Turkey Talk #1: Why a duck? If you buy a duck (not via duct!) or other game bird (and Heritage Valley Organics had them last week at Caputo's, see above) to roast this year instead of the usual tired turkey, Bambara executive chef Nathan Powers will tell you what to do with it at his next cooking class. "Discover, Gather, Cook" is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Sign up now. Reserve your spot now: 801-363-5454. A portion of the fee will go to Water fur Wildlife.
Caputo's Saturday mini-farmers-market features local food producers, organic poultry from Heritage Valley Organics (that's where I got my duck), exotic mushrooms from, and brand new Utah cheeses like the bloomy-rind sheep's milk made by Snowy Mountain Creamery in Eden, Utah. They call it "timid blue" and it comes off as a Kind of Blue (thank you Miles Davis) Brie-ish disc of creamy deliciousness.
Frida Bistro, Rico Brand and Rico Catering throw one of my best bashes of the year at the Rico Warehouse. Their Dia de los Muertos guest appreciation party celebrates my favorite holiday with great Mexican food, a cash bar and lots of skulls and bones. Plus, it's a do-gooder, each guest brings a bag of canned goods or donates $10 to the Utah Food Bank. Today at 5, but you have to RSVP with your email address to get on the list. The Dia de los Muertos party is on November 5 because of calendar weirdness, but it will be the similar to previous bashes, sugar skull painting for kids, an authentic ofrenda honoring those passed, authentic Mexican food and a cash bar run by Bacchus Bartending, plus, this year, an art exhibit honoring Frida Kahlo.
Tomorrow afternoon, after major tailgating revelry, I'll be headed south to judge a cooking competition. Never mind that it's part of an apparent Chicken Little expo (the Self-Reliant Expo, telling you what to do and how to survive when the sky falls), the Cali Natural Foods-sponsored cooking competition will feature Jen Gilroy from Meditrina (about to celebrate its second anniversary, btw), Jerry Liedtke from Tin Angel Cafe.
(here's one of my favorite pics of Jerry's angels, spouse Kestrel, partner Robin and the Liedtke kids) and Bobbie Henderson from Ginger's Cafe in Springville. (A place I haven't visited, so I'm especially curious.) Cali's is the natural foods store owned by Ian Brandt, natural foods guru of SLC, who owns Sage's Cafe and Vertical Diner, in case you didn't know.
This is a little different from most cooking contests I judge, the emphasis is on natural and local (75% of the ingredients will be supplied by Cali's Natural Foods), chefs are required to use Utah salt and 2 secret ingredients from Cali's in 3 tasting portions, and I love this part, dishes will be judged on taste, local food usage, presentation, complexity and food waste.
The action should get serious around 5 p.m. at South Towne Expo Center and besides me, SL Tribune food editor Kathy Stephenson and Libation owner Francis Fecteau will be judging. Should be fun.
Also tomorrow, but in the northerly direction, and earlier: Zucca Trattoria i is offering free tastings of nearly everything in their Italian-oriented deliâ€”cheeses, chocolate, olive oil and salami. Stop by between 11 and 2.