Giada De Laurentiis will be the star of this year's Incredible Food Show, in October at the Lexington Center, but Central Kentucky chefs and local foods will stand out, too.
De Laurentiis, host of The Food Network's Everyday Italian and Giada's Weekend Getaways, will take the stage at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Oct. 23. Tickets are $35, $55 and $85, and go on sale Friday.
New this year is Sunday Suppers on Oct. 24, which will feature Bluegrass chefs presenting innovative cooking demonstrations. Edward Lee, chef at 610 Magnolias in Louisville, and Brigitte Nguyen, winner of several cooking competitions, will participate.
Marketplace booths will feature Kentucky Proud producers and growers, specialty food companies, purveyors of cooking-related equipment and wineries. General admission is $15. Booths are available. Call Theresa Lloyd at (859) 233-4567, Ext. 3257.
A downtown sampler
Downtown Lexington has a variety of casual and upscale restaurants that you might not have discovered. A great way to check out the menus and sample the food is to take a walking tour.
The Downtown Lexington Tour offers tastings at seven restaurants and food-related shops at 10 a.m. Saturday through Oct. 30. Tickets are $43 and are available at www.bleuplatetours.com.
The stops are:
■ Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street. A casual restaurant that includes vegetarian and vegan dishes. It opened in 1973 by the University of Kentucky campus and moved downtown a few years ago.
■ Bellini's, 115 West Main Street. This upscale restaurant offers a creative and innovative Italian menu.
■ Cheapside Bar and Grill, 131 Cheapside. A favorite hangout, Cheapside is in the historic Cheapside district that hosts the farmers market.
■ deSha's, 101 North Broadway. A casual dining spot, this is a favorite pre- and post-game stop for University of Kentucky basketball fans.
■ Jonathan at Gratz Park Inn, 120 West Second Street. An upscale restaurant that focuses on regional dishes with contemporary world accents, Jonathan is in the historic Gratz Park Inn.
■ Lexington Pasta, 227 North Limestone. Flavored pastas are prepared fresh daily.
■ Sam's Hot Dog Stand, 109 South Limestone. Best known for hot dogs with all the fixings, and milk shakes.
Eating lobster will help others
The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation is hosting a "LobsterFest for the Loo" at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester Street, on Aug. 13.
The menu features a whole Maine lobster with drawn butter, peel 'n' eat shrimp, corn on the cob, new potatoes, kielbasa, sweet and sour slaw, crusty baguettes and lemon ice box pie.
The cost is $75 or $50 for everyone younger than 35. Call (859) 253-0362 or go to www.bustersbb.com/?p=2994. Proceeds go to help the Blue Grass Trust build a handicap-accessible entrance and bathroom for the Hunt-Morgan House.
Get your tomato fix on Sunday
You can taste a variety of tomatoes, learn how to cook them and even show off your own homegrown offerings at the fourth annual Tomato Festival on Sunday.
The event, 2 to 5 p.m. at The Arboretum, will have presentations on seed saving, germinating and tomato-growing basics. Admission is a voluntary donation of $1.
Sullivan University culinary students will create dishes from locally grown tomatoes, and prizes will be awarded for tomatoes that are most vibrantly colored, ugliest, largest red, smallest red and most nearly perfect.
The Arboretum is at 500 Alumni Drive. Call (859) 257-6955.
New owner of Glen-Willis House
Frankfort caterer Teresa Taylor Sullivan now owns the historical Glen-Willis House, and it's available for weddings, meetings and other special events. Sullivan, owner of Terri's Catering for 14 years, was voted best caterer in Frankfort and best event planner by the community for three years.
The Glen-Willis House, 900 Wilkinson Boulevard, is near Buffalo Trace Distillery and overlooks the Kentucky River. Call (502) 875-3031 or go to www.terriscatering.net.
Zucchini: on the porch or in pancakes
If you have an abundance of zucchini in your garden, you might want to share it. Sunday is National Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Day.
Or, you can use the zucchini in this recipe.
1⁄3 cup 1 percent milk
2 cups chopped zucchini
3/4 cup egg substitute or 3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup sugar or other sweetener, to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
11/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Place milk, zucchini, egg, salt, sugar, cinnamon and allspice into a high- performance blender and secure lid. Select slow speed. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed. Blend for 10 seconds. Remove the lid plug. Add flour and baking powder through the lid plug opening. Replace lid plug. Blend 5 to 10 seconds or until mixed. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot prepared griddle and cook until almost done. Flip and cook on the other side.