January wining and dining

The Cabernet Sauvignon will be flowing at Hereford House on Thursday.

Two wine dinners are coming up, and both have my Monday morning taste buds on high alert.

One is an event scheduled for Thursday at Hereford House, inside the Terradyne Country Club in Andover and put on by the Wichita chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food. 

The event will feature Casidy Ward from the Hidden Ridge Vineyard, who will pour the vineyard’s well-regarded Cabernet Sauvignon, along with several other wines. The event also will feature a four-course meal plus appetizers and dessert.

It’s $7o for AIWF members and $85 for non-members. Call 316-682-5502 for reservations and information.

Oeno Wine Bar at 330 N. Mead also is planning a wine tasting called “Indulge” and scheduled for Jan. 26. It’s $35 a person and features a three-course tasting, each course paired with wine, plus dessert. For reservations, call 316-440-5000.

Taste the wine, keep the glasses

Georg J. Riedel

If I didn’t get to write about restaurants for a living, I’d be a little jealous of my friend Megahn Snyder’s new job. She left her job as a producer at KWCH recently to take a position  as “special events coordinator” at Hereford House, 1400 Terradyne Drive. She gets to plan parties, coordinate weddings and help organize cool events such as the one coming up on Thursday.

Hereford House has lured Georg J. Riedel, the 10th generation head of the Riedel Glass Company, to put on a wine tasting, his first such event in the United States. Riedel glasses cost up to $125 apiece and are designed to best enhance the flavor of wine.

Admission to the event is $125 a person, which includes appetizers, three samples of wine and four Riedel wine glasses that ticketholders can take home.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. For reservations and information, call 316-733-7800,

Cooking up some tasty fundraisers

Avivo is among the restaurants planning to feed folks for a cause.

The coming weeks offers lots of opportunities to eat for a cause. And as you well know, when you eat for a cause, the calories don’t count.

Chipotle starts it today with an excuse to eat burritos. Lots and lots of burritos. Diners who print and take this flyer to any local Chipotle today and order a burrito, burrito bowl, tacos or a salad will have 50 percent of the proceeds from their purchase donated to the Humane Society to help homeless animals in Wichita.

Avivo at 2441 N. Maize Road  is helping Big Brothers Big Sisters on Tuesday by offering a special buffet loaded with pizza, pasta, salad and a soft drink for $10. The buffet starts at 6 p.m., and all proceeds will be donated to the cause.

Chris Cakes, the local cook famous for pancake flipping and sausage slinging, will star in the Fourth Annual Wichita Scottish Rite Pancake feed at the Wichita Scottish Rite, 332 E. First St. It’ll be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and tickets are $5 at the door. Proceeds will help with continued restoration of the building.

Back Lot Carry-Out, which serves to-go barbecue, burgers, bierocks and more at 37th and Topeka, will donate $1 for every combo meal sold to anyone who mentions Big Brothers Big Sisters from Monday to April 8. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Call 316-640-6261 for more information.

Hereford House is putting on a Spanish wine and cuisine tasting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 7. The event, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Andover, is $40 a person, and all proceeds benefit polio eradication. Call 316-733-7800 for more information.

Cocktails & Cookies: What a sugar rush

My photography does not do this winning dessert from Hereford House justice. Also, please pardon my thumb.

I judged a fun event last night called Cocktails & Cookies, a fundraiser for The Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland that included a challenge for local chefs: Make the best possible dessert using Girl Scout Cookies as one (or more) of the ingredients.

Five restaurants entered the competition: Cocoa Dolce, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Hereford House, Newport Grill and Cero’s.

My mission: To taste all the desserts and pick my favorite, then sit on a stage, trembling from sugar overload, and explain why I liked what I liked. What can I say? It’s a tough job…

The clear winner was Hereford House’s offering: A chocolate and brown butter banana cake with caramel sauce, brulee of bananas, and cinnamon ice cream. Chef Eric Hyre put four different cookies into the concoction, and it was amazing — especially the buttery brulee.

Here are a few other pictures from the evening:

Hereford House chef Eric Hyre shows off his creation.

Cocoa Dolce offered an amazing bite of sweet and salty chocolatey-ness called "The Kitchen Sink and the Baby, Too."

The Newport Grill team, including chef Aaron Whicomb (second from left), presented a lovely bite of lemon goodness that used the Lemonade Girl Scout Cookie.