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Chef Demo Tent Lineup @ 2012 Blues & BBQ Festival

Listen up food lovers. CTbites has rounded up some of the area's top chefs for an afternoon of live cooking demonstrations, recipe tasting and general good times. On Saturday, September 1st from 11:30-5pm come on down to the CTbites Chef Demo Tent at Westport's Blues Views & BBQ Festival to meet: Chef Matt Storch of Match Restaurant in Sono; Pietro Scotti of Da Pietro's in Westport; Chef Rob Troilo of Nicholas Roberts in Norwalk; Chef Joe Wolfson of Terrain in Westport; Chef Helton DaSilva of Barcelona Restaurant; Festivities Catering and Chef Judy Roll of Tabouli Grill. 

Chef Demo Schedule

11:30 Festivities Catering (Nicole Straight)

12:15 Matt Storch, The Chelsea/Match

1:00 Helton DaSilva, Barcelona

1:45 Rob Troilo, Nicholas Roberts

2:30 Joe Wolfson, Terrain

3:15 Pietro Scotti, Da Pietro's

4:00 Judy Roll, Tabouli Grill

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The Winners of the Beach Burger Contest...

A mouthwatering hamburger is one of life’s simple pleasures. And when you can elevate this 100+ year old culinary delight to another level, it makes for great eating. Schedules finally allowed for the tasting and voting for Beach Burger’s CTbites’ Burger and it was a night filled with serious eating, drinking and some tough decisions on which of the entries would win. All of the combinations were brilliantly conceived and each brought a different combination of flavors. There were Italian, Latin, Southeast Asian and good old fashioned Southern combinations in the hamburger finalists plus Caribbean and childhood memories in the milk shakes recipes. After sampling five excellent hamburgers and three delicious milk shakes, the judges were torn between two in each category.

But contests are made for winners, so CTbites is pleased to announce that the new additions to Beach Burger’s menu are:

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Farm-to-Chef Gala to Celebrate CT Farms, September 9th 

The Celebration of Connecticut Farms is the State’s oldest and largest farm-to-chef event.  This year’s gala will also mark the 10th Anniversary of Connecticut Farmland Trust. Ashlawn Farm, the location of the Lyme Farmer’s Market and Ashlawn Farm Coffee, will host the event on Sunday, September 9th, from 12:00 to 4:30pm. 

Over 25 of Connecticut’s best restaurants will be preparing food on-the-day, brought in fresh from farms and producers all over the state.  Come and sample food by G-Zen, Metro Bis, Max Downtown, the Dressing Room, Zinc and many others.  For the first time ever, the Celebration will also feature some of Connecticut’s best food trucks – we don’t want to miss out on the growing sector of great food on-the-go, including Skinny Pines Pizza and Caseus Fromagerie Bistro (the Cheese Truck).  

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Tour India with Thali's Prasad Chirnomula

Indian Master Chefs Prasad Chirnomula and Maneet Chauhan, along with Culinary Instructor Jody Eddy have meticulously planned a gastronomic and cultural journey to India, December 1 - 13, 2012.

One way to reach India's heart is through its stomach. Centuries of applied epicurean experimentation have led to several regional centers of India such as the regal Rajasthan. Through formal and informal discussions throughout this journey, Prasad and Maneet will provide invaluable insights of their homeland and guide you through one of the greatest gourmet spice journeys you will ever experience.

From the bustling metropolis of Delhi to the serene natural quiet of the Thar Desert, you will explore India and celebrate the tastes and the sights and the sounds, while meeting the people that give India its name and its fame.

For a detailed itinerary, pricing and more information about registration, visit

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A Taste of Litchfield Hills 2012

The 27th Taste of The Litchfield Hills, New England's oldest food and wine festival, will be held August 25-26, 2012, at Harwinton Fairgrounds. Advanced general admission is $8 and does NOT include food or beverages.

This new location for the festival will provide covered pavilions for two-days of showcasing the Litchfield region's food and wine as well as shopping and live entertainment. 

Chefs and purveyors from nearby restaurants and businesses will prepare "grazing-sized" portions of house specialties ranging from $4 to $8 dollars each, and wine and beer available for purchase will be served. Lists of participants and menus are forthcoming.

Advance General Admission (Age 12+): $8.00; Advance Senior Admission (65+): $7.00; On-Site General Admission (Age 12+): $10.00; On-Site Senior Admission (65+): $9.00; Child Under Age 12: FREE; Festival occurs rain or shine. 

Taste of Litchfield is located at Harwinton Fairgrounds at Locust Road, Harwinton, CT. Advance admission tickets, exhibitor information and more information is available at



New Canaan Restaurant Week Starts August 24

After a successful premiere last year, New Canaan Restaurant Week is on tap to run from Friday, August 24th to Thursday, August 30th.  Thirteen New Canaan restaurants will feature Restaurant Week prix fixe menus -- providing diners a chance to sample their cuisines at attractive prices. Already known as a destination for great food, New Canaan’s upcoming promotional week promises to draw restaurant-goers into town, just as the summer is winding down and the new school year starts.

The list of restaurant participants reflects the full array of New Canaan cuisines: Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar; Carpe Diem; Cava Wine Bar & Restaurant; Gates Restaurant; elm; New Canaan Diner; Plum Tree Restaurant; Rosie; Sole Ristorante; Thali Regional Cuisine of India – New Canaan; The Tuscan Osteria-Mercato and Silvermine Market. Participating restaurants have a choice of two price points for the featured two-course luncheon menus and three-course dinner menus. Pricing is as follows:  Lunch $10.12 or $15.12; and dinner $20.12 or $29.12.

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Chef Matt Storch@ The Westport Farmers' Market Aug. 16

This Thursday, August 16th, Matt Storch, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Match in South Norwalk, will be bringing his new American cuisine to the Westport Farmers’ Market 

Have you ever been to Match? Have you had the pleasure of visiting this hip little spot situated in the middle of SoNo? Been served up Storch’s Asain inspired American cooking and enjoyed the restaurant named the “Best Overall Restaurant and Best Service in Fairfield County” in 2010? If you just smiled or nodded yes to yourself, my job is done. I can stop this article here. Let’s just plan on meeting up Thursday at the Market (or better yet, dinner tonight?).  Yet, for the few of you who have not yet had the opportunity to make it to Match…Thursday is approaching and my advice to you… seize the day! 

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What's in Season: Blueberries


Tina Rupp is a professional food photographer who works with Food & Wine Magazine and Weight Watchers and also photographs many cookbooks and national print ads. She is inspired by the changing colors and textures of seasonal ingredients both as a foil for her her camera, as well as inspiration for her baking endeavors in her Old Saybrook home. She shoots with Canon and Hassleblad cameras

Blueberries. You can get them practically year round in any grocery store in the country. We all know that they are often mealy and tasteless. Yet we still buy them, perhaps for their antioxidant power.

But blueberry season is a whole different world. Outside of strawberries, blueberries are the fruit I look forward to the most in summer. The sweet yet tart delicious little nugget of flavor is such an amazing berry to eat straight off the bush, in a pie or cake or crumble, or right out of the freezer and into Sunday morning pancakes.

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John Barricelli's "The Seasonal Baker" Cookbook in Stores August 21

The most appealing aspect of John Barricelli’s new cookbook “The Seasonal Baker: Easy Recipes From My Home Kitchen to Make Year-Round” is the reassuring conversational tone of his introductions and tips, which are not just sprinkled, but dolloped throughout the book.  The title is a mouthful, but accurate, with the emphasis on the home kitchen. If you want to recreate the multi-layered Chocolate Ganache Cake or Crème Brulee Tartlets from the Sono Baking Company’s repertoire, go to John’s first cookbook of the same name.  The Seasonal Baker is a go-to resource of thoughtfully selected and approachable recipes, both sweet and savory, meant to be prepared in a home kitchen. They will dazzle the diners, and not daunt the baker.

The book is well organized, dividing its 135 recipes into 9 clear sections from Muffins, Quick Breads and Breakfast Treats through Crisps, Cobblers and Other Fruit Spoon Desserts to the savory Tarts, Quiches, Pastas and More, and finally Focaccia and Pizza on the Grill.  With few exceptions, the recipes are designed for everyday baking and John’s heartfelt introduction sets you up for all you will encounter in the book, essentially a mash-up of food and family. 

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Beaver Beer...It All Began In Westport, CT

"If it wasn't for beaver, none of us would be here," Bill O'Brien, one of the three founders of Beaver Beer tells me over their delicious Big Red brew.  Turns out he's not talking about our meeting at the bar, though.  Bill gives me a quick history lesson and tells me that the Dutch were among the first to come to this country, and they were hunters looking for beaver pelts!  

It's one of the many stories that Beaver Beer brings out, and Bill lovingly refers to Beaver Beer as "a conversation in a bottle."  The conversation that led to Beaver Beer occurred when three friends from Westport were camping and became inspired to create the perfect craft brew.  After watching the nearby hard working, hard-playing beavers, they knew the beaver was the perfect mascot for their brand.  

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