Fresh Market offering free holiday samples

Wichita’s fancy new Fresh Market is offering a sampling event today and Saturday designed to prepare local palates for the holidays.

The Taste of the Holidays Sampling Event is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the store, 1800 N. Rock Road.

Customers will be able to sample items that the store is selling as part of its pre-made holiday meals, including holiday turkey, spiral sliced honey ham, side dishes and desserts. (Other promised samples include standing rib roast, shrimp and cocktail sauce, bacon, smoked salmon seafood dip and more. Samplers who like what they taste can order the items on-the-spot.

For more information, call 316-315-0020.

New culinary program having a sweet opening

Warren Brown

Until recently, inspiring professional chefs who wanted to study close to home had to go to Johnson County Community College’s culinary arts program.

But as of this fall, there’s one in Wichita, too. Butler Community College recently added a Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. The program results in an associates degree, and classes are held in the recently rennovated Boston Rec Center at 6655 E. Zimmerly in Wichita.

On Tuesday, those interested can tour the building during an open house and also can see a baking demonstration by lawyer-turne-dbaker Warren Brown, the founder of CakeLove and onetime host of the Food Network show “Sugar Rush.”

The open house is from 2 to 4 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 2:30 p.m. and the demonstration following.

The new culinary arts program is lead by executive chef John Michael, a wine expert and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. The school has a board of advisers that includes several local chefs and foodies, including Tanya Tandoc of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, Freddy’s Frozen Custard owner Scott Redler, Beth Tully of Cocoa Dolce and Scott Nicholson, the general manager of the new Fresh Market.

Fresh Market: Sweets and cooking demos

The Fresh Market, that grocery utopia at 1800 N. Rock Road that has enchanted foodies and cooks from east to west Wichita, is putting on a few food events this weekend.

One is a fundraiser called The Hope Floats Sidewalk Sale. Fresh Markets across the country participate in the event, which raises money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In exchange for a $1 or $2 donation, Fresh Market customers will be served a root beer floats, hot dogs, sundaes and chocolate chunk cookies from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Sugar-free options also will be available, and all proceeds will go to the foundation.

Also, a “Fresh Flavors” cooking demonstrations will be put on from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday in the store.  A chef will show how to prepare Atlantic salmon with tomato basil caper sauce and fresh spinach and red onion salad. The recipe is below.

For more information, call 316-315-0020.

Atlantic salmon with tomato basil caper sauce and fresh spinach and red onion salad

2 (6 oz.) Atlantic Salmon fillets, skin removed
to taste salt and pepper
2 tablespoons “O” Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
1/3 cup Concannon Chardonnay
1 cup Cucina Antica Tomato Basil cooking sauce
1 tablespoon TFM capers, drained and chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat for 2 minutes, until very hot. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add salmon and cook, flesh side down, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat slightly; carefully turn salmon fillets and continue to cook until salmon begins to flake, about 5-7 minutes or until your desired level of doneness. Remove to a serving platter and set aside. Remove pan from heat and add wine, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add cooking sauce and capers. Combine thoroughly and heat through, about 3 minutes. Pour sauce over the salmon fillets and garnish with fresh basil and an additional drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.