At the very least, visiting 44 of the area's top restaurants would require a concerted effort of more than three weeks -- and that's eating at a different restaurant every day for both lunch and dinner. Trying them all at a more reasonable rate of once a week would take almost a year.
And that is what the Toledo version of Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation is all about: In just three hours, you can sample a dish or two from every one of the participating 44 restaurants, caterers, and food companies. And all of the money raised goes to fight childhood hunger; though it is a nationwide project, the majority of the locally raised funds will go to four local charities: Aurora House, Toledo Day Nursery, Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, and Toledo GROWs.
For the 17th time, the evening will attract such local culinary stars as the Beirut and Georgio's Cafe International, both of which have been involved with the event since the beginning, as well as Grumpy's, Fat Fish Blue, Evans Street Station, and many more. And two guest chefs are coming in for the party, Amanda Rockman, pastry chef at the Bristol and Balena in Chicago, and Eve Aronoff, the chef and owner of Frita Batidos (and the lamented eve restaurant, which closed last year) in Ann Arbor.
This year's Taste of the Nation will be April 29 at 5 p.m. in a tent behind the Toledo Club, 235 14th St. Tickets are $150 -- yes, but you get to try samples from 44 restaurants, plus the two guest chefs, and besides, the money goes to charity. The event is limited to 400 people, and it typically sells out. For tickets or more information, call 419-345-5543.
Warning: In case you are reading this over your scrambled eggs or Cheerios, the following item contains the phrase "pig brain soup."
Andrew Zimmern, the man best known for eating tarantulas, raw water buffalo liver, and pig brain soup (told you so), will stop by Owens Community College on April 30 to talk about his experiences and his thoughts about food and life in general.
The co-creator and host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World on the Travel Channel, and Appetite for Life online, wants you to know that he also eats at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and that he is now in the process of exploring regional foods in the United States. He is a former chef, a recovering drug addict and thief, the winner of a James Beard Award for Outstanding TV Food Personality, and is the author of a book, The Bizarre Truth.
His lecture will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Tickets are $30 and $40. For tickets or more information, visit owens.edu or call 567-661-2787.
The garde manger is the restaurant chef in charge of all the food that is served cold, from cured and smoked meats to terrines and pates to platters of cheese and salads.
It's usually what you don't think about chefs doing, but the garde manger classes at Owens Community College will have their day in the sun on Wednesday at the school's Terrace View Cafe when they present a grazing station buffet featuring a wide selection of their products. That also includes chutneys, crackers, and canapes.
You'll have to act quickly. The students' grazing station buffet will be open only from 11 a.m. to noon. The student-run restaurant is in College Hall Room 148 on the Perrysburg Township campus.
The Andersons in Maumee is holding a wine tasting Thursday from 5-7 p.m. Uncorked and poured will be bottles of 2010 Vanesa, a Spanish blend of Viura and Verdejo grapes; 2005 Kiona, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; 2010 Goosebumps, which appears to be a sparkling Shiraz from Australia; and 2009 Gysler, a Riesling Kabinett. The tastings will be $4 per flight.
If you favor your drinks a little more beerlike, the same store will have a beer tasting Saturday from 1-3 p.m. Uncapped will be Circus Penguin, a pale ale from Two Brothers; Old Engine Old, a Scottish black ale from Harviestoun; Bashah, a Scottish double IPA from Brewdog; and Sea Monster, an imperal stout from Ballast Point. The beer tastings run from 25-50 cents, with a flight of four going for $1.75.
Next weekend, you can immerse yourself in the world of cooking and food, particularly outdoor cooking and food, at the first Spring Fabulous Food Show in Cleveland.
About 140 vendors will gather at the I-X Center to hand out samples, hold demonstrations, and hawk their wares. Everyone will be there from Cutco Cutlery to Carhop's Burger Sauce, from Mom's Gourmet to Little Dipper's Dipping Sauce, from Dove Chocolates to Dean's Doggie Treats (yum!).
Celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse, along with grilling experts Steven Raichlen and Jamie Purviance, will give cooking demonstrations, and will also be on hand to sign books and generally do the whole celebrity thing. The bad news is that your ticket only gets you into one of the shows.
There will be ice cream aplenty, and what they are calling a tasting garden, where you can sample more than 300 wines, beers, and spirits (but only if you are 21, naturally). Folks will also be on hand to give tips on creating patios for cooking, outdoor kitchens, and pretty much anything you would want to know about grills.
The whole thing is $25 in advance or $30 at the door, per day. For tickets or more information, visit fabulousfoodshow.com or call 216-265-2665.
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