Lots of food fun at the Women’s Fair

The 15th annual Women’s Fair this weekend at Century II will, as usual, offer several opportunities to nibble, sip and gather cooking tips.

On Friday, local chef Tanya Tandoc of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen will put on a 6:30 p.m. cooking show, where she’ll demonstrate how to make two of her most popular soup recipes: tomato basil bisque and chicken tortilla. She’ll also be selling sets of her recipe cards.

Also on Friday: Both the  Crown Uptown and Fox and Hound will offer food samples during Friday evening’s “Girls Night Out.” Wine expert Guy Bower will put on a tasting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

At 2 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday, cookbook author and spokeswoman for Southwest Dairy Farmers “Kitchen Kimberley” will show how to make creamy chicken tortilla soup and fiesta salad with ranch dressing. At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, she’ll demonstrate the construction of creamy pasta salad, chocolate chip raspberry tarts and an easy cheese platter. And at noon on Sunday, she’ll be showing off a brunch menu featuring a three-cheese quiche.

New this year is the Pork Inspiration Cafe sponsored by the Kansas Pork Association.

It will feature ongoing cooking demonstrations, recipes, coupons, giveaways and more.

Chef Joe Parten of Carrabba’s will be on the pork stage at 3 p.m. Sunday showing how to make red pepper stuffed pork loin. He’ll also take the stage at 1:30 p.m. Sunday to demonstrate a recipe for Sicilian chicken soup.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, Mr. April from the 2013 Kansas Firefighters calendar will show the crowd how to make Fire House chili.
OH! And I almost forgot. I’ll be at the Wichita Eagle booth from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday if you want to stop by and talk restaurants.

Women’s Fair hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8.25 for adults, $7.25 for seniors and $5.25 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. The Party Bus will provide free doorside transportation from Lawrence-Dumont Stadium parking lot.

Lots of foodie fun at this weekend’s Women’s Fair

He's not a woman, but Chef Paul Freimuth knows how to cook food women like.

I like the Women’s Fair.

I’ve been going to it for years and I’m always amazed by the sheer amount of STUFF the organizers pack into Century II. There’s good shopping, live haircuts, as-seen-on-TV demos, tons of freebies (my favorite are the shampoo samples) and tons of food-related exhibitors. In past years, my friends Carrie and Joe have always done a live cooking demonstration, and the audience members nearly riot for a chance to sample the results.

Carrie and Joe can’t make it this year, but four other foodies are scheduled for demonstrations.

Chef Tanya Tandoc, owner of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, will demonstrate how to make chicken curry and other famous soups at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Chef Joe Parten of Carrabba’s will be making chicken Marsala at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Local cookbook author Andrea Cassell will show how to make roasted red pepper and Tex-Mex hummus from her cookbook “Nahima’s Hands” Unique Mediterranean Cuisine” at 5 p.m. Saturday.

And at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Hyatt Chef Paul Freimuth, the man behind the fabulous Harvest Kitchen/Bar, will teach fair-goers how to make tortelloni with tomato basil sauce.

Also, cookbook author “Kitchen Kimberly” will demonstrate Southwest potato corn chowder and savor cheddar and chive bread at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. She’ll also do a 4 p.m. Saturday demonstration of enchilada casserole with Southwest sour cream

I won’t be demonstrating any cooking, but I’ll be at the Wichita Eagle’s booth from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and will be happy to discuss anything restaurant- or food- related with you.

See the full Women’s Fair schedule here.

Win tickets to A Night on the Red Carpet

The third annual “A Night on the Red Carpet” party is scheduled for Feb. 26 at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas, and the Eagle has two pair of tickets to give away.

It’s a fun, black-tie optional party that this year will feature food from Carrabba’s, Larkspur and Luca Italian Kitchen plus drinks, a showing of the 84th Annual Academy awards, local celebrities on the “red carpet,” live music and a live and silent auction. Today, I was promoted to emcee of the party (eeeeep!!!!!) after Sierra Scott declared herself indisposed.

If you want to enter to win a set of tickets, visit the Kansas.com Facebook page and scroll down till you find the giveaway. All you have to do is hit “like” on the post. We’ll randomly choose winners at noon on Feb. 20.

The party doubles as a fundraiser for Episcopal Social Services. Tickets are $75 a person or $850 for a table of 10. More information about the party can be found at http://www.esswichita.org

The picture with this post, taken at last year’s party of me and my friend, Kim, is featured on the website about the event, I discovered today. The odd thing about this party: Although I always have fun, I leave having no idea who won the Oscars. Oh well. That’s why DVRs were invented.

A full week of Scotch, wine and courses

Several local restaurants are doing their part to help you get your stomach expanded and your tolerance increased just in time for Thanksgiving.

During the next few days, three wine events and a Scotch tasting are planned at local restaurants. Here are some of your choices:

Chapada Chop House, 2142 N. Tyler Road: The new restaurant is putting on a single malt Scotch tasting with guest speaker Robert Sickler at 6:30 p.m. tonight. The event will feature five Scotch whiskeys and heavy appetizers. Admission is $35 a person. Make reservations at 316-201-4694.

Hangar One, 5925 W. Kellogg: The restaurants monthly Wine Flight Dinner is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday and will feature five courses with wine. Admission is $39.99 a person. Make reservations at 316-941-4900.

Carrabba’s, 3409 N. Rock Road: Carrabba’s monthly wine tasting also is on Wednesday. It’s at  6:30 p.m. and will include five to six wines paired with five to six small plates. It’s $35 a person. Call 316-315-0777 for reservations.

Luca Italian Kitchen, 301 N. Mead: The restaurant’s “Terra” dinner is at 7 p.m.  on Thursday and will feature four courses paired with wines. Tickets $65 a person at 316-262-3232.

Know of any others coming up? Let me know and I”ll put them on my wine and beer events page.

Pasta for the Cure next Friday

If you’re planning to Race for the Cure next Saturday, you might as well Carbload for the Cure on Friday night.

Pasta for the Cure is a fundraising dinner planned for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 23, at the Commons at WaterWalk, which sits on the west side of the building. Those holding a $20 ticket will be served a dinner prepared by Carrabba’s consisting of Caesar salad, grilled chicken Marsala, pasta, Italian bread, chocolate dream dessert, wine, beer or iced tea.

Purchase tickets on line at race.komenmidks.org or call 316-683-8510.

Wanted: Wine news

Wichita loves its wine. So much so that I’m in the planning stages of adding a wine feature to this blog. (Let me know if you have any ideas.)

In the meantime, there’s a wine tasting coming up this week.

Carrabba’s at 3409 N. Rock Road, which puts on monthly wine samplings, will offer the June installment at  6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the restaurant. It will feature samples of five wines paired with food, and proprietor Joe Parten is planning a sneak preview of some menu items he plans to roll out in July, including Sicilian ribs, chicken speidini and mixed berry crostata. It’s $35 and will be limited to the first 50 people who RSVP at 316-315-0777.

Know of any other wine tastings/dinners/events? Send them my way.

Good eats at Winefest

I love Winefest. I love it so much. Look how much fun I had there last year with my friends Kim and Jill. We ate at least a pound of sushi-style ahi tuna, learned that we love SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc,  hobnobbed with Guy Bower and Brett Harris, and went out to Chester’s for Tumbleweeds when it was all over. Ahhhh. Good times.

This year, I can’t go because I’m otherwise engaged, and I’m very unhappy about missing it. This is one fun event.

You can read my story about the Grand Tasting online tomorrow and in the Go! section on Friday, but in the meantime, I have a list of all the restaurants that will be at Saturday night’s Grand Tasting and what delicious bites they’ll be serving. Organizers secured 14 restaurants this year, including a few new ones — Newport Grill and Gaslamp Grille among them.

Tell me how it is if you go. Sniff. Sniff sniff.

Read More »

Did someone say limoncello bread pudding?

Limoncello bread pudding

Carrabba’s proprieter Joe Parten has been telling me for a while that his restaurant was about to add some new seasonal specials to the menu.

But he didn’t happen to mention that one of them would be LIMONCELLO BREAD PUDDING. Does this sound beyond fabulous to anyone but me?

Among the other specials Carrabba’s will be offering through late June:

A Parmesan-crusted chicken topped with fresh arugula and grape tomatoes tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and served with choice of side for $16.90.

Prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin medallions that are grilled and topped with an apple and fig infused port wine sauce and served with the vegetable of the day for $16.10.

And then there’s that beautiful limoncello bread pudding, which is made with brioche, Madagascar vanilla beans and rich custard then topped with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of Caravella limoncello liqueur sauce. It takes 20 minutes to make it, so diners are advised to order early in their meal. It’s $8.

Joe also sent some pictures of the other dishes over, and there’s nothing I love more than pretty food pictures.

Parmesan-crusted chicken arugula

Prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin

Ready to loaf

Meatloaf can be sort of a polarizing food. I love it, but many people in my life just can’t deal with it. I’m not sure why. It’s sort of like a giant meatball, and what’s not to like about that?

Good thing I’m pro-meatloaf because on Saturday, I’ll be one of three judges at the Loaf Off, a meatloaf cooking competition now in its third year.

We’ll gather at The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and sample loafs assembled by both home cooks and local chefs. Among the chefs entering this year: Paul Freimuth, the new head chef at Harvest Kitchen/Bar in the Hyatt, Carrabba’s Joe Parten and local caterer Chris Collier.

The public is invited to sample the loafs and help choose a People’s Choice category. The Anchor will be providing meatloaf friendly side-items liked mashed potatoes and gravy. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12.

My co-judges are Tanya Tandoc of the soon-to-open Tanya’s Soup Kitchen and local Food God Joe Stumpe. The event raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas.

Come loaf off with us?

Lots of food fun at the Women’s Fair

Guy Bower: Willing to teach women about wine.

I sort of love the Women’s Fair, which runs Friday through Sunday at Century II.

There’s tons of good shopping, for one, and I love watching the live haircuts that Eric Fisher and his stylists do in the middle of all the hubub.

I also love the foodie fun at the Women’s Fair, mostly because the food demonstrations always conclude with samples, and there are some good cooks on the menu this year.

Friday

At 5:30 p.m., my buddy Guy Bower (who changed my life when he taught me that I preferred Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand) will put on a wine tasting. Right after at 6:30 p.m., the Hyatt’s new chef Paul Freimuth will make his Wichita debut with a cooking show.

Saturday
You will not want to miss the annual cooking show put on by Sue Chef & the Food God, also known as the Wichita Eagle’s Carrie Rengers and her food God and husband Joe Stumpe. Their always-entertaining show is at 2 p.m. Then, at 4 p.m., local chef Tanya Tandoc, who’s hard at work getting her Tanya’s Soup Kitchen reopened, will put on a cooking show of her own.

Sunday
Skip lunch and go to a noon cooking show by Joe Parten, the very generous and talented chef and proprietor of Carrabba’s.

The Women’s Fair runs from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7.75 for adults, $6.75 for seniors and $4.75 for children.