Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Race is on to find top tailgater for speedway finals

NASCAR has its own style of tailgating. Celebrations often last for a week and meals include overflowing platters of homemade food, opulent decorations, and great spirit.

Lifetime Products, a manufacturer of folding tables, will name America s Ultimate Tailgater at the Tailgate of a Lifetime 2006 Tailgating Championship Aug. 19 at Michigan International Speedway.

Five finalists will be selected to join the official chef of NASCAR, Mario Batali, an author and New York restaurateur, for a trip to MIS. The finalists will create their ultimate tailgate parties, including a three-course meal, over-the-top decorations, and all the trappings that make NASCAR Tailgates so unusual. The contest is judged by Batali, NASCAR legend Ernie Irvan, and Richard Hendrickson, president of Lifetime Products; the prize is $10,000 in cash.

To enter, tell in 250 words or less why you think you should be crowned America s Ultimate Tailgater. Submit your top five tips for creating the perfect tailgate party. Share your favorite original tailgating recipe (if you are selected as a finalist, this is one of three recipes you will be asked to prepare at the finals). Entrants are encouraged to submit photos or videos that demonstrate their tailgating ability. Deadline for entries is July 26. For contest rules or to enter, visit

Zingerman s family of food businesses continue to have a busy calendar at Ann Arbor locations in July.

  • Olive Oil Tasting featuring American olive oils, from 7 to 9 p.m. July 11 at Zingerman s Deli. Cost is $20. Call 734-663-3400 for reservations.

  • Summer Grill Festival: Dogs of the World Unite, featuring Niman Ranch hot dogs, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15 at Zingerman s Deli Patio. Call 734-663-3354 for details.

  • Zingerman s Deli Big Top Tent Tasting: Chocolate with Vosges Chocolatier, from 7 to 9 p.m. July 13. Chicago based Vosges creates exotic truffles, bars, and hot chocolate with spices, herbs, and flowers from around the globe. Cost is $30. For reservations, call 734-663-3400.

  • Zingerman s Roadhouse Special California BBQ & Beer Dinner will take a road trip through California s world of barbecue at 7 p.m. July 25. Cost is $39 for dinner; $19 for beer pairings. Call 734-663-3663 for reservations at the restaurant at 2501 Jackson Rd. in Ann Arbor.

    The Ohio Department of Health recommends eating no more than one meal a week from sport fish caught in the state, according to Chow Line, an online publication of Ohio State University. A few years ago, the advisory was directed only at women of child-bearing age and children age 6 and younger. In 2003, it was extended to everyone.

    Some sport fish should be eaten even less than once a week, and some not at all. It all depends on where you are fishing and what kind of fish you are catching. For a complete list of Ohio waterway and specials, see the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency s fish advisory Web site at

    Advisories are not limited to sport fish. The FDA and EPA advise pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.

    At the same time, agencies recommend up to two meals a week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, including shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Albacore tuna tends to have more mercury, so agencies recommend sensitive populations limit albacore tuna to one meal (six ounces) per week.

    Food and Identity in the Midwest: Food Traditions Across the Curriculum is a continuing education workshop for kindergarten to 12th grade teaching professionals of any subject, to be held July 10-14 at Bowling Green State University. Taught by Lucy Long of BGSU, it will explore the ways in which food traditions express national, regional, cultural, social, and personal identities. The workshop is funded by the Ohio Humanities Council. For information on tuition or continuing education credit, contact Lucy Long at 419-372-7862 or

    In last week s column, the date for chocolatier Chef Ann Blackwood s class at the Culinary Vegetable Institute was incorrect. A Walk to Remember, featuring a seasonal lunch menu and showcasing chocolate flowers, will be held July 20 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Culinary Vegetable Institute at 12304 State Rt. 13 in Milan, Ohio.

    For information and prices, call 419-499-7500.

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