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.

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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.

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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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Tasting Event Strategies

If you attend events like this week’s Iron Fork at Union Station or June’s Saucy Soiree at the Four Seasons or St. Louis magazine’s A-List party in July in the CWE, you need strategies.

What do you want to sample? I enjoy trying things that are new and unfamiliar. Tasting longtime favorites is enjoyable, but a unique offering from a newer purveyor is more likely to produce a lasting memory.

How much do you want to eat and drink? I try to avoid getting quickly stuffed. Bread and beer are filling. If you get, say, a piece of brisket on a bun, toss the bun and enjoy the meat. Should you pick up a food sample that is less than delightful, you don’t have to eat it all.

If you choose to booze… there will be wonderful beers available. But I try to limit beer consumption at tasting events because, for me, it is more filling than wine.

How do you know which of the longer lines are worth the wait? Ask people. Almost all attendees love to talk about the foods they’ve enjoyed most.

Is it okay to get seconds? Generally, yes, although I don’t recommend it—for two reasons: (1) Each restaurant has a finite supply of food. (2) When you’re waiting in line for another taste of something you liked, you’re missing out on trying something different.

How do you avoid being overwhelmed by it all? Take notes. A quick memo to yourself on your phone’s notes app can help you recall highlights. Taking pics of the best-looking offerings also helps aid your recall. Many participants will have business cards or menus for you to pick up.

Remember that while these are food and drink events, they are also people events. Offer compliments to the folks whose food and beverages make you happy. Take a moment to greet old friends you encounter as you rush to the next food station. Honor the preferences of the person(s) you’re attending with.

Should you run into the people who have organized your tasting event, be sure to offer thanks for all their efforts. It’s a big job!

For full details of Thursday night’s Iron Fork tasting event, click HERE.