Fun and Games

Monday, May 19, 2014

If Your Burger Is the Boss or Your 'Tater Salad is Tops, Vegas Could Be in Your Future

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 8:15 AM

In addition to capturing that nifty trophy (that weighs about 20 pounds!), when Chef Hal Holden-Bache won this year's Iron Fork competition, he also received another little lagniappe of a prize. Make that a big lagniappe, because World Food Championships organizer Mike McCloud happened to be in attendance at the event and spontaneously offered Holden-Bache an entry into the World Chef Challenge at the WFC in November in Las Vegas.

Holden-Bache will compete against other notable chefs from around the country for the chance to win some serious scratch; last year's winner took home $5,000 and a Southern Pride commercial smoker. (That smoker is pretty tough to fit in the overhead compartment.) If the format is the same as the last two years, Holden-Bache will compete in a round of hand skills (start practicing your potato tourne technique, Hal!) and then several rounds of cooking, which culminate in an ultimate dish evaluated by celebrity judges.

If mere mortals like us would like to be a part of the World Food Championships, there are plenty of opportunities. Two that are coming up soon don't even require you to cook anything under pressure situations, just submit a recipe. The first is the Kenmore Burger Challenge. Get cracking because you only have until midnight on May 20 to send them your recipe for the most bodacious burger. A panel of judges will consider all the entries and select four winners who will gain entry into the Burger Division of the World Food Championships. Kenmore is even kicking in $500 and a free trip to the competition for the grand prize winner. Start grinding, Bitesters!

For less carni-centric chefs, Reser's Potato Salad is searching for America's best recipe for that picnic staple. You've got until July 16 to get that one in, and they'll choose 20 semifinalists. These lucky 20 will be winnowed down by a vote of Reser's Facebook fans and will all win a trip and entry in the World Food Championships' Potato Salad division. The ultimate winner gets 10 grand, so that's not small potatoes!

As another nice touch, Reser's will donate on case of their potato salad for every recipe entered to food banks and hunger organizations in the name of the eventual winner. So put your thinking caps on and dig your old recipes out of that box of index cards. Let's see a Nashville winner!

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Somebody's Mom Is Gonna Have a Nice Mother's Day

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 7:58 AM

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Last week we told you about the new spring housewares collection from The Loveless Cafe, with the biscuit masters on Highway 100 offering a selection of swag for us to give away here on Bites.

We really enjoyed reading your heartfelt comments about why your mom is the best and deserves some new kitchen gear. In the end, we chose a winner. (Well, actually the random number generator at random.org chose a winner.)

The cyberwheel spun around and came up with the lucky No. 3, commenter Amy Williams, who made the bold proclamation: "Mine is the best cook so she would love this!" All right, Amy, now your mom can put her money where your mouth is and use the cool tools from Loveless to whip you up a great breakfast.

Send me an email to cchamberlain at gmail (dot) com, and I'll arrange to get you your bounty, hopefully in time for a nice Mother's Day gift. Congrats to Amy and her mom!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

We've Got Three Winners in the Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival Contest

Posted By on Mon, May 5, 2014 at 4:58 PM

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Three lucky Bitesters had better clear their calendars and set up a designated driver, because they are the winners in our Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival ticket giveaway. The festival, which runs from May 7-11 in various venues around town, seeks to exalt classic cocktails and the spirits that make them so delicious.

The organizers have graciously offered tickets to three of the events, so our winners need only send a confirmation email to pourtaste@pourtaste.com to get their names added to the guest lists at each event. Here are the Bites readers who benefited from the luck of the draw:

Tequila tasting - Wednesday, May 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Pavilion East (2410 Brasher Ave.) - Melanie Melcher, who enjoys a nice cocktail at the bar at Husk. (I concur.)

Del Maguey tasting - May 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at DevDigital (162 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Suite 1 ) - Kaydphia, who I recognize as a serial entrant in some of the contests I've run here at Bites. Congrats on finally winning, and celebrate with a strong drink at Patterson House or William Collier's.

Dave Wondrich event - May 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. at DevDigital (162 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Suite 1 ) Sarah Shannon, who won the ticket with her first comment ever here at Bites. She also enjoys bending an elbow at the bar at Merchant's.

Congrats to all of our winners!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Win Tickets to the First Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Bathtub Chatham Artillery Punch from Dave Wondrich
  • Bathtub Chatham Artillery Punch from Dave Wondrich
When I told you all last month about the upcoming Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival, which takes place May 7-11, I promised there would be a ticket giveaway. Being a man of my word, we've put a quick contest together, and it's easy to enter and valuable to win.

The Festival has filled out the schedule with some outstanding events. The week kicks off with a party on Wednesday, May 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Pavilion East (2410 Brasher Ave). Representatives from Brown Forman will be pouring samples of El Jimador and Herradura tequila and will be happy to answer questions and educate attendees on tequila.

If you want to stay on top of an even trendier spirit than tequila, jump on the mezcal train at a tasting event on May 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at DevDigital (162 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Suite 1 ). Imbibe magazine's 2012 Bartender of the Year Ryan Maybee will be on hand to conduct an exciting tour of Del Maguey Mezcal. Guests will sample multiple expressions from the renowned distillery along with an in-depth look on the traditions of mezcal. Del Maguey makes some of the best mezcal out of Oaxaca — in fact, their Web address is www.mezcal.com, so you can expect them to speak with authority. Maybee is a very talented mixologist out of Kansas City who should whip up some excellent cocktails using Del Maguey.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

And Yea, the First Shall Be First — We Have a Cantina Laredo Contest Winner!

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM

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I asked y'all about your dining plans for the impending St. Valentine's Day, and it appears as if many of you will be cocooning and spooning at home like I will. But the winner of the free gift card from Cantina Laredo has plans that include actually leaving the crib.

The random number generator spun 'round and came up with the number 1. (Totally legit, BTW, a 6.25% chance.) So the commenter who shared something more significant than just saying "first!" was MelMel, who has plans to take her "dearest to Tin Angel, our favorite restaurant." That sounds delightful, MelMel!

Now that you're the winner of a $25 gift card, you can venture forth another time for a bonus meal. Email me at cchamberlain (at) gmail (dot) com and we'll set up the card exchange. Congrats and happy dining and smooching to all the Valentine's Bitesters!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

We've got a Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey Contest Winner!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM

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Based on his or her contest entry, I'm not completely certain if Bites commenter Fancycwabs has already read John Currence's Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey, or if he or she is a he or she, for that matter. But regardless, Fancycwabs is the lucky winner of a free copy of Chef Currence's new cookbook, and it would certainly make a great gift.

If he or she would like to email me at cchamberlain (at) nashvillescene (dot) com, I would be happy to arrange the delivery of this very entertaining book. And I promise to keep Fancywab's identity a mystery if desired.

Congrats, Cwabs! I can't wait to see how fancy you really are ...

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Bitester Will Sit in Judgment at the Nashville Street Food Awards

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

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The Nashville Street Food Awards will be held this Saturday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Centennial Park, and thanks to our recent contest, a lucky Bitester will be among the esteemed roster of judges. (Well, I'm judging, so it can't be that esteemed ... ) Many of you professed your love for our local mobile food vendors, but in the end the random winner was Jill Chisam. She said that "Biscuit Love is my favorite, although we have so many good choices. They stand out with their flavor combinations."

Jill signed up as a registered commenter specifically to enter this contest, so welcome to the crazy community, Jill. Email me at cchamberlain (at) nashvillescene (dot) com, and I'll hook you up with the event organizers.

Congratulations!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Where Are My Sugar Rushers At?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM

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I am super excited about an upcoming annual event that pretty much signals the beginning of the holiday eating season, and I'm not talking about Halloween (although I'm super excited about that, too — wait until you people see my costume). I'm talking about Sugar Rush, which happens tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 24, from 6-8 p.m. at The Mall at Green Hills.

I know, driving in Green Hills during rush hour is fork-in-the-eye-worthy, but once you get to the mall, you can stick that fork in a bunch of different cakes, cupcakes, donuts, candy and ice cream until you're done. This is dessert paradise. Last year I ate so much I almost threw up ... no, really, I went honky-tonk dancing immediately after Sugar Rush. Not recommended, but no regrets.

This year, I'm starving myself all day so I can make even more room for goodies from the likes of Godiva, Riffs Fine Street Foods, Diana's Sweet Shoppe, Monchita's Homemade Cobblers, Walker Creek Toffee, Bound'ry, Chef's Market, Faye's Cake Pops, Retro Sno, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Spin Wheels, Fox's Donut Den, The Loving Pie Company, Connie Cakes and Frosted Affair. And, of course, we'll hungrily welcome back our two-time champions, The Cupcake Collection.

The event is for ages 21-and-up, and tix are only $20 each, which includes two drinks and all-you-can-eat (don't disappoint me, sugar soldiers — no wimpy eaters here!) dessert samples. Get your tickets before they sell out right here.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chickens ... in ... Space! Oy Vey! (Or Should We Say Soy Vay?)

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

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No, it's not a sequel to the old Muppet Show skit, "Pigs in Space." Last weekend, a couple of chicken breasts were actually sent to the edge of space where they were cooked and returned to earth for the enjoyment of a group of Nashviilians gathered in Cumberland Park downtown.

The event was a promotion for a relatively new brand of soy sauce and teriyaki glaze sold under the brand name Soy Vay. If you're a longtime reader of Bites, you know that I'm a sucker for a good food pun, so when I saw the name of this product and realized they had named the mission "A Pollo 13," my interest was piqued. (Although I'm not sure that that the organizers realized that the original Apollo 13 mission was the one where everything went horribly wrong.)

The team constructed a vacuum-sealed capsule shaped to look like a Soy Vay bottle, which they filled with a marinade made from their products. A heating element using an exothermic chemical reaction was included to actually cook the chicken during its almost two-hour journey into the ionosphere. Using a large weather balloon, they launched the capsule from Chickasaw Trace Park near Columbia, Tenn. After reaching an altitude of 104,572 feet, the balloon burst as planned, and a parachute deployed to slow the capsule's descent to terra firma and protect the 1-pound poultry payload.

A recovery team tracked the capsule via GPS and located it hanging from a tree somewhere near the outskirts of town. After the team rescued it, the chicken was brought back to Cumberland Park in Nashville where a crowd had assembled all day listening to music, enjoying free samples and buying Soy Vay-flavored dishes from the Jonbalaya food truck.

Was it a silly event? Sure. But no crazier than the zombie run going on nearby at the same time, many of whose competitors joined the Soy Vay crowd just to make it even more bizarre. Soy Vay is sold across the country, but the company chose Nashville as the first place to stage one of these space missions since we are, of course, the It City.

If you'd like to try some of Soy Vay's line of preservative-free, kosher marinades, visit your local Kroger store. If you'd like to see some video from the intrepid mission of A Pollo 13, check out the video below:

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Monday, October 14, 2013

We Have a Collards and Carbonara Cookbook Winner!

Posted By on Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 7:42 AM

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Wow, you guys sure want some free Wiliams-Sonoma cookware! In one of our more popular contests of late, I asked you all to submit what you would cook in a free pan courtesy of Williams-Sonoma in honor of Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman's new cookbook, Collards and Carbonara. The boys will be signing their book at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 15, at the Williams-Sonoma store in Green Hills.

Of all the wonderful ideas you shared, the one that apparently tickled the fancy of the random number generator was from a Bites reader who goes by the handle of "greenchartreuse," who wants to "make porchetta pork chops with lots of fennel, rosemary and garlic." That sounds good to me. Save me some leftovers.

So greenchartreuse, please email me at cchamberlain (at) NashvilleScence (dot) com by the end of work today so that I can hook you up with your free pan and signed cookbook tomorrow night at Williams-Sonoma. If we don't hear anything by tonight, I'll have to draw another name so that we can be sure that someone can make it to the event to meet Andy and Michael and collect their prizes.

Thanks for playing, everybody!

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