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The Food Guy: Market dinner, pepperoni roll fest and more on tap

If you love farm-to-table dinners, chefs’ tastings, food festivals and cooking competitions as much as I do, you’d better buckle up. The next few weeks are full of ‘em.

The culinary festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday with Capitol Market’s first farm-to-fork fundraiser of the season.

At the intimate “Market Table” event, guests will enjoy a reception with Prosecco and appetizers before sitting down for a Mediterranean-inspired dinner served on a 75-seat, white-clothed, gorgeously decorated table stretching down the outdoor pavilion bursting with spring flowers.

The meal — created by Chef Paul Smith and featuring ingredients sourced from the market and local farmers — also includes special pairings from The Wine Shop. On the menu that night:

  • Hors d’oeuvres: chicken kafta kebabs, dolmathes with tzatziki and kalamata olive hummus on a turmeric pita
  • Seafood escabeche:

A combination of shrimp, crab and mussels paired with crisp vegetables in a spiced vinai

  • grette
  • Mediterranean surf & turf: Roasted lamb chop and charred lemon barramundi served on a bed of Israeli couscous risotto with local green beans and herb roasted tomatoes
  • Greek yogurt and creme brulee: Creamy, tart Greek yogurt served creme brulee-style with stewed dates, a baklava cigar and Persian mint syrup

Limited tickets, which include all food and wine, are $115. They must be purchased in advance before Saturday at, which you can also access from the market’s Facebook page. All proceeds benefit Capitol Market, a 501©(3) non-profit.


What better way to celebrate West Virginia Day than with a festival featuring the state’s official and oh-so-beloved food?

“Rolls on the River” will roll into Haddad Riverfront Park from 5 to 8 p.m. June 20 featuring more pepperoni rolls than you could possibly imagine, along with craft beer, live music, local artisans, children’s activities and more.

Hosted by Charleston Montessori School, the event will offer a lineup of local restaurants and bakeries serving up their take on pepperoni rolls, with attendees getting to sample them and a panel of judges determining the winner.

And guess who gets to judge them? This guy.

A few of the entrants lined up so far include A Step in Time Bakery, Books and Brews, Mea Cuppa, Pepperoni Grill, Stella’s and Swiftwater Café, with more to be announced in the coming days.

Tickets for the event are $35 for adults, which includes 10 pepperoni roll tickets and five 8-ounce beer tickets; $15 for non-drinkers, which subs the beers for two waters; and $5 for children 2-12, which includes five pepperoni roll tickets and one water. Children under 2 are free.

Tickets may be purchased at For more information about the event, call 304-348-6860 or visit “Rolls on the River 2019” on Facebook.


Also that same night, Café Appalachia is celebrating the Mountain State’s birthday with a WV Day at the Café party from 5 to 8 p.m. at the South Charleston church turned restaurant.

Guests are invited to come learn about the unique history, heritage and future of our wild and wonderful state while enjoying a feast of ribs prepared by Bob Lyles and all the fixins.

Music will be provided by Cannon Sodaro and a live auction will include items ranging from lunch, condo getaways and a 12-person dinner cooked by Charleston’s own Chef Paul Smith valued at $1,000.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door for adults, $10 for children 5-10 and $5 for children under 5. The restaurant — highly praised by me for its good food and great mission to employ and support women recovering from addiction — is located inside a former church at 206 D Street in South Charleston.

For tickets or more information, visit


And finally, if you find yourself up in the northern part of the state on West Virginia’s birthday, the American Red Cross is hosting the 11th annual Taste of West Virginia from 6 to 8:30 p.m. June 20 at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place.

A foodie’s dream come true, the event will offer a variety of bites from some of the area’s best restaurants, all showcasing their food in an attempt to snag one of several awards to be handed out that evening.

Tickets are $35 each or $60 for a pair, with parking included, and may be purchased at Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign to help deliver relief and recovery services to people affected by home fires.

For more information, email or call 304-598-9500.

Steven Keith writes a weekly food column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or by email at You can also follow him on Facebook as “WV Food Guy” and on Twitter,

Instagram and Pinterest as


Funerals for Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Berdine, Robert - 2 p.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation Inc., Arnoldsburg.

Bonsall, Buddy - 11 a.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Holstein, Gary - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Keener, John - 8 p.m., Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Miller, Edward - 1 p.m., Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home, Spencer.

Wright, Virginia - 11 a.m., Nitro Church of God, Nitro.