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Stamford Summer Restaurant Weeks Go Local & Sustainable 



CTbites' Chef Demo Tent Returns to Westport's Blues & BBQ Festival

Listen up food lovers. CTbites has rounded up some of the area's top chefs for two full afternoons of live cooking demonstrations, recipe tasting and general good times. Last year's CTbites Chef Demo Tent was such a success we've added a second day!

On Saturday, August 31st & Sunday September 1st from 11:30-5pm come on down to Westport's Blues Views & BBQ Festival to meet:

Chef Matt Storch of MatchPietro Scotti of Da Pietro's ; Fritz Knipschidlt of Café Chocopologie; Chef Rob Troilo of Nicholas RobertsHelton DaSilva of Barcelona RestaurantPat Pascarella of Bar Sugo; Mark Hepperman of Saugatuck Craft Butchery; Jamie Cooper of BONDA; Carlos Baez of The Spread;  Judy Roll of Tabouli Grill; and Bar Q/Bobby Q's PitStop's own Tim Doherty.

Come get schooled while you enjoy samples from 11 talented local chefs View the full schedule below...

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Thali's Chef Prasad: A Lesson in Spice @ Clarke Culinary Center

A lesson in spice, a lesson in life - a cooking class with Prasad Chirnomula is both. Purely charming and ridiculously modest, Chef Prasad (of the Indian restaurants THALI and THALI TOO and of the former Oaxaca in Westport) recently taught a group of eager foodies some very important secrets regarding the art of cooking Indian at Norwalk's prestigious Clarke Culinary CenterClarke offers the best in high end kitchens and top quality appliances as well as wonderful cooking classes where top notch chef Gods let a small groups of mortals watch and learn. So we came, we saw, we watched and we ate. But it wasn't just food that Chef Prasad cooked up- it was more like the creation of a warm, breezy sunset. Chef Prasad created a palate of color. 

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Farm to Shaker - Connecticut Bartender Challenge in Coventry

Farm-To-Shaker Bartender Challenge is this Sunday, August 11 at the Coventry Farmers' Market. The second annual benefit for the Market is also a competition as the area's best bar chefs compete to turn locally-grown ingredients into great cocktails. 

For $25 per person (21 and over only) you'll enjoy an afternoon of food and drink in the market barn with emcee WNPR's Chion Wolf and snacks from A Thyme to Cook, music by PORK CHOP EXPRESS. The event is sponsored by Onyx Spirits Company, RIPE Craft Bar Juice, and A Thyme to Cook.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market. To purchase tickets, visit Farm to Shaker. For more information about the Market, visit Coventry Farmers' Market.

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The Spread in SoNo 2.0…Enter Chef Carlos Baez

Twelve years of apprenticeships and hard work are now benefiting Carlos Baez, the newly appointed Executive Chef at The Spread in SONO. Baez started his career at the age of 19 and gained his culinary experience through diverse roles including a sushi chef; he smiled as he told CTbites, “I was the only Mexican sushi chef in the restaurant”.   He worked as a line cook in two top-rated local restaurants, Le Panetiere (Rye, NY) and Napa and Company (Stamford) before arriving at The Spread as one of its opening chefs.

After a few months in his new role of Executive Chef, CTbites spent an afternoon with Chef Carlos to sample a few of his newly introduced additions to the menu. The menu has a varied approach to the cuisine, with influences from American, French, Italian and Spanish cuisines while adhering to The Spread’s philosophy of offering high quality, locally sourced options, with entrées priced less than $25. I enjoyed many of the dishes but found many of the presentations a little over- or under-seasoned.

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Green & Tonic Opens in Greenwich: Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free 

Green & Tonic Opens Second Location In Greenwich with foods that find their power in both taste and healing.

As a California native who has spent the last 17 years living in Connecticut, I know health food in its many forms. I also know junk food disguised as health food. I’ve eaten my share of overpriced twigs and sprouts on tiny plates, overcooked veggies flavored with too much salt and oil, “natural” juices loaded with sugar and calories, and ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. In other words, you can’t fool me, baby. But when I walked into Green & Tonic after it opened its second location in Greenwich, my doubts quickly vanished. This place walks the walk on healthy food. Oh, and it tastes good too.

Co-owner Jeffrey Pandolfino, a Johnson & Wales graduate with vast experience in the restaurant business, who ran his own operation for many years and also spent time at Pret A Manger, was motivated to serve healthy, organic food for another reason – he knew the healing power of food.

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Gazpacho Recipe: South End In New Canaan

 Gazpacho is one of those summer treats that allows a chef to combine vibrant seasonal flavors with a unique personal touch. Every bowl of gazpacho is different, and Chef Nick Martschenko of South End in New Canaaan does a wonderful job marrying texture, taste and a little heat. This sweet and spicy version combines the sweetness of the tomatoes with a little spiciness from finely diced jalepeno peppers. He then finishes this delectable recipe with grilled shrimp. Enjoy!

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Underground Dinner: Plum Luv Foods Pops Up at Butcher’s Best

This past Sunday, a group of us were six of the lucky 40 folks to nab tickets to a "hip" six course menu put on by Plum Luv Foods at Butcher's Best in Newtown, CT, showcasing sustainable local produce, seafood and grassfed meats. This was a sold-out event, even after adding ten more tickets than had been sold at previous dinners.
For the past few months, Chef Plum and Sous Chef Kern have been hosting Underground Dinner ("pop-up dinners") in Connecticut, where they take over a space for the evening, and prepare dinner in a casual, local setting.
No one in our group had ever been to a pop-up dinner, but we knew we were in for a fun night when we were greeted with a glass of bubbly champagne with local blueberries as soon as we walked in the door.
Take a peek at the menu ~ this particular evening, Chef Plum showcased grass-fed meats from Shiregate Family Farm (carried by Butcher's Best), local grown produce (from Farming 101 and Holbrook Farm), and fresh fish and oysters caught right off the Connecticut shoreline.

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Ridgefield's BBQ Throwdown on Sunday, August 4

Join 109 Cheese & Wine this Sunday, August 4 @ 4pm for a Wine vs. Beer Throw Down with some amazing BBQ from Ridgefield Prime's CodyQ "Smok'in Good BBQ." Cody just returned from an intense BBQ boot camp learning from the most awarded man in BBQ, Myron Mixon, and he's got a greeat menu planned for the big day. 109 Cheese & Wine will pair 4 BBQ centric wines (selected by wine pairing fanatic Monica) vs. 4 craft beers (selected by beer guru Patty).

- Prime Big Texas Brisket (Oak smoked)
- Smokey & Sweet Carolina Pulled Pork (apple wood smoked)
- Georgia style Baby Back Ribs
- Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage
- Pit Beans
-Locally grown tomatoes and buratta salad

Weather permitting this will all go down outside. Cody will have his smoker out front and will bring the very best beef, and pork cuts from Ridgefield Prime.

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Preserving the Harvest Canning Workshop @ Wakeman Farm 

Wondering what to do with all those extra vegetables from the garden?  Don't let them go to waste.  Instead, come to the Wakeman Town Farm on August 10th and learn how to can and preserve your harvest.  During this 2 hour workshop, you'll learn the basics of canning as you make delicious homemade jam, tomato sauce, and salsa.  There will be tastings, and participants can take home a jar of their choice! The Preserving the Harvest Canning Workshop will take place on Saturday August 10th, 10am - 12pm.


Fee:  $25
When:  Saturday, August 10,  2013
Time:  10:00am - 12pm
Location:  Wakeman Town Farm, 134 Cross Highway, Westport

Ages:  Open to all

Email to reserve your spot!

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