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Food notes: April 10, 2013

Hot diggityThe pepperoni roll has captured legislative attention this session, but the West Virginia Hot Dog was recently declared the winner in the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council's March Madness Bracket.The fifth seed on the eight-team bracket, the West Virginia-style hot dog, topped as everyone knows with chili, mustard and coleslaw and placed in a steamed bun, pulled an upset in the final round, knocking out the Michigan Coney for the win.Facebook fans voted for their favorites including dogs from New York, Seattle, Georgia, Kansas City and Chicago."The enthusiasm of West Virginia hot dog fans for their dogs is nothing short of amazing," NHDSC vice president Eric Mittenthal said in a press release."It was clear early on in the tournament that chili was a favorite topping amongst hot dog fans and once West Virginians started rallying to support their hot dog, the competition was over."Sweet treatCarina Kwok, owner of Main Kwong, has opened a self-serve frozen yogurt bar called Sweet Spoon, in the space adjacent to Main Kwong on Washington Street East.Patrons fill their serving cups with any combination of the 12 different yogurt flavors available, then top them with fresh fruit, nuts, candy and syrups. The cost of their concoctions is determined by weight.Kwok will soon offer a variety of coffee drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos and espressos at Sweet Spoon, 1409 Washington St. E. Call 304-343-9950.On the wild sideThe Wild Edibles Festival begins at 9 p.m. April 20, at the Hillsboro Library in Pocahontas County. The event features hot herbal teas from Brightside Acres, a speech by Rebecca Linger from the University of Charleston and a nature walk on which edible green plants will be identified.The daylong event also includes a "wild" lunch starting with dandelion fritters by Pretty Penny Café and a potluck meal. Participants should bring a dish to share. The event is free and is sponsored by the Hillsboro Library Friends and the Pocahontas Nature Club. Email or call 304-799-4766.Taste-of-All slots
More than half of the restaurant booths for the June 23 Taste-of-All at the Charleston Civic Center have been reserved.Eateries interested in taking part in the food sampling event must reserve a spot by Monday to ensure they are included in marketing materials. To reserve a spot, restaurants can download a brochure online at or contact Emily Wall at to request a copy.Presented by Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, the event drew more that 5,000 people last year during the city's FestivALL. Ticket holders may taste the bites of the best dishes from more than 20 restaurants.This year, participating restaurants will have a chance to be featured in new Taste-of-All materials, including a pepperoni roll recipe ebook in honor of the state's 150-year anniversary, and an annual eatery guide for the city.
Cake and cuisine classesThe West Virginia Division of Culture and History will offer a six-week cake decorating class this spring featuring cake decorator Robin Taylor. The Tuesday classes will begin April 23.
The cost for the class, which is designed for beginner and intermediate cake decorators, will be $60 per person. The classes will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Culture Center.Class participation is limited to 20 students and pre-registration is required. All students will receive a list of necessary supplies and instructions for the class upon registration.The spring session of the First Lady's Culinary Cultures cooking classes begins April 15. The session includes three classes at a cost of $60, which includes instruction in two of the classes and a demonstration and tasting on the third.The spring session includes "Spring Time Soups" with John Wright of Bridge Road Bistro on April 15, "Deli Secrets" with Judy Burne of AAA Catering on May 6 and "Grilling Out" with Paul Smith of the University of Charleston on June 3.Summer and autumn sessions registration also available. To register, call John Morrison at 304-558-0220 or email and theaterThe Greenhouse of Teays Valley will offer cooking classes and a dinner theater in April.HollyPops Party at 6:30 p.m. April 23 features Holly Hale who will share recipes for buttercream icing and cupcakes with homemade marshmallow fondant. The $25 cost includes an appetizer buffet.Grilling Class at 4 p.m. April 20 features Chef Joe Reckard's preparation of more than 12 grilled foods, which guests may sample. Cost is $30.Sushi Class on April 25 includes hands-on direction for creating custom rolls without the inclusion of raw fish. Cost is $30."Speakeasy of Murder" interactive dinner theater performed by Murder and Merriement at 7 p.m. April 26 and 27. Cost is $40.Reservations are required. Call 304-397-6316.Healthy kids's recipesEpicurious joins first lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture as hosts of a nationwide recipe challenge that it originated to promote healthy eating among America's youth.Parents or guardians and their children, ages 8-12, are invited to create and submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable and tasty.Each recipe must adhere to USDA's MyPlate at guidelines for healthy meals. Entries must represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe.All entrants have the chance to win a trip to Washington and the opportunity to attend a Kids' "State Dinner" at the White House this summer, hosted by the first lady.Submit recipes through May 12 online at Winners will be notified at the end of June.

Reach Julie Robinson at or 304-348-1230 with information to be included in Food Notes.


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