click HERE to go to the CDWF website and see what all she and Matthew Dulle are up to.Angie

Fleming’s on Lindbergh has a neat September deal. A Filet and Lobster combo for 44.95. That comes with soup or salad and a scallop appetizer. Available through September 30.

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The Cochon 555 BBQ event at the Four Seasons happens Sunday, September 14, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Competitors are Gian Nicola Colucci of Cielo Restaurant & Bar, Jenny Cleveland and Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath, Patrick Connolly of Basso, Josh Galliano of The Libertine, and Lou Rook of Annie Gunns. Tickets start at $100. Get info by clicking HERE.

Cochon

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport hosts the 4th annual Art of Travel event on Wednesday, October 2, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cost is $75. Chefs from HMSHost (vendor for several Lambert food venues) will fly in for the event. The theme of this year’s Art of Travel celebration is ‘40s-style film-noir and will include a drink menu of ‘40s-themed signature cocktails to complement gourmet plates. For info, click HERE. Benefits Lambert Art and Culture Program.

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The Smokehouse Market and Annie Gunn’s are hosting a wine dinner on Tuesday, September 9, 6:30 p.m., featuring wines from Gundlach Bundschu of Sonoma. Cost is $150. Info: 636-532-7684.

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Kathleen Flinn has authored a new book Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, a memoir with recipes. She’s a native of the Midwest, now living in Seattle.

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St. Louis chefs Lou Rook, Josh Galliano and Gian Nicola Colucci are scheduled to host Cruising with the Chefs cruises in 2015-16. For info, click HERE. That’s Josh, pictured below.

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KTRS radio (550-AM) host John Carney is featuring Ferguson restaurants throughout September on his weekly Restaurant Tuesday segment which airs each Tuesday between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

John Carney

F & D Prime Culinary Tours is offering several tasting sessions during September at Comet Coffee on Oakland Avenue across Highway 40 from Forest Park. For info on the seasonal fruit and coffee tastings, click HERE.

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The Grillin’ Fools 4th annual Backyard Barbecue Bash Amateur Competition is set for Saturday, October 11, in Maryville, Illinois. Registration fee is $110/team. For info, click HERE.

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St. Louis Wing Company Wins Big at WING DING!

Wing Ding sign

Here are the results from Thursday night’s UCP Heartland Wing Ding at Queeny Park. These results were determined by event judges in blind taste tests.

Traditional (sauced):

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Fallon’s

3rd place—Joe Buck’s

Specialty Wings:

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Sugarfire Smoke House

3rd place—Joe Buck’s

Dry rubbed:

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Amerisports at Ameristar Casino

3rd place—Beerhouse at River City Casino

Overall judges’ favorite:

St. Louis Wing Company

Hottest Wings:

St. Louis Wing Company

People’s choice winner:

Hotshots

Pretty much a dominating sweep by St. Louis Wing Company!

FYI, St. Louis Wing Company is located at 9816 Manchester in Rock Hill, MO. Click HERE to visit their website.

As you can see from the photo below, turnout for this year’s Wing Ding was the best yet.

WD crowd 2014

One of the prettiest wing presentations was this one from Amerisports at Ameristar Casino.

Amerisports

There were many strong entries in the Wing Ding competition. Congrats to all the teams who competed and shared your wings with attendees.

 

 

 

 

 

WING DING 2014—Thursday Night!

Eat wings, drink beer, support a worthy cause—all for just 20 bucks!

The 2014 UCP Heartland Wing Ding is set for Thursday, August 21, 6:00 p.m., in the Greensfelder Building at Queeny Park. (The event is inside and air-conditioned.)

Joe Buck Wings

Your $20 advance ticket allows you to sample chicken wings from over 20 area restaurants. It also includes 2 drink tickets. Purchase advance tickets HERE, before 2:00 p.m. on 8/20 and pick them up at the event.

You may also purchase advance VIP tickets for $45. (Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 and $50.)

An important thing to know is these restaurants are bringing their best. This is a competition!

WD crowd

Participating restaurants include Sugarfire Smokehouse, The Salted Pig, Bogart’s, Twin Oak Pizza and BBQ, Fallon’s, J. Greene’s, Joe Buck’s, Gator’s South, Highway 61 Roadhouse, Hotshot’s, Milagro, Gobble Stop and many more.

I am flattered to have been asked to judge again this year, along with a stunning list of local media personalities. Categories are Best Traditional Wing (sauced), Best Specialty Wing (sauced), Best Dry Rubbed Wing (unsauced), Judges’ Overall Favorite and Hottest Wing. (I excused myself from the Hottest Wing category.)

 

WD judge

The United Cerebral Palsy Heartland team puts on a great event with lots of food and drink for a modest admission fee. Bring a bunch of friends and family and enjoy these great wings!

BTW, this is a family-friendly event. Bring everybody.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foodie Movie: The Hundred-Foot Journey

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey has excellent credentials. Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg are among the film’s producers. The great Helen Mirren is the main star. The film is set in France. It’s based on a popular novel. It promises and delivers gorgeous food images.

But it’s not a particularly good movie.

The Kadam family is forced to leave India. Their ultimate destination is France. They take over a building directly across the street from a Michelin-starred restaurant owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). The Indians, led by Papa (Om Puri), are boisterous in sharp contrast to Mallory and her refined crew. They are just 100 feet away. (And I’d always thought France was on the metric system!)

One of Mallory’s cooks, the gorgeous Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), befriends young Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), sharing cookbooks with him and encouraging him to elevate his ambitions. He gets hired by Mallory, passes Marguerite on the kitchen pecking order and, thanks to his spicing up the food just a bit, brings the restaurant up a notch to two Michelin stars.

He then moves on the to big leagues, nabbing a chef gig in Paris. He leads an active social lifestyle, but begins to miss the folks back home.

Why does The Hundred-Foot Journey fall short of greatness? The characters are not particularly compelling. It’s pleasant to watch Hassan and Marguerite’s chaste budding romance, but I wasn’t particularly concerned about their ultimate fates. Meanwhile, it’s not a surprise when Papa and Mallory are shown to have soft spots in their hearts despite their tough exterior personalities. Still, I did not have a soft spot in my own heart for either of them.

Despite my misgivings, here’s why you may want to see The Hundred Foot Journey: It’s rated PG. No language, sex or violence. It’s like a Hallmark Channel movie with a bigger budget. Also, the food looks great. (Although this year’s other foodie movie, Chef, caused me to leave the theater hungrier than THFJ did.)

The film’s message—that different cultures (and cuisines) can combine to deliver great outcomes—is an admirable one. It’s also one that can be observed in dining establishments and other businesses around St. Louis every day.

Ivy In Charge

Ivy In Charge

Veteran St. Louis chef Ivy Magruder has taken control of the kitchen at Panorama, the restaurant that opened last summer in the St. Louis Art Museum.

Panorama pic

A new summer menu has just been announced which includes, among other items:

Fresh Summer Pea Soup
pistachio gremolata, crème fraîche, shoots

Summer Kale Salad
avocado, strawberries, toasted almonds and
lemon-chia seed vinaigrette

Pan Seared Golden Scallops
creamy-pea-basil risotto, sherry gastrique

Basque Chicken
summer bell peppers, artichoke hearts, fresh basil,
tomatoes, grilled crusty French bread

Grilled Beef Tenderloin
onion ring, Foyot sauce, summer-tomatoes,
spinach, roasted fingerling potato

Ivy on TV

Panorama is also kicking off a monthly dinner series on Wednesday, August 27. For each dinner Panorama will partner with a local winery or brewery. The first event will feature a prix fixe menu of items paired with Schlafly beers. Cost is $75 (which includes tax and gratuity). Call 314-655-5490 for reservations.

Panorama is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and for dinner on Fridays, 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday brunch is offered 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Click HERE to go to Panorama’s website.

Saucy Soiree 2014

Sunday’s annual Sauce magazine Saucy Soiree was held this year at Union Station. The new venue provided more breathing room and more natural light.

Soiree crowd

Among the many food and drink offerings, my favorite was the pork belly from Cleveland-Heath (with watermelon, jalapeño and mint leaf), shown below.

Pork Belly

The Seoul Taco crew served a spicy pork taco.

Taco

Strange Donuts had chocolate cake donuts with chocolate icing and strawberries.

Strange donut

And The Sweet Divine brought these nicely-decorated cupcakes.

Sweet Divine cupcakes

The food and drink were pretty darn fantastic, but it was also fun to see old friends and acquaintances and have a moment (sometimes fleeting) to say hello and chat.

Among those folks were Joy Grdnic (pictured below with an Urban Chestnut friend), Cory King, Paul and Wendy Hamilton, Karen Klaus, Tony DaGuida, Tim Eby, Marianne and Jim Moore (pictured below with Mike Emerson), Kevin Willman, Arlene Brown, Marc Del Pietro, Brian Doherty, Catherine Klene, Allyson Mace and Mike Craig.

Joy with UC guyJim, Marianne, Mike

Thanks to all who put the event together. Good times!