Do you have what it takes to be a junior chef? The statewide cooking competition offers high school teams the chance to compete for scholarships.
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said the Junior Chef program “teaches food preparation skills while providing lessons on teamwork, time management, marketing, public presentation and community involvement that will serve students well throughout their lives.”
In Junior Chef, high school teams of as many as five students in grades eight to 12 compete in cook-offs to move on to the next round. Regional champions vie for college scholarships and other prizes in August at the state Junior Chef Tournament at the Kentucky State Fair.
Each team must submit an application to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture by March 15.
▪ You want a St. Patrick’s Day party from a bar and restaurant that takes the holiday seriously?
Consider the spread they’re cooking up at Cheapside Bar & Grill at 131 Cheapside in Lexington for its 32nd St. Pat’s/Anniversary Celebration beginning on March 11 (to coincide with Lexington’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade). The food and beverage specials continue through March 17, the actual St. Patrick’s Day.
Food specials will include house braised corned beef with Guiness cabbage and new potatoes, roasted leg of lamb stew, hand-cut Reubens with Guinness Kraut and Aunt Marcy’s Famous Reuben Dip with rye crisps.
Drink specials will include specially priced draft Guiness and Kentucky Black & Tans; specially priced Kilbeggan and Jameson Irish whiskey; “Margarita O’Malley” made from one of a selection of premium tequilas with fresh squeezed lime “and a little Irish flair”; and “Bloody O’Mary,” spiced up and garnished with greenery.
▪ On March 17, Ramsey’s will offer specials including home-cooked corned beef and cabbage with “blarney vegetables” and Irish stew with authentic Irish soda bread. The restaurants also will offer drink specials, including green beer in a souvenir cup, and Missy’s Bailey’s Irish Creme Cake.
Ramsey’s has four Lexington restaurants: 151 West Zandale, 4053 Tates Creek Center, 3090 Helmsdale Drive in Andover and 4391 Harrodsburg Road. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
▪ Winchell’s, 348 Southland Drive, will be serving these specials for St. Patrick’s Day, available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash sausages and mashed potatoes, Irish soda bread and green draft beer.
Reservations are suggested for groups of six or more. Call859-278-9424.
▪ The Pub-Lexington, 3750 Mall Road near Fayette Mall, will have St. Patrick’s Day specials March 17 to 19.
On March 17, The Pub will offer “Kegs and Eggs” at 10 a.m., with music by Ben Lacy from 1 to 7 p.m. and DJ John the Baptist from 8 p.m. to midnight.
On March 18, The Pub will feature a special St. Patrick’s Day menu and a “Hair of the Dog Brunch” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and music by Liam’s Fancy from 3 to 6 p.m., DeBraun Thomas 7 to 9 p.m. and Jason and Dave 10 p.m. to midnight. The special St. Patrick’s day menu will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. March 19.
▪ Wild Thyme, 1060 Chinoe Road, No. 108, is hosting a traditional Irish cooking class with Barbara Harper Bach from 10 a.m. to noon March 15. Dishes will include Irish soda bread and corned beef and cabbage.
Registration is available online at Wildthymecooking.com.
▪ Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, is offering an Irish cuisine dinner March 17. Appetizers include Scotch eggs and house-made pork sausage. Entrees include corned beef over bubble and squeak (shallow-fried vegetables) with Irish herb butter, fire-roasted cabbage and gruyere or lamb-stuffed cabbage rolls. Dessert is Irish apple cake with whiskey custard sauce.
▪ The Houzz editorial and retail décor website has proclaimed that dark green is back in kitchens. Those of you who have been holding on to your avocado dining tables and overhead lights (which usually had chains that draped gracefully over the family bowl of waxed fruit), feel free to break them out.
Dark green is said to bring “earthiness, elegancy or a historic feel” to your eating place.
▪ Longhorn Steakhouse, which has a Lexington restaurant at 2217 Harrodsburg Road and restaurants in Frankfort, Louisville, Cold Spring, Florence and Elizabethtown, has introduced new menu items.
They include a 14-ounce Delmonico steak, a seasoned steakhouse wings appetizer, whole roasted carrots with whiskey caramel butter, and strawberries and cream shortcake with white chocolate shavings. Returning to the menu are grilled lamb chops finished with a roasted-tomato bordelaise.
▪ Gold Star Chili has introduced its first-ever Cincinnati-style vegetarian chili. Apparently it’s even vegan, unless you mix it with Gold Star’s traditional tower of cheese on top.
“Made from a soy-free vegetable protein, it is gluten-free, vegan and full of chili goodness,” said Ryan Miller, Gold Star Chili’s development chef. “It has the same look and texture as the traditional recipe and includes the same secret blend of 13 spices to create an authentic Cincinnati-style flavor.”
Gold Star’s vegetarian chili will be available in restaurants for a limited time. Gold Star has four Lexington-area restaurants, including the Fayette Mall food court, 101 Lawson Drive in Georgetown, 19 Plaudit Place in Hamburg, and 3735 Palomar Centre Drive in Palomar Center.
▪ The Elkhorn Tavern craft distillery in the James Pepper Distillery at 1200 Manchester Street will be open Wednesday through Sunday. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
▪ Centro bar at 113 Cheapside is now open every day. Daily deals include a $3 shot of the day and $5 Happier Hours from 4 to 8 p.m., featuring Tito’s, Old Forester, Four Roses, Evan Williams and Bombay, plus two-for-one wines.
▪ Participating Dairy Queens and DQ Grill & Chill restaurants in the United States will host a free cone day on March 20. Customers can get a free small vanilla soft-serve cone while supplies last. The limit is one cone per customer.
Dairy Queen officials said the offer is to thank its customers and celebrate the first day of spring.