Category Archives: Fundraisers

The burgers battled… and Fizz won

The Fizz burger fixers, hard at work.

Saturday night’s Battle of the Burgers, a first-time fundraiser put on by KETCH at Old Cowtown, was fun. I know I’ve never eaten so many burgers in one sitting.

I joined a panel of three other judges, and we blind tasted at least 14 different burgers and ranked them, looking for winners in three categories: Traditional, contemporary and gourmet.

Judges. Can’t. Move. Too. Full.

The participants were Fizz Burgers & Bottles, Mooyah, The Anchor, Public at the Brickyard, the Hyatt’s Harvest Kitchen/Bar and Heroes Sports Bar & Grill, and they topped their burgers with sauces, pickles, onions, pickled onions, onion strings, bacon and more.

The evening’s big winner was Fizz Burgers & Bottles, which is at 7718 E. 37th St. N. Their burger, which was topped with chopped lettuce and a nice sauce, was not only the judges’ choice for “best traditional” burger, but it also earned the People’s Choice trophy.

A bit of the burger submitted by Public at the Brickard.

The Anchor, which grilled up a very big, beefy burger on an onion bun, won the best gourmet category.

And Mooyah, the new burger restaurant that opened last fall at 352 S. West St,  had the best contemporary burger.

KETCH employees say they hope to make the event an annual happening. It’d be fun to see even more burger cookers there next year.

Old Cowtown overflowing with food, drink

Old Cowtown Museum will be full of food and drink lovers this weekend. The venue at 1865 W. Museum Blvd. has two big food events scheduled.

Local restaurants will be competing for these beautiful burger trophies this weekend.

On Saturday, a new fundraiser called Battle of the Burger will fill the grounds.  The event, a fundraiser for KETCH, starts at 6 p.m. Saturday and will have six local restaurants serving samples of their burgers, trying to claim the title of best burger maker.

The participating restaurants all have good burgers, so competition should be fierce: Fizz Burgers & Bottles, Mooyah, The Anchor, Public at the Brickyard, the Hyatt’s Harvest Kitchen/Bar and Heroes Sports Bar & Grill.

In addition to sampling the burgers, attendees also get a beer, dessert, chips and access to  car show, wagon rides and live music by the band Turnback Creek. I’m a judge at the event, so I’ll see you there.

Tickets are $35, available at the door or by visiting ictburgerbattle.com or by calling 316-383-8889.

Just look at these folks, moseying with their wine.

Then, on Sunday, the fifth annual Wine Mosey will move in.  It’s scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. and will feature hors d’oeuvres provided by the Double Tree by Hilton Airport and a barbecue dinner by Wichita Wagonmasters. It also will feature stagecoach rides, saloon girls, antique bowling and gunfights plus a live auction and music by the Diamond Wranglers. Admission is $40 a person at www.wichitatix.com or by calling 316-350-3323.

Party till the bears roar at Zoobilee

If ever there was a year to figure out how to afford the $150 ticket to Saturday’s Zoobilee, this is the year.

The event, a fundraiser for the Sedgwick County Zoo, is a big deal. It’s such a big deal that Zoobilee day is the only day of the entire year that the zoo is closed to regular visitors.

Note the forky, spoony nature of this rare bear’s eyes.

During Zoobilee, the grounds of the zoo are filled with tables of food and adult beverages, and attendees are free to roam and snack at will. The list of restaurants participating this year is long and includes places such as Cake Face Bake Shop, Carlos O’Kelly’sCiao Italian KitchenIl VicinoP.F. Chang’sRiver City Brewery and Wichita Brewing Company

As they nosh and imbibe, people can walk around the zoo, checking out the animals and all the short, animal-print dresses. Live bands are set up throughout the zoo as well, and later in the evening, the headliners take the main stage.

The Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band was promoted this year to headliner status, and my friend Jaime — who is the drummer — is quite excited. They’ll play starting at 9:30.

I’ll be there with many of my favorite people. It all starts at 6 p.m. For tickets, visit the zoo’s website.

Dine Hutch-style, meet astronauts

Hutchinson can claim some good restaurants too, including places such as Anchor Inn and nearby Carriage Crossing in Yoder.

Hutchinson also has the Kansas Cosmosphere, a space museum capable of attracting real-life astronauts.

On Saturday, Hutchinson will combine those two attributes for the second annual Fly Around Dine Around reception at the Kansas Cosmosphere, 1100 N. Plum in Hutchinson.

Attendees at the event, which lasts from 6 to 9 p.m., offers tastings of food from Hutchinson restaurants including the above mentioned plus Carlos O’Kelly’s, Dillons Chinese Kitchen, Dillons Marketplace, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Girst’s: Catering For You, Hog Wild, Hutchinson Town Club, Jillian’s Italian Grill, Pizza Ranch, The Raz Smokehouse, Serendipity Cupcakes, Spangles, Starbucks, and Sunflower Supper Club and Catering. Beverages will be provided by City Beverage and Egbert Liquor.

It also will be attended by eight famous astronauts — Buzz Aldrin, Walt Cunningham, Joe Engle, Richard Gordon, Fred Haise, Jeff Ashby, Steven Hawley and Bruce McCandless II.

They’ll share memories of missions and mingle with guests — but they won’t pose for pictures or sign autographs.

The reception lasts from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 620-665-9312. Tickets are $40 for Cosmosphere members, $50 for nonmembers.

Eat blizzards, meet beauties, help babies

What could be better than an excuse to eat a Blizzard?

It’s that time of year when you can eat, eat and eat some more and justify the calories because after all, you’re helping the children.

The Children’s Miracle Network at Via Christi Health has two food-related fundraisers coming right up. The first one is called Miracle Treat Day and will be on  on Aug. 8. All day, local Dairy Queen stores will donate proceeds from every Blizzard sold to the cause. I’ll take cookie dough, thank you.

The next day, Aug. 9, Redrock Canyon Grill at 1844 N. Rock Road will be the site of a fundraiser that will allow attendees to meet Theresa Vail, who is Miss Leavenworth County 2013. From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the restaurant will serve a free lunch buffet in exchange for a donation to the CMN Hospitals and Miss Kansas organizations. Vail also will sign autographs and pose for photos.

CMN Hospitals help more than 46,000 children in south-central and western Kansas and helps families cover medical costs not covered by their insurance.

Summer filled with cookoffs and tastings

Chef Jason Febres has won the last two Celebrity & Chef cookoffs. He’s serving as an honorary judge this year.

This week in Go!, I have a story about the several fun foodie events that are filling the calendar this summer.

The first one on the calendar is Tuesday’s Celebrity & Chef Cookoff, an always-fun event that raises money for the Orpheum Theatre. This is the 12th year for the event, and for the first time, it sold out of all 450 of its tickets. I’m one of the judges that will get to decide when local celebrity and chef duo prepared the best dish on the spot. Hope you have your ticket already.

My story also has information on Wichita’s first ever Restaurant Week, which happens later this month, and details on Battle of the Burger, a new fundraiser at Cowtown that will try to find Wichita’s best.

Battle of the Burger scheduled for September

There’s a new food fundraiser in the works that will pit local burger cookers against each other in a Battle of the Burger.

The event, being planned by KETCH, will be Sept. 14 at the Old Cowtown Museum and asks restauratuers to bring their burgers to battle it out, both for a judges’ award and for a people’s choice title. At the moment, the organization is recruting restauratns to participate.

Those who are interested should must fill out a form, found here. They also can call Ashley at 316-38-8889.

They’ve asked me to be a judge. Hmmmm. Let me think for a minute yes.

Celeb chef Josh Marks at Ciao tonight, Thursday

First Fabio. Now this?

Another celebrity chef is making a stop in Wichita this week. Josh Marks, who finished second on the third season of Fox’s show “MasterChef, is in town right now and cooking at Ciao Italian Kitchen, 1720 N. Webb Road.

Marks, a 7-footer who played basketball in college, will be at a meet-and-greet from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight at the restaurant. Then, on Thursday, he’ll cook a four-course fundraising dinner that costs $70 a person. Spots are still available for that dinner and can be claimed by calling 316-613-2426 .

The restaurant will only be serving the four-course meal from 7 to 9 p.m. It will raise money for the Make a Sound project, a suicide-prevention program that Marks supports.

Blooms, Brews & Bloody Marys and brrrrrrrrrrs

The Flying Stove’s Jeff Schauf at last year’s Blooms, Brews & Bloody Marys

I’m excited about attending Friday night’s Second Annual Blooms, Brews & Bloody Marys at Botanica– though I’m not very excited about the non-springlike forecast. A 51 degree high on May 3? Unacceptable!

The event was fun last year and featured local restaurants such as Newport Grill, The Anchor and Scotch & Sirloin, competing to make the best Bloody Mary. The Candle Club won with a traditional concoction floating with green beans, gherkins and a hunk of beef jerky.

Those who have a $40 ticket will be invited to roam the grounds sampling each of the Bloody Marys, or if they choose, stopping for a beer. The best part: The Flying Stove food truck is catering, which means the Schauf boys will put out a whole lot of their best dishes, which patrons can just walk up and take. That’s worth the price of admission all on its own.

This year’s event starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Botainca, 701 N. Amidon It will include live music by Spirit of the Stairs, beer provided by Wichita Brewing Company and River City Brewery, and lots of Bloody Marys, made using sponsor Pinnacle’s vodka.

Tickets are $40 and available at 316-264-0448 or by visiting botanica.org.

The Candle Club’s winning Blood Mary from last year

Team Hyatt brings the best loaf

Chef Paul Freimuth, left, and his Hyatt staff were the winners at Saturday’s Loaf Off.

I have the results of Saturday’s fifth annual Loaf Off, a meatloaf cooking competition that doubles as a fundraiser.

The event drew 175 people to The Anchor and raised $1,725 for Children’s Miracle Network. It also drew 12 teams who cooked a variety of loaves.

The panel of judges, which included local foodies Joe Stumpe and Barbara Baan, chef Chris Collier and two-time Loaf Off champ Don Lucero, chose the loaf created by Hyatt chef Paul Freimuth. Their “Top Loaf” was a sort of  meatloaf  Wellington, wrapped in pastry. I’m glad Chef Freimuth won, not only because he is a great cook but also because he almost never fails to donate his time to charity cookoff and food events.

The People’s Choice winner was Team Rico, made up of mother and son Eric and Diana Wittman. The team, which has won People’s Choice once before, made a rich, blue cheesy loaf.

Best of show went to the ICT Roller Girls, who arrived to compete in funky derby garb and brightly colored hair.

Organizers are already planning next year’s Loaf Off, so start formulating your recipe.