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Published: Saturday, 11/7/2009

Cookies, gingerbread house contest for Tours de Noel

Two culinary events will be featured as part of the 2009 Tours de Noel, when six Old West End homes decorated for the holidays will be open for tours Dec. 6. The cost of the tours is $15 per person or $3 for one house.

•The annual Cookie Walk sponsored by the Women of the Old West End will be from noon to 7 p.m. Dec. 6. Thousands of homemade "Old West End Neighborhood" cookies will be available for sale. Friends and neighbors will gather Dec. 1 and 2 at Collingwood Presbyterian Church to mix and bake these holiday favorites.

Proceeds from the Cookie Walk benefit the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum at Robinwood and Delaware avenues. Cookies are $5, $12, and $20 per box, depending on the box size.

•In addition, a free Gingerbread House Contest will be held. The categories are Professional ($100 prize), Amateur Adults ($50 prize), and Children ages 16 and under ($25 prize). Entries will be displayed Dec. 6 at the Tours de Noel Gift Boutique at the Park Lane apartments, 142 23rd St. They will be judged by the public. Entries should be brought at 11 a.m., and the winner will be announced at 6:30 p.m. The guidelines: the house should be no larger than 20 inches high; the entry must be made completely of edible products, not limited to sweets; no artificial display materials such as Styrofoam or interior lights can be used, and candies must be unwrapped.

For information on both events and to enter a gingerbread house in the contest, call Kent Illenden at 419-367-9155.

Orders are being taken for the 11th annual Clay High School Culinary Arts Thanksgiving Pie Sale through Thursday. Pies are to be picked up on Nov. 24. Pumpkin ($7) and Apple Crumb ($9) pies can be ordered as fresh baked or frozen raw to be baked at home. Honey Bourbon Pecan ($10) and Chess Pie ($7 for the Southern-style sugar-custard pie) are pre-baked. To order, call the student-run restaurant the Golden Eagle Cafe by calling the high school at 419-693-0665, ext. 2162.

Proceeds benefit needy Oregon families at Christmas and financing culinary competitions, field trips, and special uniforms and tools.

The Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation, led by noted chef/restaurateurs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jerome Bocuse, is seeking qualified chef applicants to represent the United States at the global competition. Sixteen applicants will be selected to compete in the U.S. semifinals and finals Feb. 4-6 at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. The Foundation will select one competitor to serve as Team USA in the international competition in 2011 in Lyon, France.

Chefs must be 23, an American citizen, and have at least three years of experience in fine-dining restaurants. Deadline for applications is Nov. 30. Application forms are at bocusedorusa.org.

Kathie Smith is The Blade's food editor.

Contact her at:

food@theblade.com

or 419-724-6155.



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