Welcome to Home Skillet, where there’s a six-mimosa minimum for brunch. Here’s what we have on tap this week:
Friday, April 17; Sunday, April 19: It’s Meals from the Masters weekend, and that means two of the state’s premier culinary events are about to commence.
The signature shindig is the Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch, which goes down Sunday at 10 a.m. from the Bank of America building on King Street. Chefs from around the globe will prepare exciting and enticing dishes all in the name of charity, brunch, and probably a wee bit of one-upmanship. For a complete and impressive rundown of chefs (which includes our own Jason Borrowcliff, Jay Caputo, Patrick D’Amico and Dan Butler among chefs from Seattle, Philly, France, Chicago, New York and more), click here.
Home Skillet will be at there Sunday to taste all the macerated berries and poached quail eggs and wasabi-infused polenta cakes. I’ll recap the madness here next week.
On Friday is the Evening with the Masters, a slightly more localized extravaganza. And of course, it’s a dinner instead of brunch, so don’t expect any chicken and waffles. Lots of great Delaware restaurants will be there. Check it out.
As always, the weekend events help benefit Meals on Wheels. Last year, about $600,000 was raised. Click here to order tickets.
Free cookies: Is there a greater two-word combination than that? Besides maybe “wardrobe malfunction?” Last week, Mark Leishear of Bella’s Cookies stopped into Delaware Today headquarters with a bouquet of brand new cookies to preview. Chief among them were a still-unnamed salty oatmeal cookie Mark’s wife and main cookie guru Kelly had been experimenting with. This DT crew isn’t shy around food, so we dug in, munched, crunched, mmm-ed and pined for milk. Kelly Leishear had found an immensely pleasing balance of salty and sweet, and the texture had a nice little crunch. My editor Mark Nardone likened the cookies to yin and yang. The name stuck.
The fleeting remains of a visit from Bella’s Cookies. The newly-christened Yin Yang oatmeal cookie is at left, at right is a chewy oatmeal cream pie. Both will be available soon. Keep your eyes here for updates. Hey, oatmeal is healthy, right?
For those unfamiliar, Bella’s Cookies, which is based in Milton, produces “clean” cookies and treats. All their products are devoid of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial ingredients, preservatives, refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup. And they still manage to be delicious. Imagine that. Keep your eyes glued to the Bella’s Cookies Website for news on the Yin Yang cookies and other new products. And Mark, thanks again for the cookies!
Mini-review: Ms. Skillet and I were craving burgers last week, so we made the hike to Hockessin and 2 Fat Guys American Grill, home of the righteous Elvis burger, and other spectacular beefy creations. I passed on the peanut butter-laced Elvis burger because something else caught my eye: a plate of peanut butter and jelly-flavored chicken wings. I simply had to try them.
The ten wings were cooked to a perfect level of crispiness, but the sauce could’ve used a bit more punch. The peanut butter was there, the jelly was there, but they were more like subtle, dulcet tones in an otherwise decent wing sauce. I’m pretty sure the PB&J wings are a relatively new menu item, so perhaps chef/co-owner Tom Craft will continue to tweak.
Jonesing for peanut butter with your protein? Head to 2 Fat Guys. Peanut butter and jelly wings and a cold New Castle are part of a complete breakfast.
Still, who’s going to complain about tasty wings and bountiful burgers? Not this guy. Next time around, I’ll get the PB&J wings and an Elvis burger and slip into a happy food coma. That, or I’ll join the ranks and become the third Fat Guy.
Spicy? Nicey: Despite some utterly ugly weather outside, the Rusty Rudder was packed Saturday for the Country Chili Cookoff. (Heck, almost all of Rehoboth-Dewey was packed Saturday. Didn’t people get the memo to stay inside from the rain?)
Making the rounds between 30 or so chili tables is a lot of fun, especially since a lot of entrants decorate their stations with fun, homemade googahs and embellishments. One guy made venison chili, so he adorned his table with a couple deer antlers. Another guy, for reasons unknown, was dressed as Professor Kelp, Jerry Lewis’ character from “The Nutty Professor.”
The chili itself did not disappoint. Let’s roll the tape, with a few of my personal favorites from the day:
Mount Habanero erupted Saturday, killing thousands.
1776 hit all the right notes with its chili, which came topped with crème fraîche, homemade guacamole and crispy tortilla strips. Very yum.
Perhaps the most high-end chili of all time came from Nage, whose braised oxtail chili was topped with candied pumpkin seeds and a key lime foam.
Professor Kelp (real name: no idea) was onhand to debigulate and redorkulate the chili contest. How did his chili taste? Really, the only word for it was: Glavin!
This entry from Jimmy’s Grille was another personal favorite. It was a creamy chicken concoction topped with a summer salsa and homemade fried tortilla crisp.
That’s it for this week. Check back next Wednesday for a Celebrity Chefs Brunch recap and much more. And don’t forget to email me if you’d like your upcoming food or wine event buzzed.