It's easy to make a great meal with prime beef and ahi tuna, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, Ouita Michel said, but can 25 cooks make something great with canned salmon and black beans that will serve four?
Restaurant owners Michel and Beth Hanna are leading a group of volunteers who will create a meal using staples from God's Pantry at "Cooks for a Cause" on Feb. 3.
The volunteer cooks will be given a mystery box of ingredients and an allotted time to prepare a meal for a family of four. A panel of judges will rate the dishes, and the recipes will be put into a cookbook for the community.
The purpose of the event is to showcase the delicious and healthy food that God's Pantry offers, and the recipes created at the cooking competition should "serve as an encouragement to the clients of God's Pantry to choose perhaps different foods than they have in the past and to embark on a cooking journey with their family," Michel said.
Students in the culinary arts class at The Lexington School and their instructors, Tom Parlanti and Annie Hogate, also will participate at the event, which is free.
The fund-raiser begins at 5:30 p.m. at God's Pantry Food Distribution Warehouse, 1685 Jaggie Fox Way. Call (859) 255-6592 or go to Debrassocialstimulus.com.
Send us your soups, stews
Winter soups and stews are one-pot meals that are so easy to prepare. We'd like to print some of your best recipes. Send your soup and stew creations to Sharon Thompson at email@example.com, or mail to: Lexington Herald-Leader, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, Ky. 40508.
It's Grapevine time
WUKY's annual Heard It Through the Grapevine will be Friday and will be preceded by a Winemaker Dinner on Thursday. Steve Geddes, chef of Local 127 restaurant in Cincinnati, will prepare a five-course meal that will be matched with wine from Trinchero Family Estates. Tickets are $125. The dinner will be at 7 p.m. at the Hilary J. Boone Center, 510 Rose Street. Call (859) 257-9026 or go to WUKY.org.
Heard it Through the Grapevine will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Downtown Hilton. Tickets are $85.
Finally, a Glitz cookbook
After having lunch at The Glitz, guests often come away with the desire to re-create the appetizers, entrees and desserts served at the restaurant at Irish Acres Antique Gallery in Nonesuch.
For the past 23 years, "a day did not pass" that a customer did not ask co-owner Emilie McCauley: "When are you going to write a cookbook?"
"In 23 years of serving lunch at The Glitz, we decided not to let another year go by without honoring their requests," McCauley said. She and her sister Jane DeLauter also wanted to share their parents' vision for the business and the stories that went along with it.
Lunch at The Glitz is filled with recipes served at the restaurant in Woodford County, plus family favorites. But two of the most popular recipes — the spice apple refresher and the poppy seed dressing — are not included. Those items are bottled and sold. And a recipe isn't needed for the signature dessert, the Nonesuch Kiss, which is a baked meringue shell with jamocha ice cream, hot fudge sauce, toasted almonds, whipped cream and a cherry.
McCauley has included in the book seasonal menus designed after the three-course luncheons served in the restaurant, which is in the basement of the historic 1930s schoolhouse that houses three floors of European and American, and high-end French antiques.
The book is available at Irish Acres Gallery in Nonesuch, which reopens on St. Patrick's Day. To order, call (859) 873-7235 or go to Irishacresgallery.com. In Lexington, copies are available at Olde World Interiors, 400 Old Vine Street.
Here's a recipe from the book.
"It's the very first soup we served at The Glitz," McCauley said.
Herbed tomato soup
4 large white onions
¼ cup vegetable oil
6 cups diced tomatoes in juice
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
16 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
Cut the onions into halves. Slice into long thin strips with a mandoline or food processor. Heat the oil in a heavy stockpot. Add the onions, and sauté until tender. Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor, until slightly crushed but still a bit chunky. Add the tomatoes with juice to the pot, and simmer 20 minutes. Add the bay leaves, sugar, salt, thyme, pepper and cayenne, and simmer. Add the stock, and heat through. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Makes 20 servings.
Improve your taste
Wine + Market, 486 West Second Street, is having a tasting class from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday with Alltech brewmaster Ken Lee. He will offer Kentucky Ale beers, Town Branch bourbon, and Pearse Lyons Reserve whiskey. The cost is $10. Call (859) 225-0755 or go to Wineandmarket.com.
Class at Stuarto's
Stuarto's Olive Oil Company, 2200 War Admiral Way, is offering a cooking class on Feb. 8. The class, cooking with flavored olive oils and infused sea salts, will be 6 to 8 p.m., and the menu includes marinated roma tomatoes; roasted garlic sea salt crostinis; chicken parmesan breaded in panko crumbs flavored with sun-ripened tomato sea salt and sautéed in extra virgin butter-infused olive oil; fresh homemade fettuccine with basil oil; garlic sautéed broccoli rapini; and mascarpone fruit tarts. The cost is $35.
Stuarto's has wine tastings from 5 to 8 p.m. on the third and fourth Fridays of the month. Guest winery on Friday is Equus Run; Wildside Winery, Feb. 17; and Talon Winery, Feb. 24. Call (859) 263-0088.
Historic Georgetown is celebrating "Love Your Downtown" during February.
Activities include Fava's annual pie contest, which will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 11. Take your pie and recipe to Fava's Restaurant, 159 East Main Street. Upbeat Café, 117 North Broadway, is having a muffin contest at 9 a.m. Feb. 16, and Galvan's, 135 East Main, will have a bourbon tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 18. The cost is $10. Call (502) 863-5424 or go to Georgetownkymainstreet.wordpress.com.
Beef Backer award for BHG
Bluegrass Hospitality Group, parent company of Malone's, received the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association Beef Backer award at the recent Kentucky Beef Council conference. The award recognizes chain and independent restaurant operators who excel in menu planning and marketing of beef.
Malone's three locations sell an average of 18,000 pounds of beef each month. The company partnered with the KBC to host a Beef University to train the wait staff, chefs, and cooks about the cuts and qualities of beef.