Tuesday, September 2, 2014

25th annual Chef's Best is Sept. 5

Chef Chris Coleman of The Asbury is the headliner at the 25th Annual Chef's Best, a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina this Friday, Sept. 5. A live auction and raffle are planned; reception begins at 6 with "Southern-inspired" foods from the culinary school at The Art Institute of Charlotte, and dinner is four courses and a cooking demo from area chefs. Tickets are $100 and offered here.

New place from BAKU people coming to SouthPark

Expect Treehouse Whiskey & Fork to open mid-month, beside sibling BAKU at 4423 Sharon Road. The idea? A rustically whimsical site -- yes, there's actually a treehouse -- and a menu executive chef Alek Goncharov describes at "a new take on BBQ and New American style cooking."

That means house-smoked meats and lots of whiskey-based sauces made daily (including the signature, a whiskey molasses sauce, served with a platter of hickory-smoked brisket, ribs, barbecued chicken and more). Entrees will run $15 to $45. Goncharov is a graduate of The Art Institute of Charlotte and a native of eastern Europe, to which he returned last year, working on Eastern-Western fusion food.

Owned by the Asi Group, this, like BAKU, is the product of architect Jason Hood and interior designer Scott Carpenter. The treehouse will be a private dining area for eight, on the patio; that space will also have swinging outdoor furniture and a fire pit. (The accompanying photos are from its Facebook page.)

More than two dozen whiskeys and nearly three dozen beers on tap will be on hand, plus house cocktails. (The Treehouse Trapdoor is described as "a Whiskey/Bourbon mix, cranberry juice, pineapple juice (no ice), shaken then poured over fresh ice, garnished with an orange half wheel, and topped off with a tree design grenadine floater.")

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chefs, ice, ALS support, today: What's not to love?

So you might be over the ice bucket challenge raising crazy great money for ALS, but here's a twist: Chef Jim Noble (of Rooster's and The King's Kitchen fame) has challenged chef Joe Kindred (who's worked for Noble and is about to open Kindred in Davidson) to a "double dunk" uptown, at College and Fifth streets near the Square, at 4:15 p.m. today (it's Friday, Aug. 22).

(The back story: Kindred challenged Noble first, but Noble's contending Kindred didn't have ice in his bucket at the time, Noble is upping the stakes and taking it public. Also on the down-low: Rooster's staff folks are slated to show up, too, which I'm told Kindred doesn't know.)

Here's Noble's challenge:


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fire in the City results begin

Results from the first two Fire in the City matchups:

Aug. 18:

Matchup: Luca Annunziata of Passion8 and Clark Barlowe of Heirloom.
Surprise ingredients: N.C. eggs and molasses from Harrell Hill Farms.
Highest scoring dish of the night: a raviolo using Joyce Farms' Poulet Rouge egg yolk, ostrich carbonara, crispy oyster mushroom, roasted pattypan squash with molasses and charred corn (by Annunziata; shown below, courtesy of Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series).
Advancing: Annunziata, with a score (and we admire this precision) of 29.04825581 to 26.69338999.

Aug. 19:

Matchup: Tom Dyrness of Mama Ricotta’s and Brian Mottola of e2 Emeril’s Eatery.
Secret ingredients: Windcrest Farms tomatoes and Uno Alla Volta cheese.
Highest scoring dish of the night: Confit of Heritage Farms Cheshire pork tenderloin, Windcrest Farms yellow and green tomato compote, U.A.V. burrata chili grits, heirloom tomato oil, aged sherry jus (by Dyrness; below).
Advancing: Dyrness, 30.02278369 to 22.74213836.

Annunziata and Dyrness face off Sept. 8.

Labor Day brunch in uptown CLT

The 7th Street Public Market hosts a 2014 Labor Day brunch and barbecue, with Local Loaf and other vendors serving up their wares from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Grilled entrees and ice cream, live entertainment (and face painting and balloon art) will be on hand. 224 E. 7th St.; www.7thstreetpublicmarket.com.

Upstream's oysters en route

Upstream's sixth annual Oyster Bash will be Oct. 3: You get unlimited tastings of oysters from all over, from Olde Salts to York Rivers to Malpeques and more, plus wines both still and sparkling, and live entertainment and a oyster/wine pairing contest. $125; buy tickets online here or call 704-556-7730; 6902 Phillips Place Court.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taste of the World coming up

Oct. 2 is the next "Taste of the World" in east Charlotte, which has some 25 participating restaurants this year, with cuisines from five continents. How it works: You buy a ticket ($45; here), and show up at the VanLandingham Estate (registration starts at 4:30 p.m.).

There, you get live music, drinks and tours of the historic property. About 5:45 p.m., you'll board one of the tour buses, each of which has a community guide and a route that takes passengers for samplings of food at three area restaurants. When you return (about 8:45), there'll be a dessert reception, more music and prizes.

Restaurants include: Ben Thanh (Vietnamese), Bistro La Bon (Mediterranean/European/French), Carnitas Guanajuato (Mexican), Dim Sum (Chinese), El Pulgarcito de America (Salvadoran and Honduran), El Rancho (Mexican), Euro Grill (Bosnian), Fiesta Jalisco (Mexican), Fu Lin (Indochinese), Jamile’s (Somalian and more), Kabob House (Persian), Krazy Fish (“world soul seafood fusion”), La Shish Kabob (Middle Eastern), La Terraza (Colombian), Landmark Diner (American), Lang Van (Vietnamese), Letty’s (Southern), Mama’s Caribbean Grill (Jamaican), Mily & Lalo (Peruvian), Motherland (Nigerian), Peculiar Rabbit (American), Portofino’s (Italian), Queen Sheba (Ethiopian), Three Amigos (Mexican) and Woodlands (Indian).

Taste of the World is run by the volunteer group E.A.S.T. (Eastland Area Strategies Team), which seeks to promote and boost economic growth in east Charlotte.

VanLandingham: 2010 The Plaza.