Summer is always full of food happenings — picnics, barbecues, food fests and so on. One such event is the seventh annual Union of the Birds and the Bees fundraiser, at Ogden’s Union Station (2501 Wall Ave.) on July 19, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Beehive cheesemaker Tim Welsh, Roosters brewmaster Steve Kirkland and Roosters chef/owner Pete Buttschardt are collaborating on a tasting menu that includes award-winning cheeses and locally brewed beer. The band Shades of Grey, from Huntsville, will perform at the event.
Tickets are $50 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Union Station Foundation.
Many dishes at the food stations will incorporate Roosters’ brews and Beehive cheeses; for instance, Diamondback Ale Glazed Pork Drumsticks served with SeaHive Stuffed Potatoes. SeaHive cheese is hand-rubbed with local honey and Redmond RealSalt, and won a third place in 2011 from the American Cheese Society.
Also offered: Carne Asade and Smoked Habanero Tacos, using cheese that was awarded first place in the spiced cheese category by the Idaho Milk Producers Association in 2010.
The Lemon Arugula Salad includes Aggiano. The Utah State University Aggies provided the recipe for this cheese, which is described on the Beehive Cheese website as “dry yet creamy … tangy with hints of pineapple that flake off the wedge, leaving a butterscotch finish.”
Some of the other dishes include Grilled Leg of Lamb Sliders, Caramel Bread Pudding and Chocolate Stout Mousse. Tasters can also try samples from Creminelli Fine Meats, a Utah company that recently took a gold award for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade show.
I’m told that this event has sold out in the past, so get your tickets while you can. You can buy them online at www.beehivecheese.com, or Roosters or Union Grill locations. For those coming from Salt Lake and Davis counties, you can leave the driving to FrontRunner.
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For those who missed the June 30 episode of “The Next Food Network Star,” I’ll break the news to you that Utah chef Viet Pham was ousted. The original 12 contestants had been narrowed down to eight; and those remaining had to do a live cooking show, with “surprises” thrown in to rattle them a little.
When Pham came on the set to cook a sausage and peppers dish, he was stumped when the peppers went missing. In another segment, he got a bit rattled when a “call-in viewer” asked what trio of dips he would recommend serving for a July 4 party.
The judges praised his great looks, warm smile and cooking abilities, but concluded that he didn’t appear confident on camera.
Pham had a chance to get back on the show through a Web series called “Star Salvation,” where ousted contestants compete against each other. But alas, Viet’s gingered carrot soup failed to impress judge Robert Irvine as much as Lovely Jackson’s mustard-y croquettes.
Pham sounded like a good sport on his Facebook page, where many fans expressed their sadness and support. He tweeted, “Those damn phantom peppers — they’re here one moment and gone the next!”
And then, “I had the time of life on ‘Food Network Star.’ I learned so much and made friends for a lifetime. It was my destiny and I’m content with that.”
Valerie Phillips blogs at www.chewandchat.blogspot.com.